Saturday, 18 August 2012

To pick(man) a fight

As these Chronicles have previously reported, Bergen-based comic artist Kim Holm has been working on an expanded version of his excellent adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story Pickman's Model.

The new edition, which has just fallen into the paws of Lord Bassington-Bassington, has several new pages which seem to be chiefly devoted to studies of the architecture of Boston. This is a great enhancement to the story, and it's not just because nothing builds the Lovecraftian atmosphere like some proper New England brickwork and gambrel roofs. For Pickman's Model as written by Lovecraft is, of course, a long monologue and Mr. Holm's previous adaptation suffered a bit from this. But with the updated edition the monologue is broken up a bit. There is less talk, more thatch, and things start to really work.

This is a Lovecraft adaptation as it should be: Faithful yet creative. It captures the Gentleman of Providence's bleak vision perfectly. In fact, this might well be the best adaptation of a Lovecraft story that Lord Bassington-Bassington has seen, and His Lordship is a somewhat compulsive collector of Lovecraftiana.

The proper release is at the end of August, through online shop Indyplanet. There is little information online so far, but Mr. Holm's own website could also be a place to find relevant information soon.

It is hard to recommend this book enough. Not only is it eminently worth having, but one can also support a true graphic artist. An artist who have even done some excellent studies of Lord Bassington-Bassington, and who is also involved in other matters Lovecraftian.

That said, this release does not come without a bit of drama.

The press release - in Norwegian, and not available online - includes a somewhat oblique shot aimed at none other than Lord Bassington-Bassington himself, as explained by Mr. Holm, in the postcard below.

We realize that this is in Norwegian and needs a bit of inside information for outsiders to work out what's going on, but in short, Mr. Holm has mentioned Michel Houellebecq's description of Lovecraft as a misanthrope in the press release. As Mr. Holm knows full well that we here at the Chronicles disagree with Houellebecq's thesis (Lord Bassington-Bassington maintains that Houellebecq's book about Lovecraft is an attempt to reshape Lovecraft in the french writer's mould) Mr. Holm is clearly anticipating a fight.

"Bring it on?"

Indeed, Sir! Lord Bassington-Bassington is about to dispatch a team of highly trained Basset assassins - so-called Bassassins - to Bergen. His Lordship recommends that Mr. Holm start glancing over hs shoulder when he is out and about. Well, over his shoulder and then downward, as Bassets are low-slung. So, in case the Bassassins fail in their task (Bassets are known to be a bit hard to motivate) all this awkward glancing is sure to give the damn cartoonist chronic back problems. Hah!

(A Basset assassin - Bassassin - preparing for his mission. Picture by Josh Latta.)

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