I recently had the joy of making a new friend on tumblr. I don’t know if he’s just worried about Yahoo buying his favorite blogging tool, or maybe he’s got one of the things tattooed on himself, but he certainly did not like my saying that using the Elder Sign from the Simon Necronomicon isn’t correct.
I don’t think I said anything all that dickish, neither on tumblr or on the post I linked from here. Nor do I have any problem with Lovecraftian themed works. In the Mouth of Madness is one of my favorite movies, Cthulhu Saves the World and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth are both fantastic games, and I thought Hello Cthulhu was hilarious. No, I think derivative works are fine.
What I want to do is educate people. I want them to know more about Lovecraft and what he wrote. What I also want to do is steer people away from garbage. The Simon book has nothing to do with Lovecraft except for a bullshit introduction that tries to tie the book into the mythos. It’s a cash grab, plain and simple. It’s no different than the shitty movies that are put out by Asylum Films in the hopes that people will buy their version by mistake, or steering someone who said they want to read about vampires away from the Twilight series.
Also, I don’t think that Lovecraft wanted his work bastardized as much as he enjoyed collaboration. He had his friends that he worked with, and they inspired each other. Of Lovecraft’s circle, August Derleth was the only one that you could maybe be considered to bastardizing Lovecraft’s work, but really, he just missed the point. Everything that Derleth did that could be seen to lower the quality of Lovecraft’s work, he did at least an equal amount of work on maintaining and improving it. Even Hello Cthulhu, which is a parody, is still in good fun and done by fans of Lovecrafts work. The Simon Necronomicon, however, is a total debasing of anything Lovecraft wrote.
I’ve always kinda wondered what Lovecraft would think if he saw what his creations have become today. What would he think of all the writers out there using his creations, of the movies people have tried to make about them, and the way that Cthulhu has entered out pop culture. I’m sure that some of it would piss him off. I don’t think he’d appreciate the Cthulhu themed dildos, he would probably be a little upset about the sequels to The Re-Animator, and I don’t think he would like the Simon Necromicon at all, no matter how badass some people think the design on the cover is.
What I really loved from my new friends whole rant though, was this:
Reblog this if you think the world needs less Correct-alls, the not-so-gentle laxative types who just want to whine about other people’s usage of pop culture instead of creating something of their own.(emphasis his)
In defense of a shirt bearing both a design that is not their own, and the most cliched souvenir t-shirt slogan, I am told that I should be out there creating stuff of my own…