Thursday, 28 July 2016

Lovecraft on Film Appendum:
Vintage Derleth.

It stands to reason that paperback editions of the Derleth “collaborations” are less sought after, and thus less pricey and more common, than older paperbacks of genuine Lovecraft. As such, the oldest and most aesthetically pleasing “Lovecraft” p/b in my current collection is this eerily faded US edition of ‘The Shuttered Room and Other Tales of Horror’, as issued by Beagle Books in 1971. Though the ‘hand growing out of a tree stump’ motif is pretty silly, the photo collage approach used by the (uncredited) artist is very effective, and I love the muted purple and green colour palette, the ghostly trees fading into the white background, and the lovely, oh-so-‘60s font. It’s a shame none of the stories inside are much good, but what can you do.

As a bonus, here’s a UK Panther edition of Derleth’s novel ‘The Lurker At The Threshold’ [worth ploughing through on the basis that it features a few excellent passages of Lovecraft prose buried amid the Derlethian trudge, I seem to recall] that I picked up somewhere recently. Year of publication is unknown, but cover art comes courtesy of the exceptionally awesome Gino D’Achille. Perhaps not his best effort (check the galleries in the above link for more on those), but I like it all the same. The little tentacles creeping in through the broken glass are a highlight, and trying to figure out what's going on with the second view of the tower trapped in the identically angled broken pane on the upper right proves pleasantly mind-bending.

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