Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: A comic anthology about Lovecraft
A love letter to Lovecraft. A comic anthology with thirty-five awesome stories about Lovecraftian gods and monsters, from fans to fans.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, September 28 2018 4:00 AM UTC +00:00.
NO ADDITIONAL DOMESTIC SHIPPING CHARGES!
If you love Lovecraft, this is our love letter to Lovecraft fans of all kinds, from those that obsess about Cthulhu, to the ones that never want to leave Arkham, to the ones that keep a copy of the Necronomicon under their pillow, and everyone in between. Whether you are a casual fan or a rabid one, we've got you covered.
I loved Lovecraft even before I knew his name. His lore permeated every inch of my childhood. I didn't know, for instance, that H. P. Lovecraft was the mind behind the Necronomicon when I watched Evil Dead. I didn't know he was the grandfather of psychological horror as I binged In the Mouth of Madness, Jacob's Ladder, Aliens, and dozens of other terrifying movies in my youth.
I didn't even know Lovecraft created Cthulhu until well after I called the Great Old One's name. However, the older I got, the more I grew to appreciate the warped mind behind some of my all-time favorite things, and I wanted to create something that could show that love, with people who loved Lovecraft as much as I did, for people who loved Lovecraft as much as me.
And Cthulhu is Hard to Spell is the result of that process.
After the success of my first anthology, Monsters and Other Scary S^&t, I asked my fans, and fans of the book, what we should cover next, and they told me Lovecraft.
Immediately, I was like "YESSSSS!!!!"
Monsters and Other Scary S^&t was all about how monsters can represent anything from cute to scary and everything in between, and Cthulhu is Hard to Spell is just like that, but with Lovecraft. It's 35 stories that show just how deeply Lovecraft has permeated the essence of our culture.
When I create a book, the first thing I sit down to figure out is how my book can be different from everything else on the market. After all, there are HUNDREDS of Lovecraft anthologies out there, both from Lovecraft himself and from loads of authors who have carried the torch for him in the last century.
Additionally, there are tons of stories told from a Lovecraftian horror point of view, dealing with the creepy, unsettling nature of humanity. I didn't think we could compete with those, nor did I want to, either.
There is one thing I love, though, that I haven't seen a lot previously...a book devoted to the mythology of Lovecraft's universe.
You see, I've always been fascinated by the gods and monsters of Lovecraft, and I never seemed to get enough of them in the stories I read. Most Lovecraft stories are filled with the horror aspect of Lovecraft, but low on the mythology.
But my favorite part of Lovecraft is the mythology he crafted, the gods he made, and the way that mythology differed from the myths of every other mythology out there. So that's what I set out to create.
Cthulhu is Hard to Spell is a book steeped in the mythology and gods of Lovecraft. The stories inside it's pages follow the spirit of Lovecraft, but often strays from the tone of Lovecraftian horror.
Sure, some of the stories in this book are Lovecraftian in nature down to their very core, but there are also funny stories, cute stories, fantasy stories, sci-fi stories, and much, much more which build on the Lovecraftian mythos.
If you love the gods and monsters of Lovecraft, then Cthulhu is Hard to Spell is going to be your jam.
Best of all, this anthology is ALL AGES APPROPRIATE. These aren't stories made for children necessarily, at least not all of them, but we toned down the cursing (there is none), the violence (there is no blood), and there was never any sex, to make sure you could show it to your child, even if they won't understand it all.
I've had conversations with many people at shows asking for a book to indoctrinate their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc, into loving creepy things, and I think this book is a great primer for that, while being enjoyable to people who already love the creepy, too.
We listened to you from the last anthology, and made sure this was:
-Appropriate for all ages (even though we deal with some very dark topics)
-Shorter stories (2, 4, 6, or 8 pages)
-All stories are even numbers, so they begin and end on the same page throughout.
We used your feedback to make this anthology even better! You opinions are very important to us, and we appreciate them very much.
Backers really loved our first anthology
The real reason we're doing a second anthology is because Kickstarter backers and fans loved our first anthology so much. I was hesitant to do a second anthology before the Monsters and Other Scary S^&t campaign launched.
However, the response from backers was so positive that I gladly decided to go into the fray a second time. There is nothing like geeking out about something with creators and fans, and that is what our anthologies allow us to do.
Check out the reaction to our last anthology. We hope this anthology has an even better reaction!
We brought back a bunch of creators from the first book and added a ton of new faces so we can make this book even more amazing!
Why do the other creators love Lovecraft so much?
