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At the Mountains of Madness Paperback – October 1, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 1, 2010
$441.18 $197.52

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About the Author

In 2006, Ian N. J. Culbard surpassed thousands of other writers and had his work published in Dark Horse Comics' New Recruits anthology. He has since appeared in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Judge Dredd Magazine, and 2000 AD. Culbard is an acclaimed animation director. This is the third full-length graphic novel for which he has created the art, having previously collaborated on The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Hound of the Baskervilles with Ian Edginton.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Selfmadehero; First Edition, first printing edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906838127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906838126
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,259,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Selfmadehero is an independent small press from the UK devoted to producing high quality graphic novels, including in printed form. They have been at it since 2007 but they just crossed my radar with the adaptation of At the Mountians of Madness by INJ Culbard. For those of us who are mythos fans there is more good stuff ahead, as they plan to publish some adaptations of HPL's other works including The Dunwich Horror in 2011. Mr. Culbard's website gives some samples of his work. I ordered my copy from the UK direct from the publisher; delivery over the Christmas rush was about 8 weeks. The production is certainly high quality, with an atmospheric cover and excellent colors.

Regarding this adptation, well, I really wish I liked it better. I found it to be just OK. My up front bias is that after years of familiarity with HP, ATMOM is my favorite story. The problem is parts of it are hard to adapt visually. I mean, how did the protagonist actually figure out with the Elder Things' pictographs actually meant? It sort of strains credulity in the novella and here, well how do you depict that in a comic? It makes me wonder what Guillermo Del Toro is going to do. And what is he going to do with tekeli-li. Mostly my impression was that the rest of the adaptation was decent. I am not familiar with any other graphic novel versions of the story and Mr. Culbard's effort is estimable enough; most artists would rather take on a shorter, less problematic or juicier tale so kudos for assailing the heights on his first Lovecraftian book. So what were the best parts? The drawings of mountains and machinery, ships and airplanes were all very well done. The atmospheric effect of the way the mountains were presented was a strong point. The Elder Thing and the autopsy were excellent.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very well done graphic novel adaptation of the famous Lovecraft novel. The book has forwards and more information about Lovecraft and the novel which was useful to read: I've not read Lovecraft books and instead picked this up because of the graphic novel format.

The quality of the book is obvious: beautiful full color illustrations on thick quality matte (not glossy) paper. The illustrations themselves are in the style of the period in which the book was written: 1930s cartoony (more like the loose Dick Tracy/Popeye art rather than more intricate serialized comics art of Flash Gordon). Those looking for horror/horrific artwork should look elsewhere: this is a literary adaptation and not a horror art. I personally really appreciated and respected that the art work echoed the spirit/era of the book rather than being a modern reinterpretation completely with overlybuilt muscular young men with long hair.

Since I had never read Lovecraft, I did not come into the story knowing it in advance. And admittedly, I was completely puzzled by the end of the book over what had happened. I think there were too many concepts that simply could not be drawn and were solely meant for the imagination of the book reader. I don't fault that at the artist: in fact, I think he did a decent enough job of covering the story. But as such, I appreciated the book once more once I read up on the story elsewhere.

In all, I was very pleased with the book. It is well drawn and does a decent job of conveying a very difficult storyline. I also really like that the book respects the spirit and feel of when the book was written: the 1930s.
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Format: Paperback
I've been a Lovecraft fan for half my life, and I purchased this adaptation shortly after hearing about it on the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. The book is printed on nice, non-glossy paper, and overall I really like the artwork. However I was hoping for something a little more, particularly (as others have mentioned) the point near the ending. IMHO this was always one of the weakest parts of the original story, and I was hoping that this edition would provide a believable context for the idea that these researchers could figure out the entire history of an alien race just by looking at their wall-carvings for a couple of hours. I was hoping for a lot of extra visual art here to show the kind of things that the guys are looking at, to give a sense of how they piece it together, but if anything, that whole segment seemed severely truncated instead. Otherwise, a really nice adaptation.
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Format: Paperback
Holy smoke, we have the good, the tedious and the ugly in H.P Lovecraft's classic novella, At the Mountains of Madness. H. P. Lovecraft published this story in 1936, one year before his death. The good is that this story is very contemporary and most likely would be a blockbuster movie in the hands of Steven Spielberg. Why not make it? Well, what about the tedious? I thought that the visual chroniclization (is it a real word, or did I just make it up?) of the city behind the mountain was a bit too much descriptive writing for me. For example when Professor Dyer describes the rooms in the city, he says, "The prime decorative feature was the almost universal system of mural sculpture, which tended to run in continuous horizontal bands three feet wide and arranged from floor to ceiling in alternation with bands of equal width given over to geometrical arabesques." Or what about, "But the salient object of the place was the titanic stone ramp which, eluding the archways by a sharp turn outward into the open floor, wound spirally up the stupendous cylindrical wall like an inside counterpart of those once climbing outside the monstrous towers or ziggurats of antique Babylon."

Besides page after page of descriptive writing about the city, Lovecraft can make your head spin with some of his other prose, such as, when commenting on what Dyer believed to be the extraterrestrial builders (the elder things/the old ones) of the city, the professor says, "They were the makers and enslavers of that life, and above all doubt the originals of the fiendish elder myths which things like the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the 'Necronomicon' affrightedly hint about." What? That went way over my head.
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