Acting as if Nothing Were Wrong
I've been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft's works for at
least ten years. I've read almost all of his fiction, Howard & Smith's
contemporary works, many of Derleth's additions, Campbell's wonderful
Severn Valley stories, most of Robert Price's collections, and
more. I've got 17 feet of shelved Mythos books, running from Ackroyd
(First Light) to Zelazny (A Night in the Lonesome
I've written chronologies and histories of the
Mythos races and the Mythos world, which you can find in the
Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, and scattered online. I've flown with
the Fungi, danced with the Dark Young, and swum with the Star Spawn.
Which is all a fancy way of saying that I'm familiar with the horrors
that haunt the Mythos and the dark places that they inhabit.
And perhaps that makes it all the more surprising
how little upfront horror there is in this comic. Certainly there is a
Yellow Sign, some dark dreams, and the hints of something more, but no
monster presents its scaly face to the readers of this comic, no
protoplasmic prodigy lurches into view, even briefly. Instead the
horror is left to the reader.
And this is, I think, as it should be.
Any true horror story is largely about the mundane,
about our safe, rational, sane universe. About our world of 100-watt
bulbs burning away the darkness. And then we see, on the edges, or
perhaps hidden in the fabric of the sane world itself, something
else. And there is the horror: the terror is in our rational world
And this is the core of Skotos' online game, Lovecraft
Country: Arkham by Night. The game's motto is "Act as if Nothing
is Wrong", and it's about an Arkham that pretends that horrors do not
exist, that tries to go on with its own life. This is the mood that
I've tried to create in this comic as well.
I should also admit that the comic is a bit of a
teaser. It offers a brief look into the world of Miskatonic
University, and I hope that you have enjoyed the beautifully portrayed
black and white streets of Arkham. I think that the core story, of one
person coming to terms with the true nature of the world, is a good
Mythos tale. However the larger plot of what happens to Seth next, of
whether he ever finds closure for his brother's death, can only be
continued in one place: the online game. I invite you to the online
streets of Arkham by Night, to discover therein your own truths.
"Return to Arkham" is my first Mythos story. In
looking through my writing archives I found a Dreamlands fragment I
wrote years ago called "When Death Came Knocking", but I could never
get the poetry of the words right, and so I eventually discarded it.
The heart of Lovecraft's Mythos has always been in
the divers hands that have contributed to it over the last 80
years. I'm pleased to now be two of them.
--Shannon Appelcline, July 2005
You can also read a variant of this editorial,
with a bit more discussion of the horrors hiding in plain sight at Trials,
Triumphs & Trivialities #171. Or, you can read Shannon's other comic, Castle Marrach: Awakenings.
Lovecraft Country #1 was released under a cc by-nc-sa 2.5 license.
Read more about what this means in Trials, Triumphs & Trivialities #170 (06/05).
Copyright © 2005-2020 Dyvers Hands Productions, LLC.
Lovecraft Country is a registered trademark of Dyvers Hands Productions LLC.
Return to Arkham and Arkham by Night are trademarks of Dyvers Hands Productions LLC.
For more information, contact Dyvers Hands.