Monday, 8 June 2015

Sloth Comics: Kadath : or The Dream Quest of Randolph Carter

Charles Cutting
Paperback: 112 pages
Full Colour
 Product Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 0.9 cm

ISBN-10: 1908830077
ISBN-13: 978-1908830074

Three times Randolph Carter dreams of a magnificent sunset city, but his perfect dreams are not what they seem to be. As Carter sets out on a quest within a dream world to find his ideal city at all costs, he is drawn inexorably closer towards a terrible secret. Based on H.P. Lovecraft's novella The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (1943).

I absolutely raved over The Dream Quest Of Randolph Carter but, for its usual mysterious reasons, blogger has somehow managed to delete it.  Seriously, they have no idea just how important I and my words are!  But, yes, I did rave about the book.

So, when a 112 pages book arrives you bet I got a bit excited.

 Charles Cuttings art style -including the vibrant colours- is, for me, a winner.  I have no idea why I like it other than the great use of imagination when it comes to the denizens and environs of the book.  There's also that whole Cat race and mouse race thing going on.  If you have ever studied cats (DO NOT let them find you doing that) or owned cats then you know there is "something" going on there that we mere humans have no right knowing about.

But what does Mr Cutting do now he has a whole graphic novel to tell a story in?  Well, the character of the main protagonist, Randolph Carter, can be filled out more.  I think the best way of decribing him is as a complete bastard.  He is certainly not a hero -more an anti-hero and he really does not care one hoot about what he has to do to achieve his goal in the Dream Quest.

And this is not a direct adaptation of the Lovecraft story.  In this case, and reading it in one sitting at 0200 hours one morning, the art is a treat, the story twists a bit and at the end I sat there -as Carter celebrated good news- thinking "Hang on -is he actually still sleeping?"  That might be just my interpretation but I am going to be reading this again later on!

I do NOT intend it to be in any way insulting -it's meant as a compliment!- but the look and feel had me thinking of old Russian near surrealistic puppet films:

And since many consider The Devil's Ball to be one of the greatest examples of its kind that's a compliment.

I have absolutely no idea why this book brought this short to mind.  Some times I do find that books do that for me.   And Kadath : or The Dream Quest of Randolph Carter is a little classic in its own right.  The way Mr Cutting uses colour I love.  It is not the usual flat colour you tend to get in comics today, nor the washy type.  It's very vibrant and I'll be honest and tell you all that the first thing I did on getting this book was go through it looking at the art and the colour. Then I read it!

I just realised, having had a mental flash of images in my mind from Roger Corman's movies The Raven and The Masque of the Red Death that he used colour rather well.  I could ramble on about how colour combined with the right images will bring back certain memories but we are talking about Mr Cutting's book here!

It is interesting that Independent artists such as Charles Cutting, produce work of this calibre that seems to slip "under the radar" in the comics community.   And the big publishing houses, dipping their toes into graphic novels because it is "hip", churn out some badly drawn muck.

A good read -most definitely.  Great art -well, I am notoriously difficult to please but this does it for me and it has that quirky feel to it.  So, yes, great art.

Like good comics?  Love Lovecraft?  THIS is for you.  Do not miss out or you will be kicking yourselves -I only hope Sloth Comics think of trying to promote this book at one of the US horror fests -or even Lovecraft events because it deserves to be read by many who may find themselves on their own dream quests.

Sorry for rambling (note Randolph Carter puppet image below!).

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