A recent (very) occasional strip published in 2000AD comic, the two so far are collected in this somewhat overpriced Graphic Novel (GBP12 for around forty pages). The title of the volume is that of the first of the two stories. This is a Cthulhu-mythos-inspired tale of an upper class gentleman and his servant (a bit of Lord Peter Whimsey and a bit of Bertie Wooster) who go around investigating and fighting incursions into our reality by elder things. There’s a shadowy government conspiracy lurking in the background but no real details on that given in these two tales, just its introduction. A fun little read if you like the Mythos, reasonably well-done and the characterisations aren’t derivative per se, though it’s difficult in such a short selection to really distinguish them from so many other 20s/30s pairings of post-war upper and lower-class former soldiers. Decently drawn to reflect the settings and action.

Alan Moore’s contribution to the Cthulhu Mythos. A suitable horrific addition to Lovecraft’s legacy. Like many recent versions this uses the conceit that Lovecraft was writing about something real but presenting it as fiction. There’s always been that element in some of the Cthulhu Mythos but stuff written lately and set in the modern day has often used this. It was part of a Supernatural episode, for example, with one of the characters commenting that he wouldn’t read horror since his “day job” was bad enough.

As one would expect of Alan Moore, both the short, orignally one-off, The Courtyard and the longer sequel Neonomicon are well-told and have wonderful artwork to accompany them. He pulls no punches in the graphic displays and is faithful to the concepts of the Mythos while adding another layer of terror and psychedelia to them. Well worth seeking out if you’re an Alan Moore fan or a Mythos fan, but not for the faint of heart.

In three pieces of fiction involving heaven and hell (relatively) recently, I’ve come across a similar kind of concept: the idea of a place outside the influecen of heaven and hell. Is this a new meme bubbling up in fiction or is it just an old trope I’ve not recognised before? The three in question have very different versions of the idea, though:

  • Mike Carey’s Lucifer series starts with Lucifer gaining an exist from God’s creation to “the void” beyond;
  • Simon R. Green’s Nightside is explicitly created to be outside the power of both heaven and hell, although both angels and demons do visit it when the plot demands;
  • Liz William’s The Shadow Pavilion introduces a new element to her classic Eastern mythology with Between the places in the cracks where inspiration comes from.