It’s unusual to see something like this from Comixtribe, the same publisher who brought us the brutal but excellent Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare and The Red Ten. But the C is for Cthulhu line of books maintains the same high standard and is proof of the publisher’s range.
The C is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Board Book approached ABCs from a completely fresh angle. It took the beasties and creatures from the world of H.P. Lovecraft and depicted them in a way that most people would never expect.
Lovecraft is one of the minds who helped shape modern horror. His stories are rediscovered by one generation after another and his work is influential enough to have created an entire subgenre of horror. Many of his stories and poems are marked with a strong fear of the unknown. Unfortunately in some of his earlier works, the unknown is linked to races other than his own.
It’s a tribute to the power and enduring impact of his work that it rises above some of the views expressed in it. Lovecraft excelled at creating a rich ambiance of dread and forcing us to question our place in the cosmos.
To quote author Elizabeth Bear, Lovecraft has endured not because of the flaws in his work but “because authors are read, beloved, and remembered, not for what they do wrong, but for what they do right, and what Lovecraft does right is so incredibly effective.”
The C Is For Cthulhu line of books ( created by the top-notch team of Eisner Award nominee Jason Ciaramella and digital artist Greg Murphy) captures everything that is right with the Lovecraft mythos while avoiding any of the less than savory perspectives associated with certain stories. The result is a magical series of books that appeal to all ages, winning over both die-hard Lovecraft fans and the uninitiated. Jason Ciaramella explains the inspiration behind the books:
“While browsing board books for my young son in a small bookstore in Exeter, NH a few years back, I was disappointed to find every book on the shelves was essentially the same: A is for Apple, B is for Ball… Where’s the fun in that, right? My boys were exposed to the fantastic and weird at a very young age. They love monsters and mythology — why shouldn’t alphabet books for their age be filled with these things? Well, they should be! And that’s why we made C is for Cthulhu.”
Comixtribe is currently running a Kickstarter for a companion book to the original C is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Board Book. This Kickstarter campaign is part of a bold move to expand into the growing market for coloring books for all ages with the C is for Cthulhu Coloring Book.
The C is for Cthulhu team recently unveiled a set of stretch goals for the project, including expanding the book’s page count, inserting a sheet of full-color stickers, and even expanding its line of custom C is for Cthulhu plush toys. The Cthulhu plushie is almost criminally cute.
Murphy and Ciaramella are also working on a follow-up to the C is for Cthulhu board book titled Sweet Dreams, Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian Bedtime Story.
I’m seldom won over by work that is suitable for all ages. My tastes run in darker directions. But the C is for Cthulhu Coloring Book is the kind of book that you wished you’d owned when you were young. It takes the stuff of nightmares and renders it oddly adorable. What child wouldn’t want one of these monsters for a pet?