Gou Tanabe brings us this recent collection of comic-based stories based on H.P. Lovecraft’s works. The Hound and Other Stories consists of three tales, and each considers how much the human psyche can actually take when facing the unknown. The first takes place on a submarine ("The Temple"), the second follows a pair of grave diggers ("The Hound"), and the final follows an archeologist ("The Nameless City"). In each, the crew, the thieves, and the explorer have their wits tested to their limits and face the madness in themselves. It’s devilishly fun while also stirring the shadows of the imagination.
Tanabe finds the perfect balance of using Lovecraft’s beautiful prose to ease along the visual mastery shown here. Each story is a wonderful journey, lulling you forward with its poetry, and slowly you begin to feel uneasy. It sneaks up on you, that feeling of dread. I felt this the most during the first story on the submarine and then made the mistake of reading the second story right away. Because of the similarity of the psychological journey of watching a man lose his mind to madness, it helps to put a day’s break between each. I found that by the time I sat down to read the third story, my palette had been cleansed properly, and I was able to fully indulge.
I also like the choice of using grayscale as opposed to color. When we do see something unnatural, it still allows something to be left to the imagination. The fact that this book tweaks that area of the brain is reason enough to buy it.