We all have our reasons for loving Lovecraft, so listen to some of our creators talk about why they got involved in the project.
Who am I?
My name is Russell Nohelty, publisher of Wannabe Press, a small press that creates weird books for weird people, creator of Katrina Hates Dead S%&t, Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter, and Pixie Dust, along with the editor of both the Monsters and other Scary S^&t, and this anthology.
I have raised over $70,000 on Kickstarter from 7 different projects, and have gotten exceedingly good at crafting amazing books which audiences love. My previous two projects, Monsters and Other Scary S^&t and Pixie Dust, both raised north of $25,000 from over 600 backers each.
I have a simple motto when it comes to Kickstarter. I outlay all the money to get the book print ready, and then I bring it to my audience and ask if they would rather have a cheaply made paperback edition, or a beautiful hard cover edition.
See, I can go hit enable distribution on a soft cover edition right now, but luckily Kickstarter backers have again and again wanted the hardcover edition, printed in the most beautiful way possible.
What are some of the stories in this book?
Nora (art and words by Angela Oddling) -- a dejected teenager living in an ice village sets out to find Aphoom-Zhah and thaw his cold heart.
The Dunwich Boys (art by Esther Pimentel, words by Eddy Hedington, letters by Nikki Powers) -- Yog-Sothoth has materialized in a house in Dunwich, and the Dunwich boys have to banish it from their neighborhood.
The Eternal War (art and words by Eric Young) -- A retelling of the origin story of Lovecraft's universe, translated from the Voynich manuscript.
Cat is Cryptic (art and words by Megan Hutchison) -- a retelling of the Cats of Ulthar, one of Lovecraft's most beloved stories.
Tsathoggua's Triumph (art by John Edingfield II, words by Clay Adams) -- Tsathoggua dreams of his eventual conquest of the universe.
Cleaning the Mess (story and art by Brandon Perlow, words by Paul J. Mendoza, Letters by Wilson Ramos, Jr.) -- Cthulhu has conquered another world, but all he really wants is his master to come find him.
Song for the Harbinger (art by Brianna Gilmartin, words by Heather Kenealy) -- Ghroth doesn't understand why nobody likes his singing, all he wants to do is harmonize with planets, and they keep blowing up.
The Yag-Kosha Mystery (art and words by Kelly Dochy) -- Yag-Kosha, the pacifist alien, has a mysterious koan for you.
Mons (art and words by Matthew Childers) --Explorers on Mars find an ancient tome that could unlock the secrets of the universe, or unleash a Lovecraftian horror.
The Summoning of Brkthruslpk (art by Robin Dassen, words by Don Perkins) -- A group of kids works to summon the ancient god Brkthruslpk onto the world.
No DQ (art and words by Ryan Fisher) -- A weak, sickly wrestling fan gets to live out his fantasy of being a star after a mysterious stranger endowing him with an enchanted garment.
Slumber (art by Lloyd Ladera, words by Sarah Anderson) -- After being woken up on a spaceship, a man has to escape the Lovecraftian horror chasing him.
That's Cthulhu to You (art by Zac Skellington, words by Leo Baxter Kiker) -- An oddities store gets a new pet: Cthulhu.
How to Summon the Dark Lord Hastur (Art by Cara Stemo, words by Johnny C, letters by Travis Duda, logo design by Nathan Burns) -- A card game, a tragic birth, a goverment experiment, and a violent crime all converge to release a deadly horror on the world.
Church of Mormo (art by Claire Leslie, words by N.S. Kane) -- Greek spirit Mormo goes door to door trying to recruit Cthulhu worshipers to her cause.
She Came Upon a Great Tree (art by Nick Kremenek, words by Mike Speakman, edited by Greg Smith) -- A delivery driver and part-time cultist must find a great tree to unleash Cthulhu and Hastur onto the world.
Flycatcher (art by Dan Scalisi, words by Frank Martin) -- Even though they have been warned for years, the fly people of Dipterra are not prepared for the wrath of Yba'sokug.
The Rally (art and words by Mary Bellamy) -- Lucifer needs new generals, and has decided to recruit Lovecraftian gods to his cause.
Why is this book going to be so awesome?
1. It's 176 pages of glorious comics! - That's a massive amount of awesome comics about monsters! Over 150 pages and 35 stories!
2. It's gonna be in hardcover! - There are lots of comics, but how many are printed in hardcover? Not many!
3. All the UV spotting! There's gonna be spot UV all over the cover. I love spot UV and I've gotten exceedingly good at using it over the years. There might even be a little surprise if we can blow past our regular goal on that front.
