H.P. Lovecraft has left a sizeable mark on the world of literature. To date, there are hundreds of different stories across all mediums that take inspiration from his style of horror. That also means that it has crossed over to Japan. Notably, Gou Tanabe with his adaptation of “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories.” Dark Horse has translated and released this boo to the US and all that needs to be said is thank you Dark Horse.
The first story, “The Temple,” is about a World War II German submarine that comes across a body carrying some kind of head that belonged to a statue. This one incident causes the entire crew to go insane and ruin comes to the sub. It’s a gripping little story done by placing the entire story in this one confined space and the narration of the captain. The only downside is that it ends way too abruptly.
Next is “The Hound” about two friends who like to dabble in the occult going up against a mythological beast. It does have a certain charm of humans being attacked by this beast, but the second half isn’t as interesting as the first. It does have a messed up ending which does save the story somewhat.
Finally, there’s “The Nameless City.” An archeologist discovers an ancient city buried underground that, according to the artwork on the walls, belonged to a non-human civilization. It’s another story where the tension comes from claustrophobia, but the payoff is okay at best.
Tanabe’s art lends itself perfectly to Lovecraft’s style of horror. There are a lot of panels that take place in the dark which enhances the atmosphere the story is trying to convey. The character designs should appeal to both manga and non-manga readers since they do not look like the typical manga characters. Besides that, these are some great character designs. Of course, the manga design does bleed into “The Hound,” but not enough to make it too obvious.
“H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories” is a great collection of Lovecraft’s stories even though it only contains three of them. The art is great which should appease many and the minor weak points don’t ruin the stories that much.