Today marks the 125th birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, grandfather of the weird fiction genre. If you’re a regular reader of this blog or my books then it’s no secret that the Lovecraft’s mythos was a major influence on me and my Bell Forging Cycle. I’m not alone, there is a growing subculture of weird fiction aficionados and writers and it’s awesome to see.
There’s a lot that has been said about the man. So, instead of waxing poetic about Lovecraft, his work, the controversy around his personal beliefs, and his influences on horror, I figured I’d link to some of my favorite articles that help paint the picture of the man, expand on his influence, or delves into the legacy he left behind.
This 2008 documentary by director Frank H. Woodward is the perfect primer on everything Lovecraft. Using interviews with prominent writers, directors, and artists the documentary explores Lovecraft’s life and how his experience help shaped his beliefs and ultimately his work. It doesn’t shy away from anything and everything is presented in an open and candid way. I’ve mentioned it before, but for this post I figured it’d be a good starting point.
Using Lovecraft as the example, author Lauren Miller asks the question, can we appreciate a writer’s work while disdaining their offensive beliefs? It’s something every fan of Lovecraft reader must confront and it’s something the Lovecraftian fan community cannot ignore. It’s important that we reflect on the negative aspects of the man and allow ourselves to analyze why Lovecraft was a racist and how it ended up influencing his work.
From Directors like Guillermo del Toro and John Carpenter, to screen writer’s like Dan O’Bannon. It’s clear that Lovecraft’s influence has impacted the silver screen. In this post from 2011, Den of Geek explores some of those connections and celebrates Lovecraft’s lasting influence.
In this extended essay, CDK explores Lovecraft’s origins. Starting with the events around World War I and how they influenced him and shaped his reality. Then moving onto the man himself and how his work would go on to influence others, extending from short stories into books, film, comics and beyond. It’s a long essay, but worth the time if you’re interested in a deep exploration of Lovecraft’s influences.
A while back I stumbled across the detailed work of San Francisco-based illustrator Jason Thompson. His work is highly detailed and amazingly rendered. I feel like I could spend hours exploring each page. I highly recommend checking out his illustrated take on some of Lovecraft’s stories:
- The Beast in the Cave
- The Cats of Ulthar
- The Doom That Came to Sarnath
- The Strange High House in the Mist
- The White Ship
Since we’re reflecting on Lovecraft’s weird fiction today, I wanted to pick my favorite Lovecraft tale. For me, that’s easy: The Shadows over Innsmouth has action, adventure, a strange sea-god worshiping cult, and a pretty intense final sequence. It’s a fun read. If you’re so inclined to listen to the story I’d recommend checking out the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s production.
Earlier this year I wrote a lighthearted guest post for Michael G. Munz poking a bit of fun at Cthulhu, Lovecraft’s most famous creation. He’s the de facto and beloved mascot for the mythos. But, what if all this love and terror is based on false presumptions? What if I was to tell you that Cthulhu wasn’t all that terrifying. That he’s more a product of good marketing and overzealous rumormongering? What if Cthulhu is, in fact, a wimp?
There’s a lot happening to celebrate the 125th birthday of grandpa weird. Today marks the kickoff for the NecronomiCon in Providence, RI and there are discussions happening all over the internet. One of my favorite sites, Art of the Title, even did a feature for the opening credits of the 1970s Lovecraft B-movie The Dunwich Horror.
How about you? Is there any Lovecraft related link you love? Is there an artist you adore working in the weird? What’s your favorite Lovecraft story? Has Lovecraft impacted any of your favorite authors? Why not leave a comment and let me know!