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February 29, 2012
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Cthulhu is Still Calling

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 7:56 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:





    



Cthulhu


is Still Calling




:icontechgnotic:
by techgnotic
Wed Feb 29, 2012, 7:00 PM

Having been thinking a lot about the origins of our globally held Dragon mythos in a recent article
"Reptilicus Infernicus,"
I couldn’t help but notice the Cthulhu legend was always lurking at the edges of my mind as I was researching the subject matter.


The Enemy at the Gates, the “Other”, forever lurking in the darkness and plotting an
invasion most evil and an enslavement most hideous, is probably the original seminal “narrative” that was born when humans first
acquired self-awareness and began trying to explain themselves to each other as they sat around their fires built at the mouths of their caves.






Cthulhu by veprikov















These scary “cautionary tales” were not simply the superstitious nonsense of ignorant caveman minds. They served an
important purpose. They taught clan members to stick close, to not wander to far from the firelight.  Survival depended
on creating a fear of the dark. The “invaders at the edge of our world” story has remained deeply imbedded in our human
subconscious for the 10,000 years since we left the caves. In modern times, the invasion has become as paranoiac as the
paranoid modern man, the invaders becoming “invisible” and walking amongst us: Who is secretly a space alien in human form?
Or a vampire or werewolf?  Or a carrier of the spreading Zombie plague?


This month IDW Publishing buries the needle on the Mad Mash-Up Meter by unleashing Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics titles with storylines mining the Cthulhu Mythos, injecting what's sure to be heart-shocking dose of tentacle fueled intergalactic Lovecraftian menace into both these beloved series.







LivioRamondelli, khaamar, mytymark, AlexGarner and GuidoGuidi have created some of these fantastic covers for the IDW Infestation cross-over storyline.
















Science fiction and horror literature has long been the most fertile field for paranoid invasion narratives – and one master of all masters stands alone above all the others.


H.P. Lovecraft wrote some of the greatest horror fiction ever created during the 1920s and 1930s...


He published in the cheap pulp magazines of the era, including his mostly short story masterpieces that would come to be known collectively as “The Cthulhu Mythos”.  I think the Cthulhu stories are so enduring not only because they are simply the best written and most terrifying of their genre, but because Lovecraft’s overarching narrative so perfectly fits the universal and eternal “lurking invader” paradigm. Cthulhu, one of the Old Ones – gods who once ruled the world but now mostly lie dormant in sunken cities beneath our oceans – is the ultimate invader: not from another land or even another planet, but an invader from beyond our universe.














Cthulhu himself has been a favorite of visual artists since his inception, described by H.P. Lovecraft as a sort of enormous intergalactic winged squid-headed deity.  Most artists’ renderings of him remind me of the Hindu god, Ganesh – if Ganesh had an octopus head rather than an elephant head.  It was a special talent of Lovecraft that he always managed in his writing to lend just enough but not too much detail in describing his shadowy lurkers – just enough to stoke the fires of his readers’ imaginations, making his creations, in their fertile minds, far more horrible than anything he could have rendered with more descriptive illumination.





Cthulhu by telthonaCthulhu by AlMaNeGrA:thumb50356959:The Key of Cthulhu, faux bronze by SkinStripper


ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn












Questions for the Reader




1

If you have encountered Cthulhu in your literary wanderings, would you agree he is the Elder God supreme monster of all horror lit (and H.P. Lovecraft the supreme horror writer), or are there others you would propose for these Grand Champion of Horror?





2

What is it about the god Cthulhu that you think has made him such an enduring subject for artists?  Is it merely the aesthetics, the many possibilities, of his simply-limned description by Lovecraft?  Or is it the shudder-inducing fearfulness of the stories that are evoked by seeing any depiction of the fiend?





3

A cult of Cthulhu “believers” has been born since Lovecraft first created the stories in the 1930s – fans who claim to have become actual acolytes in a very real dark religion.  Do you think this sort of thing is all in good fun?  Or can it be dangerous? What if the “belief” is in a “good” force rather than an evil one – like the 70,000 Australians who wrote in “Jedi” as their religion on the 2001 national census?









Cthulhu Rises by OdinoirCthulhu by illgnosisAttack of Cthulhu by PixelObsessionCthulhu by SharksDen



4
What scares you the most?
  • The Great Lord Cthulhu
  • Vampires
  • Ghosts
  • Possession
  • Zombies
  • Aliens
  • A Jedi - Cthulhu War
  • Having to spell Cthulhu on command with your life hanging in the balance
  • Voldemort casting Imperio on Fluttershy
  • Commitment











Add a Comment:
 
:iconxena110:
Xena110 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Hahaha but seriously why would I be scared of Cthulhu? HE SO CUTE!!!!! Broken Fighting Dome (Kawaii Please) Hi! Devilish 
Reply
:iconskinstripper:
SkinStripper Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Wow.  I can't believe I just noticed this.  Thank you for featuring my Key of Cthulhu, deviantART!
Reply
:icontechgnotic:
techgnotic Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013
of course, it's incredible work!

Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today and the tour. It was incredibly inspiring! 

Looking forward to publishing this article.
Reply
:iconskinstripper:
SkinStripper Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Same here, and it was wonderful having you guys visit!
Reply
:iconpigsinzen:
pigsinzen Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012
My god these are amazing. Love the Mythos ... love these art pieces. Awesome work!
Reply
:iconritiakaramne:
Ritiakaramne Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012
Hm, i still wonder if dragon myths didn't come from a time, when the predecessors of men, tiny furry dragons themselves, were still hunted by dinosaurs... seeing big jaws closing in upon you is a horror too aced into mammal nightmares, how else could a bonobo sign to her ward on the question: what do you fear? "Crocodile" - and this without having seen any, recently?
Reply
:iconseothen:
Seothen Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Anyone read Alan Moore's recent Neonomicon? Points quite interestingly to the racism and obvious sexual hang-ups Lovecraft himself had.

Also, there are several typos in this note by techngnotic.
Reply
:iconmorgothdoom:
MorGothDoom Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012   Traditional Artist
IA!!! IA!!! Cthulhu phtagn. IA!!! IA!!! Cthulhu phtagn. IA!!! IA!!! Cthulhu phtagn!!!
Reply
:iconchosendefect:
ChosenDefect Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
:heart: Looking forward to helping brand more minds with a hint of paranoia, and the overwhelming urge to scream out into the darkness that consumes us all. :D
Reply
:iconritiakaramne:
Ritiakaramne Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012
Or is it changing your own nature into what you fear and make the darkness your only true home?
Reply
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