For horror geeks, no other author echoes from the past like H.P. Lovecraft. Owning his own distinct style and set of ideas, he began as a pulp writer who defined an entire arena of horror literature and art and defined a pseudo-occult mythos that has spawned an entire industry of authors. Today, Lovecraft’s Elder Gods have been fleshed out and elaborated, and the existential dread of Cthulhu is used to analyze the battle between good and evil, the nihilistic horror of the universe and existence, the fear of transformation, and the possibility that we are just a speck in a horrible game controlled by monstrous creatures on the other side of the veil.
Lovecraft’s style has also been notoriously difficult to transfer to other media(film especially), but some comics creators have done an excellent job at either adapting Lovecrat’s work or joining in the Cthulu mythos or doing distinctively Lovecraftian style stories.
In an effort to intertwine our panicked love for Lovecraft and our comics addiction, we have worked up a massive list of comics that draw on Lovecraft in direct ways. If you think of new ones, come across ones that we have missed, or even just disagree, comment below and we will make this a living list of books! Though we have tried to have a comprehensive list, we have not included every single old adaptation that we could find. The H.P. Lovecraft Vault list has many older magazine and comic adaptations if you are a completist looking for some collectibles, but our list is more about what is going to be readable adaptations and inspired stories.
Lovecraft, by Hans Rodionoff, Keith Griffen, and Enrique Breccia – This book makes the top of our list simply because it comes from out favorite publishing house: DC/Vertigo. This is a fictional biography outlining Lovecraft’s discovery of the Necronomicon.
Fall of Cthulhu, by Michael Nelson – A really unique attempt by Boom Studios! to do a story that is directly out of Lovecraft’s mythos, and contribute to the collective Cthulhu canon in a way that many horror writers do. A great miniseries collection.
Starry Vision, by Various – Another great collection of Lovecraft inspired short-fiction in graphic form, reminds us of a lot of the great short Cthulhu volumes transferred to comic form.
Cthulhu Tales, various authors – Draws a line to Lovecraft in the same way that Fall of Cthulhu does, except this time in an anthology of original short comic stories.
The Courtyard, by Alan Moore – This is actually an adaptation of an Alan Moore prose story brought to comics form, which is always a hit and miss proposition. In this case it is mostly a hit, yet one that can be read quickly in a single sitting.
The Dunwich Horror, by Joe Lansdale – This is a mixed story in general, but one that those coming from the world of Lovecraftian modern literature will find as a good gateway
Con and C’thulhu, by Matt Howarth – A strange pull out of the Alt comics in the 1980s with Cthulhu grabbing the mic in a hardcore band. Kind of a fun read, not the most direct for Lovecraft fans.
Dunwich, a Tale of the Cthulhu Mythos – Three-issue miniseries that goes into the Cthulhu cult itself. Kind of a gem that is hard to find.
Locke & Key, by Joe Jill – One of the best books on the list. The story follows a family that moves into a mysterious house after the murder of their patriarch, only to find a set of keys that change matter and their lives. Horror novelist Joe Hill is in full form here, and all six volumes are a modern classic.
The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles, Various – This has been another good attempt from Boom! Studios drawing on what they did in Cthulhu Tales and Fall of Cthulhu.
I.N.J. Culbard – Culbard has done a series of very good adaptations for graphic novels of a number of stories, including In The Mountains of Madness, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Shadow Out of Time, and others. A really great choice for direct adaptations, and incredibly cheap on Amazon Kindle.
Only the End of the World Again, by Neil Gaiman – Also an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story to comics form, which is great for Gaiman fans.
Yuggoth Cultures, by Alan Moore – Not the best book by Alan Moore, but a good attempt at Avatar for people really into both the mythos and the author.
Creepy #10, by Various – So there is a lot of Lovecraft that has snuck into the pages of Creepy over the years, both in classic Creepy and the newest incarnation, but issue #10 is an all Lovecraft volume!
Necronomicon, by Willaim Meissner-Loebs – Another Boom! Studios original that really shows their commitment to keeping the Lovecraftian tradition alive.
Arkham Woods, by Christopher Rawley – There are not a lot of mythos books from the Manga tradition, but Arkham Woods is an excellent addition for fans who want to expand what they understand as Lovecraftian graphic literature.
The Miskatonic Project: The Whisperer in Darkness, by Mark Ellis, by Mark Ellis – This is going to be a more random selection, an investigative serial that feels a bit like Lovecraft drafted the X-Files.
The Miskatonic Project: The Bride of Dagon, by Mark Ellis, by Mark Ellis – This is less of a success as it brings in a lot of Lovecraft characters with less of a coherent perspective.
Lori Lovecraft, by Mike Vosburg – Linda Lovecraft becomes Lori Lovecraft, with a more Hollywood take on Mike’s original creation.
Re-Animator (1991), Dawn of Re-Animator (1992), Steven Philip Jones, Christopher Jones, Bill Spangler, and Jose Malaga Whether – Inspired mostly by the film, the first four-issue run is a direct filmic adaptation, and “Dawn” is a prequel.
