Book Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

meddling_kidsI was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted by Michael Goldsmith of DoubleDay Books requesting a book review of a new Lovecraftian fiction book by author, Edgar Cantero. Oh, I’ve written a few comic book reviews in the past and a book review for International Justice Mission, but that was the extent of my reviewing creds, and, as I said, it was several years ago.  In the end I decided that, hey, why not? I love to read, and I count Lovecraft as one of my biggest writing influences. So much so that I co-wrote the young Howard Lovecraft Trilogy with my good buddy, Bruce Brown, and I have an original Lovecraftian mini-series in the works with brilliant artist, Dave Youkovich.  Not to mention a few Lovecraftian short stories, an adaptation of Lovecraft’s HE for SelfMadeHero, and several unsuccessful pitches I’ve written over the years.

So it was decided.

In the years since Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s life, Lovecraftian fiction has become a popular horror subgenre which stresses cosmic, unknowable terrors and mankind’s hopelessness and helplessness to combat–or even fully comprehend–them. At the core, it is the fear of the unknown that drives the stories in this subgenre, and that is something we can all relate to, whether we are fans of science-fiction, or horror, or neither. It is from this commonality that brilliant screenwriter, Rod Serling (also a big influence on my work), penned some of his most poignant and terrifying episodes of The Twilight Zone. And Serling is only one in a long line of authors who have played upon this instantly relatable theme.

But I digress.

Imagine, if you will, the Scooby-Doo Gang in a Lovecraftian universe. As young people, the gang solved mysteries and unmasked bad guys–they were the heroes–but, during the course of their final caper they inadvertently brushed paths with unspeakable cosmic horror. It is an oppressive evil that haunts their dreams, poisons their lives, and they ultimately became scared, irreparably (?) damaged adults. Ultimately, these fractured adults decide to team up one last time and face the horror head on. This is Meddling Kids.

Does this sound similar to the synopsis of Stephen King‘s It to you? Indeed. Cantero isn’t breaking any new ground here, but what he does is tell an entertaining story that will have you furiously turning pages until you reach the bitter end. And he does so with great panache and skill. Cantero is obviously a master wordsmith who tips his hand every now and then, but never comes off as an exhibitionist. Snappy dialogue, vivid descriptions, quirky characters, and the building sense of dread will keep you enthralled and leave you wanting more. And for fans of Lovecraft’s work, you will find just enough that is familiar, but not so much that it feels overstated or cliché. As I said, this Cantero fellow knows what he is doing.

If this sounds like a fun story to you, you may be a Lovecraft fan. Or, maybe not. I believe that any reader who is merely looking for an entertaining, creepy summer read will find it quite enjoyable as well. Who knows…it may even compel some readers to check out H.P. Lovecraft’s work, and that would be awesome, indeed.

-Dwight

 

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-D

HP Comics is Kicking Booty!

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What a morning! Woke up to an email from one of my favorite writers, Kurt Busiek, saying The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 is “quirky and magical, a pell-mell adventure into nightmare, and I’m not afraid to say so!” I’ve been a fan of Kurt’s work since the ’80s, and Rebecca’s become a fan of his work though the most excellent Astro City, so this really made our day!

And then…

We found out a graphic novel illustrated by our artist for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, Luis Czerniawski, won a Bram Stoker Award! (Congratulations, James Chambers!)

And then…

We found out we’d received a glowing review of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 on Amazon!

If you haven’t purchased your copy of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 yet, you can download it on KINDLE or COMIXOLOGY!

So I think it’s fair to say our weekend is going pretty well. Hope yours is, too!

-Dwight

 

Mark Hamill Added to Cast of Howard Lovecraft & The Undersea Kingdom Film

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The big news is revealed at last:

“Mark Hamill, the beloved Star Wars actor, is taking a little time out to voice an animated Lovecraft feature. He, along with Jeffrey Combs (Transformers Prime), Christopher Plummer and Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) have been set for the voice cast in the upcoming animated feature Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom from Shout! Factory and Arcana Studios. Written, directed and produced by Sean Patrick O’Reilly, the film is the adaption of Bruce Brown and Dwight L. MacPherson’s bestselling graphic novel of the same name, and marks the second installment of Howard Lovecraft animated film series. It is scheduled to be released in late 2017.”

Read the rest of the press release here: http://deadline.com/2017/01/mark-hamill-christopher-plummer-jeffrey-combs-animated-feature-film-howard-lovecraft-undersea-kingdom-1201888749/

More press:

DREAD CENTRAL 

A.V. CLUB

UPROXX

-Dwight

Halloween Countdown Interview with Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

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I am thrilled to say that our dear friend and literary mentor, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, invited me to be a part of her annual Halloween Countdown on her Eldritch-hobbit blog, Redecorating Middle-Earth in early Lovecraft!

Rebecca brought Amy into my life through her legendary Lord of the Rings PR adventures, and Amy and I became instant friends. Her sincere friendship and support continues to be such a blessing to me and Rebecca as well. I am so honored to be a part of this year’s Halloween Fest that Amy painstakingly puts together every October!

Take a look around her blog– I am certain you will enjoy the spooky goodness!

Oh, and just a little tidbit of information: I will be launching a Kickstarter project in the not-so-distant future, so please be on the lookout! It is going to be epic! In the immortal words of John Wick, “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!”

-Dwight

And the Winner is…

Brian Matus–AKA Hellstorm–for his exceptional short story “Ambush at Devil’s Reef!”

Be on the lookout for pirates in your mailbox, matey!

Thank you to everyone who participated. It was not an easy decision to make!

Busy, busy

I am extremely busy with several projects going at the same time, but I will take a few moments in the near future to share some exciting news with you. Promise.

Blog Exclusive: Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom Sneak Peek #2

As many of you know, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, written by yours truly and fellow scribe and best friend Bruce Brown, is well into production.

Well, I’m delighted to say that the rendering stage is nearing completion. Only one chapter of sequentials remains to be illustrated, and then the book will be lettered. After that, it’s off to the publisher for solicitation and printing.

In short, we anticipate wrapping up production on Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom by the middle of June!

After the completed files are sent to the publisher, I will ask a large favor of YOU.

But I mustn’t get ahead of myself.

Show Me The Art

As you may have guessed, this book reunites the creative team behind the Harvey and Eagle Award nominated The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo Book 1. Yes, indeed. Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is illustrated by none other than the sensational Thomas Boatwright!

Back to Work

I apologize for the short blog update, but I have a looming deadline. Words must be transformed, and snipped, and replaced. And still others must be completely obliterated.

But fear not, I have my wand at the ready and I am more than prepared for the challenge.

So thank you for reading, and please feel free to share!