Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Calla Cthulhu

Calla Cthulhu originally appeared as a webcomic on the Stela platform, but it has recently been published as a trade paperback. I know that H.P. Lovecraft has a lot of fans, but I have never read any of his work (I tried "The Color Out of Space" once, I just could not get into it...). Still, I know that this book/character title is a pun, and I am a sucker for those. Also, I am a big fan of the writers, so I checked it out. Spoiler: my lack of specific Lovecraft knowledge did not keep me from enjoying this book.

The plot here follows an orphaned, young woman named Calla Trifali who learns that she is descended from the Great Old Ones, elder gods/inter-dimensional beings who hope to invade Earth and spread destruction and mayhem. Of course, her being raised to respect human life brings her into direct conflict with her uncle, AKA The King in Yellow.

What results is a lot of action and intrigue where Calla finds herself battling tentacled beings in sewers, old houses, and other gruesome locales. I do not want to spoil much, but this book acts as a great introduction to the character and her world. Also, it concludes in very open-ended fashion, which is not so satisfying to those seeking definite narrative closure. Still, the door is wide open for her further adventures, and I hope we get more of them. This book is a fun read in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with a badass young woman battling all kinds of vicious creatures.
This book is a collaboration between writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer (who are married) and artist Erin Humiston. Dorkin is most known as the writer of Beasts of Burden, but I am also partial to his work as writer/artist of the series Dork and Milk and Cheese. He is a multiple Eisner Award winner. Dyer is known in comics mostly for her edited series Action Girl. They have also done a bunch of television work, including scripts for Superman Adventures and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Humiston works primarily as an animator who has contributed to a wide array of works. Dorkin and Dyer speak more about their work on this series in this interview (or if listening is more your thing, this interview).

I was not able to locate many reviews of this book, but the ones I found were very positive. J. Caleb Mozzocco called it "a pretty killer riff on Lovecraft’s labyrinthine mythology." Kittie Pop gushed that "this story brings me such a gravitational amount of joy that I want to share it with everyone I care about."

Calla Cthulhu was published by Dark Horse, and they have a preview and more available here.

I saw Dorkin and Dyer this year at HeroesCon, where they sold me a copy of this book and were kind enough to also sign it. They are great!

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