This Wednesday, have yourself a Merry Cthulhu Christmas

Illustration for article titled This Wednesday, have yourself a Merry Cthulhu Christmas

What screams holiday cheer more than Alan Moore penning Lovecraftian horror? Only a dozen shoggoths, writhing in a riptide of egg nog, intoxicated by their own tumescence. It's comic book Wednesday. Dig it.

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First off, Geoff Johns bring us The Larfleeze Christmas Special (DC), a comic about the meaning of Christmas (and Christmas materialism) from the grotesque, avaricious alien who heads the Orange Lantern Corps. For the very antithesis of holiday cheer, check out the latest issue of Alan Moore's Neonomicon (Avatar). After last issue's stomach-churning NSFW capers, it feels like anything's fair game. And if you want to read about one of the few people who could actually hold his own against a Great Old One, the second issue of Grant Morrison's Batman Inc. (DC) is on the stands — Bruce Wayne continues his Japanese adventure, assisted by the crimefighter Mr. Unknown.

American Vampire (DC/Vertigo) and Chew (Image) both kick off new story arcs this week; the former follows vampire in 1936, the latter is about a mystery involving fried chicken. Matt Fraction & Kieron Gillen start off their tag team writing duties on Uncanny X-Men, and Mike Carey of The Unwritten fame turns his sights to Norse mythology in the miniseries Thor: Wolves Of The North (Marvel). Brian Michael Bendis kicks of the final chapter of his Ultimate Universe tripartite miniseries with Ultimate Doom (Marvel), and there's a new issue of Kill Shakespeare (IDW) — you can read our exclusive preview from yesterday here. And if wish fulfillment is your fancy, new issues of Mark Millar's Superior and Felicia Day's The Guild: Vork hit stands as well.

Illustration for article titled This Wednesday, have yourself a Merry Cthulhu Christmas

As for graphic novels, there are some terrifically idiosyncratic titles on the stands. Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius collect their scifi epic The Incal (Humanoids) into one massive hardcover; Malachai and Ethan Nicolle collect the entire original run of their cult hit webcomics Axe Cop (Dark Horse); and the complete works of David Boswell's weird-ass 1980s indie comic Reid Fleming: The World's Toughest Milkman are being collected by IDW.

As usual, here's the list of everything being released to comic stores tomorrow, and you can find your nearest comic retailer here. May Robot Velociraptor Santa Claus not visit your house this week, and if he does, you can appease him with back issues of Elfquest.

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DISCUSSION

BrianT888
BrianT888

Moore is definitely having fun with Carcosa's lisp in this issue. For example, I don't think he's actually calling Brears the "asian Merry." But what's an athian, if that's the case?

According to the Urban Dictionary, athians are "People who are a mixture of being religious and athiest [sic]. They believe that Satan and God only exist with in [sic] the mind. These individuals believe that hell is just a horrible place; like a gehtto or prison and heven [sic] would be the exact opposite. They are also known as religious hypocrites."

I don't know Alan Moore personally, but from what I've read, that sounds like him to a tee. Moore rather famously worships Glycon, a Roman-era snake puppet, and openly admits that Glycon isn't actually a real god.

I suspect that part of what's going on here is Moore playing with this idea. Cthulhu and his tentacley ilk aren't real in our world; there is no giant alien god-monster lying dead at the bottom of the Pacific waiting to awaken and eat us all. However, just as the idea of a unicorn is a real idea, the IDEA of the Mythos is very much real and very powerful. As the cops in this issue mention, the Mythos is all over popular culture these days, to the point that you can buy children's books starring shoggoths. The idea of the Mythos can influence us, how we think and how we act, just as the idea of Superman can serve to inspire the best in us (as explored by Grant Morrison in All-Star Superman). This series might be Moore's examination of the prevalence of the Mythos in modern culture, and how that may be affecting us.

Plus monster penis, because, y'know, it's Alan Moore.