“The Dunwich Horror” was one of the first Lovecraft stories I read, along with “The Rats in the Walls”, in the 1940s-era anthology Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. It’s still one of my favorite Lovecraft stories, for the sheer craziness and awfulness of the monsters.

Like Cthulhu, the Dunwich Horror is great to draw. “That haff face on top” — that demonic, incongruous human element makes it so much grosser than if it were just an indistinct shoggoth-like blob of protoplasm. (Not that shoggoths aren’t great. Show me a person who doesn’t like shoggoths and I’ll show you a sad, lonely human being.) Another wonderful thing about the story is that it actually interacts with the ‘normal’ world around it — quite graphically — unlike many of Lovecraft’s stories where the creatures, however horrific they may look, are a DISTANT threat, secluded off in another space, another time, another dimension, or stuck in some underground city where they never quite emerge to wreck destruction. Anti-Derlethians may scoff at the good-vs-evil plotline, but it’s so satisfying to read a Lovecraft story where the monster (I say monster, because it literally is one in the teratological sense) wrecks stuff and knocks over fences and kills people!

For this drawing, I was inspired by the shapes of fungus, and by the sticky arms of sundews. The entity here is really a wobbly mass of jelly; the face is superficial, like a birthmark, and even the humanoid eyes on top are, perhaps, not really functional eyes, but just eye-like mouth orifices. It probably has no need for human eyes, the whole thing being really one giant sensory organism, touching everything and feeding on everything, held in a flattish ovoid shape only by Earth’s gravity.

Something I’ve often wondered is, Wilbur Whateley’s twin was born like he was, and maybe it looked more human when it was born, so did it have a name? What about Joe Bob?

Unfortunately, the left edge of this drawing got cut off when I scanned it, and I don’t have the original anymore. But you can see a camera photo of the whole thing, before the pencils were erased, on my commission a sketch page. Also, it’s Monday, so that means a new strip over at King of RPGs!