Cthulhu Tales is a Lovecraft-inspired anthology comic series published by Boom! Studios. Each issue presents dark tales of the Elder Gods and other creepy, tentacled menaces from beyond. The newest issue hit this week, and here’s my review.
Cthulhu Tales #5 features two very different stories. The first, “The Doorman”, is written by Micharl Alan Nelson, with art by Mateus Santolouco. The second is “The Current Chaos” and has a script by Todd Lepre and art by Milton Sobreiro.
The first story in this issue is a current day tale of men standing as sentinels, trying to keep the horrors of the unseen world from clambering into our own reality. The title character, the Doorman, stands in the portals between this world and the others in an attempt to hide them from the creatures beyond. He always works with an assistant whose job it is to locate these doorways. The story follows a doorman and his assistant through a couple of jobs, and this makes for a very clever story. The art is heavily inked and colored with a limited palette, which provides some great dark atmosphere that still looks very modern. In the end I was wanting more, and that’s always the sign of a good comic story.
The Current Chaos
The second tale is a turn of the century story about a wealthy mill owner who seeks to better his station in the world of business, faced with the rising stars of luminaries like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Edison. In his desperation to introduce a new element to his business, he encounters and befriends a stage magician named Nyarlethotep, who has a penchant for performing “magic” with electricity. Lovecraft fans can imagine what follows, based on the name of the magician alone. The art here is fantastic, drawn and shaded in a very retro style that really fits with the time period.
My favorite story here was definitely “The Doorman,” but I thoroughly enjoyed both tales. I’m a longtime Lovecraft fan but somehow never had gotten around to reading any of this series. Cthulhu Tales provides windows into the world of the Elder Gods from different creative teams, each approaching the mythos in a different way and each with a very unique take on the Cthulhu legends. I absolutely recommend the series to anyone interested in Lovecraftian stories, and I’m personally adding this one to my own reading list.
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