Lovecraft and comics go hand-in-hand. Even if you haven’t read anything by H.P. Lovecraft, you’ve still been exposed to his works if you’ve read Hellboy, Uzumaki or countless other horror titles. Even the DC and Marvel Universes have been plagued by the Lovecraftian combination of cosmic horror and flesh and blood (and tentacle) creepiness.
Against this setting (which also includes many direct adaptations), it’s hard to bring something new, but that’s exactly what Richard Corben does with H.P. Lovecraft’s Haunt of Horror.
Corben digs deeper, presenting stories which don’t usually show up in collections. Even better, many entries draw inspiration from Lovecraft’s poetry. The two stanza “The Well,” blossoms into a 10-page Southern Gothic. Lines like, “Grey with a ground-mist that enfolds and chokes/The slinking shapes which madness has defiled,” provide a nightmarish backdrop for Corben’s black-and-white artwork.
Corben blurs the line between adapatation and interpretation, featuring characters and themes atypical of pure Lovecraft. But Lovecraft’s original text follows each story and, for me, Corben’s work rings true.