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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reader's Diary #1378- Michael Alan Nelson (writer), Jean Dzialowski (artist): Fall of Cthulhu / The Fugue

On our travels this summer, we stopped along a beach in California and along the wall of a sea break, someone had graffitied, rather ominously, "IT WATCHES" accompanied by a tentacle-eyeball monster.
My son with a kelp "whip" (note the graffiti on the wall)
Of course this led to a discussion with my kids about Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos. Cthulhu is one of the most bizarre and enduring horror icons and discussing it with the kids, I realized that I wished to delve a little deeper. So, when I recently came across Michael Alan Nelson's Fall of Cthulhu: The Fugue, I just had to pick it up.

Part of a six volume series, I'm unsure that I wish to continue. Cthulhu doesn't even make an appearance yet and I really didn't like the art, colouring, or even the lettering! Jean Dzialowski's scratchy art looked somewhat amateurish (inconsistent and stiff), the colouring was too dark (I get the story is meant to be dark, but we still need to see something), and the lettering was too small and too tight. An exception to the art were the superb and horrific Dreamlands sequences by Andrew Ritchie which reminded me of Travel Foreman's work on Animal Man or Yanick Paquette's work on Swamp Thing. But despite all of that, Nelson's writing did draw me in. It's dark and occultish (reminding me at times of Preacher or, to a lesser extent, Justice League Dark) and filled with just enough mystery to keep a reader interested. So, maybe I will hang in there for future volumes. We'll see.

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