Nothing like a good children’s story about a boy and his pet, Cthulhu.
Wow, did I really just say that? That is the story presented in Bruce Brown’s Howard Lovecraft graphic novel series. I recently had a blast reading through the first book in the series, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Mountain. In fact, this is probably the only version of Lovecraft that would not completely warp my seven-year-old’s mind. We both really enjoyed the artwork and the story so much that we had to pick up the second book, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom. I believe that fans of Lovecraft will get the connections made in the stories, probably by the titles alone.
I caught up with author Bruce Brown (hoping to get a sneak peak into the next book) and here is what he had share about his young adult series:
Sims: What gave you the idea to create works based on Lovecraft horror, geared toward young adults?
Brown: The series started from a short story I had written for a horror anthology. It took place during the moment where Lovecraft’s father suffered a nervous breakdown and I placed a young H. P. Lovecraft, in the story, at that moment in time. After the story was published, I could not let go of the idea of this younger Lovecraft character so I sat down and began writing the frozen kingdom. I loved the idea of introducing elements of Lovecraft’s work into a story that all ages could enjoy and hopefully introduce a new generation of readers to the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Sims: What age would you say your books are appropriate?
Brown: The series is definitely an all ages book. Younger readers can enjoy the adventures of Howard and Spot and older Lovecraft fans can enjoy this unique take on some classic Lovecraft characters and stories.
Sims: Can you give us an overview of these adventures of young Howard and Spot?
Brown: The Frozen Kingdom begins after visiting his father in Butler Sanitarium. Young Howard Lovecraft ignores his father’s warning and uses the legendary Necronomicon to open a portal to a strange, frozen world filled with horrifying creatures and grave danger. Alone and scared, Howard befriends a hideous creature he names Spot who takes him to the castle of the king where he is captured and sentenced to death.
The Undersea Kingdom finds Howard Lovecraft’s family being imprisoned on a far flung planet, Spot hopelessly captured, and Howard slowly becoming a mindless Fishman. Accompanied by his insane father, a pistol-packing constable and his hungry cat, they must face the all powerful ruler of the Outer Gods, a revengeful old enemy, an army of deadly monsters, in a lethal world called Yuggoth, to save the day. All Howard has to do is surrender his Father’s book. But that would mean certain doom for all of mankind.
Sims: How many books are you planning in the series?
Brown: I would love to do another book in the series, but that really depends on sales of this book. So, really those who supported the first book are the reason there is The Undersea Kingdom. Hopefully, the talented Dwight L. Macpherson and I will get the chance to do another tale!
Sims: Thu Thu Hmong (Spot) looks a lot like a being that I have read about in Lovecraft’s work. What is going on there?
Brown: Spot, as revealed in the first book, is Cthulhu. In Lovecraft’s work and the mythos created from it, Cthulhu is a malevolent god who lay in slumber in the undersea world of R’yleh. The return of Cthulhu strikes terror in the hearts and minds of mankind. He is worshiped by evil cults and undersea creatures known as Deep Ones. So, it made me laugh to make Spot incredibly charming and adorable. Ha!
Sims: The artwork in these books is fantastic. What can you tell us about the artists?
Brown: The art in the first book was done by the very talented Renzo Podesta. The artist for The Undersea Kingdom was Thomas Boatwright who is an extremely talented artist. Both artists had such unique styles that complemented the world in which Howard and Spot reside.
Sims: What are you working on now?
Brown: Currently I am working on a few projects, but spending most of my time right now trying to spread the word of Howard Lovecraft & the Undersea Kingdom and another book I have coming out called Clay County.
Both books, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom and Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, are available for order on Amazon. I highly recommend them if you are a fan of Lovecraft horror and do not mind a few liberties taken.