So the second issue of Eldritch!, the utterly mad comic from Drew Rausch and Aaron Alexovich has wound up on my screen. If you’ve checked out our write-up of the first issue, you might remember that our heroine, Anya, is trying to figure out what has turned her brother Owen from her brother Owen into a…well, black goo-and-demon-infused thing. This quest has taken her now into the belly of the beast, at least figuratively speaking–a pool house converted into a temple to a crazed mythology. And in flashbacks, we get some history as to how the mythology came about and the particular manic disposition of its head priest, Chaston. So what are the engines that drive this descent into madness? There’s guys and girls and brothers and sister involved–what do you think it is?
Anyway, the setup of the first issue begins to play out here and what began as disturbing with a tinge of hilarity turns itself on its head and becomes laugh-out-loud genius laced with bile. Why do I say this? Because face up to it: we have all, at some point or another, tried to come up with names for demons or goblins or something. In other words, we have played Lovecraftian Mad Libs…
“[random arrangement of consonants and too many vowels], Lord of the [ordinal form of a number] [synonym for “land”] of the Lost and [present participle of some verb] [marsupial animal].”However, with Eldritch! it’s been taken to the next level. No matter how awesomely silly you thought yours were, this book wins. I won’t ruin the fun of seeing them in context, but just be prepared for stuff that would blow the entrails of anyone with “piteous mortal eyes,” “Entrails cast across the dust to be scryed by simple bolzorrs and gibbering gadjeks alike.” Every known anyone who LARPed a bit too hard? You’ll be laughing your ass off.
Now, admittedly, a catalog of random letters and a parody of Howard Phillips is all well and good, but it doesn’t exactly make for a completely satisfying read. And that’s not what’s happening here–it’s a setup for something dark and weird that involves babysitting Unholy Things, weird science and basements labs filled with bad ideas. The book never loses its hold on insanity and fun in equal measure, and that’s why it continues to work as an example of fine slobbery horror. Recommended.
Eldritch! is available as a PDF or through the Graphic.ly and Comixology apps. For more info about book and creators and other fun, check out the official site. The book is $.99. You can barely buy gum for $.99 these days. Enjoy.