Arktoons Spotlight: Cosmic HorrorsThe Dark Herald
Welcome to the Arktoons Spotlight, a regular feature at the Arkhaven Blog. The Spotlight is where I take a look at one title from the amazing world of Arkhaven’s webtoons.
If you aren’t familiar with Arktoons, this is meant for you. I am the Dark Herald; I do the blogging here at Arkhaven.com. The blog is mostly pop culture news, reviews, and opinion, in short, the usual.
And you aren’t here for the blog. You’re here for the webtoons.
Arkhaven is different from other webtoon publishers. While we have the kind of webtoons you would expect, like Chateau Grief we also have works that are more like traditional comics, if you grew up reading comic books in pamphlet format, you’ll feel more at home here than you would at say Tapas.io or Webtoons.com.
So, if you are new here, be welcome.
If you are one of my regular readers then you know that the Dark Herald do love him some cosmic horror and the acknowledged creator and grandmaster of the genre is H.P. Lovecraft.
Or at least he was.
It turns out that Howard Phillip Lovecraft held and had privately expressed opinions about other races that were perfectly in sync with the times he was living in. However, not being a 21st-century progressivism is an unforgivable sin to modern writers like triple (and consecutive!) Hugo Award-winning author N. K. Jemisin who has decided it was long past time to lambast and vilify the man and his works.
Her current Great Cities trilogy is an attempt to simultaneously profit off of his works while reviling him at the same time: “It’s basically me mentally and spiritually engaging with the whole idea of how so much fantasy owes itself to Lovecraft, while overlooking his glaring flaws,” Jemisin says. “I also read some of his letters where you can see him just being horrifically racist, using the same language to refer to people in New York City the same way he refers to the Great Old Ones and Nyarlathotep and all the other creations of his. It’s kind of a deep dive into how pathological racists think.
Yeah, Cthulhu of the Old Ones, MAGA Republicans, and the Alt-Right are basically the same thing in this series and in her head. The only surprising thing about it is that Worldcon still isn’t handing her a Hugo once a year to “Own the Puppies.”
Lovecraft has naturally been canceled for expressing honest (if rather windy) opinions in his private letters to friends in the 1930s, and unfortunately, he did not set up an estate to protect his works which left them vulnerable to rewrites by over-rewarded medium talent writers like N. K. Jemisin.
However, that also means that Lovecraft’s writing is still able to speak for itself if there is a publishing house that is willing to present the original stories unaltered.
That’s where we come in.
The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft
(Manuscript found on the coast of Yucatan.)
On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record in the Atlantic Ocean at a point to me unknown but probably about N. Latitude 20°, W. Longitude 35°, where my ship lies disabled on the ocean floor. I do so because of my desire to set certain unusual facts before the public; a thing I shall not in all probability survive to accomplish in person, since the circumstances surrounding me are as menacing as they are extraordinary, and involve not only the hopeless crippling of the U-29, but the impairment of my iron German will in a manner most disastrous.
On the afternoon of June 18, as reported by wireless to the U-61, bound for Kiel, we torpedoed the British freighter Victory, New York to Liverpool, in N. Latitude 45° 16′, W. Longitude 28° 34′; permitting the crew to leave in boats in order to obtain a good cinema view for the admiralty records.
The ship sank quite picturesquely, bow first, the stern rising high out of the water whilst the hull shot down perpendicularly to the bottom of the sea. Our camera missed nothing, and I regret that so fine a reel of film should never reach Berlin. After that we sank the lifeboats with our guns and submerged.
When we rose to the surface about sunset a seaman’s body was found on the deck, hands gripping the railing in curious fashion. The poor fellow was young, rather dark, and very handsome; probably an Italian or Greek, and undoubtedly of the Victory’s crew. He had evidently sought refuge on the very ship which had been forced to destroy his own—one more victim of the unjust war of aggression which the English pig-dogs are waging upon the Fatherland. Our men searched him for souvenirs, and found in his coat pocket a very odd bit of ivory carved to represent a youth’s head crowned with laurel. My fellow-officer, Lieut. Klenze, believed that the thing was of great age and artistic value, so took it from the men for himself. How it had ever come into the possession of a common sailor, neither he nor I could imagine.
This one is just starting but it’s a classic that is well worth the read.
Cosmic Horrors — From the depths of uncharted oceans to the heights of the mountains of madness. Join us as we encounter Herbert West, Dagon, and the warped inhabitants of Innsmouth as we uncover the cosmic horrors of H. P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu.
That’s it for this week’s Arktoons spotlight.
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