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Lovely Lovecraft Volume One
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Mysterious scholar Randolph Carter disappeared after he was accused of murdering his friend Harley Warren, and now Carter's abandoned house in Arkham, Massachusetts, is up for grabs. The only ones willing to rent it are the cash-strapped (and slightly dotty) widow Mrs. Lovecraft and her troubled young son Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Howard soon discovers that Carter owned a strangely damaged copy of the Necronomicon, and he accidentally uses the book to summon a beast called a Night Gaunt, who claims to be a servant and friend of King Randolph Carter. Meanwhile, a very strange substitute teacher arrives at nearby school of the supernatural Miskatonic University, and a patient with no past causes trouble in an asylum. These three tales soon become tangled, with Howard and his new Night Gaunt friend Phil diving into the Dreamlands, struggling to understand why the cruelest of the Outer Gods is seemingly trapped in a mortal body, and above all, seeking Randolph Carter and the answers he might know.

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This webcomic, by Deviantart contributor Sara Bardi, is ongoing. It can be read both online at Deviantart and in a published compilation. A homage to Cthulhu Mythos creator H. P. Lovecraft, the webcomic features a fictional child version of Lovecraft himself as protagonist, and other characters and creatures are drawn from stories such as The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Pickman's Model, At the Mountains of Madness, and others.

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This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The real Howard Phillips Lovecraft was not considered handsome. Lovely Lovecraft shows him as a somewhat good-looking adult and a downright adorable kid.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Noyes calls the shoggoth trapped at Miskatonic a "glorious beast."
  • Affectionate Parody: Although Lovely Lovecraft has its share of serious moments, it is also a funny but reverent take on the works of H. P. Lovecraft (with occasional homages to other Cthulhu Mythos authors).
  • All There in the Manual: Bardi’s comments and extra artwork (available in her Deviantart gallery) give more information on characters and plot elements.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Noyes has brown skin with Caucasian features and golden eyes, giving him a somewhat Middle Eastern look appropriate for the human incarnation of Nyarlathotep, who Lovecraft described as an Egyptian of the old native blood, resembling a Pharaoh. Nobody in-story comments on his ethnic traits (strange, given that the story occurs in the early 20th century, a relatively more racist time that might have prevented Noyes from teaching at a respected university, although Middle Easterners were more accepted than black people).
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Sybilla Mason. She's a descendant of famed witch Keziah Mason, she studies at Miskatonic University, a semi-magical school with an official oath to fight the forces of darkness, and she (presumably) lives in thoroughly mysterious and creepy Arkham. She somehow still manages to dismiss strange disappearances as lovers eloping, mocks the University oath, and refuses to acknowledge Keziah's witchcraft.
  • Author Appeal: Bardi admits that H. P. Lovecraft is her favorite author, and she describes Lovely Lovecraft as a tribute to his work.
  • Badass Bookworm: Howard himself (and Randolph Carter, viz. his encounter with the moonbeast in "The Dreamlands."
  • Badass Grandpa: Henry Armitage, who works as principal of Miskatonic University, a job that involves containing a shoggoth and storing part of Carter's Necronomicon.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Noyes/Nyarlathotep wears a series of rather sharp suits, and he is rapidly established as a threatening villain.
  • Bedlam House: Azalea and Hildred are inhabitants of an early 20th-century asylum full of dark, grimy corridors, padded rooms, and straitjackets. However, the head doctor Willett takes a personal interest in Azalea and genuinely seeks to help her.
  • Big Bad: Noyes/Nyarlathotep is shaping up to be this.
  • The Blank: Night Gaunts lack faces in their true Dreamlands forms, but they gain faces in their Earthly forms. Their Dreamlands appearance is consistent with the real H. P. Lovecraft's tales, although he makes no mention of them appearing differently in the waking world.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Azalea. She asks her kidnapper if she can help him draw, playfully buzzes at the Mi-go, and generally seems oblivious and unconcerned about her plight (appropriate behavior for Azathoth’s human incarnation). Iranon is also rather flaky, trying to give Howard a tour of Ilek-Vad and requiring some sharp words before he can become serious.
  • Combat Tentacles: The shoggoth.
  • Creepy Good: The Night Gaunts and ghouls are frightening to look at, but they aid Howard and serve Randolph Carter. See also Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Howard has dark circles around his eyes, although their level of noticeability shifts (sometimes darker, sometimes lighter).
  • Crossover: Lovely Lovecraft is primarily based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, but some characters and elements from other Mythos creators, such as Robert W. Chambers, appear.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The ghouls and Night Gaunts are dark and frightening in appearance, but they serve Randolph Carter and aid Howard. See also Creepy Good.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Howard and Phil, and they usually turn their wit on each other.
  • Gender Bender: One of Nyarlathotep’s forms is female.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Carter's copy of the Necronomicon, which is split into two pieces.
  • Doting Grandparent: Howard's deceased maternal grandparents were extremely close to him, encouraging his interests and forming a relationship of mutual adoration. His mother is less close to him, and she laments her inability to live up to her parents' example.
