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Author Topic: What got you in to Lovecraft?  (Read 37136 times)
yumegari
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« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2011, 02:56:41 AM »

Scarecrow--I'll give Derleth this much, he's an easier read.

Most everyone I talk to about HPL say they could not get through the stories because of how dense and dry the language was, comparing it to mentally wading through a mile of knee-high loose rice (I hang out with a lot of writers).  I only found one of HPL's stories difficult to get through, and that was Charles Dexter Ward, mainly because of all the stuff in 1700s-ese.  I literally struggled with the words and syntax (all right, two--I revisited that tooth-grinding frustration when attempting to read the usually unpublished Samuel Johnson piece--unpublished for good reason!) and came to the conclusion that apparently today's texters have NOTHING on the 1700s for making things unintelligible through gratuitous abbreviation ... which had nothing on the miniscules because bloody hell, even the LETTERS were half-written, like some kind of maniacal stenographer's shorthand (hands up anyone who remembers attempting to learn THAT).

*rambles forever*
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mcglothlin.13
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« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2011, 09:38:03 PM »

I first got hooked on Lovecraft from buying the first edition of Deities and Demigods, the first edition D&D mythos supplement from TSR.  



There was a chapter on the Cthulhu mythos within that tome, with the art done by the infamous Erol Otus.  Here is the entry on old Cthulhu himself, stats and all!  



Later someone let me borrow their Del Rey paperback At the Mountains of Madness, the one with the skeletal-front woman on it.  I was then completely hooked!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 09:48:44 PM by mcglothlin.13 » Logged
Bob Lovecraft
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« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2011, 08:29:58 AM »

Things I loved and hated about "Deities and Demigods" in relation to Cthulhu both then and now:

1. Hated - Could not pronounce Cthulhu when I was a kid.
2. Hated - Thought it looked like a really crappy Mind-Flayer.
3. Hated - Didn't think the stats given were bad-ass enough to give our characters a good fight.
4. Hated - Thought the idea of giving stats to a "god" was ludicrous in the first place.

5. Loved - In later versions of the book, the Cthulh Mythos creatures are entirely removed from print.
6. Loved - When I got older, and more mature as a gamer/reader, I thought the idea of a "lost" volume of Cthulhu-related gaming material fit in so perfectly with the ideas put forth by Lovecraft that I wanted to go out and buy a copy.
7. Loved - The thought of someone at TSR actually thinking anyone would give a damn about how bad-ass Cthulhu was in literature and then play him that way in old-school D&D.

Bob
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mcglothlin.13
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« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2011, 02:13:10 PM »

Things I loved and hated about "Deities and Demigods" in relation to Cthulhu both then and now:
1. Hated - Could not pronounce Cthulhu when I was a kid.

Isn't that one of the things that made Lovecraft's stuff interesting in the first place?  How do you say all of those weird names?

2. Hated - Thought it looked like a really crappy Mind-Flayer.

Crappy mind-flayer?  No way!  Erol Otus gave a really sinister bust shot of Cthulhu--still one of my faves!

3. Hated - Didn't think the stats given were bad-ass enough to give our characters a good fight.
4. Hated - Thought the idea of giving stats to a "god" was ludicrous in the first place.

I definitely agree.  However, the way old-school D&D worked, the stats for the gods were so utterly unattainable I thought they gave a good reference to how powerful the gods were.  Furthermore, the way my first DM played D&D we would've never been allowed even a close fight with any of the gods, regardless of their individual stats.

5. Loved - In later versions of the book, the Cthulh Mythos creatures are entirely removed from print.
6. Loved - When I got older, and more mature as a gamer/reader, I thought the idea of a "lost" volume of Cthulhu-related gaming material fit in so perfectly with the ideas put forth by Lovecraft that I wanted to go out and buy a copy.

When I bought my first copy of Deities and Demigods it did not have the Cthulhu or Melnibonean mythos.  In fact, I did not know they were missing until I checked my friend's copy, which was purchased about a year before mine.  I was so ticked!  I thought I had been jipped out of some great material (To this day I think those are the best two chapters in the original book).  I actually wrote TSR questioning why this material was missing from my copy (I was all of 12 or 13!).  I received a very apologetic letter saying that Chaosium had threatened to sue TSR, due to the fact that Chaosium had role playing games based off Lovecraft and Michael Moorcock's worlds respectively.  So TSR took those two chapters out.

