Delve Deeper

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kickstarter: NecronomiCon: The Premier Lovecraft Convention in Providence

NecronomiCon: The Premier Lovecraft Convention in Providence

"Resurrecting the Memory of Lovecraft... just a few more essential salts to go.
Dear Friends - we've been overwhelmed with the amount of support, positive feedback, and buzz we've gotten from Lovecraft scholars and fans, Weird Fiction authors and artists, and all manner of people who have a love for Hoary Providence.
Our plans are rapidly moving forward to bring the world the premier Lovecraft literary and scholarly conference and cultural convention, right here in the heart of Lovecraft's beloved hometown, August 23-25, 2013.

Imagine: a convention with top-notch research, writing, and non-Euclidean geometry... as well as history, art, music, theater, gaming, food, etc. All over the course of three really intense days next August.
The many tasks associated with pulling off a successful convention worthy of Grandpa's memory come with a hefty preliminary bill. In order to quickly meet our financial needs and keep our momentum up, we've realized that Kickstarter is our best friend. It's helped that so many of YOU friends have suggested it to us, too.
So - what do we need? We have a number of varied bills that will soon come due, divided into two primary areas of need: Printing/Advertising (T-shirts, posters, flyers, print and web adverts), and Venues (particularly down payments and deposits on our meeting halls, art galleries, etc). Our projected budget and what we expect to pull in with ticket sales and sponsorships will cover our expenses over the long run, but for the short term, having some seed money would be a HUGE help in keeping us moving forward to getting the stars just right.

So, we're putting our collective hat out and asking you folks, who desperately want the same thing we do, to consider jumping in when it'll count the most.

Check out the rewards we're offering! We truly hope we're presenting a tantalizing collection that will inspire you all."

Lovecraft eZine's List of recommended Lovecraftian movies

Mike Davis, publisher of the Lovecraft eZine, has posted a quite intersting list ...

"Below is a list of Lovecraftian-themed movies that I recommend — what I consider to be the best of the best. Note that I did not say that this is a list of movies based on Lovecraft’s stories. Some movies on this list are adaptations of Lovecraft’s work, to be sure; but there are plenty that are not. That’s not important. What is important is that the movie makes good use of Lovecraftian themes, whether it’s an adaptation or not.
For example, you won’t find The Dunwich Horror on this list, but you will find Dagon (a Lovecraft adaptation) and Absentia (not a Lovecraft adaptation). Why? Because tentacles and adaptations don’t make movies Lovecraftian.
What does make a movie Lovecraftian, in my opinion? Wikipedia writes that “the hallmark of Lovecraft’s work was the sense that ordinary life was a thin shell over a reality which was so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.” I agree wholeheartedly with that definition, and I put together this movie list with that in mind.
Also, this is a personal list; it’s movies that I think are very good to great and that use Lovecraftian themes. If you disagree, fair enough; your comments are welcome. If you think I’ve forgotten a movie that should be here, please let me know.
I’ll be adding to this list from time to time. To stay in the loop, sign up for email notifications at the top right side of this page.
Long story short: If you enjoy reading new stories of Lovecraftian horror like the ones found in The Lovecraft eZine, then you will probably enjoy the movies below. So grab the popcorn and turn down the lights — here’s the list!"

You can find the complete list at the Lovecraft eZine.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Graphic Novel: Pickman's Model

Review: Pickman's Model (review (c) by Julia Morgan)

112 pages, black and white, paperback.
Cover design by Robert Høyem.
Art and adaption by Kim Holm.
Original text by H.P. Lovecraft.

I was intrigued by this right from the start. I am a fan of graphic novels on the whole, but am cautious about approaching them, as often I find the artwork garish and unpleasant to look at.

This graphic novel is definitely not garish, and while the artwork is not the best I have seen, it is good. The black and white and grey swirl and drip and etch themselves onto your eyes as if drawn with a pen dipped in acid. With Lovecraft's excellent prose, some of it verbatim, some of it cleverly precised, the story itself cannot fail.

However, Lovecraft's story consists entirely of the narrator talking to a friend about another friend. So the artist has decided to spend a lot of frames on just showing the narrator talking. Not until he talks about his visit with Pickman do we get to see what the narrator is talking about. No cut to the Art Club's shock and disgust, no cut to Pickman's paintings.

