Written by: Matt Molgaard
I think Bruce Brown is a genius, and I probably haven’t told him that enough. The man not only possesses an obvious passion for the works of H.P. Lovecraft, he’s also well-informed on the man’s life away from his time spent in the realm of fictionalized creations. And that’s a powerful tool that Brown uses in his ongoing Howard Lovecraft graphic novel line, often incorporating actual facts in his dramatized tales of young Howard’s wily adventures. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t biographical pieces that Brown is crafting, they’re obviously unique tales that pay constant homage to one of the greatest minds to ever transform words into pure magic, he just happens to know enough of the man’s history to inject some enthralling realities which separate his stories from so many other similarly themed pieces (and we all know everyone loves to tip their cap to Lovecraft).
In Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom a young Lovecraft visits his institutionalized father (Fact? Check.), who issues words of wisdom and warning, despite his mental instabilities. Howard reads the notorious Necronomicon – which we learn was actually written by Howard’s very own father – and is suddenly swept away to another realm entirely. Howard encounters a myriad of interesting and dangerous creatures in this realm of ice, but a young king promises safety should Howard assist the king in freeing his world from the icy prison it has become. Can Howard accomplish the feats required to save this strange place from a slow icy death? Is there more to this conundrum than initially perceived? Howard and his newfound friend, Spot are about to find out.
Brown’s writing is witty and constantly entertaining. He breathes real life into the young and still innocent Lovecraft, and injects just enough humor to keep the mood light hearted and open, appealing to all crowds. I’ve delayed this review long enough, and I can say that in all honesty because I’ve had time to read the book on three separate occasions. But those three occasions have also allowed for time to one of the book’s weaknesses to surface (in truth it may be the book’s only weakness): The book falls apart, literally. I’ve been pretty gentle with this (loved the first book I read from Brown and subsequently reached an early conclusion to keep this one in top notch condition) offering despite a trio of reads, but by the time I’d finished my first trip through the book two pages had fallen right out. At this point, after three visits roughly a dozen pages have fallen out of the book.
Here’s the bottom line and my best recommendation: Order this one up, read it one single time, and get it boarded, bagged and sealed. This is a fine piece for a fan and a collector.