7. Loved - The thought of someone at TSR actually thinking anyone would give a damn about how bad-ass Cthulhu was in literature and then play him that way in old-school D&D.

7. Agree!
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Miskatonic Philologus
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« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2011, 10:40:31 PM »

This particular book-


Sadly, it was brand new when I read it. If you look at the price on the cover you'll get a sense of why that makes me sad.

That is a freakin' great cover!

I first heard of HPL via an intro essay that prefaced a Poe collection that I read in high school. The first HPL collection that I read was from a used book store - I think I paid about 50 cents, and it had no cover!  Regret to say, that book is lost years ago, but it contained about ten shorter works, including Shadow Over Innsmouth.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 09:03:44 PM by Miskatonic Philologus » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2011, 07:08:18 AM »

I was initiated in the 8th grade by two boys and a girl who wore a trident symbol. I had to prove myself by smashing the plate glass windows of the Thunderbird grocery store. Afterwards there was sexual imagery.

Not really. I didn't have any friends in the 8th grade. I discovered Lovecraft in the school library in the 9th grade, an Arkham hardback with an introduction, probably by Derleth, and peppered with some Derleth "collaborations" but some real Lovecraft included as well. Dunwich, I think. Also, Charles Dexter Ward, I think.
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Nick Curnow
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« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2011, 12:24:44 PM »

I got into Lovecraft about 5 years ago, when a friend of mine from Tennessee had this card game called Weird and Wild Creatures. This game had a series of cards of mythical, legendary, and literary monsters on them, and so every month, he'd get a new lot, and so I'd go over to his house to look at them. One month, he got this card with a picture of this massive green creature with tentacles over it's face, red eyes, a sharp-fanged maw, and a slouching, flabby body. The title read; "CTHLHU". So, i did my research, and when I came to the UK to go to boarding school, I bought a few of Lovecraft's works in Edinburgh , including a copy of "Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre", which I take with me when ever I travel. Lovecraft has become such an important figure in my life, i mentioned him in my personal statement for university, saying how I would love to do sculptures and illustrations based on his work, and included some of my own works based on his writing, which I put in my portfolio. It got me in  Cheesy I'm now about to start my first year of Central Saint Martin's, and he's one of the reasons I'm there.
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« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2011, 03:25:29 PM »

Oops, I lied, again. I had a coloring book in third grade dedicated to famous monsters like the Were-wolf, Frankenstein, Bride of, etc. and there was this one weird little page with a gaunt looking fellow hanging out with some night gaunts. The text said H P Lovecraft led a dreary life but escaped in his dreams where he had many regular friends who happened to be monsters. I completely forgot about that. True story. I was pre-programmed in the third grade.
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« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2011, 10:28:57 AM »

Holy crap, a Lovecraft coloring book! I want it! Does it come with a Colour-Out-of-Space crayon too??

Bob
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« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2011, 04:01:13 PM »

A member of my site is called "Lovecraft's Afterbirth", and when googling his name to find out what in Dagon's name it meant came across the mythos, and immediately recognised the pop culture stuff (Metallica, Cradle of Filth, Horrorclix, Quatermass, etc). Bought a collection (started with book two of the HPL omnibus because it contained Call of Cthulhu) and I was off.
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« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2011, 05:03:42 AM »

Holy crap, a Lovecraft coloring book! I want it! Does it come with a Colour-Out-of-Space crayon too??

Bob

No, just Albino and Plaid. I think this is it if you're interested in digging up the Lovecraft pages:

http://plaidstallions.blogspot.com/2009/11/colouring-book-theatre-monster-gallery.html

The links don't show Lovecraft, and there was also something about Atlantis in mine, so the one I had might have been a slightly later edition? Not sure. The artist and probably publisher and style were the same, I think I had Volume I and Volume II probably, and the HPL was in Volume II.