This makes for a graphic novel that is extremely boring to look at in places. Where it truly does come alive is when it depicts Boston herself. A very dark and gloomy city, according to this graphic novel; a place as "witch-haunted" as Arkham. A place one would hesitate to visit in broad daylight, let alone at night. In one five page sequence, we see nothing but blackness, with the whiteness of the words arranged across the page in a ladder of suspense; and then splashes of torchlight. I was reminded of a scene from M Night Shyamalan's "Signs", in which we see nothing but the beam of a torchlight rolling around, but what we hear carries the message - "be very afraid". Here, minimalism works. Elsewhere in the novel, it doesn't work so well.

What really lets it down for me is - no ghouls. You don't see a single ghoul. True, there is something ghoulish about Pickman's appearance, and in one frame, in which he is silhouetted in a basement doorway, he is positively frightening. But this is no compensation for the lack of ghouls.

Neither do we get to see Pckman's artwork directly. Instead we get to see the outlines of his canvases and easels, but not the paintings themselves. I understand that Lovecraft's description of Pickman's paintings: "Nothing was blurred, distorted, or conventionalized; outlines were sharp and lifelike, and details were almost painfully defined. And the faces!"; is rather daunting to anyone not an artistic genius like Richard Upton Pickman.

This graphic novel is far from perfect, but it is good. Should you wish to see for yourself, you can download it for free from

Then consider whether you would like a hard copy for your shelves. You can purchase it from IndyPlanet for a reasonable price.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Grabbers: New Trailer


"Some people like to be enveloped in tentacles and suffocated. Who are we to judge? In any event a second trailer for the drunken sensation that is Grabbers (review here) has arrived. IFC Films will be releasing the monster comedy in theaters and VOD later this year.
Helmed by Jon Wright and penned by Kevin Lehane, the creature feature stars Richard Coyle (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Ruth Bradley (Flyboys), and Russell Tovey ("Being Human" UK).

Ciarán O’Shea, the handsome though washed up policeman of sleepy Erin Island, has a daily routine consisting mainly of hanging out at the pub with the local drunks and various other charmingly eccentric characters. But his day is about to go horribly wrong.

Teamed up with the unwanted help of Lisa – an uptight workaholic policewoman from the Irish mainland – they suddenly find themselves dealing with dead whales, decapitated fishermen and weird alien creatures or “grabbers”. Like a giant squid with tentacles, fanged jaws and a three-foot barbed tongue, they’re making mincemeat of the locals.
Faced with another imminent attack, O’Shea and Lisa figure out that the only person to survive the last onslaught only did so because he was so drunk his blood was literally toxic to the monsters. So there is only one thing for it: They have to get the entire village as drunk as possible in order to survive the night ... a task that the villagers apply themselves to with gusto.
But one person must remain sober so for the first time in years O’Shea has to face up to things without a drink. When things don’t go to plan, an extremely drunk Lisa and a very sober O’Shea have to reconcile their differences and somehow save the day."

Kickstarter: Punktown: An RPG Setting for Call of Cthulhu® and BRP Gaming

Via Kickstarter:

Game in a haunting, dark, cyberpunk city, full of aliens, robots, and mutants. Welcome to Jeffrey Thomas' Punktown. Watch your back!

