Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wentworth's Day (H.P. Lovecraft)

Another classic from Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror paperback (Pyramid Books, 1966), this time from the great H. P. Lovecraft, (a story actually completed after his death by August Derleth), and here adapted / illustrated by Russ Jones. Says Lee in the introduction: "...we are enchanted by the whirling mists of HPL's unmentionable world, with its horrendous song of the whippoorwills, all set amidst the lurking trolls of witch-haunted Arkham. The immortal creator of the mighty Cthulhu Mythos has written nothing more eerie than Wentworth's Day." Actually, I can think of a few HPL tales that are more eerie than this one, but who am I to argue with Dracula?!

We'll be heading back into the 1950's pre-code horror next, but I promise to return to Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror later this summer with the remaining Robert Bloch and Ambrose Bierce tales, (fyi: it's a royal pain in the ass scanning stories out of an old paperback, and the main reason why it's taking so long to get this stuff posted-- the clean-up alone is murder!)


Mykal Banta said...

Karswell: The comic is great, but I wanted to pitch in a compliment strictly for your "clean up" work on these Treasury pieces. Awesome, my friend, awesome. I know the troubles you've seen! Clean. Crisp. Rich blacks. Bright whites. My hat is tipped.

Mr. Karswell said...

Thanks Mykal, I really do try to present this stuff as pristine as possible. I know alot of people like to see murky old brown and crooked scans (I don't really mind it sometimes myself), but for THOIA I strive to make everything look as it did when it first hit shelves, newsstands, spinner racks, or comic book machines! One of these days I'll post a comparison of before and after clean-up pages to see what everyone thinks.

Let me know what you think about this HPL tale too, I'm in the middle of reading your current Dark Shadows post over at your Gold Key blog as I type this!

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

Lovecraft is not to be resisted! I haven't read it all the way through yet--will do so later after I've slept. But I am reeled in like a fish.

Mr. Cavin said...

What an impressive job of work they've done here, painstakingly paneling out a story in which two people sit and talk to one another (or sleep) for seventy percent of the story. Like him or else, H.P. certainly could be stuffy.

As for you, Karswell, you've also impressed me with this job of work. These things do look fabulous. As an archival question, I would be interested in knowing how these pages/panels were originally laid out in the book (is each jpeg here a two-page spread, read sideways? Or is this somehow a square book? If not, why the white gutter across the middle of the splash page?).

Last note: I am very interested in the typo on page ten (panel five): "the voiced of the whippoorwills". That sort of mistake--a "d" instead of an "s" creating an incorrect usage out of an alternate, but nevertheless correctly spelled, word--is something I tend to chalk up to spell-check. It is interesting to see the error made here, long before that would have been possible.

Mr. Karswell said...

The paperback is standard size and you read it sideways, the white bar through the middle of the splash (and all pages) is the gutter of the book, I simply lay it open flat and scan both pages at the same time... being old and squarebound you can see how over time this will weaken the spine. I'm torturing my book to death just for you guys, muuhuhaha!

I'm glad to hear that everyone is enjoying the story, it's one of the best in this collection.

5c11 said...

Hi there, long time reader and big fan of the site, never posted before though. I just wanted to chime in and say - being a bit obsessed with weird fiction as I am - this seems like it's pretty definitely a Derleth story rather than a Lovecraft one.

The opening is lifted pretty liberally from "The Picture in the House", and the rest seems like the general muddle of "The Dunwich Horror" that Derleth often uses when he's trying to ape Lovecraft. (It's sort of a shame Derleth always did that, he could write a pretty good story when he wasn't trying to shoehorn it into his own odd version of the "mythos").

That said, it translates pretty darn well to comic form - maybe Derleth should have been writing comics all along! Also, fantastic job on the scan and I'm really looking forward to the Bloch and Bierce stories down the road.

Mark Borbas said...

I agree with the compliments on your restoration work, Karswell. Among the best I've seen, maybe THE best.

These works of art are not just for nostalgia or, for us (somewhat) younger folks, to put on a pedestal as antiques. They are living, breathing, SOUL-SUCKING DEPICTIONS OF THE DAMNED DENIZENS OF HELL ITSELF!

Ahem. Sorry, sometimes I get carried away by the vivid colors and/or crisp black and white that you present. Thanks you.

Anonymous said...



Mr. Karswell said...

KEN LANDGRAFwrites in:

"Hi Steve, Wentwoth's Day appears to be penciled by Russ Jones but the inking is defiantly Joe Orlando. Proof being the crisp inks especially in the drapery and face inking. Russ had worked with Wood on the Mummy and with Orlando on Curse of Frankenstein. it would be cool to post those from Warren's Monster World books."

Thanks Ken, we always appreciate the additional insight you have on these stories!

And thanks again everyone for the kind words about my posts and my clean-up process... I work hard on this stuff so you guys get the best horror experience possible, and you know the other comic scan blogs that do likewise-- we're serious about what we do! THOIA will be 3 years old next month and still going strong thanks to all of you, and I value everyone who continues to visit us with great comments and suggestions so keep 'em coming. Speaking of, we have another request coming up next... see ya in a few!

Prof. Grewbeard said...

weird, just got through re-reading The Dunwich Horror...