According to

http://www.worldheadpress.com/monster-coloring-book-173

Quote
Monster Gallery features ingratiating line drawings of fifteen different monsters from film, fiction and folklore: the Fly, the Monster of Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Godzilla, a Cyclops, a Werewolf, the Abominable Snowman, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the Phantom of the Opera, a Morlock, a Vampire, King Kong, and the Bride of Frankenstein. (Many of the names are generalizations, whilst some of the depictions are quite specific, as with the vampire that is unmistakably Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula, although the artist saw fit to give him fangs.) Each 8½" x 1" illustration is accompanied by a full page description of the subject; surprisingly, the wording is not as patronizing as one might expect from a publication ostensibly aimed at children, and the information well researched.

A year after this was published, the artist for Monster Gallery, Mark Savee, produced a similar book for Troubador Press called Sci fi Anthology, which also featured a handful of movie monsters. Most of the material, though, was instead culled from classic sci fi and fantasy literature, but entries featuring the manimals from The Island of Dr Moreau or the Martian death machines from The War of the Worlds should make it appealing to most horror fans.

Although it was founded in 1958 by Malcolm Whyte and Brayton Harris as a forum for beat literature (often in association with City Light Books), Troubador Press specialized in children's fare-primarily activity books-by the seventies. (Being a lifelong aficionado of mazes, I once had a score of such books that were also published by them.) Some of the more notable Troubador titles for collectors of vintage kiddie monster fare include Monster Movie Book (1974) by John (Nightmare in Blood) Stanley, and 3-Dimensional Monster Mazes (1976) and How to Draw Monsters (1977), both by Larry Evans.

I guess that means the HPL was in the Sci Fi Anthology book.



« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 05:15:42 AM by old book » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2011, 08:17:09 AM »

Well dang, no HPL. But on the other hand, those were neat illustrations. I think they ripped off a different movie on each page. I particularly love the Morlok. Thanks for the link, OldBook.

Bob.
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« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2011, 01:00:06 PM »

Sure, Bob, thanks for dialing it up. I sort of remember they recycled about half that book for the one with Lovecraft and Atlantis in it, whatever it was, volume II, or Sci Fi Anthology, I can't remember that now. There was a War of the Worlds section, so probably it's as the webpage says, Sci Fi Anthology, and there was nothing really special in the text or illustration, just a gaunt HPL hanging out with some dholes, lumps and night gauntas in a twilit grotto fecundous with enormous mushrooms. Strange thing to put in a coloring book, but hey, it was a strange time in general. Probably the author, editor or illustrator got "turned on" to Lovecraft through the psychedelic band H P Lovecraft, who played in San Francisco where Troboudor Press was located sometime in the late 60s, and the coloring book was sort of a flashback on that. It's funny, I was reading about that band somewhere and one of the musicians said they called August Derleth up or approached him through a mutual friend or something and asked--and got--permission to use H P Lovecraft as the name of their band. As if... he owned it. As if... they were cultural outlaws fomenting revolution, but politely asking permission first. "Identity theft" will take on a whole new meaning soon as it becomes possible to replicate cheaply actors and actresses of yore using computer graphics. I think Marilyn Monroe is supposedly already "owned" by some corporation, or they're pretending to own her likeness, and paid lots of good paper money for the right to pretend to be her owners.
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« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2011, 01:20:23 PM »

John Carpenter's The Thing is how I discovered HPL. I was researching said film and nearly every website made reference to him, and because The Thing is my favourite film of all time, I felt compelled to see where its influences came from.

I go into more detail here if you're interested...
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« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2012, 10:51:54 AM »

I mentioned in my introduction that I found Lovecraft due to Poe. The name initially drew me in, and the story descriptions sealed the deal. I even had my own "ancient tome seeking" experience at my local library when requesting his works. Left a strong impact from the start. When someone told me there was a tabletop game I thought they were pulling my leg.

However, something I found curious was that the majority of my CoC friends discovered Lovecraft due to Mac Hall and their rendition of "Cthulhu: The Littlest Elder God" (http://machall.com/view.php?date=2003-03-23). Whenever I see a "cutified" Lovecraft rendition, I think back to them.
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