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Web Video / Ask Lovecraft

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"Hello, I'm Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and today's question comes from..."

Ask Lovecraft is a Q&A-style web show created by Leeman Kessler, which started in 2012.

The premise is the famous Cosmic Horror Story writer H.P. "Howie" Lovecraft has been resurrected through some sort of mysterious dark science (the series often hint that even Lovecraft himself doesn't quite understand how it works). To pass his time, Lovecraft answers questions and gives advice to the poor fools who dare seek it. It was hosted on Channel Awesome until Kessler's departure from the site in April 2018.

In January 2022, Kessler announced that he was planing to end the weekly series within the year, citing that ending the show on "the even decade" would be "neat and clean and requires little explanation for most". Though he has assured his audience that he might still produce the occasional special episode. The final episode, "Strange Aeons", then aired on June 27, 2022. Kessler has since also begun working on a Spiritual Successor of sorts, Always Has Been, a series of short videos released through TikTok, concerning tales of strange, weird, and, at times, eldritch lore about his home state of Ohio.

This series contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Accent Relapse: The shock of his ex-girlfriend coming to Earth causes P.H. to briefly drop his faux Southern accent for Evil Sounds Deep.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Believes that the directors who would be best able to adapt his work is Fritz Lang and John Waters.
    • Adaptation Decay: Fears discussing adaptations because of the potential for a "Dagon II: Electric Boogaloo."
  • Affably Evil: P.H., Lovecraft's doppelganger. He's a truly perfect mirror reflection, which includes a generally sunny disposition, a distaste for racism, and being good with kids. He's also a cheerfully psychotic Humanoid Abomination.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Addressed in "Adults Only." Suffice it to say, he's very uncomfortable with this trope (as he was with any sexual topic) and his association with it.
  • Ambiguously Bi: When asked who his favorite "scream queen" is, the 22 year-old version of Leeman Kessler answers "Bruce Campbell."
  • Amicable Exes: Howie and Sonia Greene. Also Truth in Television for the most part.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: "The Meaning of Life" declares that while Lovecraft is an atheist, he believes that the lack of any divine purpose for humanity actually empowers humanity to decide its own purpose and create beauty where it can for no other purpose than the beauty itself.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Azatoth," Lovecraft discusses an incident where someone apparently erected a shrine to Azatoth, only to tear it down again while no one was looking. He fears that this is not the work of cults, or religious fanatics, but worst of all, performance artists.
  • As Himself: Leeman Kessler appears as himself — both the modern version and a 22 year-old past version — on occasion, alongside Lovecraft and P.H., though usually not of his own volition. The "Everything's Fine" episode even sees him being forced by P.H. to perform as Lovecraft.
    • Kessler's wife appears as herself in "Dr. Kessler".
  • Ax-Crazy: A muted example, but the first thing P.H. does when he starts playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons is to find the local library and set it on fire. He's very insistent that the DM describe the fire and how it licks against the sky.
  • Back from the Dead: Lovecraft is, and he's here to answer your questions!
    • As of 2016, his ex-wife Sonia Greene also returns from the dead.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's very happy that the depiction of himself in H.P. Lovecraft's: Necronomicon accurately recreates his love of swordplay.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Leeman's acting of him playing his own role In-Universe while impersonating Lovecraft in "Everything's Fine" is hilariously off.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Lovecraft finds out that Archie Comics has used his name and likeness in its stories, he's absolutely horrified and distraught... That no one introduced him to Archie before.
    • In "War" Howie waxes philosophical on the neccesity of dealing with difficult topics before easing into the viewers question "Why is there war between the cats of Earth and the cars of Saturn?"
  • Based on a Dream: In "Dreams" and "Dreams Visited" Howie relates that many of his stories were based on his dreams, but these days his dreams all consist of staring into a great eye and being interrogated by strangers. invoked
  • Be Yourself: Howie's advice to all aspiring writers is to find their own voice.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Simon Cowell is a Humanoid Abomination who ought to be banished to the otherworldly realm from whence he came.
    • Lovecraft is saddened to find out that the only pictures of him that have survived paint him as extremely dour and depressed, without his "trademark" Hawaiian shirt.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever accuse Howie of not being the real Lovecraft, or worse, a mere thespian portraying Lovecraft.
    • Do not suggest abusing or abandoning a cat. It can literally blind him with rage.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Considering he's crowdfunded his Youtube channel trailer can come off as this.
