A list of Lovecraftian comics and graphic novels – part one

This list is part one; stay tuned for more in the days to come.  List compiled by Matthew Carpenter; comments below by Matthew Carpenter.

ORIGINAL MYTHOS/LOVECRAFTIAN STORIES

The Courtyard, by Alan Moore – In my opinion, this is the best original story Lovecraftian comic. An assiduous Lovecraftian does not need to acquire the companion guide. I like the color edition.

Fall of Cthulhu, by Michael Nelson – Released by Boom Studios, when it started Fall of Cthulhu was stunningly brilliant, a modern masterpiece of Lovecraftian story telling. I don’t think it was able to maintain its momentum in the latter part of its run, but it is extremely enjoyable with very good art.

Cthulhu Tales, various authors – Starting about the same time as Fall of Cthulhu, Boom Studios issued a series called Cthulhu Tales. These were original stories, not HPL adaptations. As in any such comic, it is a mixed bag, with some very good stories and some not so hot. Overall I have a very favorable impression of it.

Yuggoth Cultures, by Alan Moore – Frankly I think Yuggoth Cultures by Alan Moore is a bit of a bust, being so outré and self consciously edgy that it collapse under a bloated weight of pretense. On the other hand, this omnibus is well worth getting because it collects all three issues of Yuggoth Creatures, a 2006 release from Avatar Press, written by Antony Johnson. Lovely art and a driving, cohesive plot make it a winner.

Necronomicon, by Willaim Meissner-Loebs – Not as attractive as Fall of Cthulhu, I would say this Boom Studio issue is mostly of interest to completists, but it is at least worth a quick read. I wish the interior art was as good as the covers were.

Arkham Woods, by Christopher Rawley – One of the first all original English language manga mythos books! The art by Jhomar Soriano is quite attractive, the story is pretty good and there is a decent ending, although I would have words with Mr. Rowley about whether Nyarlathotep is supposed to look like Legolas.

Taimashin, volume 1, by Hideyuki Kikchi – OK, the story is pretty silly, with acupuncturists fighting Wilbur Whateley’s twin, but the art is very good indeed. In fact it may be the best comic book depiction of the Dunwich Horror.

The Miskatonic Project: The Whisperer in Darkness, by Mark Ellis – Predating the X-Files or Delta Green, released in 1991, the Miskatonic Project chronicles the adventures of a group of paranormal investigators delving into things Lovecraftian. It does not retell TWID, instead it uses the Lovecraft story as a springboard. I really liked the first book, compiled by Transfuzion Publishing.

The Miskatonic Project: The Bride of Dagon, by Mark Ellis – Alas, they went to the well once to often and The Bride of Dagon is a mostly disappointing mish mash of HPL characters and stories. Worth a look for some of the art and if you are an inveterate Lovecraftian name dropper (looking at you, Rawlik).

Only the End of the World Again, by Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s story of lycanthropy and Innsmouth mischief is a delight. Unfortunately I thought the art was mediocre.

Lori Lovecraft, by Mike Vosburg – An oversexed, dim witted actress gets a copy of the Necronomicon and hijinks ensue. Fortunately most of the men around her are even more dim witted. Definitely for adults only! This is the compilation omnibus of her adventures.

The Chronicles of Dr. Herbert West – Zenescope brings you a modern update of the classic H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West: Reanimator. Doctor Herbert West is a brilliant medical student, nobody disputes this fact, but his experiments with a serum created to re-animate the dead are frowned upon at the New England University he attends. West is soon forced to continue his grotesque experiments in secret, with varying degrees of success. But the closer he gets to perfecting his serum, the more obsessed he becomes with reversing death. And when he makes his greatest breakthrough the young genius will soon learn that some things were never meant to return from the grave.

Goomi’s Unspeakable Vault of Doom, by Pegasus Spiele – Cthulhoo, Nyarly and the gang give each other flack and ea tasty cultists. Any mythos fan will be hugely entertained and the art is as good as the humor. My biggest bit of heartburn is these comics were glued together very cheaply, and they tend to fall apart after one read through.

The Dark Goodbye, by Drew Rausch – Max ‘Mutt’ Mason is a down on his luck gumshoe, basically living in a bottle, when a case walks in…This over the top manga style book abounds with fast action, silly humor, and bad puns. Mutt’s secretary is Melissa Katonic…Miss Katonic..get it? Oh, never mind. Unfortunately the book tanked and the creators don’t even own the rights to their own creations so all we get are two books.

