The Lovecraft Anthology Volume 1 TP
Publisher: SelfMadeHero
Release Date: April 2012
Price: $19.95
Creator(s): Stories by H. P. Lovecraft. Edited by Dan Lockwood. Various adapters and artists.
Format: 120 pgs.; B&W; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9068-3853-9
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This anthology adapts seven classic H. P. Lovecraft short stories into graphic form.  While Lovecraft has often been adapted for film, television or comics, it is often done badly.  This book is a refreshing exception, since Lockwood and his large cast of creators have shown a care for the mood of the pieces.  One of the difficulties in adapting Lovecraftian horror is that it is difficult to portray madness.  Creatures whose descriptions defy geometry or sense are hard to draw convincingly, or shoot with a camera.

In this case, the artists draw such creatures only sparingly, instead concentrating on the more concrete horrors in each story, ranging from deformed cattle to things which were once human.  Often the most frightening thing is that which is almost normal, and these stories do a good job in portraying that.

The artwork ranges from the stylized work of Shane Ivan Oakley to the more realistic work of Leigh Gallagher, via the almost underground-cartoony Mark Stafford and the painting-like work of Alice Duke.  Each artist tried for a mood matching that of the story, and for the most part this was successful.  In Stafford's case, the problem arose that the exaggerations of his art were hard to separate from the deformities of the subjects in it, but it was otherwise powerful and interesting.

Lovecraft fans and anyone interested in classic horror should find something to like in this book.

For teens and up, due to scenes of violence and gore.

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.