The King In Yel­low

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

Read it if you dare!

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: SelfMadeHero Writer/ artist: INJ Cul­bard

Ref­er­enced in

the first sea­son of True De­tec­tive, The King In Yel­low was de­scribed by HP Love­craft as “one of the great­est weird tales ever writ­ten” af­ter he first read Robert W Cham­bers’s dis­turb­ing short story col­lec­tion. Now af­ter adapt­ing sev­eral Love­craft clas­sics for SelfMadeHero, Ian Cul­bard has turned his at­ten­tion to Cham­bers.

First pub­lished in 1895, the book is com­posed of 10 in­ter­linked sto­ries, and Cul­bard con­cen­trates on the first four: “The Re­pairer Of Rep­u­ta­tions”, “The Mask”, “The Yel­low Sign” and “In The Court of The Dragon”, which, with its hal­lu­ci­na­tory vi­sions of the oth­er­worldly Yel­low King him­self, brings the book to an in­trigu­ing, cos­mic con­clu­sion. The quar­tet take place in 1890s Paris or the fic­tional fu­ture of a 1920s New York. With a num­ber of char­ac­ters al­luded to in more than one story, they fol­low a familiar pat­tern as the un­sus­pect­ing pro­tag­o­nists cross paths with malev­o­lent in­di­vid­u­als af­ter sampling the text of The King In Yel­low, a fic­tional play that dooms any­one who reads it to a sticky end.

Cul­bard deftly leaves the pic­tures and the dia­logue to tell the story, with his de­cep­tively sim­ple fig­ure­work mesh­ing bril­liantly with the muted colour pal­ette to cre­ate an eerie, un­set­tling at­mos­phere that will stay with you long af­ter­wards. Let this en­thralling work cast its sin­is­ter spell over you. Stephen Jewell

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