Thursday, 25 February 2016

H.P. Lovecraft At Marvel

Anyone who's read any H.P. Lovecraft knows that trying to adapt him to another medium is a fool's errand. The whole point of his work, even more than any other horror writer, is that the reader imagines, and sees for themself, the terrors in Lovecraft's stories. And make no mistake, Lovecraft IS terrifying.
So that, when someone else imagines it for you, it's a bit of a letdown. It's like Stephen King said in Danse Macabre: The creature behind the door is always scarier than when the door opens and you actually see it. Y'know, it's only a seven foot monster with dripping fangs, I thought it'd be a twenty foot monster with dripping fangs...
That didn't stop those pesky armadillos up at Marvel from giving it a go though, in this trio of tales from Journey Into Mystery and Tower Of Shadows. And if you have to chalk something up to 'noble failure' then it's best to give Tom Palmer, Gene Colan & Berni Wrightson the chalk.
None of which is to say these strips are anything less than wonderful, but by their nature, they can only ever show a glimpse of just why ol' H.P. is so soul crushingly, head fuckingly, mind crunchingly horrifying.


  1. As a long-time Lovecraft fan and an avowed Marvel Maniac, I enjoyed this post! Thanks.
    Gotta go now, I think a tentacle is coming through the window...

  2. Has everybody seen the two movies by the Lovecraft historical society? They did The Call Of Cthulhu ( as if they'd made a silent movie at the time ) and The Whisperer In Darkness ( as if there'd been a movie in the '40's )
    They're both brilliant, scary as hell, and the only Lovecraft adaptations ever that even approach the source. Check 'em out.

    1. Yes, some of the greats! Glad you like them, too.

    2. I would add the German version of THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, DIE FARBE, to that tiny list. It's a fine work.

  3. Great article! As a Lovecraft scholar, I loe that you did the footwork and found these. Well done...

  4. I've always disliked that froggy whatsit in the PICKMAN'S MODEL painting. The best comics version of that story I've ever seen was by Kim Holm, who wisely showed us the reactions of the viewer rather than an attempt to show the painting itself.