Sunday, November 10, 2013

Forty Years of HP Lovecraft Pulp Covers

"Jim, I need to you gimme a cover for this book by, like, Tuesday."
"What's it about?"
"Shit, I don't know, man. Unspeakable horror, madness so twisted and perverse you can't even look on it without going insane. That sort of thing."
"Um... what... what's that supposed to look like, Fred?"
"Just... I don't know, Jim. Fish people. Mushrooms. Some girls in their underwear if you can squeeze it in."
"Yeah, okay. I can have that by Tuesday."

I'm not being completely fair, because some of these covers are genuinely fabulous. Some of them look like the Dagon cult has come to town for tea and manners comedy. Trying to do visual Lovecraft is hard, because if seeing your illustration doesn't live up to the whole mind-breaking promise, it kind of decreases the already strained credibility of the story. And if it does, they're not going to buy the book because they'll be a gibbering wreck. 

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