Alibi V.12 No.24 • June 12-18, 2003 

Art Article

Graphic Classics: Volume 4 (H.P Lovecraft)

Graphic Classics are illustrated adaptations with an emphasis on the more obscure works of literary legends like Edgar Allen Poe, H.G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. In the case of Lovecraft, you're dealing with bizarre, and sometimes grotesque subject matter. John Coulthart's full-page illustration based on Whateley's demise in "The Dunwich Horror" is one of the first images to trounce your consciousness, as it accompanies the introduction by Gahan Wilson. I can sum up this picture only by saying: "E-e-e-e-w-w-w-w!" Which I mean in the nicest possible way.

The text for Lovecraft's epic poem, "Fungi From Yuggoth," is included in its entirety, accompanied by the work of 17 illustrators. Among these, the contribution from Maxon Crumb, brother of the legendary Robert Crumb, was an excellent choice for translating that Lovecraft vibe into visual form.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a contribution from comic book veteran Richard Corben, while Dean Devereaux's aesthetic take on "The Outsider" summoned a pre-sell-out Tim Burton to mind. I don't have room to do justice to the awesome work found here, but the two visuals from R.K. Sloane are, I think, the most perfectly matched to this collection. A must-have for those who appreciate the darkly imaginative in general, and poor old H.P. in particular.