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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Leather Cthulhu

mythos1.jpg

A couple of the projects I’ve been working on for the past few months have yet to be made public but this one from last September has finally shambled into the light of day. The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales is a collection of 23 weird tales by HP Lovecraft (some of which are his collaborations with other writers) published by Barnes & Noble in their leatherbound Collectible Editions series. Anyone who’s held one of these volumes will know that they deserve to be called tomes rather than mere books; they’re heavy and lavishly produced, with detailed designs embossed on the front and back boards in a variety of metallic inks.

mythos2.jpg

One of my drawings was used a few years ago inside the big B&N edition of Lovecraft’s collected fiction; more recently I also designed a cover for a B&N paperback edition of the Cthulhu Mythos tales but the brief on that occasion was for something quick using pre-existing artwork. Given that the Mythos stories are my favourites in Lovecraft’s oeuvre I would have preferred to have done something more elaborate so I was very pleased when asked last year to create a new design for this hardback edition. The design on the front panel presented some challenges as I didn’t want to have an isolated head with wings but I also didn’t want to reduce the Cthulhu figure to such an extent that detail would be compromised. (This type of embossed printing imposes a limit on the amount of detail you can put into the design.) The compromise was a frontal view of what I consider to be another Cthulhu Sphinx, after the more elaborate sculpted design in my adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu. I find myself wondering now how this creature might look from the side.

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The photos of the boards are courtesy of Betsy Beier at Barnes & Noble, and they show how much more effective the printed design is when you have the light reflecting on it. I’m now eagerly awaiting the arrival of a physical copy. The book will be out at the end of the month, and among the extra features there’s an introduction by Lovecraft scholar ST Joshi, my drawing of R’lyeh on the endpapers, and (if that wasn’t enough) a poster reproduction of my Cthulhu Rising picture.

mythos4.jpg

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Gods of HP Lovecraft
Lovecraftiana calendar
Providential
NecronomiCon Providence 2015
Yuggoth details
A Mountain Walked
Lovecraft’s Monsters unleashed
Lovecraft’s Monsters
JK Potter and HP Lovecraft
Cthulhu Labyrinth
Tentacles #4: Cthulhu in Poland
Cthulhu Calendar
S. Latitude 47°9, W. Longitude 126°43
Resurgam variations
De Profundis
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special
Cthulhoid and Artflakes
Cthulhu for sale
Cthulhu God
Cthulhu under glass
CthulhuPress
The monstrous tome
Cubist Cthulhu

 


 

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {work}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by tristan eldritch

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    That is really beautiful work! I have the Barnes and Noble Complete Fiction and various iterations of the stories, but will have to invest in a copy as an objet d’art.

  2. #2 posted by Daniel del Valle

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    The word is overused, but in this case, AWESOME, is my first reaction, as well as beautiful. This edition gives a full appreciation of the book as object of art. No digital edition can come near it.
    I have the B&N Complete fiction edition, but this new edition of the Cthulhu Mythos tales is a must have. Your Lovecraftian art, John, is just amazing and worth the ticket of admission.

  3. #3 posted by John

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    Thanks, both of you!

  4. #4 posted by John Linwood Grant

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    Looks excellent. Hard to think of many other artists who could have carried it off with such consummate skill. I’m very tempted…

 




 

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