A short story
by Neil Gaiman
, available in the Smoke and Mirrors
collection published by Harper Collins
. Set in a '90s Innsmouth
, a nervous Lawrence Talbot
, a werewolf
adjustor (He 'adjusts' problems) who appears in a number of the collection's stories, is the focus of attention from various Peter Lorre
-lookalike townspeople. It's a short sarcastic jaunt through the Lovecraft mythos
, and Neil Gaiman pulls it off by avoiding the usual "eldritch
" cliches while still giving a sense of the cosmic horror
caused by the existence of old, powerful nonhuman intelligences completely hostile to humanity's existence. There's a few sly references to old horror movie
s in the story - Lawrence Talbot
is the name of the werewolf played by Lon Chaney Jr.
in the movie The Wolf Man
, and Peter Lorre
did his parts in such films. There may well be more I didn't catch.
The story has also been published in the comics anthology Oni Double Feature, issues #6-8, published by Oni Press. It was adapted to sequential art format by P. Craig Russell, illustrated by Troy Nixey, and lettered by Sean Konot. Originally in black-and-white, Oni Press reprinted it in a single volume under the same name, colored by Matthew Hollingsworth. The adaption used only Neil Gaiman's original words for dialogue, with Nixey's fairly unpleasant, bizarre and distorted illustrations filling in for most of the text. It's a creepy little story, and the art manages to hold up despite the fact that most pictures of Lovecraft's creatures are less frightening than the images in one's mind created by description alone. The coloring is passable, if nothing spectacular.