Today I’m going to try something a little new. I found a book that I thought would be pretty cool to do a review over. Now I don’t know if this is something I’ll do again, but I thought “why not? This is a really cool product so I’ll give it a shot.” So today I’m going to write about Design Studio Press’ artistic cover of “At The Mountains Of Madness”. I think it will be less important for me to cover the exact contents of the story as much as the impact of the artwork, mostly because the product review is specifically about this copy of “At The Mountains Of Madness” and how it sets itself apart from the original copy.
That being said let’s talk about Lovecraft. If you don’t know, Lovecraft was an author during the early 1900’s. He is particularly famous for his creation of the Cthulhu mythos and most of his short stories take place in this universe. His writing was objectively great and set a lot of tone for a lot of horror that exists today. That being said he had some rather problematic ideas, and if you are going to enjoy his work you have to separate the art from the artist in my opinion.
“At The Mountains Of Madness” covers some professors from Miskatonic University who make an expedition to the south pole. To avoid spoilers, we’ll just say that their journey takes a Lovecraftian turn. I reread this story for this article to keep the material as fresh as possible, and it helped to shed light on many ideas that didn’t catch my eye on early reads. I think “At The Mountains Of Madness” is a great story. From the barren cold to the alien scenery and life forms, Lovecraft blurs the known and unknown together with a narrative style that makes me think about grandiose 1920’s adventures that are then twisted into physical and psychological horror. Lovecraft captures my imagination in a way I’m not used to and while we now know a lot more about the south pole than we did nearly a hundred years ago, I can see how he took something that was real, tangible, and unknown, and turned it into something horrifying. I am definitely a huge scaredy cat but books usually just don’t get me scared. This is the kind of book that I had dreams about, and the illustrated copy only served to further cement this sense of unease.
This particular copy of “At The Mountains Of Madness” is illustrated by Fracois Baranger. I’m not good with names so a lot of accolades and artist credits go over my head, but I can see why Mr. Baranger is so celebrated. He does a phenomenal job of illustrating the key moments in the story and bringing the narrative to life. My favourite example is the autopsy of the creatures later on in the story. The description of the creature is given in extreme detail from it’s height, length, appendages, and lots of other stuff. It’s very scientific and detailed, but for some reason that got in the way of my imagination. With the demo I got to read I was pulled into the moment and felt like an observer.
This happened to me over and over with each turn of the page. My demo copy was unfortunately hard to read so I used my physical copy and lined up the pages so that when I got to the next page in my online copy I could take in the scene and continue reading. It was really fun to go through and I think any lovecraftian truly worth their salt should heavily consider picking this book up. Keep in mind though that this is a two part book. So it gets about halfway through the story and then you will need the next part that is not quite released yet. So be sure to keep an eye out for that. Honestly this is a great time to pick up a copy with the Christmas season coming on. Chances are if you are reading this article either you or someone close to you is a big lovecraft fan and this book would get you some serious brownie points. I do see this particular copy of “The Mountains Of Madness” as a collector’s item more than a way to get into the book on its own.
If you are interested in picking up a copy go ahead and click here and use this fancy code ATMOM2020 to get 20 percent off of your purchase. You can find Design Studio Press on social media as well for some announcements on upcoming projects and releases. Be sure to follow my socials on Facebook and Twitter as well! When I’m not writing, working, or going to school I’m usually playing video games with my friends Matt and Cole. You can check us out on Tuesdays at 9 for some fun streaming. Let me know how I did on my first book review on the comments below or on my socials and as always,