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Kolchak: The Night Stalker - The…

Kolchak: The Night Stalker - The Lovecraftian Horror (Kolchak the…

by C. J. Henderson

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Wow, Kolchak's The Lovecraftian Horror is finally available. I ordered this book back in November 2006. Well, as we all know, publication dates for small presses can be rather fluid. From the outset I'll let you know my biases: I've never been a Kolchak fan at all except for the old TV series from a decade or so ago. I am, however, a CJ Henderson fan all the way, and a bigger fan of mythos fiction, which is why I ordered the book.

Some housekeeping: The puplisher is Moonstone. List price was $12.95; initially it was in and out of print but now I think it is readily available. Total page count was 96, all text and pictures. And what art work! The illustrations are by Jaime Calderon and he did a terrific job. I never read a Kolchak book before; it isn't quite a graphic novel (code word for comic book), more a profusely illustrated novella/novellette/longish short story. Each page has a full color large illustration. The Deep Ones on page 73 were very good but pride of place goes to the magnificent rampaging Cthulhu on page 71. There was one notable typographical error. The text was duplicated on p24/25. This was easy enough to spot and didn't interfere with my enjoyment at all. Some might also notice that there is a character who is a major in Naval Intelligence, when he should have been a lieutenant commander.

CJ Henderson has impeccable Lovecraftian credentials. His forte is occult noire detectives, for example his Tales of Inspector Legrasse from Mythos Books. No surprise, Kolchak and Henderson are a perfect match. I do not know if he has written any other Kolchak books. Briefly, Kolchak gets involved when police are called to investigate a corpse found washed up on a California beach, and it turns out to be more icthyoid than human (great picture on page 15, Mr. Calderon!). Nosing around where he shouldn't, Kolchak uncovers more about the Lovecraftian mythos and the Cthulhu cult than is good for anyone's sanity. Mr. Henderson's truly in his literary element here. Hardboiled dialogue is second nature to him and he can pen an action sequence as well as anyone. The prose sparkles and the plot rushes along effortlessly, with a conclusion that will satisfy Lovecraftians and Kolchakians alike. CJ Henderson aficianados will note the tie in of the plot to events in The Tales Of Inspector Legrasse and to the Teddy London novel, The Things That Are Not There.

I found this book to be very entertaining, a diversion well worth seeking out if you can find a copy. You can pleasantly while away a few hours with it. There is nothing not to like! After all, you need something to read while we wait for High Seas Cthulhu! ( )
  carpentermt | Sep 27, 2010 |
Like a lot of the publisher's (Moonstone Books) efforts, this is above average work that suffers from poor proof reading. In addition to 2 adjoining pages that display duplicate sections of prose, several typographical errors exist, but, also there are a few critical pages where the art simply doesn't match the accompanying text. Specifically, when the creature that the story revolves around washes up on shore, the text describes his appearance as understated and questionable as to whether the figure is a humanoid sea creature or simply bloated an decomposed human being. The artwork, on the other hand, shows what is clearly a "black lagoon" type creature that is without a question not a normal human. The effect is jarring and, to me, not really acceptable for a proofread, complete work.

However,I doubt very much that this will matter to the Kolchak fans that have had to suffer with a dearth of new Night Stalker material over the years: here they will find a satisfying story that manages to mimic the feel of the classic show while also expanding the threat level to something greater than a 70s weekly tv budget could allow. ( )
  idkidd | Mar 7, 2009 |
The meshing of Kolchak with Lovecraftian concepts. Mediocre at best. The Lovecrafian aspects have some nice twists, namely a collection of deep one-wannabes trying to escape their fate. There is a doomsday scenario involved, and it really is not needed, in my opinion. As for Kolchak, he's been brought forward from the 70's to now, but is still basically a 70's character in the 'now', and there are times it doesn't seem like it works. ( )
  dagopher | Feb 9, 2008 |
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