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Headpress: James Marriott

 

R'lyeh

THIS IS ONE of the best books I've seen in years. John Coulthart's work will be familiar to many from his Lord Horror work, some of which is reproduced here, explicitly presented as a conflation of Holocaust architecture and Lovecraftian mythos. The other material includes three heavily illustrated (ie: comic format, although the term seems limiting for work of this calibre) interpretations of Lovecraft stories – 'The Haunter of the Dark', 'The Call of Cthulhu' and 'The Dunwich Horror' – and a set of illustrations of the Old Ones, with evocations by Alan Moore. The collection as a whole has an intensity that lifts it far from its relatively pulpy origins – the obsessive attention to detail throughout is inspirational, and the illustrations of the Old Ones are among the strangest and most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. Coulthart has the perfect foil in Alan Moore, whose prose is almost too dense, too rich to be taken in at once; together, their work demands and deserves a commitment on the part of the reader to match the imaginative rigour on display here, but such attention is amply rewarded. There are a lot of 'comic-book' adaptations of celebrated writers' work out there, and this pisses on the lot of them – hopefully it will provide a new template and standard for a field all too often characterised by shoddy, lacklustre and cynical work. It's also the finest addition to the ever-growing Cthulhu canon I've seen, beyond Lovecraft's stories themselves. The first title from Oneiros was David Conway's Metal Sushi, an excellent collection marred by bad setting and proofing. This beautifully packaged book shows how far the company has come. Unmissable.