"Cthulhu Tales" Trade Paperback Review

 

Written by Ilan Sheady

 

Published by BOOM! Studios

 

Delirium Omnibus:

Written by Johanna Stokes, Keith Giffen, Kim Krizan, Mark Waid, Steve Niles
Illustrated by Dave Johnson, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Hardman

2011, 224 pages
Trade paperback released on 6 Sept 2011

 

Madness Omnibus:

Written by Michael Alan Nelson, Steve Niles, William Messner-Loebs
Illustrated by Dave Johnson, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Hardman

2011, 209 pages
Trade paperback released on 1 Nov 2011

 

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Review:


Cthulhu Tales is a collection of short stories based around the written works of H.P Lovecraft, the literary mastermind that made ‘Necronomicon’ and ‘Arkham’ into household names and made Herbert ‘Re-Animator’ West a cult figure.

The collection is reminiscent of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser comic series  (which coincidentally Boom! Studios seems to have recently revived) of the 1990s which expanded on the mythos of the film and had some incredible writers and artists including DC’s Alex Ross, Hellboy’s Mike Mignola and the incredible John Bolton.

The main issue with Cthulhu Tales is that, unlike the collection of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, it requires you to have a pretty good appreciation of H.P Lovecraft’s work, otherwise it just feels like a large selection of scenarios that nine times out of 10 have tentacles and an alien demon God at the end. For that reason individual storylines are a bit repetitive and never really build on your knowledge of the franchise. Often the collection feels more like a student project than a well planned archive, also I’m not particularly keen on Lovecraft being used as a figure for teenage angst like one particular taster demonstrates.

However there are some fantastic little gems in here. The selection of artwork on display is pretty impressive with a wide range of styles, some more creepy than others. There are enough stories to definitely make this worth owning. Keith Giffen (of DC’s Lobo) reuniting with I Luv Halloween co-creator Ben Roman to contribute a fun and poetic take whilst Andrew Cosby, co-founder of Boom! Studios, pairs up magnificently with artist Lee Carter. Together with artists like Shane Oakley, Drew Rausch and Axel Medellin, Machain the big squid faced monster never looked so impressive. Andrew Ritchie in particular is enough to give you nightmares.

Cthulhu Tales' main target audience is fans of Lovecraft and his lore. If you are interested in seeing a showcase of some of the most unique creative individuals in comics then this is definitely a winner and if you are purely a horror fan there’s enough for you to enjoy but be warned... if you read too many in one sitting it can make you go a little paranoid.

 

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Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.

 

 

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