    Howie: I'm Howard Phillips Lovecraft and chances are if you're watching this, you've made some terrible life decisions.
  • Black Comedy: From his Twitter feed:
    "[Halloween] isn't all Great Pumpkins and razor blades, sadly."
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Lovecraft was sent a copy of the book "Ana Kai Tangata" by Scott Nicolay, strangely packaged with an entire pack of chili powder. P.H. appreciates the gift.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: Lovecraft would like to remind you that all marriages were originally this, and pretenses of love or marital bliss are, at best, something you get to have after the fact. At worst, it's just a business contract that costs too much and has too much ceremony around it.
    • He makes this comment in response to someone who wants a Lovecraftian wedding. By his reasoning, all marriages are inherently Lovecraftian, and "adding an extra tentacle or two" is mostly just for aesthetics.
  • Came Back Wrong: Howie often notes the resurrection process was somewhat imperfect and leave shim with holes in his memory.
  • Cats Are Mean: Despite being a Kind Hearted Cat Lover, Howie admits this is true.
  • Children Are Innocent: Inverted by Howie. He claims that when children are ripped from the safety of the womb to this powerlese existence in a strange alien and threatening world they perfectly understand the horror of human existence only for their parents to slowly lull into the idea that they are safe and the world makes sense.
  • Closet Sublet: Howie sleeps in the Kessler's closet between episodes, but since it gives him unfettered access to their library, he doesn't mind so much.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Howie and P.H. can be immediately recognized from the colour of their suit (respectively black and dark red/purple)
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Lovecraft is asked for a recommendation on how to punish Leeman for getting his wife to blog about Farscape. After watching the whole thing for himself, Lovecraft suggests the punishment of... Being forced to promote her blog (which can be found here.)
  • Covert Pervert: When playing D&D with P.H., Lovecraft asks the DM if there are any comely women in the library.
    • In his interview with Count Jackula, Howie suggests that the erotic subtext with some of his creations are fully intentional.
  • Credits Gag: A Running Gag in the series. Examples include:
    • The title card for "Phantom" shows Howie wearing a Phantom style half mask himself.
    • During his brief abandonment of the show right after his ex-wife's resurrection the title card showed a ? mark over a black profile.
    • For "Watchmen", Howie's image is made up as Dr. Manhattan.
  • Cult: Howie loves it when people tattoo themselves with the Elder Sign or the Yellow Sign, because it reminds him of cult-like behavior. He finds it less flattering when they tattoo his likeness onto themselves, however.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Believes that the theme of The Shadow Over Innsmouth is that Robert Olmstead really shouldn't have been poking his nose into other people's business.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: The only positive trait Howie ascribes to August Derleth's work is 'quantity'.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: A source of constant comedy, since Lovecraft retains his old belief system from when he was alive.
    • In "A Bear in the Woods," Lovecraft is asked: "If a bear farts in the woods, does it still stink?"
      "Now, this question might strike one as impertinent or inane, but it actually follows a long line of thought experiments, such as: "does an unobserved fallen tree make a sound?" or "do Italians have souls?"
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Kessler isn't above using his baby daughter to garner sympathy and/or views.
    • His more recent videos start with a cute child's voice saying the series' title while the title card is displayed.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: "Devil" shows that Lovecraft believes most portrayals of the eponymous character aren't very scary as giving a potential Eldritch Abomination human appearance and motivations makes it understandable and thus less frightening.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After agreeing with Arthur Chenin that perhaps it is right to punch Nazis, Arthur punches him due to Lovecraft's racist attitudes.
  • Disneyfication: In "Fairy Tales," Howie shows his disapproval of this process in said tales, preferring the darker, original stories, which he sites as an influence in his work.
  • Do Wrong, Right: In "Money," Howie seems less offended that a fan asked him for money than said fan failing to put any effort into the attempt and suggests starting a Kickstarter, pretending to be Nigerian royalty or impersonating a dead celebrity and asking for donations.
    • Also believes that if a person is going to ignore one's life and loved ones by spending their life on the Internet, they should at least be doing something enjoyable.
  • Doing It for the Art: invoked Discussed in "Sponsorship" Howie totes this as the only way to approach creativity authentically and states that he would not accept any corporate sponsorship. Unless it's from an ice cream company. Except for Bryer's. They know what they did.
