Leather Cthulhu unleashed


The beautiful leatherbound Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales is officially published this Friday but the books are in Barnes & Noble stores already, and my complimentary copies arrived this week. Photos don’t do justice to the volumes in this series of classic reprints, you really need to hold one to see how well made they are. The leather is smooth and flawlessly printed—I was worried that I might have pushed the limits with some of the details in my cover design but every line and edge is where it should be. The pages of this particular volume are edged with gold, an effect applied to some of the books I’ve designed for Savoy but an uncommon thing in today’s book world.


As I mentioned earlier, this edition also features endpapers showing details of my R’lyeh spread from The Call of Cthulhu, plus a poster of my Cthulhu Rising piece from 2004. Which leads to an important note for purchasers: the temporary glue that fixes the poster to the back endpapers, and the ad sheet (see below) to the back cover was stronger than intended so care needs to be taken when detaching these items from the book. I’ve been told that a warning about this will be added to the next batch of books, and the glue (which is that clear stuff used to fix things to magazine covers) will also be changed.

A couple more photos and a list of contents follow below. I’ve worked on a lot of books over the years but this one is up there with the very best; Lovecraft’s finest fiction in a single gorgeous volume, and all for $20.



Table of contents:

Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Nameless City
The Hound
The Festival
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour out of Space
History of the Necronomicon
The Curse of Yig
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Mound
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Man of Stone
The Horror in the Museum
The Thing on the Doorstep
Out of the Aeons
The Tree on the Hill
The Shadow out of Time
The Haunter of the Dark
(608 pages)



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9 thoughts on “Leather Cthulhu unleashed”

  1. I received my copy the other day and was amazed. This is the crown jewel of my Lovecraft collection. It is true what you mentioned about detaching the poster. I was careful and had no problem. The poster already hangs framed on my study wall. What more could I ask for, my favorite Lovecraft stories encased in a work of art by my favorite graphic artist. A work of love well done, John.

  2. This is also an example why books will never be replaced by digital contraptions, especially books of the quality of this Barnes & Noble edition of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos Tales. This is a book that cries out to be touched, handled, and smelled. Even the sound of the pages turning is a delight. The fine art of bookmaking will never die.

  3. No comments on the previous post’s MIDIAN catalogue design (?!) where Messr. C nailed it so flawlessly that I thought I was looking at an actual 1970 publication. Creepy Crawl & Cosey ;) For any of You loving this B&N production hasten to purloin the recent anthology GODS OF H. P. LOVECRAFT where John did several superlative pieces, a Nightgaunt in Providence being one of the Best Lovecraftian Illustrations ever done.
    Every man and every woman is a star but THIS man *burns brighter.*

  4. A beautiful looking volume!

    Now the arguments can begin again as to whether “The Colour Out of Space” is really a mythos story. Definitely HPL’s finest hour and as a result hard to leave out of a collection. However…

  5. Thanks again, everyone!

    Daniel: I’ve been saying the same for years about books holding their own as artefacts. It doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition but books can exist happily alongside e-texts if you make the physical things worth buying.

    Stephen: I regard The Colour Out of Space as a Mythos story for the setting–HPL’s Mythos version of New England–and the cosmic dimension even if the story itself is earthbound. The nature of the unearthly colour is a weird concept that connects it to Lovecraft’s predominant Mythos theme of the Universe being an inhuman (anti-human, even), unquantifiable and malevolent place. In that respect it’s more of a Mythos piece than some earlier tales such as The Nameless City which slide in because of the Necronomicon being mentioned.

  6. Nothing surprising about the quality of any of this except that it is published by Barnes & Noble – just when we are made to think all the bookshops are closing they start issuing titles like this! – It looks like a volume that was published in 1916 rather than 2016! Did we just experience a time shift…I bet old H.P. would love it – he need never chew on pulp again! Congratulations John

  7. That was the great thing about this commission, being able to create a cover like those you used to get on books but which you seldom see any more even from small presses doing limited editions. The fact that it’s widely available is all the better. That said, it could easily have a 1916 date and an extra zero on the price tag!

  8. It looks a thing of beauty, John. Do you have any information if the book will be available in the UK? The Barnes & Noble site does a very reasonable $12 shipping, but before I shell out, just wanted to check if it’ll be widely available here.

  9. Thanks, Shaun. All I know at the moment is that the book is listed at Amazon UK with a publication date of 1st August:


    Amazon sell other books in this series so it should turn up eventually. A shame about the delay, however.

    If you don’t want to go through a big retailer then I’d suggest searching at Abe.com since some smaller booksellers often have imports available. Just make sure if you do that the results show the leatherbound edition. This is the second volume that B&N have put out as The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales but the earlier edition was a regular paperback.

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