Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness
Written by Bruce Brown
Art by Thomas Boatwright
Published by Arcana
The third in a continuing series, Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness takes no prisoners with a frenetic opening which finds the father of the titular hero facing an uncertain death. Accompanied by his faithful Chuthlu pet Spot and dependable Constable Smith, Howard must journey to the Antarctic wastes where Dr Herbert West may hold a cure for his father’s plight.
In keeping with previous volumes, Kingdom of Madness is a delightful mixture of unspeakable horrors coupled to an art style not dissimilar to Calvin and Hobbes or Peanuts. Previous experience of the main characters may help to orient the first few pages, but once Dr West enters the story, readers with only the slightest knowledge of H.P. and his creations will find much to enjoy.
The darker moments of Bruce Brown’s story – and there are many – are leavened with plenty of gags, not least West’s constant desire to take samples from anything that moves. Artist Thomas Boatwright gets equal laughs from the characters’ often slapstick actions and responses, while still finding space and shade to suggest the most abominable horrors that ever strode upon the Earth.
With an ending that hints at an exciting prequel, one hopes Brown and Boatman won’t leave us waiting so long for a fourth volume. If you missed out on the previous instalments, you’ll want to check them out now.