  • Don't Fear The Reaper: In the episode "George" while eulogizing a fan that had passed away, Howie expresses the opinion that society's aversion to the topic of death is to its detriment.
    Howie: [Death] is the most common experience we shall all face. It unites us in our humanity. And if we can face that, it reaffirms our own humanity. And if we can sit in that discomfort without blinking, without turning away, we might very well find wisdom.
  • Doppelgänger: Lovecraft has one called "P.H." He looks almost identical to Lovecraft himself, except he has a Southern accent and a slier demeanor. He also seems to be much more in tune with popular culture than Lovecraft, and much more accepting of modern social mores... At least, when he's not grave robbing or setting things on fire.
  • Drop-In Character: Carl Sagan, oddly enough. Whether he's also Back from the Dead or Time Travel is involved isn't clarified.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: P.H. refuses to defend H.P's racism and refuses to excuse it as a product of their times.
    • He also believes stealing from libraries is terrible.
  • Evil Counterpart: P.H. to Howie. Sade to Sonia Greene.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: If anyone is foolish enough to take P.H. a little too casually, he will usually let his mask slip for a moment.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode "Jabberwocky" largely consists of Howie dramatically reciting the eponymous poem, in response to a question about whether Lewis Carroll's work might be considered an early example of Eldritch Abomination.
  • Faux Horrific: Lovecraft finds himself deeply disturbed by the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song, being traumatized after reading it aloud, and needs some to gather himself, after which he states that he found the song so perfectly captured the "complete alienation and cosmic despair" he attempted in his own writing, that he wondered for a moment why he even bothered.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Howie adamantly refuses to believe in real life supernatural phenomena and spiritulism despite being a corpse reanimated by black magic.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Howie is portrayed as this toward his wife Sonia when she also returns from the dead. Truth in Television as H. P. Lovecraft never signed their divorce papers.
  • Foreshadowing: When asked in his live show which other celebrity he thinks should be re-animated, he emphatically declares it should be anyone other than his ex-wife Sonia Greene. Come 2016, guess who's Back from the Dead?
  • Found Footage Films: His review of Cloverfield suggests Howie is a fan of this genre.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: The entire show is built around this premise, though it's not entirely clear where he's getting the letters from.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: He's aware of the existence of Creepypasta, the SCP Foundation, Welcome to Night Vale, and The Slender Man Mythos, along with other works of horror that draw on his influence. Generally, he approves of them.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Defied. Howard has made it very clear, across multiple episodes, that the creatures from his stories are fictional characters.
    • Although he fears Tom Waits is as close to an actual avatar of Nyarlathotep the real world can provide.
    • Played straight in "Modern Writers" in which he notes the trope of our insignificance in the greater scheme of things within Cosmic Horror is all too real.
  • Halloween Special: Is it at all surprising that he dedicated an episode to talking about how much he loves Halloween?
  • History Repeats: In 2016 episode "Brexit", Howie gives a dark Real Life version of this trope by comparing the political situation surrounding Brexit and the EU to the chaos predating World War I during his life.
  • Horror Host: Howie hopes the series will eventually lead to this sort of job offer.
    Howie: For you people at Syfy or Turner Classic Movies, you know how to reach me.
  • Horror Hunger: Played for Laughs. He claims he must eat several times his own weight in sugar each day to remain animated.
  • Ho Yay: invoked Discussed. The topic of "Good Chums" involves looking at Lovecraft's work, and how many men there are in his stories who only stay around other men, and who lack any apparent romantic attachment to a member of the opposite sex. Howard attributes this mostly to people in the modern age who read sexual undertones into all sorts of innocuous relationships:
    "We've lost the ability to talk about real male friendships. We're so eager to uncover clues of the erotic that we miss out that sometimes a good friend is just a good friend. History and literature are replete with examples of this, such as Achilles and Patroclus, Ben Hur and Messala, Sam and Frodo, even The Bible's own King David and Jonathan. Actually, that's not a good example, those two were totally gay for each other."
  • Humanoid Abomination: P.H. describes himself as Howie's "brother from another mother of a thousand young."
  • I Read It for the Articles: Inverted. P.H. is horribly disappointed to find out that a book called "Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos" is an academic treatise on sexuality in Lovecraft's works, rather than something more salacious.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When asked which of his monsters he would most like to be real, Lovecraft decides on the creature from "The Hound," since it only seems to bother grave robbers, which doesn't include anyone Lovecraft cares about. Cut to P.H., wearing rubber gloves and holding a hammer and screwdriver, looking very offended.
