Some Notes on a Nonentity: The Life of H.P. Lovecraft

Sam Gafford and Jason C. Eckhardt. PS Publishing, $35 (120p) ISBN 978-1-786361-15-8
The title of this illustrated life of H.P. Lovecraft comes from an autobiographical essay in which Lovecraft laments his failures as a horror writer. Drawing often verbatim from Lovecraft’s letters and other texts, writer Gafford (The House of Nodens) charts the famed author’s life from his birth in Providence, R.I., in 1890 to his death in his native city in 1937. Gafford has made the inspired choice to frame the narrative as a stage performance—with Lovecraft declaring at the outset: “I have been asked to say a few words tonight about a subject of which I am an unintended expert: myself.” Over the course of the three acts that follow, he’s supported on occasion by other cast members, some of whom, notably Sonia Greene, the woman to whom he was briefly married, bring a dramatically different perspective. The audience includes such friends and fellow writers as Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith, who appear in artist Eckhardt’s splendid jacket scene showing the crowd arriving at the theater. Eckhardt’s intricate black-and-white lines complement Lovecraft’s ornate prose. In the growing category of graphic biographies on the market, this contribution is a must for Lovecraft fans—and for curious newcomers interested in a comprehensive account of his life and career. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
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