Lovecraftiana

Part One:

Lurky

Lucas and I have a running joke about Mudshark being the Lurker in the [Hallway, Bookshelf, Closet, …]. When we were working on Yog’s Notebook [1], we both read the Lovecraft/Durleth novel The Lurker at the Threshold, which is about an encounter with Yog-Sothoth, the zine’s namesake.

I don’t remember who started it, but Mudshark is kind of an odd furry monster of a cat, so it stuck.

Part Two:

I came down with a cold on Friday, forcing me to cancel all my plans in favor of lying around coughing. I barely felt well enough to read (a dire situation!), so I was browsing around on my phone thinking about Halloween costume ideas when some line of free association got me thinking about historical expedition gear and Lovecraft [2]. This led to finding some very nice patches and pins commemorating the 1930-31 Miskatonic University expedition to Antarctica (sadly, all sold out).

And that reminded me that I’ve never read “At the Mountains of Madness” (which describes the doomed expedition to Antarctica), but it’s available through Feedbooks for the Stanza iPhone app, so there you go. [3] Then I read “The Call of Cthulhu”, and “The Dunwich Horror”, and a few others. I think I’d been putting off reading much Lovecraft because I was afraid of liking the beasties more than the style of writing, but everything I picked up over the weekend was a lot of fun.

One thing I kept noticing was what sorts of details were emphasized, and what was glossed over. There’s a lot of “oh, I dare not speak of it!” with respect to the monsters, but at the same time a certain amount of gleeful scientific curiosity, and artifacts are often described in terms of how they match no known artistic lineage or culture (apparently the protagonists are well-educated in this area). Our narrators tend to be complete nerds about something (geology, medicine, architecture…) and enthusiastic about sharing everything through that lens.

Anyhow. All of this is a long way of explaining what’s going on with the image at the end of this post. [4] In “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, we encounter a town full of people who’ve been mating with the Deep Ones, a race of fish-frog people who provide them with food and wealth in exchange for sharing in their Cthulhu-worship, and eventually, creating a town full of fish-frog-human mutants who will then take over the world. [5] The narrator is happy to dissect the town’s architecture, but apparently he really does not want to ponder how you go about making fish-frog-human people, so we look the other way.

I’m sure I’m not the only reader to consider how the biology of this would work, but I’m a little scared to Google it. So I drew my own version. I think this is hilarious [6] but YMMV.

What happened at Innsmouth

Maybe “Scenes Lovecraft Left Out” will be my next comic?

[1] Copies of both issues are still available, if you don’t have them yet. Buy them through the site or email me to pick up at an event.

[2] Alas, I don’t remember how I got these two topics combined. I was thinking about Dürer, and demon ladies, and …?

[3] Another case for ebook readers on the phone: sick days. If I could just download hot tea to go with it, I’d be completely set.

[4] It’s like a shaggy dog story. A creepy, wet, slimy one.

[5] Or something.

[6] Ask Lucas, I was laughing so hard I had to get up and have a drink of water before I could finish the sketch. I do not actually expect anyone else to have the same reaction.

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