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H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers

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After the death of his great-uncle, Francis Wayland Thurston delves into the late Profesor Angell's effects... 

a-strange-statue.jpg

I was sorting through
all his research one day,
when I found a monstrosity
made out of clay.

Spurred on by his curiosity, Francis learns of many terrible things. The artist who came to his uncle for help. A raid in the Louisiana swamps, led by Inspector Legrasse. The sailor Gustaf Johansen. And, perhaps most importantly, the horrible fate of the Emma.

The most merciful thing 
in the world, I believe,
is humanity's failure
to fully conceive
of the cosmical horrors
we've yet to reveal,
and which up until now
I have tried to conceal

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This 102-page adaption of H.P. Lovecraft's classic story was written and illustrated by R.J. Ivankovic. 

What the Critics Say

"If you are a Lovecraft fan, The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers is a must-have volume because it is may be the best adaptation of a Lovecraft story into another medium." - Geek and Sundry 

"(Ivankovic) does a splendid job of distilling Lovecraft's complex language of into succinct and swift verse... Lovecraft fans will find this a fun take on a favorite story." - H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society 

"Although cartoon-like, this art never shies away from portraying the horror described in the text. Neither is explicit or overbearing, but the combination is moody and effective at showing and suggesting something beyond our understanding. Perfect then for depicting a short story that is all H.P. Lovecraft even in a new form."—Reviews from Rl’yeh.

"If you’re the kind of parent I am, you’ll wish for this book to stealthily introduce your children (and your nieces and nephews) to the wonders of Lovecraftian horror." - Cannonball Read

"This book is marvelous in every single way! ...a unique transposition of a classic horror story into another genre altogether; you can buy it unashamedly for yourself, claiming that you'll gift it to the neighbour's kids."—Antonios S. Review, RPGNet.

 "If you like weird fiction and have read The Call of Cthulhu, you owe it to yourself to buy this book. And if you know a child into the weird, scary, and peculiar, you will be the world's greatest uncle/aunt/friend if you buy them this book."Dreams & Nightmares magazine.

Take a Peek Inside

Q&A for H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers

Q. How different is this from H.P. Lovecraft's 1928 original story?
A. This is Lovecraft's original 1928 story rewritten in anapestic tetrameter and with entirely original art.

Q. Is this book suitable for 'beginning readers'?
A. This book could certainly be read to a 6 or 7 year old - they will enjoy the cadence. Capable 8 or 9 year olds should be able to read the story themselves. A great way to introduce your kids to the Mythos - or your nieces and nephews: be that beloved, exceedingly strange relative!

Q. What is anapestic tetrameter?
A: Anapestic tetrameter is a poetic rhythm often used in children's stories. Each line consists of four units of rhythm, known as 'feet'. Each foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. A well-known example is the beginning line of Clement Clarke Moore's poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (aka "A Visit from St. Nicholas"): "Twas the night beforeChristmas, when all thro' the house / not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

Q. Is this book copying Dr Seuss?
A. H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers is not a reskinning of a Dr. Seuss story, nor does it use any Dr Seuss characters, storylines or images. It contains entirely original art, and the storyline comes directly from H.P. Lovecraft. Of course R.J. Ivankovic was influenced by Theodor Geisel's amazing artwork (his use of non-Euclidian geometry was visually second to nobody!) But we acknowledge the influence of Shel Silverstein, Jules Feiffer, Maurice Sendak, and every other sanity-damaging children's book illustrator of our youth, and also Clement Clarke Moore for his popularization of anapestic tetrameter.

Q. Aren't there some problematic racial aspersions in H.P. Lovecraft's original 1928 story?
A. In this version, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu cultists do not belong to any identifiable race - they are depicted as funky malicious-looking humanoids with ponytails atop their heads. 

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  • 5
    Almost Too Good

    Posted by Tsath on 13th Jun 2018

    R.J. Ivankovic has done the almost impossible. He has captured The Call of Cthulhu AND the poetic and artistic style of early Dr. Seuss. The illustrations are superb and could have been done by Geisel. The poetic rendition of the story likewise. And it manages to work with Lovecraft's story. There's even a shout-out to Clark from One Fish, Two Fish. After he grew and grew he got his very own swamp cult!

    Absolutely delightful.

  • 5
    Absolutely charming

    Posted by Unknown on 4th Feb 2017

    I bought this book as a gift, then I had to buy one for myself as well. Adorable concept, great artwork and storytelling (very faithful to both HPL and Dr. Seuss!), and a very high quality product!

  • 5
    It's not often you get a laugh out of Cthulhu

    Posted by TF Druid on 1st Feb 2017

    It made me laugh, it made everyone I've shown it to laugh.
    The artwork is beautiful, and the poetry of the text is spot-on.
    If I could give it 6 stars, I would

  • 5
    Brilliant

    Posted by Richard Bretschneider on 17th Jan 2017

    Perfect Dr. Seuss style in every way imaginable. So much fun.