How To Love C’Thulhu
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age”
If, by some odd chance, you are unfamiliar with C’Thulhu… well, then I guess this article isn’t really for you. The C’Thulhu Mythos, as it’s often called, is a large array of literature and now cinema dealing with horrendous creatures and un-Earthly Gods presented originally by author H.P. Lovecraft. You can read about it in far more detail by following this link. However, what you really need to know to just follow along (assuming, that is, that you’ve somehow managed to never see or hear of C’Thulhu once in your life time) is that the beast is a Water God who looks, most often, like a humanoid cuttlefish or squid modeled most significantly after a kraken-type monster. Well, like this:
Now, lest you for one second assume otherwise, C’Thulhu is intended not to invoke humor or wry sarcasm, but to utterly frighten onlookers to the very brink of their frayed sanity. Ah, who am I kidding: he’s cool as hell and, well, pretty damn cute as well. So cute, in fact, that there are a mess of playthings made to give C’Thulhu that squishy, plush appearance. Here are a few examples.
See? That’s really bending the idea of something so incomprehensibly repulsive and mind-numbingly frightening to borderline ridiculous and goofy. It’s been said that Lovecraft never really intended for his warped ideas to have spawned into a mythological timeline such as they have, and I really have my doubts that he’d find these children’s toys amusing, either. Though I could be wrong. However, the next few items would likely really piss him off. How about clothing!
And yet there are some that retain that hideous, nightmarish visage that most authors learned in the Mythos have come to understand as a ‘cannon form’. But what’s cannon? Lovecraft himself again never provided anyone with an illustration as to what his Great Old Ones looked like. These renderings most likely came from the mind of his collaborator, August Derleth. Be that as it may, here’s a few more toys that really bring the spooky.
Incidentally, I found each and every one of these images on eBay, so, suffice it to say, you can purchase this stuff for your very own. I did. I love my Horror-Clix monster statue. He makes me love him… makes me… Anyway, let’s assume you want to gather up a slew of reading material to render your spine white and tingly, well, you can do that, too. Here’s a rundown of many of the tomes in which you can find writings about the Great Old Ones.
Nyarlathotep – H.P. Lovecraft : 1920
The Picture in the House – H.P. Lovecraft : 1920
The Nameless City – H.P. Lovecraft : 1921
The Other Gods – H.P. Lovecraft : 1921
The Call of C’Thulhu – H.P. Lovecraft : 1926
The Dunwich Horror – H.P. Lovecraft : 1928
And many others…
But you don’t have to stop there. To end this little diatribe, I will recommend one movie, out of several that have that ‘Lovecraftian’ feeling, that really seems to nestle itself quite nicely into H.P.’s works. It is John Carpenter’s ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ and, even if you aren’t necessarily a Carpenter fan, I can tell you that this is genuinely freaky and unsettling and well worth the watch. Sam Neill at quite possible his finest.