16 April 2012

At the Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft and Culbard

Lovecraft has been a noticeable gap in my culture for a too long a time now.

His name kept cropping up in other things that I was reading, as did that of his creation Cthulhu,and I may even have read a short story or two in general collections but until recently I had never knowingly read a Lovecraft story.

The perfect opportunity came to fix this error with the publication of At the Mountains of Madness as a graphic novel coming with a good review from Forbidden Planet.

It's a classic Boys Own adventure story with a large dollop of imagination and a hint of menace.

It is set in Antarctica at a time when it was largely undiscovered and the people doing the discovering when men with stiff upper lips adorned with moustaches.

The Mountains of Madness, as it explains helpfully on the back, is a good stepping in point for the Lovecraft mythos as it is self contained and has large chunks of back-story.

The art sympathetically reflects the mood of the story with its bold simple, but not simplistic, style. It carries the grandeur of the scenery and the tension of the moment wonderfully.

The artist, I N J Culbard, was unknown to me beforehand but that is going to change quickly. He has just started The New Deadwardians with Dan Abnett and is soon to appear in the hallowed pages of 2000AD.

There is so much to like about this book, the story, the art and the strange world that it takes you in to, and like it I did. A lot.

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