- Posted by Ed Sizemore on July 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- PUBLISHER: KettleDrummer Books; $9.95 US
Review by Ed Sizemore
My love of H.P. Lovecraft by now is well documented. I’m an avid collector of comics that either adapt Lovecraft stories or are inspired by his writings. So when I saw a Previews listing for a comic anthology named Cthulhu, it was a guaranteed sale.
Cthulhu is a 96-page, black-and-white collection of stories from the ongoing horror comics magazine of the same name published by Diablo Ediciones in Spain. Drawing inspiration from the Lovecraftian title, most of the stories are atmospheric, Victorian-style horror. A couple of the works are more modern and gore-based. The pieces are short with the longest story being only nine pages. So this volume contains 17 stories total.
Overall, the storytelling and artwork are very good. I was impressed with the consistent high quality of the stories in the book. In fact, I can’t fault any of the works in this volume for poor art. My only real complaint with the storytelling was that some pieces were too short. A couple of pieces felt like pitches for what promised to be an interesting single-volume story.
“The Well” by Toni Fejzula was a nice three-page story about the evil consequences of superstition. The only problem is the art looks muddy. Fejzula uses a very fine grayscale, and the print quality can’t handle all the subtle shades. It’s the only visual flaw in the book.
“The Bench” by Elchinodepelocrespo and Cesar Sebastain is an abstract piece that still doesn’t make sense to me after three readings. It appears to just be strange for its own sake.
“Picture in the House” by Carlos Lamani is an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story by the same name. Lamani does an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of Lovecraft’s writing.
“Convict” by Alex Ogalla and Beni Lobel feels like it was taken straight from the pages of an EC comic. It has the classic twist at the end and even the art is a pastiche of EC’s golden age.
“In Me” by Alex Ogalla and Salvador Lopez is a novel twist on the classic werewolf tale. In fact, they actually added something new to the genre. They need to explore this idea further. There is a lot of promise in this story.
At the end of the book is a list of blogs for all the artists in the book. It’s great to see a publisher really promote the artists themselves. Obviously, the websites are in Spanish. There are tons of artwork by each artist on their blogs.
It’s refreshing to buy an anthology book where I enjoyed all but one piece. You certainly get a great value for your money with Cthulhu. Fans of classic horror comics will enjoy the book. I hope that KettleDrummer will continue to publish more volumes of the anthology. I’d definitely pick up the next volume. It makes me wonder what other great comics from Spain we’re missing out on.
You can see sample pages at KettleDrummer’s website.