Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lovecraft in Comic Books: Chamber of Darkness, Issue 5

As promised, today I will begin showcasing some of my treasured possessions here on Muted Mutterings of a Mad Poet.

Anyone familiar with my fiction and poetry probably recognizes my admiration of H.P. Lovecraft’s tales of cosmic horror. Anyone familiar with me personally knows I have an unfortunate obsession: In addition to being a bibliophile, I also collect comic books. My attraction to comic books began when I was a still quite young. I can remember my first acquisition: I was suffering from some mild strain of the flu, around age 5, when my father arrived home with an issue of a one of Marvel’s horror titles. This happened to be right about the same period during which I was devouring old horror movies on television with unspeakable glee.

When asked about my first experience reading Lovecraft, I have to admit that it was likely in the pages of a comic book. Many titles have featured adaptations of Lovecraft’s work over the years – and I can claim with confidence that by the time I was 7 or 8, I had read more than a few.

I’ll begin this marathon of Lovecraftian comic books with one of those Marvel horror titles: Chamber of Darkness, Issue 5. Published in June 1970, this issue included the tale “The Music from Beyond!”, an adaptation of “The Music of Erich Zann.” Scripted by Roy Thomas, the tale featured art by Johnny Craig. Craig came to Marvel with an impressive background, having worked on a number of EC titles in the 1940s and ’50s, including the popular horror anthologies The Crypt of Terror, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. He also worked for Archie Goodwin at Warren Publishing’s magazines in the mid to late ’60s.

Copies of Chamber of Darkness are readily available through online comic book dealers. One in fine condition can be acquired for less than $10.

Stop back in tomorrow evening to see what I’ll dig out of the library.

By the way – if you’re into Lovecraftian fiction, don’t forget to support the current Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the forthcoming World War Cthulhu anthology. Edited by Brian M. Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass, this collection will feature work from authors such as John Shirley, Mark Rainey, Wilum Pugmire, William Meikle, Tim Curran, Jeffrey Thomas and many others.

No comments: