H.P. Lovecraft, The Man and His Work
One is Good, One Isn’t as Much
Note: I wanted to put a photo of him, but none are available royalty-free. Same with Cthulhu.
Howard Phillip Lovecraft was born at the end of the 19th century. According to his entry on Wikipedia, he was an amateur journalist with UAPA (United Amateur Press Association)
and thanks to his letters to magazines like Argosy (mostly to criticize their frequent writer, Fred Jackson). He wrote fiction in UAPA, in which he’d become President. 1919 was a prolific period for him, as he wrote many poems and stories. 1920 saw the publication of many stories in magazines such as Wierd Tales. Some of these were called the Cthulhu Mythos” by later authors because they shared a commonality.
Weird Tales - Wikipedia
Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine founded by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger in…
Argosy (magazine) - Wikipedia
Argosy , later titled The Argosy , Argosy All-Story Weekly and The New Golden Argosy , was an American pulp magazine…
He died on March 15, 1937, of cancer. Like many authors, he died broke, and his work was appreciated after he was gone.
Lovecraft was an atheist but devoted himself to cosmic theory later in life. This was something he developed himself, a philosophical system that encases his interest in both space and astronomy. These were used in his stories.
Politics-wise, he was all over the map he delved into socialism, then into what he called fascism (oligarchs ruling, others judged by their intellect and education).
Like many Americans, he admired Adolf Hitler (pre-Holocaust and ethnic cleansing). He thought people should be judged by intellect and education, however, not ethnicity, however.
After both his parents were institutionalized and his mother died in surgery he was afraid of doctors (maybe my conjecture), which was why he only saw one a month before he died of cancer.
He was both a racist and an antisemite. He wrote of these views often in UAPA and that letter in Argosy. He compared black people to simians (I taste bile in my mouth as I wrote this). His views and criticism of the above-mentioned >Fred Jackson. It led to a long and heated feud in the letter column.
He… well he sounded like a white nationalist, though he was more specific: those in New England (where he was born), and of them, educated and intellectual.
Despite his views, his wife was Jewish, but he thought her ‘well assimilated’ into society.
None of what I’ve said is libel or slander. researchers have said it before.
Lovecraft is considered almost as prolific as Robert E. Howard (REH and he were friends). He wrote his first stories in UAPA, then many poems, essays, and stories.
He created two series, though one wasn’t intentional: his Dream Cycle and the stories that later authors called the “Cthulhu Mythos”.
His concepts and ideas are strong. However, his writing itself feels dated today. Granted, it was written over a century ago, but there are many classics from even further back that still read well.
His Dream Cycle spawned a role-playing game, but that game never caught on and is out of print.
Films: Re-Animator was the first I saw, but there’s a short film I contributed to funding on Kickstarter.
Also, the comedy cult classic Evil Dead III had the Necronomicon in it.
Anime has an entire genre based on a (questionable) genre called ‘hentai’, ‘ — tentacle porn.
Comics: I have a series called Uncle Sam vs Cthulhu.
There’s also an entire universe of Mythos comics. Miskatonic High, Lovecraft P.I., Lady Lovecraft.
Marvel Comics has characters that seem inspired by Cthulhu. The ancient dimensional creature called Shub-Niggurath (sp), the ancient evil Cthon as well.
Games: TSR had the actual Cthulhu and other mythos beings in their Deities and Demigods book (1st ed. only. Rights holders made them stop.
Call of Cthulhu is an OG of the RPG field. Started in 1981, now in its 7th edition as I write this.
Steve Jackson Games has Cthulhu Tech for its GURPS game system.
Another small game house created a version of its OSR game called the Cthulhu Hack.
Gallant Knight Games, makers of the Tiny d6 line produced Tiny Cthulhu.
(If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.)
Cthulhu and its ilk have become a part of pop culture. H.P. Lovecraft’s name is synonymous with it, but the quality of his writing is forgotten.
He was a horrible person (maybe not in his days but now for sure) — but Jerry Lee Lewis and Bing Crosby… but many still like their music. Many like the Bat-Man in comicbooks, despite co-creator Bob Kane being a jerk
You have to view the art separately from the artist. Even when it’s tough to do.