Culture

Sgathaich: The Mountains of Madness – Graphic novel

Dear readers, though we sometimes think we know what is and is not, many tales have been told of us venturing into the unknown and finding how little we really knew.

While in most cases this is just shown as a killer alien we can’t really even hope to communicate in the realm of cosmic horror. Well the madness shall come on the realisation that ignorance is not only bliss, it may be the only thing keeping us from the madness that comes with that awareness.

At The Mountains Of Madness is one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most famous and well received works. Had Universal not chickened out and wanted to make it a 12A I’d be talking about an amazing movie adaptation by Guillermo Del Toro instead (yes that happened, or didn’t happen…). So instead I’ll be talking about the Graphic novel kickstarted adaption The Mountains Of Madness .

Now Lovecraft writing doesn’t normally hold up to adaptations well (though I have heard good things about the Colour Out Of Space movie that came out earlier this year)  which is due to the nature of cosmic horror and Lovecraftian ones especially (yes I know about the racism) in that it’s often meant to be stuff we can’t really perceive or understand… very much.. Eldritch. So any adaption of a work based around such horrors into a visual sense will have its issues.

This was the challenge by Blue Fox Comics and why they funded it via Kickstarter (which I backed) and I feel they succeeded in their job. There are a few changes in the story most I’m fine with, like changing how the tale has been told, rather than William Dyer recalling what happened during his expedition in hopes to prevent another. He has instead handed his diary and notes to said expedition so they will not delve too deep and maybe turn around before reaching Antarctica. Given the adaption to a visual media I feel this change is one that can be argued to be for the best. It still serves the same purpose.

However the story seems to alter the ending of the tale, where his colleague Danford looked back while they were escaping and saw something that while it drove him mad, he forever refuses to tell the horror of what he saw, although it seems the events of the tale did drive him mad.

Also in an epilogue we find a Soviet mission some decades later about to delve into the horrors (though that bit I’m also fine with, reminds me of some of the other epilogue sequences of tales set in olden days having things about to begin again).

The adaption was written and drawn by Adam Fyda and I feel he did a good job, the artistic style looking just realistic enough that the people do come off as real people but then also allowing it to easily fall into unearthly horrors at considerable ease. Be it the non human landscapes or… things better left buried.

Overall I look forward that works like this nudge more people to check out the works of Lovecraft and I will be talking about my experience with the eldritch cosmic horrors again this month, so maybe you can read that when I’m having trouble sleeping again.

Rating: spear spear spear spear 

The Mountains of Madness Graphic Novel is available from Blue Fox Comics

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