Archive for May, 2009

Lovecraft Lives: Mike Vosburg

Friday, May 1st, 2009

(Introduction by LL

Some guys just know how to draw, and Mike Vosburg is one of them. I know it takes a lot of hard work to make it seem effortless, but many of us never achieve that grace with a pencil. Mike started out in comics, moved to L.A. and added animation and live -action design to his skills. Along the way, he took Lovecraftian themes in a new direction, to Hollywood in the 1930s to be exact, thereby expanding the boundaries of the Mythos and adding a bit of good ol’ american cheesecake to the mix. The Old Gentleman from Providence is probably blushing inhis grave…but I bet he has copies of both Lori Lovecraft collections. In addition to the Lori Lovecraft site, there are plenty of feasts for the eyes on his regular website, Vozart. And it should also be noted that he is just a dog-gone nice guy.)

In the mid 1970′s I created a sexy sorceress named Linda Lovecraft. I had been at my comics career just long enough to want to do something entirely on my own. I had also recently discovered H.P. Lovecraft voz 001 Lovecraft Lives: Mike Vosburg and I used a vague version of his mythos as a backdrop with a mixture of magic and humor for the stories.

I loved spooky stories and my favorites were Poe, Sax Rohmer. Dracula, and compilations edited by Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling. But essentially all these works of prose dealt with humans; they might be undead humans, or humans turned to monsters, but they were all from a world I was familiar with.

Lovecraft opened up whole new worlds of terror for me. I didn’t like sci fi; it lacked noir atmosphere….but Lovecraft changed all that. Here was an entirely unexplored universe of unique supernatural beings, frightening territories thatthrough some quirk of bizarre geometry bordered on our own mundane world.

And this was all told in a documentarian fashion that made you believe. I was probably in my mid twenties when I read “At the Mountains of Madness”, but I slept with the lights on for a long time afterward ( a fact which annoyed my ex-wife no end.) When I decided to do my own comic series, it was only
natural to base it on sex and Lovecraft, two of my favorite things.

Doing the series was a great delight to me. The art was well done, but the stories were pretty weak…and worse, everyone referred to my character as Linda Lovelace (the notorious porn star of the era.) But I didn’t have a clue of how to really develop my female lead and with other opportunities starting to arise, I ended the strip. But I always kept Linda in the back of my creative mind.

Twenty years later I finally reinvented the sexy sorceress as Lori (Lorelei) Lovecraft. The first story was a reworking of the last Linda story, with Lori featured as the reincarnated lover of Abdul Al Azred, the mad Arab. Pete Ventrella came on board with the second story and brought a sparkling wit to the writing and a new dimension to the characters.

Lori was a beautiful, but marginally talented, actress who was too old at the age of 25 to stay competitive. When she discovers the Necronomicon she turns to sorcery, with not much better results than at acting.

The low budget horror movie background grew out of my experiences working on HBO’s Tales From The Crypt. Pete and I both were fans of the films of the 30′s and 40′s and it gave me a chance to cast some of my
voz 002 191x300 Lovecraft Lives: Mike Vosburgfavorite starts (Karloff, Lugosi, Bob and Bing, Bill Powell, Hitchcock, Bobs Mitchum and Dylan and even Burgess Meredith) as charactgers. There was a noir look and a whimsical touch to the strip.

Pete pushed the Lovecraft aspect much further than I had with Linda. All in all, the writing and artwork were head and shoulders above anything else I’d ever done in comics. Unfortunately, since the project was self published, theaudience remained miniscule. It did bring me lots of work; I often referred to the books as the world’s most expensive (and time consuming) business cards.

If you’ve never seen the strip, don’t despair. I still have several boxes of books in my storage shed. Take a look at the preview at LORILOVECRAFT.COM and if it’s too your liking, help me clean out some space. Which will make my wife Annie, the love of my life, happy. Many of my friends claim she is the model for
Lori, and she doesn’t mind me sleeping with the lights on.

voz 003 Lovecraft Lives: Mike Vosburg