A little while ago, my writer friend Rich Hawkins shared a picture he'd come across online (as you do). It was a poster depicting a comic-book style version of the scientist Nikola Tesla and infamous author of the weird, Howard Phillips Lovecraft as two early 21st Century paranormal investigators or 'Ghostbusters', if you will. It was a striking image and one which sparked off a conversation between Rich and myself which culminated in us deciding to write a novel featuring the two historical characters.
I found out who the artist was, who had created the image and both Rich and myself emailed him just to make sure he wouldn't be upset if/when we realised the concept, but never ever received any return correspondence. We decided to carry on as Rich and I had come up with some rough ideas of where to take the story and they had deviated from the oroiginal 'comical' style of the picture. These eventually evolved into a concept that didn't feature either Tesla or Lovecraft and which we still hope to write someday. But in the back of my mind, I still wanted to do the story of these two very different characters and the sorts of mad adventures they might get up to.
Fast forward to present day (just like the movies, kids) and Rich tags me in a post. The article was about a comic-book featuring (yep, you guessed it), Tesla and Lovecraft. I was a wee bit heart-broken, I must say. But I was also curious. I checked out the comic. And I was pretty impressed with what I saw. I 'friended' one of the people involved to tell them about my interest in the same story and to say how much I liked what they (the collective creative team) had done. They responded with enthusiasm and sent me an email allowing me to download and read the first two issues of the comic, which I did. Further corresppondence saw them send me the third installment. All of which brings me to the review...
'Herald', the ongoing comic-book series featuring Nikola Tesla and H. P. Lovecraft, begins with the mysterious disappearance of Ameila Earheart. It turns out that she and Tesla were romantically involved, but before they could be wed, something strange happens. In fact, so strange is it that Tesla's personal investigation leads him into contact with H. P. Lovecraft and the world of The Weird...
Right form the off, you get the sense that the makers are playing fast and loose with historical facts. Quite apart from the representation of Cthulhu Mythos monsters as being real, there seems to be an age discrepancy between Tesla and Lovecraft and a number of historical characters they interact with who, I'm sure, never actually met each other. But you know what? Who cares? It's a lot of fun and I don't know anything about history anyway. There's not one historical movie adaptation that does not take liberties with the facts and when it's done with such a sense of enjoyment (as it is here), it shouldn't matter. There's a rich vein of this feeling running through all three episodes that I read and it put me in mind of soemthing I haven't experienced in a while. It's the feeling of watching Indiana Jones as a child, of Quartermain, of Doyle's The Lost World, even of National Treasure (yes, yes, but I enjoyed the first film immensely). It's pure adventure and if the story feels a little slight (come on, it's only three issues in), it's more than made up for by its momentum. I'm really looking forward to the next installment.
The artwork is lovely and clear, and makes a change from the dark, edgy stuff that seems to be popular at the moment. Not that there's anything wrong woth that either, but it's refreshing. It puts me in mind of Studio Ghibli's aesthetic, if not their themes (imagine that, though - a Studio Ghibli film of this comic-book...I digress).
I believe this is a wholly independent creation and all those involved seem relatively young (to this old codger), but if this is an example of their work, they have long successful careers ahead. It looks more than professional. At the moment it's only available on -- but I believe it's going to go out to other outlets very soon. Get on with this now, because I think it might just go big...
When Nikola Tesla’s fiancée, Amelia Earhart, steals a dangerous prototype engine for a trans-Atlantic flight, Tesla seeks out the interdimensional expertise of HP Lovecraft to save her. Lovecraft, however, has problems of his own as he investigates the identity of Cthulhu’s Herald.
Purchase a copy here