Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom
Bruce Brown, . . Arcana, $12.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-897548-54-7
The latest in the fertile field of Lovecraft spinoffs follows a young Howard, aka H.P., Lovecraft through an adventure in a dangerous netherworld. The plot takes elements of Lovecraft's actual childhood, including his father's nervous breakdown, and uses them to introduce readers to tropes in Lovecraft's work. The young Howard goes through a portal to another universe, where a mysterious book holds the key to freeing a society of children from an evil power that has encased them in a frozen, hostile world. Howard takes on the quest with the help a giant squid, facing danger and finding many of his assumptions are false. A chilly watercolor palate links the artwork of the various artists—each chapter has a different one—and the emotions on Howard's face become more complex as the story grows darker. Although marketed for all ages, the book, will likely appeal more to younger readers, who should find the plot's twists and turns and the young protagonist appealing. Older readers and hardcore Lovecraft fans may be put off by the juvenile dialogue and some of the panels that play up the cuteness, rather than the horror, of the story.
Reviewed on: 04/19/2010