Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Outsider

Lovecraft Sketch MWF: The Outsider

A Kickstarter backer had the idea of drawing a scene from “The Outsider” using a mock man to represent the protagonist. I have to admit, I love this idea so much I almost want to actually draw a comic adaptation of the entire story this way. (Of course, now I’ve given away the secret, but if you’ve read it you know what happens anyway.)

I really enjoy this story and honestly, I don’t get why some critics call it predictable and obvious. The truth is, when I first read Lovecraft’s stories, I almost NEVER predicted the endings, including the ending of “The Outsider.” Now… I did read them when I was 12 years old… but if my 12-year-old self couldn’t predict the endings, frankly, that’s probably subtle enough. Also, “The Outsider” is only a short story, so even if you predict what’s going to happen, at least you don’t have to read 100 pages only to get to an ending you already predicted, like, say, “At the Mountains of Madness.” (cough ahem) Perhaps I enjoyed horror stories more when I was in junior high, because I found it a bit harder to follow foreshadowing (at the time, I actually read faster than I do now, although with less comprehension) and I usually got hit in the face by whatever surprise ending that the author had concocted.

In other news, SF/fantasy author Caitlin R. Kiernan very kindly & coolly mentioned my Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath graphic novel on her LJ — thank you so much!! And there’s more Deadliest P.R. Guy in the World on the King of RPGs site, if you dare!

Discussion (5)¬

  1. Ken Kobori says:

    The Outsider seems like it would be an impossible story to adapt. For starters, you’d have to hide the narrator’s face to avoid blowing the surprise ending for any newcomers. This device alone would tend to tip people off about the shocking climax. And the narrator’s visage would have to be really, really repulsive–and I think we’ve all become somewhat harder to shock with all the zombie films lately.

    Perhaps if you treated it as a film shot from the point-of-view of the narrator, with only his hands coming into view…

  2. sean says:

    i found i could guess the plot of all lovecrafts story’s quickly, but also that doing so actualy made them better. to me it lent them a horrible scene of doom and inexorability, as the protagonists flawed world view or arrogant dismissal of advice led them closer and closer to a dark and terrible doom, even the ones who knew what was going on seemed powerless to resist the pull of the fate awating them.

  3. Night-Gaunt says:

    The Outsider himself seems to be not quiet of this earth. Certainly the house he lives in isn’t in our dimension till he goes there. One would have to not show much of the narrator as well, including his hands.

  4. ReverendWyrm says:

    I always enjoyed The Outsider easily making my top 10 Lovecraft stories. I don’t think Lovecraft was writing in an effort to “M. Night Shyamalan” the reader. Rather Lovecraft was about building mood and atmosphere and allowing the reader to become immersed in the forth coming horror.

    I’m really enjoying this blog and all your drawings Jason. Thanks for sharing them online with us.

  5. Shepholomon says:

    The outsider might work if it’s shot like Hardcore Henry.