Based on three of H.P. Lovecraft’s haunting horror tales, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories, adapted into a manga by Gou Tanabe, pays homage to the original stories while bringing its own artistic twist.
The manga is split up into three different sections that each tell a different story. Tanabe chose to illustrate “The Temple,” “The Hound,” and “The Nameless City” in this first issue. True to the original stories, each follows different characters through horrific supernatural tales of greed and insanity. The stories are slightly abbreviated compared to their originals, but the style is the most noticeable difference.
One of the most iconic parts of Lovecraft’s writing is his eerie, almost overly descriptive narration. For the most part, Tanabe lets his illustrations do the narration. He incorporates quotes from Lovecraft’s originals quite elegantly when necessary. Tanabe also uses Lovecraft’s original dialogue and narration for the most part, which helps tremendously to keep the feel of its source material.
Like in most manga, the monsters depicted can be quite gruesome. Most of them, however, seemed creepy rather than monstrous. That may be because I always imagined Lovecraft’s monsters differently than Tanabe drew them. There’s something about imagining a monstrous figure towering over you that sends chills down your spine unlike any still artwork I have ever seen. (I like to attribute that to the freedom your brain has when reading as opposed to looking at artwork, but I could be wrong).
My favorite story was “The Temple.” The original story is one of my favorites from Lovecraft because it leaves the “monster” up to your interpretation. I won’t say anything else, just in case you want to avoid spoilers. That said, the ending is wonderful and works very well with Tanabe’s style. To find out what that is, you’ll have to read it yourself!
Should you read it?
I’d recommend this for someone who loves both Lovecraft and manga. If you adore Lovecraft but don’t find anything appealing about manga, this is not for you. Tanabe’s choice to use Lovecraft’s original narration helped the manga feel distinctly Lovecraft-ian, but the art leaves something to be desired at times. If you like manga and supernatural horror, definitely think about giving this a read. You’ll probably like it.
H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories will be published on July 12, 2017. Look for it on Amazon.