Cthulhu Volume 1

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.

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6 Responses to “Cthulhu Volume 1”

  1. Hsifeng Says:

    Ed Sizemore Says:

    “…It makes me wonder what other great comics from Spain we’re missing out on…”

    ¡Questión bueno! Unfortunatemente, leo español ¡solamente un poquito! Por mi, idiomas extranjeros son muy difícil. :/

    Meanwhile, these comics aren’t all from Spain but they’re all English translations of comics originally written in Spanish:

    Streak of Chalk by M. Prado
    Tangents by M. Prado
    “Legion” by Salvador Sanz
    Ana written by Gabriel Solano López and drawn by Francisco Solano López
    Chicanos written by Carlos Trillo and drawn by Eduardo Risso

    Also, the link you cited lists and offers sample pages of another book from Spain too, Young Lovecraft by José Oliver and Bartolo Torres:

    The web comic that took Spain by storm makes its English language debut in this hilarious graphic novel. Oliver and Torres explore the childhood of H.P. Lovecraft, the great genius of literary terror who gave us the cycle of the Myths of Cthulu, and forever changed the landscape modern horror. Join the young Lovecraft on his macabre and comical adventures.

  2. Hsifeng Says:

    Yikes, the server ate my diacritics!

  3. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Hisfeng,

    I have the Young Lovecraft book and it’s great. There are a couple pages of Young Lovecraft in Cthulhu.

    Sorry, want to be clear. The list you posted are Spanish comics you recommend I check out, correct?

  4. Hsifeng Says:

    Yes, check them out :)

  5. Answering a call from Cthulhu « Cthulhu Hot list Says:

    [...] Cthulhu Comics [...]

  6. Álex Ogalla Says:

    Hi! thanks for your review. Already on sale volume 2. Hope you like.
    Regards

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