Today I am very happy to introduce an interview with Bruce Brown, creator of two graphic novels (so far) which chart the misadventures of young Howard Phillips Lovecraft and ‘explain’ how he became mixed up with the monsters of the Necronomicron.
The Haunted Eyeball’s recent review of the two graphic novels, ‘…Frozen’ and ‘…Undersea’ Kingdom are here.
Haunted Eyeball: Welcome to the Haunted Eyeball, Bruce. Tell us, which authors did you enjoy as you were growing up?
Bruce Brown: I had so little interest in reading as a child because it was a struggle for me. It was my mother who introduced me to comics in an effort to spur my interest in reading. So, when I was young, all the early comic writers of my childhood drew me into comics but more importantly the joys of reading.
What do you like most about the horror genre?
I love the unknown in horror. I am not a big fan of the scare with the gory payoff. The horror genre taps into the depths of the mind that lets you fill in the blanks on what is the scary thing lurking in the shadows is; Lovecraft was the master of this.
Do you have a favourite horror film?
Lately I have been watching the old Dark Shadows television show. Granted, I know it’s not a film (but soon will be – HE), but it had stuck with me so, because it was so elegant and subtle in creating this eerie mood. The horror is just right out of your sight, but you feel it. So, at the moment, that is my favorite horror.
Do any graphic novels or comics influence you?
I would say that Christopher Priest’s run on Black Panther. It was so unique and mesmerizing to me. I had never read anything like it and it showed me comics could tell stories in an incredibly unique way.
What’s your favourite H P Lovecraft story? (or top three!)
Lovecraft and the ‘Howard’ Graphic Novels
What inspired the creation of the ‘all ages’ novels?
Honestly, I have done other books that weren’t all ages, so I let the story I want to tell dictate whether it is all ages or not.
What part of H P Lovecraft’s work would be too dark to touch in these
I think nothing is too dark if it is handled right. There are some extremely dark elements in the Frozen Kingdom but all of them are treated off panel. There are things in the Frozen Kingdom I remember thinking about after the book was done and I was surprised how truly dark it was in certain parts.
Would you be interested in ever doing more adult versions of Mythos
I actually did co write an adult mythos story with my co-writer of the Undersea Kingdom, Dwight L MacPherson. I really enjoyed working on that story, but as far as Lovecraft mythos, I will probably only stick with my boys Howard and Spot.
The art is very lush, did you consciously go with a less ‘cartoony’ style, especially for the more epic scenes?
Absolutely! Both Renzo (Podesta) and Thomas (Boatwright) have such unique styles that they added to the eerie quality of the story. A cartoony style would have been totally wrong destroyed the mood of the whole story. Plus I wanted to mention the beautifully subtle interior cover art of Nicholas Brondo.
How did you decide what parts of Lovecraft’s real life to leave out, and why?
There are so many elements to Lovecraft’s work to play with. I wanted to blend real life things in Lovecraft’s life along with his work. There are key elements to Lovecraft himself I wanted to include in these stories.
It is difficult to choose what elements of his work to use in the stories; just too many wonderful characters and stories to choose from.
Do you hope this will encourage kids to grow up and get into Lovecraft
and other horror stories?
Absolutely! I truly hope this will encourage younger readers to check
out Lovecraft’s work when they are older.
Can you hint at what lies in wait for young Howard and his faithful
The next installment, if sales allow for another, will really ramp things up for Howard and Spot. I think it is important to expand their universe in ways that also explain the real Lovecraft himself; of course done with a unique twist.
Name of the next instalment?
Well it will always be Howard Lovecraft & The……..Kingdom. But the words, Middle, Hidden, and Underground have been tossed around.
When are you expecting it to be released?
Hopefully it won’t be as long as a wait for the next book as there was for this one.
Any final message you’d like to give to the lovely readers of the Haunted Eyeball?
First, I wanted to thank the Eyeball for allowing me to talk about Howard and Spot and their adventures. Also, I wanted to ask its readers to please check out the Howard Lovecraft series! If you are a fan of Lovecraft or never heard of him, to give it a chance; you won’t be disappointed!
Many thanks for your time and best wishes Bruce!
Also of interest:
First look: You Know, For Squids
Innsmouth Press ‘Future Lovecraft‘
Real Ghostbusters: ‘Call of Cathulhu‘