For all readers and admirers of this genius of supernatural fiction, the hauntingly strange and surprising story of the life of H. P. Lovecraft, vividly presented in graphic novel form for the very first time.
Creator of the myth of Cthulhu, Arkham, and the sinister Necronomicon, Howard Phillips Lovecraft became known, after his death, as one of the most influential writers
Lovecraft had an unusual childhood marked by tragedy. His traveling salesman father developed a mental disorder and, in 1893, became a patient at the Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and there he remained until his death.
A sickly child, Lovecraft became an avid reader. He loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe and developed a special interest in astronomy. As a teenager, he suffered a nervous breakdown and became a reclusive figure, choosing to stay up late studying and reading and writing and then sleeping late into the day. During this time, he managed to start publishing short stories his inimitable form of horror fiction.
As mythical as one of his own creations, his innumerable readers see him as having been a rather strange figure from another world. Who really was this recluse from Providence?
In this perfunctory graphic biography, Nikolavitch reviews the life of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is portrayed as out of step with the times and unable to take care of himself, while enjoying a wide circle of admiring correspondents. It's those friendships with fellow horror and fantasy writers that make up the bulk of the narrative, as Lovecraft's journeys to visit them spark his imagination, among forays into caves and graveyards, in scenes that are presented as a kind of answer to that perennial question authors face: "how did you get your ideas?" But while Lovecraft's anti-Semitism, racism, and fascism are all addressed in passing, no attempt is made to connect them to the themes of his work. Nikolavitch also seems more interested in Lovecraft's famous friends, such as Robert E. Howard and Houdini, than in digging into more complex relationships, such as with Lovecraft's estranged wife, Sonia. The art is well-crafted and clear; the expressive character designs are a particular highlight. But while Lovecraft's personal prejudices and eccentricities make him a difficult subject to capture, this take dodges the hard questions in favor of friendlier anecdotes.