Item description for The Haunter of the Dark: And Other Grotesque Visions by H. P. Lovecraft, John Coulthart & Alan Moore...
Overview Presents a modern interpretation of some of Lovecraft's best works, in a graphic novel version that features stories of occult and cosmic terror from the most influential horror writer of the twentieth century.
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More About H. P. Lovecraft, John Coulthart & Alan Moore
Howard Phillips "H. P." Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now widely seen as one of the most significant 20th century authors in his genre.
H. P. Lovecraft lived in Providence, in the state of Rhode Island. H. P. Lovecraft was born in 1890 and died in 1937.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Haunter of the Dark: And Other Grotesque Visions?
Half-sublime, half-ridiculous Apr 13, 2008
The first half of this volume contains some of the best Lovecraftian graphic work to date. Several plates out Coulthart's "Call of Cthulhu" will probably be familiar to new readers, having appeared in other Lovecraft publications, and his "Haunter of the Dark" creates an equally brooding atmosphere filled with obsessively detailed images. Beyond that, there are ten fairly good, though sometimes gory pages on "The Dunwich Horror," set up in story-board fashion.
Then things really deteriorate: thirty-plus pages of elaborately swirly but atmospherically bland graphics devoted to the Mythos deities, accompanied by the babbling, Anglo-apocalyptic prose poems of Alan Moore, and twenty-five pages of the artist's non-Lovecraftian work for David Britton's "Lord Horror" series, which resemble the obsessively detailed and sadistic pen and ink drawings of some gifted teenage horror fan. The artist suggests a plausible linkage between the grimly stylized concentration camp architecture in several of these and Lovecraft's own apocalyptic vision, but many readers, I suspect, will find the results obscenely offensive. One can see how this stuff attracted the attention of British censors in the nineties, and it is irritating to find Lovecraft's name prominently displayed on the cover of a book that eventually strays so far from the spirit of his work. My inclination would be to look for the "Haunter" and "Cthulhu" series in another graphic-fiction anthology (maybe it's already out there); as it is, I would not recommend this as a gift for any Lovecraft-loving young person.
But Give Haeckel Some Credit Mar 5, 2007
"The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque Visions" touts a bunch of drivel by Alan Moore, who's become pompously undisciplined in his writing, but it is really the showcase for Coulthart. "Haunter" collects two and a half Lovecraft stories in graphic form. Coulthart tries his hand at "Dunwich" but admits he couldn't really improve on Enrique Breccia's in "Heavy Metal" magazine, so stops halfway through the story. (See Breccia's "Lovecraft" for more of his work.) It ends with a nice splash, though. Coulthart's most proud of his "Call of Cthulhu", which is hard to read because he breaks up the frames into odd angles to mimic the "horrible geometries" described in the story. This adds to the mystery of the story and a growing sense of horror as the pieces come together, an achievement unique to the comic medium. However, I'm convinced that Lovecraft's own effects are ultimately dependent upon the written word's ability to conceal things from and gradually reveal things to the reader's imagination, to tease us out of all rational thought. They just can't be equalled in another medium. Another jewel of "Haunter", though, is the portfolio of Lovecraftian "gods" that follows the stories. Coulthart uses the computer to combine, among other things, some of Ernst Haeckel's "Art Forms of Nature" etchings with his own drawing. Coulthart's not the first person to make this connection. It's well known that Lovecraft admired Haeckel's philosophy, and others have dabbled with using Haeckel's illustrations to evoke the creatures HPL describes in his stories. But Coulthart really commits to the connection. One only wishes he had given some credit to Haeckel. After this portfolio (with its nonsensical "evocations" by Moore) comes a collection of controversial "Lord Horror" illustrations. They are both prurient and puerile -- I damn them with my alliteration! HPL is most effective when trying to maintain dignity as well as sanity in the face of overwhelming cosmic terror, which is itself "dignified" in its own horrible (to human eyes) way, just of another, perhaps even loftier order.
BEST GRAPHIC FORM LOVECRAFT EVER Feb 3, 2007
Over the years I have come across many illustrated, comic book adaptations of Lovecraft works, and even more Lovecraft "inspired" creations. Most fall short in capturing the cosmic horror that is Lovecraft's trademark. There are two works, however, that succeed wildly in this endeavor. The absolute best, both artistically and horrificly, is John Coulthart's "The Haunter of the Dark : And Other Grotesque Visions" . The illustrations in this volume fully depict the occult evil and sanity shattering madness that Lovecraft specialized in. Judging by the attention to detail that Coulthart put into his satanic artwork, I would guess that he is more than just a casual dabbler in things arcane. He is also a spectacular illustrator. The 2nd noteworthy Lovecraft graphic work is not an adaptation of one of Howard's stories. It is one that uses him as a character in his own insane little world. "Lovecraft" , by Hans Rodionoff, Enrique Breccia, & Keith Giffen, is a faithfully wicked & terrifying concept piece. Buy both books and revel in brilliant insanity.