  • Dream Walker: Anyone who enters the Dreamlands. Prominent examples include Carter, Howard, and Hildred.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Iranon to the hilt. He's slender, has long flowing hair with flowers stuck in it, and wears colorful robes that drape over one shoulder and expose the other in a feminine fashion.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Howard.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It's a Lovecraft-inspired story, so these abound. Notable cases are Noyes, AKA Nyarlathotep, and Azalea, AKA Azathoth.
  • Expressive Hair: Noyes appears to have this, as the spiky portions of his hair are once shown drooping in a moment of distress.
  • Extra Eyes: The shoggoth.
  • Evil Redhead: Hildred has auburn hair.
  • Facial Markings: Iranon has a number of dots underneath his eyes.
  • Fish People: The Deep Ones are mentioned, and the bus driver at the start is a fishy-looking Innsmouth resident (and likely a Deep One hybrid).
  • Flower in Her Hair: Iranon is a Rare Male Example, wearing two red flowers (probably appropriately symbolic poppies).
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Noyes claims that he and Randolph Carter "had so much fun together" and describes Carter's "utterly excited screams". The author commented in her notes that the double entendre was "TOTALLY intended".
  • Gender Bender: One of Nyarlathotep’s forms is female.
  • Giant Flyer: Night Gaunts in the Dreamlands are roughly nine feet tall.
  • Glamour Failure: Noyes' hand oozes green goo when he touches a medallion decorated with the Elder Sign, nearly betraying his inhuman identity.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Presumably, the bus-driving Innsmouth denizen in the first few pages is a human/Deep One hybrid.
  • Heroic Albino: In the Dreamlands, we see a brief glimpse of an unusually pale Night Gaunt among Phil's followers. The author confirmed that that particular Night Gaunt is intended to have albinism.
  • Hero of Another Story: Randolph Carter. Armitage briefly touches on Carter's investigations with Warren (a story drawn directly from The Statement of Randolph Carter), and Iranon summarizes portions of Carter's adventures from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. However, Carter has not physically appeared in the main storyline of Lovely Lovecraft.
  • High Priest: Atal.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Howard, obviously, as well as his mother Mrs. Phillips.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Noyes, AKA Nyarlathotep injures his hand by touching the Elder Sign (although strictly speaking, "Holy" and "Evil" are both concepts that don't truly apply within Lovecraft's canon).
  • Horned Humanoid: Night Gaunts in their Dreamlands forms.
  • Humanity Ensues: Nyarlathotep and Azathoth, as well as the other Outer Gods, have been forced into humanoid bodies and mortal existences for reasons as yet undiscovered. Nyarlathotep appears to be taking on some human traits, or at least is growing interested in human concepts such as trust and compassion.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Noyes and Azalea.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Iranon.
  • Mad Artist: Richard Pickman while he was still human, as shown in extra materials portraying him in his youth (a characterization which matches Pickman's Model).
  • Mad Scientist: In backstory material and extras, Herbert West attempts to use science to resurrect the dead. This is consistent with his origin story in Herbert West–Reanimator.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Azalea has very unusual eyes. One eye has a relatively normal green iris and whitish sclera, while the other has a prominent green-tinted sclera and tiny iris and pupil.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Noyes, who admires the shoggoth at Miskatonic. This is of course fitting, given his real identity as the Crawling Chaos.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Howard to some degree. He is relatively unfazed by Phil and Pickman, remaining calm enough to identify them as a Night Gaunt and a ghoul respectively. He's also self-aware as a "rational guy" who's scientifically detached enough to scoff at the idea that a night-gaunt could appear in the waking world, especially one that appears to be just a "weird looking little purple critter" who is "almost cute."
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Pickman is the only ghoul seen up close thus far, but judging by his appearance, ghouls in this webcomic are largely consistent with their portrayal in Lovecraft's original works: greenish or grayish clawed humanoids with dwellings in the Dreamlands. The main differences from Lovecraft's original ghouls are their faces (more humanoid and less doglike than Lovecraft describes) and their habit of wearing loincloths instead of going naked.
  • Overly Long Name: Phil'Gwhanach, Leader of the Night Gaunt Legion, Hero of the Battle of the Nameless Rock and Sentinel of Ilek-Vad. He goes by Phil.
  • Painting the Medium: This happens occasionally, but occurs most often when Noyes channels a bit of his true identity as Nyarlathotep.
  • Pointy Ears: Noyes and Azalea both have these, but other characters don't remark on them in-story.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The shoggoth imprisoned at Miskatonic University.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The Outer Gods, most notably Nyarlathotep and Azathoth, have mysteriously been trapped on Earth in humanoid bodies.
  • Shining City: Randolph Carter's city of Ilek-Vad.
  • Skunk Stripe: Noyes has two white stripes in his black hair, which form spikes above his ears.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Noyes has golden eyes, an unusual trait hinting at his true identity as the Outer God Nyarlathotep.
  • Was Once a Man: Richard Pickman, as in Lovecraftian canon.
  • Winged Humanoid: Night Gaunts.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Howard, who introduces himself as an amateur astronomer, chemist, and aspiring novelist. He soon comes to wield the Necronomicon to cast spells and debates dreams and responsibility with Iranon. Adult characters remark favorably on his calmness and understanding even in comparison to his elders.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Azalea has natural pinkish-purple hair.This unusual feature, like Noyes' slightly odd appearance, hints that she is not quite human.
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