Ah good old H.P. Lovecraft. Arguably the most well-known and influencial horror writer of all time. He may never have achieved fame and fortune during his all too short life, but he sure as hell did after his death. His most recognisable creation, Cthulhu, is getting his very own graphic novel called Cthulhu the Conqueror (Kickstarter) and we spoke to creator Mychal Allen to find out more.
AP2HYC: How are you adapting the key Lovecraft mythos whilst also making the story appeal to a whole new audience?
Allen: Steve and I are both big fans of the lovecraft mythos for its mystery and horror. The one thing we wanted to do, however, was make the character work as the focal character in the story. Our approach is more from Cthulhu’s perspective. Establishing Cthulhu as a Conan-like character. Giving us a chance to see him as a character with motivations and not just as a rampaging monster.
AP2HYC: What is it about Cthulhu that makes him so endearing?
Allen: I think the idea that a character is not limited by death or life makes for a great basis. He is eternal and all at once doesn’t exist. Sort of the “Schrodinger’s cat” of the literary world.
APTHYC: Why did you opt for such a radically different portrayal of Cthulhu?
Allen: When I thought of doing this version of Cthulhu I wanted to see him as not only as lovecraft’s monster but as someone with wants and desires. We needed a way to make that tangible for readers. I was a big fan of the old B&W Conan comics growing up. So I felt like distilling Cthulhu down into a more manageable size for the sake of the story works to make him more approachable.
APTHYC: Will this story really let us delve into Cthulhu’s mind for possibly the first time?`
Allen: This story will do more than let us delve into Cthulhu’s mind. It’ll also show us a perspective not often seen of Cthulhu. We’ll see him as a protagonist in his own mystery. Discovering dark conspiracies and manipulation on a grand scale between gods and deities. As well as battling a host of creatures and gods as he searches for answers.
APTHYC: How are you depicting him visually? Is his size and issue?
Allen: Cthulhu is battling the gods so in most cases he’ll appear physically more dominant but not much larger than many of his adversaries and in certain cases (like Quetzalcoatl the flying snake god) he’ll be bite sized. It’ll all depend on the strength of the god he’s facing off with as well as his own ability to adapt to developments. His body type will be somewhere between Conan The Barbarian and The Incredible Hulk but we’ll be modifying it depending on his needs as a way to involve the other depictions of him.
AP2HYC: Which gods will be appearing and how are you depicting them?
Allen: Wow. Thats a big list! Were planning on depicting a lot of mythological gods. as well as some gods from ancient origins. We want to be able to feature recognizable gods as well as lesser known gods. So far that includes but is not limited to:
•And a whole lot more!
I’m using reference images as well as doing some creative design for their outfits and looks. Certain cases I’ll need to redesign the characters if they’re familiar or popular (like Thor & Odin) but in other cases I get to set a starting design for characters not designed by modern artists. Which is pretty exciting!
AP2HYC: It’s such a shame that Lovecraft was unknown and impoverished at the time of his death, isn’t it?
Allen: While I sympathize with any artist who isn’t seen for his art until he’s gone I can’t say I’m surprised about how Lovecrafts life ended. The same was common at the time of artists and inventors. Usually their recognition comes far too late for them to see their achievements. However his stories have passed into history and reflect the best parts of the man we never truly knew.
AP2HYC: Do you plan more Cthulhu stories?
Allen: We’re looking to make an anthology with the character featuring writers and artists with concepts they want to run with the concept and if possible create a weekly comic release online after the novel is finished where we can continue the Cthulhu the Conqueror title indefinitely. I think there are lots of other stories that can be told around this version of the character. Fingers crossed, there.
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