cover image The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard. Abrams/SelfMadeHero, $19.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-90683-835-5

British Fantasy Award%E2%80%93winning artist Culbard (At the Mountains of Madness) brings his skill as an adapter to Lovecraft's chilling tale of horror and mistaken identity in this fine graphic version. Opening in media res, the story begins with the assumed disappearance of Charles Dexter Ward from a mental hospital; his family friend and physician, Dr. Willett, is brought in for questioning. Willett recalls what brought Charles to this point: his interest in the occult interests of one of his ancestors, his subsequent descent into madness, and the forces he%E2%80%94and the ancestor he raised from the dead%E2%80%94have brought back into the world. Tentacled creatures and fiery monsters make their appearances, as anyone acquainted with Lovecraft might expect; the illustrated monsters fall short of the horror Lovecraft intended, but the human occultists in the tale are impressively creepy. Willett himself is an excellent guide through the tale of darkness and madness, and his final fate is spine-tingling. Culbard brings the classic tale to life, and his work will very likely entice readers who enjoy the macabre to seek out the original novel. (Apr.)