Note: I received my copy of Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness from the writer, Bruce Brown. I am honored and grateful and consider both Bruce and "The Kingdom of Madness" to be precious gifts.
The capable Thomas Boatwright endears and terrifies with his beautiful, glossy illustrations.
"The Kingdom of Madness" opens with our hero, Howard, and the childlike adults who make little Howard seem like the only grown up and voice of reason.
It opens with an apt, disturbing quote from Edgar Allen Poe:
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dreamed before".-Original Source: "The Raven".
And we see a scaly arm, an annoyed, well- dressed little boy.
Then, we see a vintage plane (To US, anyway), carrying Howard, his sickly, insane father, apparently on their way to meet a doctor. Spot-aka- Cthulhu, aka- Hu Hu Hmong, acts every inch the excited, tentaclly puppy, while the child of the group expresses doubt. This is normal for Howard and Spot, up to and including Howard's capable act as a loving, but strict father figure who has to occasionally lay down the law.
Having read HP Lovecraft's "Complete Works", I find what amounts to a prequel to Lovecraft-the Grown-Up, Not-Fictional-Character's disturbed and disturbing, wonderful but not for children'- 's works extremely beautiful. It's a cuddlier side of everyone, including Lovecraft, whose views of race make the "enlightened" of the 21st Century choke. It's beautiful. I watch every Howard Lovecraft book for an image of Little Howard and Cthulhu hugging.
I also look for shoutouts- a very obvious one that I adored was a shout out to Charles Addams, a capable illustrator who lent his name to the 1960's portrayal of his artwork, called *Snap snap* The Addams Fam-i- Ly *Snap snap*.
I was charmed and delighted, and give Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness two tentacles- er, thumbs, WAY UP!
I also send my thank you's to the wonderful Bruce Brown.
Thanks again! I was touched, disturbed, and I couldn't be more grateful!