Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom
Publisher: Arcana Studios
Writer: Bruce Brown
Artist: Renzo Podesta
I would hope by now, that everyone out in the land of comics knows the name Lovecraft. It’s a name synonymous with science fiction and Cthulhu. H. P. Lovecraft was the father of science fiction and created an entire unique universe. Without him, the genre of sci-fi wouldn’t be a shadow of what it is today. Ask any old school writer of that genre, and they’ll tell you how important he was to the industry. That said, I’ve never read a Lovecraft story, so don’t think I’m some zombie follower that believes anything with his name attached to it is gold. This particular story, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, was written by Bruce Brown, and was dedicated to his father posthumously. The book was released in March 2010, by Arcana Studios.
The story begins with a young Howard making a trip to the Butler Sanitarium with his mother. There, he is to visit his father for the holidays, but he and his mother have a very uneasy feeling about the trip. The doctors explain to her that there isn’t any change in his condition (apparently he’s gone insane in the eyes of doctors), and there probably won’t be any positive developments in the foreseeable future. She says that she thought a visit from her son might help. As she is speaking, Howard approaches the door to his father’s room. He hears his father ranting about something, and questions him about it. His father just keeps saying, “they’re coming, they’re coming.” Howard asks who is coming, and it eventually snaps his father out of his delirious state. He tells Howard of a book that he wrote, and what it contains scares the life out of him; he begs Howard to not read it, but to destroy it. After Howard and his mother go home, Howard’s grandparents are arguing with his mother about taking him to see his father. As they argue, Howard calls out to his mother, because he can’t sleep. She then gives him a present. It’s a book, one that Howard’s father told his mother he wanted him to have years ago…
As Howard starts to read, he doesn’t even seem to realize the actual book is the one his father spoke of. He reads about tales of a fantastic world of ice, that strange creatures inhabit, but is unknown to man. He reads each word with an anxiety, but also with curiosity. He then reads, then speaks the words to unlock the passage way to this secret kingdom. As he does, a magic doorway opens, and young Howard is whisked away. He is transported to a frozen world that he cannot even comprehend at first. As he starts to explore, he soon realizes that things are exactly as his father said they were. Howard is startled by a tentacled beast that screams at him. The creature believes Howard is an enemy, and tries to kill him. He chases Howard through the icy realm, until he seems to have him cornered. As Howard trembles with fear, the beast lunges at him, but Howard manages to dive out of the way. The creature is about to plummet off the cliff, but grabs onto the ledge with one of its tentacles. The monster pleads with Howard for help, and at first, he tells the beast no, but then his heart goes out to him, and he helps pull him up to safety.
The beast thanks Howard and tells him that he owes him his life, and will repay his debt by becoming his slave. He tells Howard his name is Thu Thu Hmong, and Howard responds by telling him he’ll never remember that, so he just calls him Spot. As the two make their way through the frozen wasteland, “Spot” tells Howard that he will take him to the palace, where he can get warm. Upon reaching the palace, Howard asks if Spot is sure this is OK, and Spot tells him that everyone is welcome here. No sooner does he say that, a swarm of guards with spears swarm around them. Howard remarks that he sure doesn’t feel very welcome. The boy and his new friend are surrounded on every side with no means of escape.
This is just chapter one of three, but I think you get the idea. This story is a very good read, and I think anyone that’s a fan of fantasy/sci-fi will definitely enjoy it. Many of the elements of this book were taken directly from the childhood of H. P. Lovecraft himself. The artwork is very good as well. At no time did any of the scenes seem out of place or not match the overall tone of the book. I can’t really think of another story that this one mirrors, but I can say that it’s one that I would definitely buy for my kids with no worries about content. It has a great feel to it, whether you’re ten years old or forty, this book can be appreciated by anyone. A big thanks to Bruce Brown and Arcana Studios for allowing me to review this great book, and I hope they keep this kind of fun rolling for a long time. Definitely put this one on your reading list!
For more from Arcana, click here!
A copy of this comic was provided by the creator/publisher for review.