“Skyscrapers with sides so smooth and featureless (with vidscreens on the interior, instead of windows) that one might think they were solid granite monuments in a graveyard for dead gods. Other buildings that looked like they’d been pieced together from thousands of odd-matched parts salvaged from stripped factory machines, steam curling out of grids and grates in their complex flanks. Buildings with snake skins of multicolored mosaics. Buildings wearing an armor of riveted metal plates, like retired warships looming vertically with their sterns jammed into the street. Flat roofs upon which perched smaller buildings, symbiotically. Other structures tapering to needle points that seemed to etch the clouds upon the blue glass of the sky. Stacked apartments. Stacked businesses. On street level: shop fronts, and gang kids squatting on tenement steps, glaring insolently at the slow sludge of traffic...Ah, Punktown.”
--Jeffrey Thomas, Deadstock
The Setting:
Picture Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Minority Report, Total Recall and the rest of the dark, not-too-distant-future genre. Now add aliens, mutants, and robots. Welcome to gimme your wallet.
Punktown is a city created by author Jeffrey Thomas who has written numerous books set there, both novels and short story collections. The stories depict a crazy world where anything and everything goes, but menace lurks in the shadows.
The Book:
Punktown: An RPG Setting for Call of Cthulhu® and BRP is a book that will allow players of Chaosium's famous award-winning system to explore a dark, futuristic world fraught with untold perils. If you're a cyberpunk fan, if you're a horror fan, or if you're both, you'll want to explore the pages of this book.The book will be written for the famous BRP system, compatible with Call of Cthulhu and Chaosium's many other game settings, so if you're looking to expand your world, and add options, look no further than Punktown!
The book will explore the city itself, the alien races, the weaponry, the creatures, mutations, cybernetics, drugs, sanity (and the inevitable loss thereof), and the option of adding the Cthulhu Mythos into the mix. As written in Jeffrey Thomas' work, the mythos is already there, threatening life as Punktowners know it, but whether or not to use that element is left to the individual gaming groups, and their preference.
The Authors:
Teaming up to bring you this book is the creator of Punktown itself, Jeffrey Thomas, fiction/nonfiction/gaming author Mike Tresca, Call of Cthulhu Great Brian M. Sammons, and the President of Miskatonic River Press, Tom Lynch.
Jeffrey Thomas is a prolific writer of science fiction and horror, best known for his stories set in the nightmarish future city called Punktown, such as the novel Deadstock (Solaris Books) and the collection Punktown (Ministry of Whimsy Press), from which a story was reprinted in St. Martin's The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror #14. His fiction has also been reprinted in Daw's The Year's Best Horror Stories XXII, The Year's Best Fantastic Fiction and Quick Chills II: The Best Horror Fiction from the Specialty Press. He has been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award (Best First Novel) for Monstrocity, and a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Deadstock. Other books by Thomas include the novels Letters from Hades (Bedlam Press) and Monstrocity (Prime Books), and the novella Godhead Dying Downwards (Earthling Publications). The German edition of Punktown has cover art by H. R. Giger. For more info see
We got a great suggestion from one of our backers: why not post some fiction of Jeff's to build more interest? Why not indeed? Jeff provided links to two short stories available for free on the web. Read up and dive in, my friends:
Enjoy! Want more? We did, and you probably do, too. Check out Jeff's page on!
Michael "Talien" Tresca is the National RPG and Sci-Fi Movie Examiner and recently published three books, the non-fiction history of gaming, The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games from McFarland Publishing, his fantasy fiction debut, The Well of Stars, from Three Ravens Books, and the young adult fantasy Awfully Familiar from Dark Quest Books. Michael has authored numerous supplements and adventures for publishers of Open Game License and D20-compatible games, including AEG, MonkeyGod Enterprises, Goodman Games, Otherworld Creations, Privateer Press, RPGObjects and Ronin Arts. A top 1,000 reviewer for Amazon, his articles and reviews have appeared in, D20 Filtered, Dragon Magazine,, Pyramid,, and Sharktopus. He has participated in panels about electronic and tabletop role-playing games at ConnectiCon, Dragon*Con, and I-Con. For more info see
Brian M. Sammons has been writing reviews on all things horror for more years than he’d care to admit. Wanting to give other critics the chance to ravage his work for a change, he has penned a few short stories that have appeared in such anthologies as Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Hellfire Club 3, Twisted Legends, Letters from the Dead, Over the Mountains of Madness, and Once Upon an Apocalypses. He has edited the shot story anthologies; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, and Steampunk Cthulhu. For Call of Cthulhu he wrote the book Secrets, has contributed to both Keeper’s Companions, wrote a companion scenario for the Keeper’s Screen, and has had scenarios in the books Terrors From Beyond, The San Francisco Guidebook, Houses of R’lyeh, Strange Aeons 2, Atomic Age Cthulhu, and Doors to Darkness. His first novella, The R’lyeh Singularity, co-written with David Conyers, just came out and he is currently far too busy for any sane man. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as "such a nice, quiet man" you can check out his very infrequently updated webpage here:
In addition to running Miskatonic River Press, Tom Lynch has written scenarios for New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, More Adventures in Arkham Country, and such forthcoming books as Tales of the Sleepless City and Chaosium's Doors to Darkness and Atomic Age Cthulhu. Tom has also pried his way into the fiction market and has short fiction in Horror for the Holidays from MRP, and will be appearing in Undead and Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, and another soon-to-be-announced appearance (all three books from Chaosium) as well as such magazines as Tales of the Talisman and the Lovecraft eZine.Tom has been an avid Punktown and Jeffrey Thomas fan for some time now, and is ecstatic to be a part of a project that will bring gamers into this new, dark, twisted world. For more of the story on Tom, check out
So like I said before...welcome to Punktown! Now gimme your wallet.


