THE SHORT STORY
This comic features the evil god Cthulhu perched upon his box, inside his chamber, in the ancient city of R’lyeh, as first mentioned in the short story “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft. You can actually read the story in it's entirity HERE, if you like.
Here is the man himself:
There are many re-imaginings and interpretations of the how Cthulhu looks, and how the ancient city of R’lyeh would look. The comic you saw above is MY interpretation. For Cthulhu I wanted to draw heavily from the original sketch by the man himself (Lovecraft) made in 1934, seen here:
However for the chamber within R’lyeh, I wanted to have a bit of fun, so I took this passage from the original text and put heavy focus on the one phrase: “whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong” . . .
[He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”. These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-vigil in his stone vault at R’lyeh . . .] - Excerpt from “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft.
This led me down a path of researching Non-Euclidean Geometry, which was pretty fascinating in it’s own right. Anyways, bottom line, this was fun to draw. Here’s a clearer look at the background I created:
"The Call of Cthulhu" first appeared in print in this copy of pulp magazine Weird Tales from 1928.
Oh, and here's Lovecraft holding a cat:
SWAN POINT CEMETERY
However, there is more to the story, so to speak. When I was living in Rhode Island for a few years, I happened upon Swan Point Cemetery. A beautiful burial ground, filled with gorgeous carved statues and ornamented gravestones.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, this is where H.P. Lovecraft himself is buried!
Here's a closer look at his grave. The quote on the bottom is "I am providence", which the double meaning of is quite delicious considering this graveyard is in Providence, Rhode Island. A place that holds a special meaning in my heart, as well.
While wandering around in there I started snapping pictures, and a security guard sped up on a golf cart and aggressively told me "NO PICTURES" to which I protested and she said "I WILL TAKE THE FILM OUT OF THAT CAMERA" (it was a film camera at the time, you see). Being the impudent youth that I was at the time, I gave her sufficient attitude enough to eject me from the premises.
But I refused to be forced out of a glorious opportunity to capture some of this gorgeous stone work. So I crafted a letter that I addressed to the Director of the cemetery, in which I said that I was embarking on a photography project focused on stone sculpture, and was requesting undisturbed time within the cemetery to photograph as much as I wanted. The Director wrote back requesting that I come in for an interview. So I did.
He asked me a billion questions in a giant oak office behind a giant oak desk.
"Why do you want to take pictures in here?"
"How long will you need?"
"Will it be only you taking the photos?"
"When will you be done?"
"Where will you be using the photos once they are developed?"
"Who else will see the photos?"
Etc etc etc.
I made a point to assure him that I would not be capturing the names of the dead on my camera. Just the beautiful stone work. So, I suppose I passed his scrutiny, and begrudgingly he granted my request. So I spent two full glorious days in that Cemetery photographing everything I wanted. At one point the very same security guard that had previously ejected me from the cemetery drove by with a glare that could have turned ME to stone. Oh how she must've hated me, haha.
So, below are but a few of the shots from those wonderful peaceful sunny days. I truly love graveyards. In fact, that's what I'd like it to say on my headstone: "He loved graveyards."
Some of the graves were truly remarkable. For example this one with a giant entrance into the side of a small hill:
A funny thing happened whilst roaming around within this giant cemetery... I happened upon a dead mouse. He was just lying there, in a quiet little nook behind some graves, in a little wooded area.
This was so strange...this carving of two children laying in a bed, the carving smoothed from the years of rain. So haunting.
And this was one of the last statues I spent time with in that cemetery:
Additionally, it might be worth mentioning that the first time I ever saw mention of "Cthulhu" (even though it was spelled "Ktulu") was in Junior High when I got my hands on the album "Ride the Lightning" and saw the track "The Call of Ktulu" by Metallica. It’s an instrumental track and I remember learning how to play it on guitar too.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that Metallica was drawing from their inspiration from the works of Lovecraft. The song "The Thing that Should Not Be" from the album "Master of Puppets" was another example (A song I love).