Shawna, Old Post Office | October 1, 2019
H.P. Lovecraft is best known for his short stories that forge the Cthulhu Mythos. The tales of a giant sleeping aquatic creature with qualities of a Titan-like being that would consider humans insignificant once it has been awakened. In his day, Lovecraft’s work was found creeping into the fringes of the published world appearing in a pulp publication called Weird Tales. To read his tales today horror fans often venture off the beaten path of traditional books into the world of ebooks. Through Idea Exchange’s downloadLibrary you will find The Short Stories of H.P. Lovecraft in 2 volumes. To begin this adventure download the free Libby app by Overdrive from your app store and enter your library card number when prompted. This app is compatible with a broad range of ereaders, mobile devices and laptops.
It is worth the adventure. When searching through Libby on my phone I found Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Ruff does a very fine job of working in elements of the Cthulhu Mythos into a number of short stories. Set in America in the 1950s Atticus Turner and his family face multiple dangers from cult leaders, mythic monsters and Jim Crow laws.
Using Libby on my laptop I was able to enjoy a mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu in Neil Gaiman’s adult comic A Study in Emerald. Written in the tone of Sherlock Holmes this story weaves in Cthulhu and historical figures in unexpected ways.
Like pulp fiction in the early 1900s, adult comics inhabit a fringe where the fans go in search of literary alternatives and where big names like Gaiman and Joe Hill appear. Yes, Hill of the legendary Steven King family has an entire adult comic series starting with Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft. Unlike Gaiman’s work this graphic novel series on the multi-generational Locke family is suspenseful and full of menacing scenes. If you are looking for layers of Lovecraftian themes you will be disappointed as Hill has named the town Lovecraft and that is where the connection ends. If you are looking for ghosts and demons you will enjoy checking these books out.
To learn more about Lovecraft himself W. Scott Poole has written In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft. This informal biography delivers the personal story of the eccentric H.P. Lovecraft’s successes, short comings and how the Cthulhu Mythos has grown over the years influencing modern pop culture.