May 11

A wizard, a pirate girl and Steven Seagal walk into a bar...Click for larger image

Tor Mented Comments: Regarding the use of Lovecraft’s name. I believe that the proper names of people and places can’t be copyrighted. The makers of a certain 2002 movie musical can’t copyright the name Chicago so that no one else could use it. I think something similar happened with one of the Amityville movies. Amityville is a real village in New York. So somebody made a horror flick with Amityville in the title, without paying royalties, and the original “Amityville Horror” folks couldn’t do a thing about it. Correct me if I’m wrong.

So anyone can slap Lovecraft on a book. If need be, they could say it’s a reference to Seymour W. Lovecraft or Wendell Q. Lovecraft and not Howard Phillips.

As for the overall cover, H.P. Lovecraft was a lifelong teetotaler and very adamant in that view. So having a Lovecraft “café” that is obviously serving booze is a lot like having a PETA barbecue shop.

Tag Wizard: Possible comedy but we’ve been bending the rules for so long who cares. (Same with game spinoff books, series, and whatnot). At least we have some new covers but we could use a lot more. Keep ’em coming.

Published 1987

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 3.54 out of 10)

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29 Responses to “The Wizard of Lovecraft’s Cafe”

  1. Bruce A Munro Says:

    That’s a Wizaaaaaaaard, alright. His owl looks mechanical – the artist recently watched “Clash of the Titans?”

    I must say that for a Cafe called “Lovecraft’s”, there’s not much to be seen that’s Lovecraftian. No tentacle-themed decorations, no non-Euclidean geometry, no cthonic gloom. It’s frankly bland and eldritch-free: maybe it _is_ referencing Seymour W. Lovecraft.

    Given that this is a series where (IIRC) magic has become common in the modern world, the long-haired bartender seems remarkably impressed by the floating peanuts. I suspect it’s the wizaaaaaaaard’s outfit that has him gaping like a fish.

  2. THX 1139 Says:

    Never mind the abuse of Howard’s name, what about flagrant abuse of wizarding powers?

  3. JJYoyo Says:

    Lord, this is terrible.
    That’s it. This doesn’t merit any satirical wit, and looking at it sucks all the joy out of my life…..
    ….OK, I guess I have to sink to the occasion: this is so bad a drawn wizaaaard had to be photoshopped into a painted background.

  4. Max Bathroom Says:

    @Bruce A Munro
    Damn straight. Shouldn’t the wizard of Lovecraft’s cafe have tentacles or something as well?

  5. Francis Boyle Says:


    Unfortunately par for the course. Not many artists can pull off a comic cover. You just have to look at some of the things Terry Pratchett got saddled with. I’d call this a middling shade of terrible.

  6. JuanPaul Says:

    They’re all having too much fun to be in a bar owned by HP Lovecraft.

  7. fred Says:

    That’s not Seagal, that’s Ron Jeremy.

  8. drlemaster Says:

    This can’t be that Lovecraft’s café. Some of the patrons look, you know, ethnic.

  9. Tor Mented Says:

    Another reason it can’t be the real Lovecraft’s cafe: There’s an attractive woman.

  10. Tat Wood Says:

    Alan Moore has taken out copyright on the name ‘Providence’, which annoys Rhode Islanders even more than things like this. His comic was lamer than this cover, which is going some, so anyone who wants to do a ‘Northampton’ graphic novel about ageing has-been writers gettingoff on writing increasingly ugly rape-fantasies should do so immediately. Bonus points if you get Billing Aquadrome and Stoke Bruerne Waterways Museum in as gateways to eternal perdition. (I bear the scars of a Corby childhood).

    In 70s London there was a sex shop called ‘Lovecraft’, so the only appropriate use for the name’s already been taken.

  11. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Speaking of sex shops, it appears that turban girl has just been goosed, either by the invisible barstool or the classy-looking guy standing beside her.

  12. Cornelius Says:

    You mean PETA doesn’t stand for People Eating Tasty Animals?

  13. JJYoyo Says:

    @ Francis Boyle: you’re right , but I still aver this is the worst pub in the multiverse.
    @ JuanPaul : true! Maybe they’re all chanting “Ia! Ia! the Goat with a Thousand Young!” Or maybe “100 vials of mephitic diabolical ichor on the wall, 100 vials of mephitic diabolical ichorrrrr…”
    @driemaster @Tor Mented: touché to you both! Having read the original, unsanitized versions of HP Lovecraft’s work: sorry, he was not guilty of “standards of the time” or “don’t be so sensitive “. The routine, casual, and repetitive, racism etc in the work is surreal. And even there I might argue that if there were sufficient literary merit that we should still be able to see the work. However, for every *good* HPL story (eg Mountains of Madness” there were some real stinkers – not just outdated or flawed but just downright terrible. There is at least one short story which ends – I do not exaggerate or misrepresent: “And then I woke up.”

  14. Max Bathroom Says:

    If this is Lovecraft’s cafe, shouldn’t that mean he’s the guy in the bow tie behind the counter? And if so, whatever happened to his chin?

