Read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel by I.N.J. Culbard Free Online
Book Title: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel|
The author of the book: I.N.J. Culbard
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 818 KB
Date of issue: April 2013
ISBN 13: 9781906838355
Read full description of the books The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel:The jury is still out on whether I will one day count myself among H.P. Lovecraft's legion of fans. I'm certainly intrigued with his whole ancient secrets and monsters rising from the dawn of time to devour the earth thing. I'm less sure that I'm on board with the whole "oh my god it's a giant lizard monster! the horror!!"
I've tried Lovecraft before on audio book and it was definitely fun. There's an overdramatic feel to his stories like you can almost hear him saying "isn't this scary!! ohhhhhh we're in a dark tunnel!!! ohhhh monsterrrrssss!" while you read. It's a little corny is I guess what I'm getting at, but there's something kind of fun in that. Like going through an old fashioned carnival haunted house.
But I can't help but be intrigued by his love of ancient, dark magic and evil beings from beyond the dawn of time, lost cities that were lost for a reason and never meant to be found, stories of men who meddle with deep, dark magic that doesn't just corrupt the soul, it takes it over. That's some dark stuff and the man does know how to set a mood when he wants to.
So this time around I went the graphic novel route after running across The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel randomly in the stacks one day. I figured maybe if I could more easily visualize what I was reading it might have more of an impact.
Well yes and no.
We are introduced to the titular Charles Dexter Ward through family friend and doctor, Dr. Willet, who has been called upon by Charles' parents to help deal with the strange mood that has befallen their son. He has lost all ambition and desire for anything in life except for a strange project that has to do with a ill reputed ancestor of dubious history who was rumored to deal in witchcraft and other nefarious things not of this world. Charles has become obsessed with the dead man's work and determined to discover his secrets.
Willet does his best but is unable to determine what is driving Charles to his increasingly strange behavior and he is increasingly troubled by a serious of strange letters Charles exchanges and the sudden appearance of a stranger who seems to have a particular hold of Charles.
Eventually Willet, who finally abandons practical investigation and embraces the darker secret world Charles has plunged into, is able to work out what is going on but will it be enough to free Charles in time?
Its a solid story built on a frightening and dark take of ancient, evil magic and mythology. Its kind of impossible not to get goosebumpts particularly when Willet stumbles into the secret laboratory where Charles has been conducting obscene, ungodly experiments.
The artwork isn't terrific which I'm sure contributes to the problems I was having. I get the sense that these "literary" graphic novels kind of get churned out en masse in an effort to "get teens to read books!" It does have its moments, particularly when Willet starts to stumble upon the dark deeds being committed in Charles' secret laboratory. The artist does a pretty good job of visualizing these very ancient magic spells and the creatures they produce. But there's a tendency for many of the characters to bear such a strikingly resemblence to each other that I spent more time working out who was who then I did understanding the plot. I'll admit that similarities in appearance are kind of the point here but there were points when enough was enough and I just needed to know who was talking!
The story itself meanders a bit. Again probably because we're dealing with a relatively large cast of players, some in flashback, so its hard to work out who's the real center of the story. It takes the supporting players a loooonnnnngggg time to work out what Charles is up to and I get it, this is supposed to be a mystery to some degree but its not so much a tension builder as it is boring filler till the climax finally arrives.
In terms of drama its worth noting this is an old story that doesn't hold up as well as some other books of its time. We're all a little jaded about the whole "creatures from the dawn of time" stuff and really the story is strongest when it alludes to the dark and forbidden magic that Charles and his friends dabble in. Lovecraft really nails the spell craft and the malevolence of the people using it.
All in all this was worth my time even if it didn't really get me any closer to deciding if I'm a Lovecraft fangirl.
Read information about the authorI.N.J. Culbard is an artist and writer. In 2006, he surpassed thousands of other writers and had his work published in Dark Horse Comics’ New Recruits anthology. He has since appeared in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, the Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 AD.
Culbard is an acclaimed animation director with considerable experience in directing commercials, developing projects for television, and producing and directing short films. His collaborator at SelfMadeHero is writer Ian Edginton.
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