The Beast in the Cave, Page 8

The Beast in the Cave, Page 8

This is it, the ending of “The Beast in the Cave”! Sorry it took so long, but I wanted to make some small fixes and I’ve been busy the whole week working on my story for “Anything That Loves.” I wrote this story for my friends’ anthology Beards, so this was by far the most appropriate Lovecraft story for the theme. (Though, what is that mycelium-like hair/tentacle stuff growing all over Wilbur Whateley’s brother?) I should also mention that at one point in “Dream-Quest” Randolph Carter is described as having a beard (due to his travels and lack of razors), but I TOTALLY IGNORED THIS for my comic adaptation. Yes, I de-bearded “Dream-Quest.” The clean-shaven Lovecraft would have exonerated me.

A quick list of what I’m working on lately:

* My story for Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight. It’s 16 pages long, it’s called “Spartans,” and I’m finishing it up this weekend, with colors by Jay. The Kickstarter has ended, but I strongly recommend you either wait for it to come out, or pester Northwest Press, and get a copy of this book somehow. I have a few pages left to ink, and then the coloring.
* A 16-page story for The Sleep of Reason, a horror anthology edited by Spike Trotman. Spike (who, like me, used to draw comics for the defunct site Girlamatic) is the creator of the webcomic Templar, AZ and also wrote the Stumptown Award-winning “Poorcraft” and edited the likewise award-winning art/sex-comics anthology “Smut Peddler”. I hung out with her a bit at Stumptown last weekend and I’m going to work hard to make a comic worthy of being in her new anthology. The thumbnails are done, but I haven’t started penciling yet.
* My Dungeons & Dragons Walkthrough Maps for Wizards of the Coast. These are so fun to do. Stay tuned for more maps this summer!
* Later this year I hope to use this site to relaunch & finish my old high-school/psychological horror/relationships comic, “The Stiff.”
* And of course my card game, “Mangaka”.

With all this, it’s been hectic but I’ll have some more art up for you next week! And hopefully some more things to announce.

NEXT UPDATE: Wednesday!

Discussion (6)¬

  1. Esn says:

    Thanks for the comic, Jason.

    So… I guess we don’t get to find out what happened to those cave dwellers after all.

  2. Ken Kobori says:

    A few random thoughts about this story, Jason:

    1. As with “The Outsider”, it’s difficult to adapt into comic form without giving away the ending too soon. Thank heavens I first read HPL’s story back before I’d encountered too many twist endings. I didn’t see this one coming!

    2. Something which escaped me until reading your adaptation: the “beast” may not have been approaching the narrator with malign intent (as I had previously assumed). In which case, this is murder–or perhaps justifiable homicide.

    3. Another thing I only noticed just now is how much this story resembles Tolkien’s “Riddles in the Dark” chapter of “The Hobbit”–at least, up to a point. The main character gets separated from his party in a vast underground cavern and comes across an emaciated yet dangerous creature which used to be human long ago…..Could Tolkien have been familiar with Lovecraft’s story? It’s also interesting that both stories end by arousing pity for the poor subterranean wretch.

  3. Jason says:

    @Ken – (1) Yeah, it was a little hard to draw the ‘beast’ in a way that it wasn’t immediately obvious what was going on. I didn’t predict the ending of this the first time I read it, but then, I was only about 12 or 13 at the time. Actually, I never predicted the ending of *any* Lovecraft stories when I read ’em in my tween years, although they seem obvious in retrospect. Maybe that’s the perfect Lovecraft-reading age?

    (2) It’s unclear from the story, but I guess I took a stance in my adaptation.

    (3) Good point! I don’t think “Beast” was published outside the small press until after “The Hobbit” came out, so I doubt Tolkien knew of it, but there is a definite similarity.

  4. This story, in a strange way, is the only Lovecraft story that terrifies me the entire way through.


  5. Matt Casperson says:

    Nice job on this. Most artistic depictions I’ve seen of the beast seem to play up the monstrous or ape-like aspects of the creature. Something that appears human seems to better reinforce the story’s punchline.

  6. Jason Bradley Thompson says:

    @Matt – Thanks!! I’m glad you liked how I did it! Since I didn’t want to include the final line (“…had at one time been a MAN!!!”) I had to express it visually… and it’s the humanity of the monster that’s the core horror of the tale.