Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Allen's Brain meets Chthulu!

Well, not quite...

I went to a book signing last night for local author Bruce Brown's graphic novel Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom. Bruce is a very cool guy, and was willing to chat and sign books, even though the signing wasn't supposed to start for another 20 minutes or so. Not only that, but his middle name is my first name, his first name is my old college roommate's name, and his last name is the color of my true love's hair. (Robert Burns?)

Without giving too much away, imagine H.P. Lovecraft as a precocious six-year-old. Now, imagine that he receives the fabled Necronomicon as a Christmas present from his father--an inmate at an asylum due to a nervous breakdown. Now, imagine that he begins to read the weird eldritch text, and it opens a portal to R'lyeh. Non-Lovecraft fans are probably already lost. Now, imagine that it's really fun--and often funny--and appropriate reading for young and old. That's this story.

  Bruce definitely did his homework. Apparently, the real H.P. Lovecraft was a child prodigy, quoting poetry at 2, and composing it at 6. And his father did have a nervous breakdown. That certainly explains a few things about his fiction! Then, there are enough references in the story to Lovecraft-y things, places and characters (I almost said people, but I'm not sure the Deep Ones count) to delight well-read Mythos fans, but not so much that the uninitiated is lost and adrift in a swirling miasma of ancient and long-forgotten personified evils wearing smelly gym socks on their thousand-tentacled frames.

If you're a geek like me, and want to introduce the Great Young Ones in your life (I'm guessing about age 8 would be the lower-end of the spectrum) to Lovecraftiana-lite, this'd be the way to go. And it's a rollicking good read, even if you have no desire to become one of those octopus-wearing sci-fi weirdos who delight in lengthy discussions of just what the elder sign looks like.

Oh, and I have it from the Bruce's mouth, that there's already a sequel waiting... patiently... crouching in the shadows for eons-untold... awaiting the moment when enough books are sold to warrant the release of another.


PaperSmyth said...

Oh, so the gore is relatively manageable or even possibly non-existent? I think I could deal with that.

Allen's Brain said...

Yes. There's a severed tentacle in one frame, but no graphic violence or spurting gouts of blood or organs. No nudity. Pretty tame.