  • Imagine Spot: In his "Murder" episode, Howie imagines himself as a detective in one of his own stories. He fails spectacularly, even in his own imagination.
  • Innocent Bigot / Noble Bigot: Howie's not a bad guy, per se, but that doesn't mean he can handle having a black man in the White House.
  • In-Series Nickname: P.H. refers to Lovecraft as "Howie."
    • Since he apparently isn't legally allowed to say Cthulhu's name, Lovecraft refers to him as "Bernad" and later "Harold." More recently he's started to call him "Donald."
  • Irony: Being rather uneasy about immigrants entering the country while alive, "Legal Status" reveals that upon reanimation in Canada, he himself is now an immigrant.
  • Irrational Hatred:
    • Of Esperanto, theater actors, and the Welsh, among many other things.
    • He also hates dolphins, but unfortunately, it's quite justified, given their very real tendency to kill for sport (among many other disturbing habits).
  • Jumping the Shark: Deliberately invoked and discussed in "Mother's Day" by the introduction of "Sweetpea Lovecraft" played by his real life daughter.
    Howie: According to my associate, from time to time when a show begins to go down the drain and begin seeking desperately for relevance and new energy they will introduce a small child like this and hope that does the trick of fooling viewers into maintaining interest.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: As with the Real Life Lovecraft, the Lovecraft of this show is a huge fan of cats.
    • He does not take it well when he receives a letter from someone who claims to have shaved their Maine coon cat.
    • And don't get him started on the Exploding Kittens card game...
  • Last-Name Basis: H.P. Lovecraft and Leeman constantly refers to each other as "Mr. Lovecraft" and "Mr. Kessler" (in a video, Lovecraft states that his relationship with Leeman is "purely professional". Also, in the video starring Leeman's wife, she's called "Dr. Kessler" by Lovecraft. Averted with P.H., who's only referred as "P.H.".
  • Likes Older Women: P.H. mentions finding the "Masonic grandmas" at the local retirement home as hard partiers.
  • Look Both Ways: Howie's attempt to play Pokémon GO ends rather predictably.
  • Metaphorgotten: In "Passion."
  • Mood Whiplash: He's extremely flattered that others might want to translate his work into other languages, and hopes that one day his works might be read in every nation across the world... Except Esperanto. Esperanto is a vile tongue.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: P.H. is rather reticent about explaining which theory of his origin is true, but in "Origin" he hints that he's Howie's Enemy Without.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: "Antarctica" shows Howie really enjoyed this trope in his time and believes it still holds up to this day.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: While H. P. Lovecraft was known for obsessing over the macabre and terrifying aspects of reality, no one would say he enjoyed that kind of thing. P.H., on the other hand...
    • That being said, in live performances he does seem rather enchanted with the apocalyptic possibilities of a Trump presidency.
  • No Sense of Humor: He tries to write slapstick for Archie after having read some of their comics. It's not nearly as funny as he thinks it is.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: Discussed in "Edible Zombes" where Howie notes that the true reason zombie do not eat each other in fiction is that would remove them as a threat to the protagonists.
  • Nostalgia Filter: In Lovecraft's opinion, cinema has been on a downward trend ever since the introduction of talkies.
  • Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used To Be: Played With. Howie's not fond of many aspects of the modern age but he doesn't fool himself that the past didn't have it's problems too.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Despite having been dead and having come back to life, Lovecraft insists that he isn't a zombie. He did, however, accidentally find himself on a zombie walk, and felt a strange camaraderie with them. At least, until he found out that they weren't real zombies, and just university students and "the chronically unemployable," which caused him to quickly run away.
    • He later clarifies In "Walking Dead" and "Edible Zombies" that his status is "complicated," but he is not a mere zombie but "a classy gentleman given another chance."
    • He seems to have settled on calling his status "re-animated."
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Howie notes in "Compelling" his belief that it is better to use terms such as 'indescribable' or 'unnameble' for literary horrors as any such creature created by the reader's own mind will be far more effective than any created by the author.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: Pretty much sums up "127th Birthday"
  • Our Demons Are Different: In "Sade", P.H. strongly implies that he and by extension Sade originates from a realm filled with wailing and the gnashing of teeth.
