Before Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft was the 20th century’s master of the macabre. But Poe and Dunsany did not alone begat Lovecraft. In fact, the opinionated New England gentleman is on record stating that his favorite short story was none other than Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows. Blackwood was a prolific English ghost story writer and a grandfather of today’s Weird Fiction scene; The Willows is remembered as one of his greatest contributions to dark, atmospheric literature.
This immortal novella of extra-dimensional weirdness on the Danube comes to vivid life in graphic comic form thanks to the incredibly detailed black-and-white linework of Sam Ford. Writer Nathan Carson’s thoughtful retelling reverently preserves the plot while breathing character-driven depth into this all-time classic. Two adventurous women, one British, one Swedish, encounter strange horrors in the Hungarian wilderness of 1907. What they discover on that crumbling sandbar makes them question their sanity, fear for their lives, and revel in otherworldly strangeness. Readers familiar with the story will delight in seeing it depicted in such painstaking, quality illustrations. And those for whom it is new will want to leave a light on for many nights after.
“A sumptuous and remarkable adaptation of the classic story by Algernon Blackwood. This comics version manages to infuse the story not just with the dread and cosmic horror of the original, but also displays a deep appreciation for the natural world. Unexpectedly beautiful.” – Jeff Vandermeer, best-selling author of Borne and Annihilation
“It’s easy to see why Lovecraft revered Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows. It achieved all the mystery, dread, beauty and unearthliness that he strove for in his own work. This gorgeous adaptation, with Sam Ford’s meticulous and obsessive artwork, teems with natural detail and fin de siècle aesthetics. I get the same feeling as when I first discovered the Symbolists. This is a must-have.” – Paul Chadwick, multi-award winning artist and creator of Concrete
“Carson and Ford’s graphic novel is an excellent adaptation, building onto the original framework with a modern sensibility and a deeper depiction of the central relationship. Carson respects Blackwood’s language, playing with it in key places to serve the story. Meanwhile, Ford’s Wrightson-esque illustrations bring the setting vividly to life, shifting as fluidly as the narrator’s sense of reality.” – Tor.com
“A visually lush experience that beautifully evokes nature’s unpredictability and more menacing aspects: twisted trees cavort with crashing waves as the wildlife simply stares on with empty expressions.” – Rue Morgue
“The classic tale of mystery and horror that H. P. Lovecraft himself considered to be the finest supernatural story in English literature finally gets it’s own comic book adaptation.” – Broken Frontier
“…tightly hewn text and rich, emotive illustrations…” – Pixel Pop Network
“…enhances what Blackwood was already doing. Simple, elegant, and absolutely brilliant… Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.” – The Outer Dark
“Four stars…surpasses the original.” – Microphones of Madness