Adam wrote a review for a comic on Kickstarter - we were not involved in any other way and didn't contribute but thought some of our Patrons might be interested...so I'm sharing :)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the ability of Cthulhu is Hard To Spell: the Terrible Twos to correlate so much magnificent eldritch content. This tome-sized follow-up to the original volume - 161 perilous pages - features 38 great new takes on the Great Old Ones. From the squamous to the singular, this collection of abnormal chants and blasphemous images will delight gods both young and elder.
The tales range in tone from moody to terrifying to genuinely funny. A slight majority of the pieces aim for laughs, but these vary so much in scope and content - and are so well-executed - that the comedy seldom grows tedious. ‘That’s My Cthulhu’ by Rob Stanley, Gregory Woronchak, Rebecca McConnell, and Toben Racicot is a standout in this area. A terrific concept - Cthulhu as a sitcom dad - perfectly executed. Leanne Daniele (now writing as L.K. Ingino) and Abby Butler’s ‘Home Hunting: Apocalypse Edition’ is another great example; lovely illustrations and an inherently funny concept create a piece that is a lot of fun, and at least six percent less hellish than the property shows that inspired it. Another particularly funny one is ‘Never Too Elder To Love’ by Allison Bannister and Willow Paye. You wouldn’t think meet-cute and personifications of the howling madness from the edge of the cosmos would work together...but they do.
It’s not all funny stuff, though. The uplifting, epic feel of ‘Father Figure,’ created by Paul J. Mendoza, Brandon T. Perlow, and Micah Myers, is no small feat given the brevity of the page count. There were a few tales in this book that left me wanting to spend a bit more time in the world that the creators constructed, and this was certainly one of them. The sweet and thought-provoking ‘Hellhound’ by Kelsi Jo Silva is also noteworthy; definitely a story that you’ll want to give extra attention to as you read. Also worth mentioning is ‘Unseen’. Here Claire Lesley has created a beautifully illustrated pastiche that provides an original glimpse into the madness of Abdul Alhazred.
And then there are the scary ones. The anthology opens with a tense chiller; ‘Deliver Me From Evil’, written and illustrated by Matthew Childers. ‘Waiting for Whateley’ by Mike Korpi and Don Nguyen has a fantastic New England noir (is that a thing? It is now) atmosphere and I was sorry to see it end. This was another excellent short story that left me wanting a glimpse - or a good long look - into what happened next.
Perhaps the single most emotionally affecting piece in the book - ‘Howard Dies In the End’ by Terrance Grace and Silvio DB - was well-placed to close out the anthology. It encapsulates exactly the sort of lingering horror in which Lovecraft specialised. This tight little story expresses perfectly a crawling creepiness which leaves you looking at the shadows and flickers in your own heart and wondering what they are, or worse...what they mean.
Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos is a terrific collection of quality stories by indie creators who deserve your support. You should back this project and read this book. Help these artists and writers to lie dreaming in their house at R’yleh...and perhaps their creations will eat you last.