    P.H. Lovecraft:' Every devil is owed his due.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Although not different (or alien) enough, according to Howie.
  • Painting the Medium: In "Vampires," Lovecraft talks about the unusual tendency of young adult fiction to take monsters and turn them into love interests, and he's particularly disturbed at the prospect that it might happen to his own monsters. Cue a pop-up comment from P.H. linking to his video on Awoken...
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In-universe Kessler's attempt to impersonate Howie during the latter's absence comes off as less than convincing despite having the same actor.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: In "Starting a Cult" he goes over all the issues over starting a cult of Azathoth for a fan, Howie begins to realize that the potential income and tax benefits far outweigh those issues.
    Howie (in mask and robe) Okay, here's the deal. I get a cut of tithes and I get dibs on calling myself Heirophant.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Howie suffers often from this due to missing things between his death and resurrection, as demonstrated in "Man Bun".
    Howie: (reading from postcard) " a veteran of the mullet wars..."
    Howie: (confused) "The fish?"
  • Puny Earthlings: In "Scale," Howie points out that to Eldritch Abominations like his Old Ones, the most powerful and evil human is but no more a threat to them as small child with a hammer would be to us.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A fan of Archie and Gilmore Girls, among other "unmanly" things.
    • He really, really likes Hawaiian shirts.
  • Retool: After finding himself getting numerous letters from parents who say that their babies love him, Lovecraft decides to make some changes to appeal to, apparently, the largest growing section of his fanbase by shaking a baby toy in front of the camera. Suffice it to say, the changes don't last long.
  • Reclusive Artist: Defied by Howie in "Collaboration" where he points to his many collaboration, his massive amount of correspondence and the many trips he took across the country to visit friends and colleges during his life to refute this view of him.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In the first video where they play a game of D&D, the DM (Leeman himself) is quickly very annoyed by Howie and PH's antics (Howie keeps asking to visit the library and PH keeps trying to put things on fire) and then throws dragons at them. What exactly happens next isn't specified (after dragons appear on the board, the video cuts to Howie standing in front of the usual library), but Howie tells that the game turned out to be much shorter than he thought, implying that they suffered from a total party kill.
  • Secret-Keeper: George R. R. Martin is the only person Howie has entrusted the correct pronunciation of Cthulhu.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In "Parody", Lovecraft says he doesn't approve of people who try to imitate him or his mannerisms, finding the phenomenon "gauche" and "highly unpleasant".
    • In "Caged Wiseau", Lovecraft denounces impersonations as "the lowest art form, if it even can be called an art form." And claims that there is no "dignity" or "creativity" in it, and that even an ape or a bird could pull it off.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: What else would you expect from Lovecraft himself?
  • Shared Universe: As a Channel Awesome producer, he's part of the Reviewaverse.
  • Shout-Out: His cell phone ring is the theme from Too Many Cooks.
    • In "Passion," P.H. can be heard calling out for Mr. Wilson, the name of the person who sent in the letter that provided the episode's topic. Lovecraft chooses not to get the reference.
    • Howie discovers the Voynich Manuscript is a cook book.
    • He mentions one of the many (and more bizarre) reinventions of Nyarlathotep being a a small Japanese schoolgirl.
  • Shower of Angst: A variation. After reading the theme song to SpongeBob SquarePants aloud, Lovecraft stands in Stunned Silence for a moment, and then excuses himself to the audience and walks off-camera. It then cuts to him sitting in a Troubled Fetal Position in a bathtub with a deeply disturbed expression on his face.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Subverted by Howie. He believes that authors should find their own voice rather than try to imitate him.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: P.H.'s opinion of role playing games.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: "Rent" shows Howie, P.H. and even Carl Sagan are all this to poor Mr. Kessler.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: In "Storytime," while reading "Where's my Shoggoth?" when he gets to the part with Cthulhu.
    "No, this is great *COUGH! COUGH!*, the spawn of the stars, this is not my Shoggoth."
  • Southern Gentleman: P.H. has a lovely Southern accent and a polite demeanor, although he's not nearly as nice as he likes to pretend. Not at all.
  • Spin-Off: The concept of H.P. Lovecraft (played by the same actor) living in the 21st century after having been reanimated originated from Derek the Bard's channel. Ask Lovecraft is the own series of the reanimated Lovecraft, and contains occasional references to his resurrection (as well as cameos from Derek the Bard). However, this is the in-universe order, since in real life Ask Lovecraft happened first. So in-universe, Derek the Bard sent the newly resurrected H.P. Lovecraft back in time to the date of the first episode of Ask Lovecraft.
