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Book Review: Howard Lovecraft And The Frozen Kingdom

Lovecraft_01_FC_take3As a librarian and Z List Internet celebrity, people have been sending me lots of books and saying “Review this!”  I happily accept these gifts, on the condition that I reserve the right to hate anything that an author sends me.  When the author sends me something I don’t like, we keep it between us.

Happily for Bruce Brown, the fact that this early review of Howard Lovecraft And The Frozen Kingdom is appearing here on World’s Strongest Librarian means that his book is awesome.

Awesome like cotton candy and the perfect hot dog and the deadlift and the 48 kilo kettlebell and Over The Top with Sylvester Stallone.

High praise, all of that, whether you like it or not.

A summary without a spoiler

Bruce knew just how to approach me.  He basically said, “How would you like to take an early look at a new graphic novel about HP Lovecraft?”  I’ve talked about good old, wretched old, thin-lipped old HP Lovecraft before.

In fact, he is solely responsible for my worldview, which means he taught me about the many-tentacled creatures that live on the bottoms of our oceans and far beyond the stars and how their memories live on on Earth in the form of weird cults and eerie fish-men.

And now Bruce was offering me a crack at a graphic novel that contains all of these things, but also uses HP himself as a character.

I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels, but I’m willing to try anything with HP’s (Lovecraft, not the computers) name attached to it. I don’t know much about art, but I think the art in this book is wonderful.

The story has an asylum, a kingdom of ice, some tentacles, a sacrifice, a monster made of fire, and lots of chattering teeth.  It is wonderful.  It is short.  It is fun to read.  It is something that I think Lovecraft would approve of.  He didn’t approve of a whole lot, but he did encourage other writers to expand on his universe and use his characters.

Bruce Brown has done this and I am honored to be an early set of eyes for him.  I can’t say more about the book without ruining the plot for you, but I’m happy to tell you that it comes out January 6.

Make January 6 a day of tentacles and thinly veiled madness.  You won’t be sorry.


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About Bruce: Bruce Brown has been writing comics for nearly five years now. He is the author of Howard Lovecraft & The Frozen Kingdom. His next book will be Jack & The Zombie Box. He resides in Illinois with his wife and three kids.

Find out more about Howard Lovecraft & The Frozen Kingdom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Laura Cococcia December 15, 2009, 5:56 am

    Nice – an asylum and chattering teeth will do it for me any time. Actually, book reviews from you mean a lot so I’ll throw it on the list. By the way, you are not a Z list celebrity. I would put you at M, on the fast track up to D.

  • Terrence December 15, 2009, 6:37 am

    It sounds good!! (fyi) HP Lovecraft inspired Metallica’s song, “The thing that should not be.” and their other song, “The call of Ktulu.” by the way what is your email address?? So that I can get some advise on my blog.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 15, 2009, 2:39 pm

      Terrence, you can contact me through the contact form at the top of the page.

  • Heather December 15, 2009, 7:41 am

    Wow! A fire monster and chattering teeth! HP would most DEFINITELY approve! January 6th. . . .maaaaaan. . . . . ok, ok, I guess I’ll wait. . . .

    • Josh Hanagarne December 15, 2009, 2:39 pm

      If you write to Bruce and cry and sob, maybe he’ll send you the PDF. But probably not.

  • Bruce Brown December 15, 2009, 10:07 pm


    Thanks so much for the great early review! I truly appreciate it and I am honored to have your site review it.
    I so glad you enjoyed my tale of little Howard Lovecraft.

    Warm Regards,

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 12:55 am

      You’re welcome, Bruce. It was a lot of fun.

  • Todd December 16, 2009, 12:00 am

    Really, Over the Top? Pales in comparison to Tango and Cash, but I digress. Anywho, this book sounds awesome! I’m not a fan of the graphic novel either, probably why I’m not a fan of Tarantino flicks. I’m game. I’ll give it a gander.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 12:54 am

      That’s true, it’s no Tango and Cash, or Cobra, or Raw Deal.

  • Professor Beej December 16, 2009, 12:40 am

    Count me in! I’m a huge fan of graphic novels (it was a graphic novel-centric composition course in college that put me on my track as an English major) and I actually teach H.P. Lovecraft in my writing courses (I use “Six Shots by Moonlight” from Herbert West: Reanimator) and used At the Mountains of Madness as a major part of my American Lit Master’s comps.

    I just might have to Wish List this one on Amazon when I finish typing this. Thanks for the heads up, Josh. It comes out two days before my birthday, so I know where I might point my wife’s attention. 😉

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 12:55 am

      Wow, those are classes I’d like to take.

      • Professor Beej December 16, 2009, 3:00 am

        I can’t speak for the ones I teach (I think they’re awesome, though), but the graphic novel one I took as a freshman was utterly spectacular. It really taught me that scholars can study anything and make a living really doing things they love.

        • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 7:47 am

          I read Watchmen for a GN class at the end of library school. That was a really fun class. Graphic novels and adolescent literature.

  • Debbie Ferm December 16, 2009, 9:59 am

    Last year there were a couple of kids in my sixth grade small group reading class (kids with learning disabilities) who loved graphic novels. A lot of teachers would not allow these pages or minutes to be counted toward reading credit for the quarter, but I was like, “Please, God, just read anything!”

    I grew up on Richie Rich for God’s sake.

    Someone is going to make a killing in the high interest/low readability market, because right now it sucks. Graphic novels serve a good purpose for kids who hate to read.


    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 10:34 am

      I agree wholeheartedly. As a librarian, I’m always trying to get kids to read. Most of them say, “Reading is boring,” when what they mean is, “Boring books are boring.” But then they’ll come up and check out a stack of 20 manga books all at once without realizing that they’re about to take home a stack of books.

      I have no problem with graphic novels, but I haven’t found very many that really grab me. I don’t really have the tools to look at the art and appreciate it–it all looks good to me. Most of my acquaintances who are the biggest GN fans are all artists who enjoy the inkwork as much or more than the stories.

  • Bruce Brown December 16, 2009, 11:57 am


    I couldn’t agree more! When I was a young child, I had difficulty reading. That, of course, made my interest in reading at an all time low. My parents took me to a reading specialist and their advice was, you have to find a way to make reading fun. They told my parents to try comic books.
    So, my mother took me regularly to a comic shop and my reading skills and interest in reading took a dramatic upswing
    very quickly.

  • Bruce Brown December 16, 2009, 11:59 am

    Professor Beej,

    That sounds like a writing course I would love to go to!
    Curious to hear what you think of this book.