Lovecraft and Halloween 2013

I’m not sure what it is; something in the air maybe.  It’s not yet cool here in PA, nor have the leaves begun to change.  It’s something though; something that lets me know that fall is coming, and coming fast.  Actually I’ve had this feeling for a few weeks now.  Usually I begin celebrating Fall and the Halloween season about the first week of September, but this year that feeling came early, around the first week of August.

My wife and I decorated the house for Fall around then.  Not Halloween mind you, Fall.  Keeping the spooky décor away until mid-September allows us to celebrate the season and still keep something special waiting for us as we get closer to Halloween.  In recent years I’ve adopted a kind of thinking that September through October is a celebration of all things wonderful about the season and Halloween night is the big festival at the end; a big send-off to the season, if you will.

I try to do something, even if it is small, everyday to get myself in that Halloween spirit (not that I need to, I pretty much live my life that way).  I’ve been reading the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, that Old Gent that is Providence.  I had read a good number of them already in years past, but now I’m reading everything, and in the order they were written.  A lot of the early stuff is new to me, and I’m greatly enjoying it.  I have the complete fiction volume that Barnes and Noble put out a few years ago, and I would really recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in old H.P.  It’s inexpensive and looks really handsome on a shelf.  Check it out:

Looks good on a shelf.

Looks good on a shelf.

The front of the book is shiny and a bit metallic.

The front of the book is shiny and a bit metallic.

Awesome illustration on the endpapers at both ends of the book.

Awesome illustration on the endpapers at both ends of the book.

The early stories are really great.  Most of them are only a few pages, so you can get one or two read in a sitting with no problems.  The writing is great (if a little too flowery at times for my liking) and really conveys a wonderful sense of mood and atmosphere.  A couple my personal favorites from the early period are The Picture in the House, The Cats of Uluthar, Dagon, and The Tomb.  Hey, bonus:  All of Lovecraft’s stories are in the public domain and you can find and read them online.  Read one today, and feel the unearthly chill.

I thought it would be fun to do a little pencil drawing for each story after I read it, something simple to convey the mood or theme.  Here are a few, enjoy!

Thought it might be fun to do these quick, and just see what came out

Some Lovecraft Illustrations