Lovecraft Sketch: Innsmouth Folk

Lovecraft Sketch: Innsmouth Folk

The mixture of human and inhuman features is always disturbing, which is one reason “The Shadow over Innsmouth” is such a good HP Lovecraft story. Incidentally, although the theme of the story is race, and the whole thing could be read as a fever-dream of racism, from another perspective it’s also one of Lovecraft’s *least* racist stories, since the narrator explicitly says that the people of Innsmouth don’t resemble Africans, Asians or any one of the other real-world races that Lovecraft was so prejudiced against.

I’m sick as a dog today (an especially unpleasant metaphor from a Lovecraftian perspective), but trying to get some drawing done. Tomorrow I’m going to go see the sci-fi/horror (?) movie “Branded,” about which I can say no more than one of the youtube commenters on the trailer: “Please don’t suck.” I love “They Live” and “The Stuff” and those other anti-commercialist sci-fi/horror movies of the ’80s, so maybe “Branded” will be in the same general vein?

In other news, my friend Christian Lindke, in association with cartoonist Jody Lindke and that noted Cthulhuvian Kenneth Hite, is working on a new Kickstarter project: Cthulhu Claus Greeting Cards! Yes, now you can horrify your relatives, friends and coworkers with beatifically blasphemous holiday greeting cards featuring the likenesses of the Great Old Ones. Please go over to Kickstarter right now and check ’em out!

UPDATE: “Branded” was truly terrible and boring, much stupider than the trailer makes it look. Don’t see it. I can’t escape the feeling that if I confronted the filmmakers on the fact that it was deceptively marketed as a sci-fi/horror movie (when in fact it’s a tedious, ineptly structured magical-realist drama about a repentant ad exec), they’d just laugh and say “Ha ha ha! Of course our movie about deceptive marketing was deceptively marketed! That’s all part of the joke!” Then, of course, I would kick them in the balls.

Discussion (4)¬

  1. Night-Gaunt says:

    A nice family portrait. Looks like the oldest ones aren’t going back in the water, the gene merging must not have taken well enough to finish the cycle. Rather like the one that changelings go through to become full ghouls.

    Interestingly in Lovecraft’s version of “Diary of Alonzo Typer” the dark key from Yian-Ho would fit as a counterpart to the Silver Key. His descriptions of it and like technology of the alien lock are fascinating. In a way it could be said that he created an alternate cycle of beings totally different from his other one.

  2. […] sketch is Thompson’s “Lovecraft Sketch: Innsmouth Folk” – while technically not apart of the Dream Cycle, “The Shadow’s Over […]

  3. Raven says:

    Inheritance, but not always race, leads to the gradual mental and physical degradation of the Innsmouthians — and, to his dismay, the narrator of that tale — and of characters and families in several other tales, e.g. “The Rats in the Walls”. Consider that a major impact on Lovecraft’s own life was the insanity and death of his father from tertiary syphillis, which was also possible to “pass on” as a “blood taint” in the terminology of that time. Between the financial crevasse left behind, his mother’s emotionally unstable and distortedly over-controlling behavior, and — due in part to that — his inability to finish his education or even join the Army (he applied, his mother persuaded the Army to reject him), Lovecraft had reason to feel trapped and wonder if he too might fall prey to his family’s insanity. The theme of genetic degradation recurs in his stories, yes, but perhaps race was not the underlying reason.