Isolation and Illusion, by Craig Russell – This is a great collection of short stories by Russell from Dark Horse Comics spanning 20 years, and includes some H.P. Lovecraft direct adaptations.
Taimashin, volume 1, by Hideyuki Kikchi – One of the best Dunwhich Horror adaptation there has ever been, even if it is cheesy at times.
Tower of Shadows, by Various – A Marvel classic from the 1970s that people have to track down the original comics. Let’s pressure Marvel to collect.
Dark Horse Presents #142, by Various – A Lovecraft tribute issues with a classic cover by Hellboy’s Mike Mignola and stories from a variety of people.
Re-Animator 0 and Re-Animator vs. Army of Darkness, by Nick Kuhoric, Sanford Greene, and Nick Bradshaw – Again, more of a Re-Animator movie book that owes more to Stuart Gordon that Lovecraft, but fun if you are fan of Evil Dead and the Re-Animator film.
Goomi’s Unspeakable Vault of Doom, by Francois Launet – A really funny take on Cthulhu and the Lovecraft influence on Goth and occultist culture.
The Wake, by Scott Snyder – Horror comics writer Scott Snyder brought a bit of Lovecraft to Vertigo a couple years back with the first part of The Wake miniseries, which heads into a dystopian science fiction story in the second half. A great series that mixes the genres well and gives a great 10-issue arc.
The Dark Goodbye, by Drew Rausch – One of the less successful books on the list, at least commercially. If you can track it down you might be treated to some Lovecraftian hard-boiled detective fun.
H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, by Michael Zigerlig – A direct adaptation of the original story for graphic literature that has been expanded over the years with a preface by Aliens artist H.R. Giger.
No Man’s Land, by Jason DeAngelis – Taken us deep into America’s past, this Manga is a good diversion from the straight mythos.
Haunt of Horror, Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft 1-3, by Various, by Various – This Marvel collection is a set of earnest adepts at adaptation, some of which work, most of of which not so much. The Lovecraft stories fit better than Poe, especially under Marvel’s MAX line.
North 40, by Aaron Williams – While this is not a terrible book, it was one that we were largely disappointed with because our expectations were so high. Great art from Fiona Staples of Saga, but a discombobulated storyline.
Cthulhu, Cthulhu, by various authors – This is for the completist. Takes Spanish language Cthulu stories and brings them into English.
H.P. Lovecraft, the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, by Jason Thompson – Another difficult to find series in the Lovecraftian tradition. You can pay a pretty penny for the five-part series or get thew newer trade collection from Mock Man Press.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, by Mike Mignola – Now this is a fun book for people who love Mignola, Batman, and Lovecraft.
Haunter of the Dark: And Other Grotesque Visions, by Various –A truly strange volumes, with adaptations of Cthulhu, inspired art by a controversial British artists, and occult invocations of Lovecraftian Gods by Alan Moore.
Neonomicon, by Alan Moore – This is one of Alan Moore’s most superb recent works in general, and one that is a real treasure.
The Lovecraft Anthology Vol. 1-2, by Various – This is a two-volume anthology collection of graphic short stories by Lovecraft.
Nightmare World, by Dirk Manning – Taking short stories that weave together into one complete work, this is an amazing feat of Lovecraftian proportions. There are actually several volumes of this work.
Necronauts, by Gordon Rennie – H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Harry Houdini in a team-up book battling Cthulhu gods. A great story that was first serialized in 2000 AD.
The Chronicles of Dr. Herbert West – This is Zenescope’s attempt at doing Re-Animator, and is only moderately successful, about like they are with everything they attempt.
Eldritch, by Aaron Alexovitch – Similar to The Dark Goodbye, this is a solid story for those who really want to jump in.
H.P. Lovecraft: Master of Horror, by Various – Small publisher Malibu published a short-lived series of direct illustrated adaptations of Lovecraft with new inspired stories inside. A little difficult to find.
Witch Doctor, by Brandon Seifert – Not Cthulhu mythos directly, but the story of demon conjuring sure echoes the Elder Ones!
Colder, by Paul Tobin – Though the book has no direct allusions to Lovecraft or the Cthulhu Mythos, it draws heavily on the Lovecraftian use of insanity.
Strange Aeons Magazine – This is not just one story, but a whole magazine that collects comics that really fit well in this list.
Hellboy, by Mike Mignola – This one might also be a bit unfair because it draws on a lot of sources in classic literature and horror literature broadly, but much of Hellboy’s horror feel comes straight from Lovecraft and even has allusions to the Cthulhu mythos.
Mneovore, by Hans Rodionoff and Ray Fawkes – Bringing aliens and the impending dread of Lovecraft to a great graphic novel volume.
The Sum of Light, by Brian McCranie – This was originally a Kickstarter project and an e-comic that was incredibly successful.
Infestation – An interdimensional zombie story that was eventually crossed over with 30 Days of Night.