No Man’s Land, by Jason DeAngelis – In this stylish manga, a former Union soldier battles demons summoned from the Necrono micon. Even though it is only tangentially mythos I really liked it, but it only lasted two books.

North 40, by Aaron Williams – The story is a bit disjointed. Two disaffected youth try to summon Cthulhu and this wreaks havoc on the local county. It is mostly a disjointed series of vignettes but the lovely art by Fiona Staples makes it all good.

CthulhuCthulhu, by various authors – Cthulhu includes Spanish language comics translated into English. Some are mythos. Some are straight up horror. The quality is definitely a mixed bag but I think they are at least worth a look.

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, by Mike Mignola – In this alternate world Batman, Bruce Wayne finds himself returning to Gotham after being away many years, and he’s forced to confront sinister mythos entities. This is extremely well written as you might guess from Mike Mignola. A little pricey now but worth collecting.

Neonomicon, by Alan Moore – Not as good as The Courtyard but worth a read.

Nightmare World, by Dirk Manning – When you enter Nightmare World at first you have a series of short vignettes that don’t seem to add up to much. Just wait. I highly recommend you get all three books, and then read them back to back. Eventually it all emerges as a cohesive whole of excellent Lovecraftian sensibilities. A slower reread will provide even better appreciation for what the author has accomplished.

The Dunwich Horror, by Joe Lansdale – You know, you would think a book by Lansdale would be great. This is just so so. There is not much story here as some young people re-summon Wilbur’s brother and have to put it back down. The art is OK. I much preferred the companion piece, an illustrated adaptation of The Hound (not so much a comic as illustrated prose).

Eldritch, by Aaron Alexovitch – The artist is the one who gave us The Dark Goodbye. This story is less coherent and moer over the top, but it does have some nice Lovecraftian moments.

Fatale, by Ed Brubaker – Here we have a compelling story with some subtler Lovecraftian touches, married with wonderful art and dialogue. I eagerly await volume 4.

Witch Doctor, by Brandon Seifert – Dr. Richard Morrow (who may be Herbert West using an assumed name) and his intrepid little band try to banish or battle demons who are basically parasites of The Great Old Ones. What an absolute treat. It’s very witty with cool characters and action, and terrific art. There’s nothing not to like!

Con and C’thulhu, by Matt Howarth – This is included to show what underground comics from the 80s/90s were like. Lord C’thulhu plays in a rock band, The Bulldaggers. There are several related comics but they are a tad difficult to get hold of.

The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles – The latest foray of Boom Studios and Michael Alan Nelson into Lovecraft country! I have only seen issue one, which was engaging, but if we wait long enough I am sure there will be a graphic novel compilation.

Strange Aeons Magazine – Each issue of Strange Aeons is full of comics of varying quality, and covering the gamut from original to adaptation, horrific to funny. All of them are pretty darned good.

Mneovore, by Hans Rodionoff and Ray Fawkes, art by Mike Huddleston – Hans Rodionoff wrote the graphic novel Lovecraft so he has at least some interest in the master. Mnemovore is not Cthulhu mythos or directly Lovecraftian but the title monster (beautifully illustrated by Mike Huddleston is definitely a nightmarish alien that all Lovecraftians would admire, all jaws, worms and tendrils. The story itself is pretty darned good although in my copy of the compilation graphic novel there seemed to be some problem with the printing where some of the dialogue was so faint I had trouble reading it (at least I don’t think it was an affectation.).

The Sum of Light, by Brian McCranie – The Sum of Light was successfully funded and I have an electronic copy of the first issue. It is pretty darned cool. A print edition is in the works. Hopefully there will be sufficient funds to continue its run.

Infestation, Volume 1 and Volume 2 – A zombie apocalypse from another dimension crosses into multiple IDW realities. It is followed in volume 2 by an infestation of Lovecraftian horrors.

6 responses to “A list of Lovecraftian comics and graphic novels – part one

  1. Based of off Mike ravings I got a chance to read The Doom That Came to Gotham and liked it !!

    Otherwise the only other Lovecraftian comics I have liked are the Fall of Cthulhu series which I LOVED! and Cthulhu Tales is alright too.

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