H.P Lovecraft and children. Usually the two don't go hand in hand, but we've stumbled upon a rare occurance. Bruce Brown's OGN, Howard and the Frozen Kingdom published by Arcana, re-invisions Lovecraft's dark world through a rather unique lens and hands the nightmarish universe off a much younger audience than you would expect. It has already been reviewed and featured in the Chicago Tribune, Rue Morgue Magazine
and Shroud Magazine.
Newsarama had a chance to talk to Brown about this unusual approach to Lovecraft.
Newsarama: Since you wrote a Lovecraft story aimed at younger readers, one wonders if you had an early introduction to Lovecraft and his world. Did you?
Bruce Brown: Actually, quite the opposite; I had not started reading Lovecraft till a couple of years ago.
I had co-written several books with Zuda Comic’s Dwight L. MacPherson ("Sidewise" and "M-theory") and he approached me about doing a project that was Lovecraft in nature. He asked me if I had read any Lovecraft before. I told him no. So, before I could begin working on that project, he strongly recommended I take a “crash course” in Lovecraft’s work. I quickly began to see why he is considered this generation’s Edgar Allan Poe.
Nrama: What do you mean by "crash course"?
Brown: Basically, I read as much Lovecraft as I could get my hands on. I also researched Lovecraft himself and found articles written about him by fellow writers that he had corresponded with. The last was a tremendous help to me in helping me create young Howard Lovecraft's personality for my story
Nrama: Did you have any naysayers when you had the idea to write this story?
Brown: Not when I began to write the story, but after I began to show the book for reviews did I come across a few “naysayers” to this project. I knew this was a risky project because Lovecraft has such a legion of hardcore fans and I knew there would be some who found it or parts of it “objectionable”. Overall, there have only been few and the book did receive a rave review from
The Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize winning literary columnist for adding to the Lovecraft
mythos by “creeps and bounds”.
Nrama: Do you have a favorite Lovecraft story?
Brown: There are so many good Lovecraft stories, but personally I would have to say
my favorite is Shadow over Innsmouth.
Nrama: Tell us a bit about the artist who you worked with on this.
Brown: I wrote a short story for Arcana's horror anthology "Velvet Rope". It was a fictional, short
story about the moment when HP Lovecraft's father suffered a psychotic breakdown.
I met an amazing artist, Renzo Podesta who did a phenomenal job on the art for this story.
Renzo's art added such an eerie visual element to the story and I absolutely fell in love with his style. After "Velvet Rope", I could not let go of the idea of this young character, Howard Lovecraft, let alone, I wanted to work with Renzo again. I began writing out this tale which turned into Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom. Luckily for me, Renzo agreed to take on the project.
Nrama: How long has this story been in the works and are there any plans for a follow up?
Brown: "Howard" was written in several months and yet the production of the book took about a year
If sales allow it, I would like to do a trilogy. I already have the whole story in my head and I have been working up the second story in case I get a chance to do it. I would love to take Howard and Spot on a few more adventures!