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"Cthulhu is Hard to Spell" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Wannabe Press

cthulhu is hard to spell 00

Edited by Russell Nohelty
2018, 177 Pages


Over the past few years, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu has greatly risen in popularity. You can buy baby blankets and children's books with his green tentacled face on them. Tons of stories across all mediums portray the sleepy Elder God in all shapes and sizes. That's just what you can expect from Cthulhu is Hard to Spell, an anthology collecting a wide array of stories and genres.

Cthulhu isn't the only Lovecraftian monster at work here. Basically anything in that realm is in play, including entirely new creations. The sheer variety featured in this book is impressive. There are uplifting, positive stories right next to dark and depressing tales. You'll see cartoonish artwork one moment and then highly detailed line work the next, and everything in between.

Click images to enlarge

There's a healthy mix of humor and drama within Cthluhu is Hard to Spell. I leaned more to the comedy side, as Lovecraftian stuff can get a little dry at times, especially the more trippy ideas. One highlight for the funny side is “Tsathoggua's Triumph” from writer Clay Adams and artist John Edingfield II, following the wrath of a frog god. It's told in rhyme, which is a nice touch. I usually hate rhyming in comics but this works out well, probably because it's just the right length. It ends in this fun, cartoony shot too.

I will be honest and say a chunk of the more serious, mythos driven pieces either went over my head or just felt a bit boring. This might not be the case for hardcore Lovecraft fans, as they can dig into all the lore surrounding these hard-to-pronounce creatures. For a casual fan like myself, they didn't always land.

Click images to enlarge

That doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the book. As with most anthologies, there are highs and lows. Cthulhu is Hard to Spell definitely has something for anyone, even someone that's only seen the Elder God as a children's toy or on a t-shirt. At the end of the day, there are more than 30 stories included in this collection, plus a foreword by Dirk Manning, so it's practically a must-have for anyone even casually interested in H.P. Lovecraft.

Editor Russell Nohelty is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of Cthulhu is Hard to Spell.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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