  15. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Looking more closely, I note if you embiggen the picture all the way the Wizaaaaaaaard’s expression becomes hard to interpret. Is he happy? Is he angry? Is he screaming into the infinite abyss? Only his bartender knows for sure!

    @JJYoyo: really, at this point I’d say the influence of those originally inspired by Lovecraft, and the influence of the ones they influenced in turn (etc.) is a lot bigger than Lovecraft’s original stories. Cthulhu et al at this point belong to the world, and Eldritch fiction has outgrown its roots in HPLs neuroses.

  16. JJYoyo Says:

    @Bruce: very true:

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tag W: So you’ve managed to lose the wodge of bad covers I sent 3 years ago. I’ll have to see where I stored them. Sigh.

    Luckily there’s no Black people in the bar/cafe, so old Howard wouldn’t have too much of a conniption fit.

    So they just leave that space at the bar permanently without a stool so Wiz can levitate? And has he stolen the mechanical owl from original “Clash of the Titans”?

    I spy a nice in-joke over on the menu board; “Yermakov” is Hawke’s original name, and still his legal one when this was published. Source: at a mid-80s party, he and I got very, VERY drunk together and moaned about our respective relationship problems. (His were much worse than mine, so other than the hangover I felt better.)

    My point being, the man had great taste in liquor and shared it. No levitation was involved, we merely sank deeper into the overstuffed couch.

    @fred: I think you’re right, that’s Ron. His career would have given HPL the screaming fantods.

    @BC: If that’s Ron, we all know what Pirate Girl got goosed by.

    @JJYoyo: Even for his time, Lovecraft was OTT with the racism; some people thought he’d gone overboard back then.

    There’s a cottage industry doing interesting non-racist, non-sexist things with the Cthulhu-verse. They regularly pop up on best-of and Hugo/Nebula lists. I quite like Ruth Emrys’ take on it, but other women and PoC have also written some very good stuff. With much cleaner prose and better plots.

    And the fact that “Cthulhu” is in spell-check shows the Mythos is alive, well, and public domain.

    May you be eaten first.

  18. JJYoyo Says:

    @GSSxN: while he no doubt would have had major angina with a black patron in that picture, his prejudice was wide ranging. He was not very fond of Jewish people (despite being married to one) and he had for some reason a deep loathing of the Portuguese.

  19. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @JJYoyo: not to mention the fiendish Puerto Ricans.

  20. A. R. Yngve Says:

    The blurb “It’s one for all and all in one” must have been written by Spinal Tap – it’s their style.

  21. JJYoyo Says:

    @Bruce: and Russians. He might still have spit kittens even if they all were paler than Ellsmere Island. Basically anyone not of English descent.

  22. Max Bathroom Says:

    @Bruce A Munro & @JJYoyo
    And eskimos, iirc. No idea what he had against Mission fans, but he found them worrying The Call of Cthulhu.

  23. JJyoyo Says:

    @Max Bathroom: you recall correctly. Either in “The Doom what came to Sarnia” – oh sorry, wrong city – or a related story. Honestly as gratuitous and jarring as the derogatory references to “Esquimaux” are, they at least serve some purpose in underscoring the theme of the story. Ditto a story like “The Street” which has a very simple Spenglerian message at the expense of Eastern European Jews and others. Those to me are run of the mill prejudices that are fed by ignorance rather than real evil. It’s the casual, gratuitous and pointless going-out-of-his-way racism, usually directed against black people, and that shows up all over the place, that serves absolutely no purpose to the story, that sets his racism apart as more than just a hoary old complaint that things ain’t like they used to be.

  24. Tor Mented Says:

    @JJYoyo: What Lovecraft story ends with “And then I woke up”?
    Hmm, now that I think about it, I think you might be referring to “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.” I have always enjoyed that one despite its flaws.

  25. JJYoyo Says:

    @Tor Mented: You’d think it was “Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath” – and in fact that would be an appropriate place for such an ending. But no, that novella ends in my view beautifully with the narrator’s discovery that – spoiler alert – the object of his dream quest is his own native Boston. I have to go back to find the story which ends like that, but all I can recall is that it was a short one, and it was not a “dream” story.

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @JJYoyo; Some of the people on this cover look swarthy enough to have bothered him. I think the wizaaard is the only one he’d have heartily approved of.

  27. Emster Says:

    I… have nothin’…

    However, the discussion about HPL was extremely interesting, so thanks all, for that. Tried to read a book of his short stories once, it was a tough slog, glad it wasn’t just me.

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @ARY: There’s going to be a new Spinal Tap movie, original cast and all!

    Many of the covers seen here tread that fine line between clever and stupid. The rest cheerfully gallop over that line firmly into stupid.

  29. Dick Says:

    I’ve actually read this stupid thing (and most of Hawke’s vast body of schlock) when I was much younger. It’s not a comedy, even unintentionally. It’s also not good.

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