Kickstarter: The Littlest Shoggoth, a Holiday Tale of the Cthulhu Mythos

Via Kickstarter:

"The Littlest Shoggoth is a children’s story written and illustrated by longtime game industry veteran, Stan! It was originally released for free on the website and was subsequently published in a very limited print run by Super Genius Games. Since that edition went out of print, the book has been unavailable (though the story can still be read online).
For a long time we’ve wanted to bring the book back into print in a premium edition, and now with your help, we hope to do just that.
If we can raise just $5,000 in pledges, we can bring The Littlest Shoggoth back into print with a high-quality print run that will allow it to reach a broader audience and become the quirky holiday tradition that it deserves to be.
The Littlest Shoggoth is a 50-page story that tells the tale of Squammy, the smallest of all the Mythos creatures living around the lost and sunken city of R’lyeh. Tired of being picked, Squammy decides to explore the world above the waves. To put it mildly, things do not go well. But with some help from Santa Claus, maybe things can turn out right for Squammy after all.
Inspired by the tales of Dr. Seuss, Edward Gorey, and (of course) H.P. Lovecraft, the Littlest Shoggoth is equally cute and disturbing. It will be a surefire hit with fans of quirky family entertainment like The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, Coraline, Emily the Strange, and Scary Godmother.
Stan! has been publishing comics, games, and fiction for more than 30 years, and has been nominated for major awards in all three disciplines. His work has appeared in products supporting popular series including Dungeons & Dragons, Dragonlance, Star Wars, Marvel Super Heroes, Pokémon, and Legend of Zelda.
Stan! has also been a strong supporter of Kickstarter over the last couple of years, pledging to more than 35 different campaigns using his personal account.
Although this account is new, Super Genius Games has run two previous Kickstarter campaigns using the personal account of one of our founders, Hyrum Savage.
Super Genius Games is the publisher of best-selling third-party tabletop RPG products for games such as the Pathfinder RPG, Call of Cthulhu, and Savage Worlds. They have released at least one PDF product every week since November of 2009, as well as a handful of printed products (including the original publication of The Littlest Shoggoth).
The initial publication of The Littlest Shoggoth was a critical success. Below are some review quotes based on that original edition.
“Cute, evil, vicious, and brilliant. God help us, everyone.” —John Kovalic, Dork Tower
“There is nothing I don’t like about this book. Pure, concentrated awesome.” —Wil Wheaton,
“The perfect holiday tale for any fan of the Cthulhu Mythos.” —Matt Forbeck, author of the Monster Academy triolgy
“It combines delightful art, can-do optimism, and inevitable doom as only Stan! can.” —Kenneth Hite, Cthulhu 101
“Stan! is a genius when it comes to Cthuhlu.” —Wolfgang Baur, Kobold Quarterly
“A beautifully bizarre holiday tale.” —Brad Guigar, Evil, Inc.
“The stars are right to read The Littlest Shoggoth.” —John Tynes, The Unspeakable Oath
That original printing faced several obstacles, though. It was done on a tight budget, and the quality of the printing was not as high as we’d have liked. As a result, it didn’t get the attention from distributors or retailers that we think it deserved.
The new version would be done using standard printing processes, as opposed to the print-on-demand process that was used last time. The book would still be 5.5” x 8.5” in size and 56 pages in length, but this time it would have a square perfect binding, not the folded and side-stapled binding the original had.
Most importantly, since we’re using Kickstarter, we’re skipping past the middlemen and gatekeepers to bring the book straight to you—the audience we know will love and want to support The Littlest Shoggoth, and make it a part of your own library of Lovecraftian tales and holiday favorites."