"While belief in the supernatural is only superstition. the sense of the supernatural cannot be denied." -- Thomas Ligotti.
I just love that quote, it gets directly to the heart of the matter. And you have to look no further in todays life than to visit most high rises in this country with buidings that don't have a 13th floor. I have to admit that I have not read much Thomas Ligotti. Not on purpose, as usual it comes down to there's only so many hours in a day, and being the owner of the Overlook Bookstore, I am constantly inundated with new fiction on a daily basis. Then this collection of Ligotti's short fiction came in as a graphic edition. So I plopped it down to give it a go, and as its officially produced with the author's asisstance I thought this would be a nice introduction to his work. Each story features an introduction by the author, and I mean a full page intro for every story. As I'm learning, Ligotti's work is involved and intense. No slight of hand here. These are truly disturbing visions of horror the author delivers.
Let's begin with "The Last Feast of Harlequin" which is very much in the Lovecraftian vein. Lovecraft, considered one of the father's of the horror genre, can be work to read at times, and I've not always been a fan. In this case Ligotti's idea of the masquerade in a dull little town, shows that there is more beneath the masks of the clowns and of the town, than meets the eye. Although the buildup is slow, the payoff is disturbing. I believe I enjoy these author's who've been influenced by Lovecraft, (such as Ligotti), much more. I'm not exactly sure why, but maybe these influenced author's bring a modern feel to old horrors. "Dr. Locrian's Asylum" takes me down memory lane aka "Night Gallery," yes, a favorite show of mine. A town on the down side of it's life, with the omnipresent old and empty asylum, that casts a long shadow across the town. It seems that burning down the asylum isn't going to remove that shadow, or the ghosts, that once inhabitated the asylum in life, and now in other forms. And of course there's the retired Dr. Locrian, who sits and watches from his upstairs bedroom. He's creepier than the ghosts. Also featured are stories "Teatro Grottesco" and "Dream of a Mannikin," both eerily creepy in their own right and nice additions to this collection.
The stories are deftly adapted by Stuart Moore and Joe Harris. The artists, Colleen Doran, Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), Ted McKeever, and Michael Gaydos supply plenty of detail. color, and eerie to bring these visions to us. Anytime the artist can relay the author's vision, gives us, the reader, an even more complete picture for us to visit with. These artists have spent a gread deal of time on this project and it shows.
Okay, now where did I put Nightmare Factory Vol . 2 ?You can see all Thomas Ligotti at the Overlook HERE