COMIC REVIEW: The Shadow Out of Time

Self Made Hero are a company that seemed to produce quality book after quality book. I.N.J. Culbard was given the task of making a graphic novel version of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, The Shadow out of Time. A story that many believe to be one of Lovecraft’s best. Culbard excels to the challenge producing a thoroughly engaging, and exciting adaptation.

The story follows Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, a university professor who faints in 1908, only to regain consciousness in 1913. In this five year gap, Nathaniel had become a changed man, acting in a bizarre fashion. Many of the things that he did after he fainted he can only remember in a dream like state. Nathaniel spends the rest of his life trying to uncover what happened to him in those five years and why it should have occurred. The more he thinks about this, the more he is sent on a chilling journey through time and space.

Culbard has excelled in adapting Lovecraft’s work. This should come no surprise to readers of Culbard’s previous work. With TV and film versions making Sherlock Holmes relevant to the modern generation it is often forgotten that Culbard did the same in the graphic medium, creating some phenomenal graphic novels. He has done this again: with clever, unique and sometimes bizarre panel structures that play off this wonderfully mad sci-fi tale.

Self Made Hero are known to be able to adapt classics into the graphic medium and with The Shadow out of Time, they have achieved this again. To Culbard’s credit he manages to re-create a classic and at the same time makes it accessible for anyone that has never read Lovecraft before.

Culbard’s artwork grabs the reader and pulls them into a gripping page-turner. He plays with shadow to portray the darker moments of Nathaniel’s ‘dreams’. The colours work well adding to the artwork. When the alien like dreams occur they are often blinding light to piercing reds in comparison to the very normal, almost mundane looking world that Nathaniel usually inhabits. The book itself is beautifully presented, feeling right at home on any bookshelf.

All in all The Shadow out of Time is an entertaining, engrossing romp of a book. The artwork is stunning with a story that will keep you wanting more and more. A classic retold for a new generation.

Rating: 4/5

Reporter: Luke Halsall

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