A comic book loving friend of mine, Chad Fifer is among other things, a known expert in HP Lovecraft lore. Check out his HPPodcraft.com as proof of that. It was this mastery of the macabre that got Fifer into The Lovecraft Anthology vol II and a trip to Britannia where he snagged a copy of the book for me to read before it hit shelves in the United States.
The Lovecraft Anthology vol. II made me jealous of the land across the pond. It is a beautifully bound anthology, with wonderfully painted pages, writing that is mindful of pacing and suspense and an obvious concern for literature. I get that it’s an HP Lovecraft book and so extra-special love and attention is given to it but I do feel like this book shows something more about the detail and book-craft that many US books do not get. Maybe my feelings come from the book being an import and in that way foreign and exotic but I just don’t think so – I am a horror fan and I’ve read my fair share of Lovecraft but I’m not a fanatic for his stuff. I like Lovecraft but The Lovecraft Anthology vol. II had me from cover to cover in ways that the original content never did. Essentially, this book smells, reads, and looks like an artful and original (even though it is an anthology of adaptations) book of well-crafted stories.
Concerning the individual stories, as I said above, this is a great read and all of the writers and artists should consider this an incredible success. Specifically, Steve Pugh’s art in Pickman’s Model and Attila Futaki’s storytelling in The Nameless City is wonderful. Paul Peart-Smith draws an amazingly appropriate mood for He. Adrian Salmon’s superbly portrays The Temple with incredible color and nicely twisted, off-kilter, and unique art. Pat Mills writes a great tone for The Nameless City and I’d be a terrible friend if I did not mention Fifer’s smart choice of dialogue in his gory adaptation of The Hound. This book makes me excited to read other books published outside The United States.