4. Glossy art paper - Most books are printed in gloss lamination, trapping all the glorious line work under an ugly, gross, yellow film. This anthology is different. It's printed on glossy art paper, which means the ink shines on top of the paper and looks like it's simmering, just like the any other art book on the market today. After all, we believe that comics are beautiful works of art and should be printed as such.
5. Our creators have credits from all your favorites companies. Our creators have worked with Marvel, DC, Oni, Tokyopop, Heavy Metal, Fantagraphics, Upper Deck, Sony, and more along with brands like Teen Titans, My Little Pony, Invader Zim, Ghostbusters, Horizon Zero Dawn, and more. We have creators who have been nominated for Eisners, won Glyphs, Silver Eagles, WGA awards, and more!
6. There are just so many many Lovecraftian gods and monsters. There was only one rule in this anthology; all of the stories needed to contain at least one Lovecraftian god or monster. This book is full of different types gods you know like Cthulhu and Azathoth, and ones you've never heard of as well!
And you can get the whole book, including shipping, plus a pdf copy AND audio commentary for just $40, INCLUDING SHIPPING (in the US, at least)!
Who drew that dope cover?
It was drawn by Aaron Alexovich, creator of my favorite indie comic of all time, Serenity Rose, a 500+ page graphic novel about a previously famous witch trying to come to terms with her powers in a very weird town. Read it. Buy it. Love it.
If you've never read that book, you probably know him from his work on Invader Zim, both the television show and more recently on the comic book.
Aaron is a powerhouse in the world of indie books, and Zim is one of my favorite animated shows of all time. He also drew the cover for the Monsters and Other Scary S^&t anthology. I really wanted him to come back for this anthology too, and I was so stoked when he said yes!
On top of it all, Aaron might be one of the few people on earth that loves Lovecraft, especially Cthulhu, even more than me, which I once didn't think possible.
Did Dirk Manning really write the foreword?
Yes, Dirk Manning, an icon of Lovecraftian horror comics on Kickstarter, wrote the foreword for Cthulhu is Hard to Spell. He didn't have time to contribute, but he asked me if he could do the foreword, and I of course said yes.
Dirk has raised a ton of money for Nightmare World, Tales of Mr. Rhee, and more on Kickstarter, and that he wanted to contribute to this book means the world to me.
Here is a snippet of what he wrote, which made me smile.
For now, take the time to enjoy this book.
While it’s (another) unspoken truth that anthologies are often a hit-and-miss prospect, I can honestly say that there wasn’t a story in this collection that I didn’t enjoy... which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s a reminder that just like you’re not alone in what you know and feel, these stories reminded me I’m not alone either.
I was honored when I read those words. So yes, file under: Dirk Approved.
What are some other stories in the book?
Ashes to Ashes (art by Laura Neubert, words by Virginia Drohan) -- Quachil Uttaus learns what it means to be human.
One Last Chance (art by Ben Herrera, words by K.J. Kaminski, colors by Emmanuel Torres) -- Humanity has one last chance to save the universe as they fight against the forces of Zathog on the planet Zarr.
A 10,000 Year Curse (art by Dave Lentz, words by Dave Lentz and Ryan Kroboth, Inks by Rob Simmons, Colors by Ryan Kroboth) -- Even the old gods needs a night off, but it's often impossible to find a reliable babysitter, even for them.
The Call of Stone (art and words by Shannon Kirkwood) -- After a woman dies, she finds her true purpose in protecting the Star Mother.
Love Story (art and words by Christie Shinn) -- A love story about Mnomquah and Oorn's eternal love.
Basatan vs. Satan (art by Lady Beaver, Words by Steve Waldinger, letters by T. Perran Mitchell) -- Basatan returns to the surface to take his rightful place as ruler of Earth, but Satan has other plans.
The Art of Losing (art and words by Nathan Leuth) -- After her family dies and the Apocalypse comes, a young woman finds strength in music.
Sunset at Sarnath (art by Wesley Wong, words by Wesley Sun) -- An old man, a young girl, and a pig discuss who was responsible for the end of the world.
The Marriage Counselor (art by Melissa J Massey, words by Madeleine Holly-Rosing) -- Mnomquah and Oorn go to marriage counseling, because even the best marriages fall apart sometimes.
Where is the money going?
Great question. Here is a pie chart of the distribution of the funds. This is subject to fluctuation based on pledges, but should be a good guide.
