COMIC REVIEW: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is one of my favourite H.P Lovecraft stories. I have always enjoyed dreams, pleasant dreams, lucid dreams and even the nightmares I used to have every night when I was little. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath follows the fortunes of one Randolph Carter, a man who is finding his dreams even more alluring:

In a world beyond the walls of sleep, Randolph Carter goes in search of an opulent and mysterious sunset city. First, he must go to Kadath, home of the Gods, where he hopes to be guided to the city of his dreams. No one has ever been to Kadath, and no one even knows how to get there – but that won’t stop Carter from trying. In this masterful adaptation of Lovecraft’s classic novella, I. N. J. Culbard captures Carter’s journey through the dangerous and spectacular Dreamlands in beautiful, gripping detail.

Culbard’s adaptation captures the scope of the original tale to a tremendous degree. Starting with Carter’s initial desire to find Kadath, the reader is soon drawn into Carter’s dreams, his searching, journeying and thinking. The art-style is crisp and simple, not getting too bogged down in showing every little crease in clothing or texture on a mountain. It shows enough to create a feeling of being a long way from home, yet also right on its doorstep.

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The narrative itself sees Carter questing through strange lands and having to be weary of the strange creatures he encounters. He must avoid the Zoogs in the woods, the sinister Black Galleys in Dylath-Leen and the Gugs and Ghasts of the underworld. Not every creature is hostile to Carter though; his visit to Ulthar soon gives him formidable allies in the form of the cats that live there. He also comes across people he knows in the “real world” and others who are ready with advice and guidance. At the back of it all is a seething threat, a lurking darkness in the form of dark god Nyarlathotep, an adversary Carter can ill afford to encounter, yet his path unavoidably leads him to him anyway.

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One thing I really liked was that at a few intervals in the book, the panels were black with just a pair of eyes looming into view, accompanied by the sinister “I see you Randolph Carter, I see you.” The echoing distant voice I had in my head as I read this was totally automatic.

I.N.J Culbard is an award-winning artist who has done other adaptations of Lovecraft’s work, including At The Mountains of Madness and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. I have not read any of these but on the strength of his handling of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, I think I will have to seek them out.

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Even if you have no knowledge of Lovecraft, I would certainly give The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath a read. It is a fantastic and unnerving tale that paints the vistas of one man’s dreams in such a clear and otherworldly way, that you may well find yourself hunting for Kadath when you go to sleep at night.

Dreams of Unknown Kadath Cover

Visit the Self Made Hero website here to view more information.

 

AUTHOR: I.N.J Culbard / H.P Lovecraft

PUBLISHER: Self Made Hero

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Casey Douglass

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