H.P. Lovecraft's fantasy classic Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, in comic book form

If you're an HP Lovecraft fan, and you like comics, you'll want to help comic book writer (and io9 columnist) Jason Thompson realize his dream of creating a beautiful, printed version of his comic book adaptation of Lovecraft's only fantasy novel, Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Right now, Thompson is trying to raise $10,000 in printing costs on Kickstarter, and a contribution will (of course) get you a free book. He's already more than halfway to his goal, so every little bit will help!


Thompson writes about manga for io9 and many other publications, and is the author of the awesome comic book series, King of RPGs. He's also a serious Lovecraft nerd. I've seen his Dream-Quest comic, and it's truly gorgeous.

Here is Thompson's pitch on Kickstarter:

Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvellous city…and three times he was snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it.

Written in 1926 and never published during his lifetime, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is the only full-length fantasy novel by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Combining characters and places from many of his earlier works into an invented mythology, it's a Lovecraft's fan's dream, but it also stands on its own as a weird fantasy in the tradition of Lord Dunsany, William Beckford and China Miéville. From an author better known for his stories of horror and science fiction, it's a strange adventure into realms of endless caverns, fantastic cities and perfumed jungles…of journeys by ship, zebra and winged monsters…of perilous encounters with man-eating ghouls, dark gods and talking cats. When I first read the story way back in junior high, I thought not only of Lovecraft's usual horrors, but also of the kinds of nighttime worlds I remembered from my childhood readings of Maurice Sendak, Winsor McCay and Mercer Mayer.

At length, sick with longing for those glittering sunset streets and cryptical hill lanes, nor able sleeping or waking to drive them from his mind, Carter resolved to go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before…and dare the icy deserts through the dark to where Unknown Kadath, veiled in cloud and crowned with unimagined stars, holds secret and nocturnal the onyx castle of the Great Ones.

From 1997 to 1999, I drew a 122-page all-ages adaptation of Dream-Quest, drawing inspiration from underground comics and classic children's books and the "naive fairy-tale wonder-spirit" that Lovecraft, in his own words, was trying to capture. I self-published it as a five-issue comic book series, and art from it was used in a Dream-Quest movie adaptation, but the original issues are long out of print. Years later, homesick for dreamland, I went back and drew adaptations of three more of Lovecraft's dream stories, "Celephais," "The White Ship" and "The Strange High House in the Mist." I've published these stories on the web here.

Here's my plan: I want to go back to my Dream-Quest comics, retouch the art, and reprint all four stories-Dream-Quest, "Celephais," "The White Ship" and "The Strange High House"-together in one definitive collection of HPL's greatest dream stories. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath will have a new cover, a map of the dreamworld, concept art of the various creatures and places, and a comic adaptation of Lovecraft's four greatest dream stories. Altogether, it'll be a 176-page, oversize (approximately A4 size) book.

To cover printing and shipping costs, I need your help raising $10,000. I'm taking Kickstarter pledges of all levels, and I'm offering rewards ranging from a printed copy of the book, to original artwork and sketches, to a poster map of the Dreamlands, to a never-before-printed Lovecraftian RPG adventure inspired by "Hypnos," "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" and "The Green Meadow." If you're really inspired, for $1000 and up I'll even do a complete new comic of the short Lovecraft story of your choice!

If you're a Lovecraft fan, if you like fantasy and children's books, or if you want to introduce Lovecraft's fantasy side to a friend or family member who's squeamish of horror, please help me out and spread the word. Making this comic is my dream, and I can't do it without you.

You can donate to Thompson's Dream-Quest project on his Kickstarter page.


Mireille is sensational, like a She-Hulk

Dream-Quest was one of my least favorite Lovecraft stories. What I love about great Lovecraft stories is what is left out, just on the periphery and not explicitly described. Dream-Quest is so deliberately a tourist's guide, I've at times suspected it was written by someone else and passed off as Lovecraft. I wish Thompson luck, but I don't care to see the results.