Book production and printing - $9,000 (41.5%)
Shipping - $6,000 (27.7%)
Pins - $334 (1.5%)
Kickstarter fees - $2,166 (10%)
Creator residuals - $2,166 (10%)
Emergency - $2,000 (9.3%)
You may ask why I have such a high emergency fund, and I would respond that it is why I have been able to successfully deliver 7 campaigns, because stuff always goes wrong, and sometimes in a big way.
What can you get for your pledge?
I am not the kind of creator who offers a ton of different rewards, but I do want to offer some awesome ones. Here's what you can get for your money.
Before I move on, I want to point out a couple of our coolest rewards. First, I want to thank Andrew Pawley for making this awesome paper doll, which EVERYBODY who pledges even for $1 will receive!
You have to build it yourself, but it looks just so awesome when it's set up.
Second, for the first time ever, I am doing an exclusive PIN designed by Aaron Alexovich specifically for this campaign. I have this pin in hand already, and it is AMAZING.
Also, we'll be offering our variant white eye addition of the Monster anthology, instead of the normal yellow eye edition. I only had a couple hundred of these white eye variant Soulless eye editions made, and they are almost gone!
The Crush it on Kickstarter course is my introductory course about how to run a Kickstarter campaign. It will show new creators (or ones who want to up their game), how to create, launch, fund, and distribute their campaigns. As a person who has run eight campaigns and successfully filled all but this one (only because it's currently running) without going over budget, and having raised almost $100,000 on Kickstarter, I know a thing or two about this stuff.
More importantly, I am a seasoned course creator through my website, The Complete Creative. If you would like to see the course, you can do so by clicking here.
My How to Make an Awesome Comics Anthology course is one I made specifically for this Kickstarter. After my previous anthology campaign, people asked me a ton of questions about how to make a comics anthology, but I was too overwhelmed to answer them. This time, I wanted to be prepared, so I laid out my exact strategy for making an awesome comics anthology.
I'm very proud of this course and think that whether you are a seasoned pro at anthologies or just starting out, you can learn a ton from this course. I take you all the way from finding your theme through running your Kickstarter campaign.
Plus, if you buy this course you ALSO get my Crush it On Kickstarter course absolutely free. You can check out the course by clicking here.
Who are the rest of the creators?
The Eyes of Yba'Sokug (art by Jonathan Howard, words by Michael R. Martin) -- a poem about the end of the world, which feels eerily relevant in our current times.
The Believer (art by Claudio Sanchez Viveros, words by Christian Douglas) -- A Nyarlathotep cultist pontificates over the horribleness of man as he speaks to his daughter.
Rise (art and words by Bradley Sheridan) -- Hastur is frustrated that his minions cannot overtake a town run by a godzilla monster.
The Calling (art by Katrina Kunstmann, words by Caleb Thusat) -- An adventurer fights his way through a dungeon in order to take on a Lovecraftian god.
The Last Convention (art by Lea Seidman, words by Anne Toole) -- The world is over, and everyone has to choose how they are going to die by going to the last convention and being pitched by different cultists or the various Lovecraft gods.
The Crossroads (art by Silvio DB, words by Terrance Grace) -- Lovecraft writes a letter to his ex-wife as he slowly goes mad.
The MC (art by Nic Touris, words by Jack Holder, letters by Micah Myers) -- An agent to Lovecraftian gods has to deal with his unruly clients as he tries to get them work.
Azathoth's Slumber (art by Erik Lervold, words by Russell Nohelty, additional colors by Vlaire Donaghue) -- The outer gods have been playing music to keep Azathoth asleep for millions of years and they are sick of it.
Sneak preview of one of the stories!
Take a look at one of the stories from the book! This is a story that I created and wrote with my good friend Erik Lervold. We are reprising our team-up from the Monsters and Other Scary S^&t anthology!
Did you dig it? If you did, then it's time to pledge.
Still on the fence? No worries. Click here to get a 50+ page preview.
I hope you believe this is going to be an amazing anthology. If so, pledge to the campaign and make this happen!
Risks and challenges
While I have been able to deliver seven projects, there have been complications with some. I feel as though I have fixed all of those issues at this point with my supply chain, but there are always some more that pop up.
For instance, with the monster anthology, we had to wait an additional 3 months for the glow-in-the-dark eyes to be applied correctly, and fix errors in the covers.
With Katrina, we had to wait 8 more weeks in port due to customs than we wanted, delaying our release from July until September.
These things can and do happen, and I can't say they won't happen again. However, I have done everything possible to ensure that we will have a smooth operation and these books will be in your hand as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter