H.P. Lovecraft is a writer with a loyal, loyal following. I hadn’t read any of his horror until i was in graduate school, and at that point, I wasn’t all that sure what all of the fuss was about, honestly. His work has created a shared fictional universe, and inspired tons of creators, not the least of whom is Alan Moore. Clearly, there is something to it, even if it isn’t my cup of tea.
The realism of his work is interesting. Much of the conceit in Lovecraft’s writing is that the reader is looking at the journal notes of a researcher, journalist, or professor. We see things from that informed first person point of view, but a big portion of the work is about man encountering things that he cannot understand. This “cosmic horror” with foundations in science and rationalism was really a new direction…and whether it’s my cup of tea or not, broke serious ground in how horror fiction is written.
Today, on my first day of Winter Break, I went to see the what might be the final “Thrilling Adventure Hour” performance here in Los Angeles, at the Ace Hotel Theatre. It was very, very funny, and featured as the last segment “Beyond Belief.” That segment follows Frank and Sadie Doyle, wealthy paranormal investigators who drink constantly, in the same festive and comedic manner of “The Thin Man” or the Rat Pack. In this episode, they came home to their New York Apartment to find a party in progress, where the partygoers become possessed by the Spirit of Christmas. They eventually cast out the Spirit by getting all of the party goers to toast with water, which is bad luck, and turns against them.
It was way funnier than it sounds when summarized so briefly. Trust me on that.
The best segment though was “Down in Moonshine Holler”, about a millionaire who renounces his riches and disguises himself to win the love of the Hobo Princess. He operates in a secret Hobo Society, which has its own rules, a Hobo Dracula, and a Hobo Tribunal. Gummy, his Hobo Mentor, is put on trial for the worst of crimes…inventing work. It was pretty excellent.
I drew, and inked this art prior to going, looking forward to the “Beyond Belief” segment. It was a great way to start a much needed vacation…going to dinner and a live show with friends.
This has been a brief, wandering post…hopefully the first of many such meandering posts over the course of the vacation.