Tag Archives: Sean O’Reilly

Diving into Howard Lovecraft & The Undersea Kingdom

6 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is the second chapter of a three-part saga. Here, the child version of this seminal writer (voiced by Kiefer O’Reilly) has to deal with untold dangers from more than one dark world. Youths can be introduced to H.P. Lovecraft before he became the recluse and derisive adult.

This film is  humourous at times. It’s also a safe product to teach young viewers the importance of never forgetting their elders, even when the world shuns them. When considering what the real-life figure was like, perhaps all he needed was more familial love.

After the events of the first film, he has to keep the three books from being put together to form the Necronomicon. He does not know of this tome’s secrets, but in what he learns — how to use magic — he has to use it to fight the minions mad Abdul (Jeffrey Combs) is sending after him! Although his father is committed to a sanitarium and his mother is possessed (and eventually kidnapped), this lad is proving to be able to take on the challenges from the mysterious city of R’yleh and other strange worlds which lays in this maddening multiverse.

This film is adapted from Bruce Brown’s work (original creator) which is published by Arcana Comics. The print edition (available on Amazon) is much more violent when compared to this cinematic version. The changes required to make this product accessible for youths does not distract. Even as I’m thumbing through my hardcover copy of the complete story while watching this film to find what writer and director Sean Patrick O’Reilly changed, general aspects of all three issues (when it was released as individual comics) are retained. He brings much-needed character development to Winfield Scott Lovecraft, the father. While none of this is true to the real life counterpart, to understand this individual offers to fans a hint at what could have influenced the boy to become the man with unsettling dreams.

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What’s Next after Arcana Studios’ Howard Lovecraft and The Frozen Kingdom?

9 Dec

arcanasmalllogo

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom can make a great holiday gift for fans of Cthulhu and H.P. Lovecraft’s works. The adult self may well be morbid with his harsh opinions about the people he’s met and the Jazz Age he lived in, but for the youth, his innocence has yet to be tarnished. With snow hitting parts of the Pacific Northwest, I have the print volume, video release and compilation hardcover (amazon listing) to cozy up to and the Dreamlands to visit as I lay snuggled up in my blanket. Some comic book stores may not be able to order them in, and thankfully they can be obtained through Arcana Studios’ website or on Amazon.

michelleoreilly-smile

I wanted to know more about what’s coming for this trilogy. Reception is great for the animated version, and Arcana Studios is focussing on making Howie one of their flagship products. Michelle O’Reilly (pictured right), co-founder of the company, explained both she and her husband, Sean, wanted to give their production house a bit of rebrand. They want to focus more on kid-friendly content. She said, “Everyone loves H.P. Lovecraft but he’s not very kid-friendly. We made our own version that’s suitable for younger audiences.”

When looking at the two mediums to which this character is developed for, some readers/viewers may well notice a difference in artistic style. “Gary Yuen is our art director and modeler, and I really do love how he went into a much more Tim Burton look especially with Howard. Because there were so many artists on the book series, Howard’s look was never completely locked down,” Sean explained. “One of the greatest things from comic to movie comes from learning what worked and what didn’t work and being able to make those changes.”

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