"The Dunwich Horror" by HPL and Alberto Breccia

"The Dunwich Horror" is one of H.P. Lovecraft's best-known short stories, one that highlights the horrific Whateley family tree with illuminating results. A film adaptation starring Dean Stockwell was released in 1969???, but doesn't quite live up to the source material.

Though you gotta love the nod to Aleister Crowley seen here:

Our page's Crowley pic features the same pose (can't see Dean's thumbs, though)! Victorian-era Dr. Venture + the gang shoulda never thrown him outta that Zeppelin...

That being said, though, it is still an entertaining flick, even though the other brother looks like one of those gas-cloud aliens filld with sparkly lights from the original Star Trek series... Visually representing Cthulhu or that other Whateley or Yog-Sothoth is gonna be tough, for sure. HPL certainly roadbumpt his future would-be artistic adaptors, as he tended to use some inventive maddened gibberish to allow the reader to create a mental picture from the rather vivid but bizarre descriptions given by the story's characters, thus ensuring that a concrete image will, by necessity, not live up to the horrors the human mind can craft:

"Bigger'n a barn... all made o' squirmin' ropes... hull thing sort o'shaped like a hen's egg bigger'n anything with dozens o' legs like hogsheads that haff shut up when they step... nothin' solid abaout it - all like jelly, an' made o' sep'rit wrigglin' ropes pushed clost together... great bulgin' eyes all over it... ten or twenty maouths or trunks a-stickin' aout all along the sides, big as stovepipes, an' all tossin' an' openin' an' shuttin'... all grey, with kinder blue or purple rings... an' Gawd in Heaven - that haff face on top!..."
-"The Dunwich Horror" by HPL (The crazed babblings of poor ol' Curtis, upon first seeing the other Whateley brother)

But I think that Alberto Breccia nailed it... His adaptation relies heavily on the stark whites + blacks on the pages. Particularly, the white negative spaces that drape many pages create a bleak storyscape, shit-tons of fog, the horizon + much of the background undiscernable... And the characters, drawn in grayscale, suggesting their human complexities/frailties + highlighting their craggy features are incredible-looking. When we finally meet Wilbur's brother, we get a good look - and the change in panel size creates a 'bum-BUM' kinda moment - but even that panel seems slightly out of focus, maintaining a degree of unknowable otherworldiness. Ver' nice... 

So, without much further ado, here is Alberto Breccia's adaptation from 1974, scannd here from the October, 1979 (All HPL!!!) issue of H3-@VY M-3+@7 (just avoiding the sue-bots, y'all, not trying to be web-clever or nothin') of H.P. Lovecraft's incredible "The Dunwich Horror"... :

No comments:

Post a Comment