  • The Stinger: P.H. often attaches a humorous comment to the end of the credits.
  • Stylistic Suck: In-universe's Kessler's attempts at acting fall under this trope.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Nearly entirety of "SCP" consist of a rather disturbing one with a detailed explanation of [REDACTED].
  • Take a Third Option: His main opinion on gun control is that we should bring back dueling, since it helps us clean out the riff-raff.
  • Take That!: Although he's disappointed about his candidate not winning the election to be Toronto's mayor, he's just glad that the job passed from one white male millionaire to another.
    • Lovecraft considers the possibility of an unicorn and a zombie getting into a fight as ridiculous as a vampire and a werewolf fighting over the affection of a girl.
    • In "The Devil" he says that he finds Jack T. Chick's version of God one of the most horrifying cosmic entities there is and Chick's pamphlets greatest examples of Cosmic Horror Story.
    • In "Sad Puppies" he decides that the events surrounding the titular movement must be from a child's story and suggest the title be changed to "Haughty Kittens."
    • In "College," he relates that he finds the secret societies within such institutions wonderful resources where among other things, you can discover many creative uses of pigs.
    • In "Inhuman" he considers Vicki from Small Wonder to be the most well-realized utterly alien protagonist.
    • In "Mary Sue" he provides this advice for struggling writers:
    If you simply cannot write conflict whatsoever, that's why we have Christian romance novels.
    • In "Old Man Henderson"
    I don't know why you would get together with people you don't like and pretend to be people you aren't. I mean that's what theater is for.
  • The Teetotaler: As in life, Lovecraft abstains from alcohol and other intoxicants, not because of any religious reasons but because he finds it "icky."
    • He does understand however that faced with a brief life ending in eternal oblivion and desolation, that people may choose to go through life a bit "baked" to cope.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Surprisingly subverted. In "Mystery", Howie takes the view that one should pursue hidden truths when one can.
  • To Absent Friends: "Clark Ashton Smith" provides the Real Life eulogy Smith gave for Lovecraft upon his death. Howie returns the favor.
  • Tropes Are Not Bad / Tropes Are Tools: Kessler expresses this as his opinion in "Tropes". He even mentions this page as an example.
  • Typhoid Mary: Howie notes that upon his resurrection the microbes he had upon death were restored too. Which include diseases that were wiped out after his death and which the general population now lacks immunity to. He hopes you've had all you vaccinations.
  • Unexpected Character: Howie's ex-wife Sonia Greene also returns from the dead. Howie takes it well.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It's best to simply take anything that P.H. says with a grain of salt.
    • Howie is guilty of coloring his past a bit too.
  • The Un-Reveal: In the announcement of his move to Channel Awesome, Howie is about to finally reveal how to pronounce... Something. He's caught off guard by his cell phone ringing, and forgets what he was saying. It was likely how to pronounce Cthulhu. note 
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked and Played for Laughs. Lovecraft often expresses quite extreme prejudices about other cultures and races and strongly believe women should Stay in the Kitchen, and he is often left confused or disgusted with the fact that modern society have largely moved on from such things.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: P.H. warns that this is the case, and he should know.
  • Visual Pun: In "Golden Dawn," Lovecraft notes how it seems to be game makers that are most interested in secret societies and magic, rather than serious academics or scholars.
    "Why, people use games to play in my worlds,"
    *holds up a copy of Call of Cthulhu*
    "In the worlds of Robert E. Howard,"
    *holds up a copy of Dungeons & Dragons*
    "Even Jane Austen!"
    *holds up a copy of Paranoia*
  • World of Weirdness: The Reviewaverse. Lovecraft was initially brought to live by a Canadian librarian with a reagent. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this universe's weirdness.
  • Write What You Know: Howie is a big fan of this, believing it a great strength to provide authenticity in writing.
  • Young Adult Literature: In "Young Adult" Howie presents the theory that rather than once a child outgrows children's literature they can be entrusted to read adult literature directly rather than being confined to a literary ghetto of "pretty young people with pretty young problems" for a probationary period.

H.P. Lovecraft: This is not some cosmic sense of dread, just pedestrian fear of one's self, facing one's true self with no illusions, seeing all of one's adequacies or lack thereof.