When I create something like the Gilman House, my first step and constant reference is the actual text I’m recreating.
We learn in ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth‘ that Gilman House is yellow, the buildings are made of brick, the street is cobblestone, and the sign for the hotel is “half-effaced.”
I’ve split the difference between the color and the bricks, as I intend to do some enamel or ink weathering on the plaster. Always looks good.
Lovecraft has been a favorite of mine and an influence upon my thinking since high school (I turn 38 tomorrow). I can remember my terror walking down a dark empty hallway after bingeing on him for the first time. It was ‘Pickman’s Model‘ that did it!
I’m also a bibliophile.
H.P. Lovecraft died in 1937, penniless and largely ignored outside of pulp fiction circles. Most of his income he earned from ghostwriting for others, while many of his own classics initially hit the ground with a thud.
Upon his death, Lovecraft’s acolyte August Derleth attempted to find a publisher for the master’s work, but found no takers. He therefore started up Arkham House Press to issue Lovecraft’s work and that of other weird authors (including Derleth). Arkham House issued books by many great writers, including Ray Bradbury, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, and others.
They also tended to feature awesome covers!
Here is a collection of Lovecraft’s poetry, including ‘Fungi from Yuggoth.’
Frank Utpatel illustrated many Arkham House volumes, and he signed this one.
Here’s the gem of the bunch.
Derleth often posthumously ‘collaborated’ with Lovecraft, completing manuscripts of varying completeness & quality and publishing them as finished works.
Derleth takes a lot of sh*t for this, especially from self-appointed Lovecraft gatekeeper S.T. Joshi. Like Derleth, Joshi deserves a lot of credit for moving Lovecraft out of the literary shade, but, like Derleth, he can get a little possessive of his darling.
It’s true that Derleth added a binary and explicit morality that Lovecraft’s fiction absolutely denies, but without him it’s unlikely Lovecraft would have endured as he has.
This copy of ‘The Survivor’ was signed by Derleth when the seller visited him in Wisconsin decades ago.
It’s unlikely I’ll ever get ahold of ‘The Outside & Others,’ the original 1939 collection with which Derleth launched Arkham House, but these little treasures mean a lot to me.
Thanks for taking a look!