Stuart Gordon

Ave et Vale, Stuart Gordon

  • March 25, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that the team at the HPLHS mourns the passing of a titan in the Lovecraft community: Stuart Gordon. A bold creative force in the Chicago theatre community, Stuart rocked the genre film world with his iconic 1985 cult film Re-Animator. A longtime Lovecraft fan, Stuart was instrumental in bringing Lovecraft from relative obscurity into the world of popular culture, a world HPL hasn’t left since. Stuart went on to create other memorable horror films including From Beyond, Dagon, Dreams in the Witch House, and more. In more recent years he brought horror back to the stage, with his unforgettable and delightful musical adaptation of Re-Animator and his collaboration with Jeffrey Combs, Nevermore…An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe.

For us here at the HPLHS, the loss is a personal one too. Way back in 2000 or thereabouts, the HPLHS produced its mockumentary of A Shoggoth on the Roof. We wrote in parts for Stuart Gordon and Christopher Sarandon to play themselves, and reached out to them through mutual friends. Stuart warmly embraced our request and invited us to film in his office in Burbank. He was a good sport and a great improviser.

Over the years our paths have crossed countless times at events like the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival or NecronomiCon in Providence. Stuart was always considerate, warm and supportive to those of us who followed in his footsteps, trying to create entertainment from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In fact, it was an offhand comment from Stuart on just such a panel that led us to choose “Under the Pyramids” as a title for our Dark Adventure Radio Theatre series.

Our last visit with Stuart was in August. Sculptor Bryan Moore, a longtime mutual friend, brought him by HPLHS Headquarters to say hello. It was a delightful gathering of a bunch of aging nerds, sharing our mutual appreciation for all things Lovecraft. He still had a devious twinkle in his eye. Farewell, Stuart - we thank you and we’ll miss you.

Spring 2020

Spring

  • March 23, 2020

The arrival of spring slipped under the radar this week, but it's here!

These Difficult Times

  • March 24, 2020

The HPLHS was required to temporarily close the doors at headquarters as part of the state of California's response to coronavirus. But the HPLHS is much more than just our headquarters and a store selling weird stuff. We are a global fellowship - likeminded weirdos from across the globe sharing a common passion. We urge you to to meet the challenges of the times with grace and kindness. We bid all of you and yours good health. Like one of Dr. West's patients, we'll be back, livelier than ever. We are working from home on new projects that will be available via download, and all of our existing downloadable products will continue to be fulfilled as normal. Orders requiring physical shipments will be delayed for at least a little while.

Sticking Together

  • March 19, 2020

We're all in this together. Please stay safe and help others stay safe. We are working on fun diversions you can enjoy in your own homes!

Featured Member

  • March 3, 2020

Our Member of the Month for March, 2020 is Mark O. Martin of Tacoma, Washington.

Mark says: "I was born in Compton, California, and raised in North Long Beach. To stay away from the bullies, I spent a lot of time in libraries. My older brother Jack was my literary guide, and he adored (and adores) all things Gothic. So when I was ten years old, Jack got me reading HPL. I was really, really taken by many of HPL's tales (while ignoring the unsavory things that appeared from time to time). "At the Mountains of Madness," "The Whisperer in Darkness," and "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" remain my favorites.

I was never a gamer, and was always a bit of a loner, but HPL was always with me, and took me to Bierce, Machen, and Blackwood.

So after getting my degrees from UCLA and Stanford, I became a college professor, and am an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. My wife Dr. Jennifer Quinn is quite a 3D printing fan (and a fine mathematician), so she made me a bust of HPL, and even painted HPL using the bioluminescent bacteria that I study in my laboratory. Here in town, my friends Jason and Robyn Alexander love HPL and related topics, and have made their tiki cocktail bars reflect that, with cocktails like "The Terrible Old Dram," and "The Arkham Investigator." If you are ever in Tacoma, and visit either "Devils Reef" (for "The Third Oath") or their soon to open "Gilman House," I would be happy to buy you a powerful beverage and discuss all things eldritch!"

New Garments!

  • February 18, 2020

We are very happy to announce some new garment designs just released in our online store.

First up is the second in what is planned as an ongoing series of shirts that feature "book cover" designs of classic Lovecraft tales. The first was The Dunwich Horror, now out of print. Artist Darrell Tutchton has returned to illustrate a book cover for At the Mountains of Madness, modeled in the photo above by our own Kevin Stidham. We've printed a limited run of these 4-color shirts and when they're gone we don't expect to make any more. Get them while you can!

And in response to popular demand we've released some Miskatonic "spirit wear". Our new t-shirt, sweatshirt and zip-up hoodie all sport the name and graphic for the Miskatonic Myrmidons, the mascot for the M.U. athletic department. You'll find them all here!

Our thanks to photographer (and former shipping shoggoth) Jacob Lyle for taking the photos seen here and a lot of other new pix to freshen up our garment offerings, and to his very friendly models, Brandon, Ali and Kiki, and our beloved shipping shoggoth Kevin!

Commonplace Book

The Commonplace Book

  • February 18, 2020

Now being printed and shipping soon is our new typographical replica of Lovecraft's Notes & Commonplace Book.

A “commonplace book” is simply a collection of memorabilia, or a kind of privately-compiled encyclopedia. Lovecraft started his in 1919 when he began to turn from writing essays to writing fiction, using a blank cash account book. For the next fifteen years he added pencilled entries to this growing list of story ideas and inspirations—some of which came directly from his dreams—along with notes about his developing theories on writing weird literature.

In 1934, Lovecraft exchanged his well-used handwritten original commonplace book for a fresh typed version by his young Floridian friend Robert H. Barlow. HPL added more handwritten notations in his new “black book” for an additional year. Lovecraft kept another handwritten black book, using a recycled calendar for 1927. In this notebook he wrote out his own plot summaries of classic works of supernatural horror fiction by Poe, Machen, Dunsany, Blackwood, M.R. James and others, along with analytic lists of weird ideas and suggestions for how to write a weird tale. Barlow also prepared a typed transcription of this material in 1934. (Lovecraft’s originals and Barlow’s transcriptions are now in the collection of the John Hay Library at Brown University.)

In his final instructions, HPL named Barlow as his literary executor. Not long after Lovecraft’s death, Barlow found himself residing with the Beck family of Lakeport, California. The Becks had a small printing business, The Futile Press, that had printed small editions of works by Clark Ashton Smith. Barlow was eager to publish an edition of Lovecraft’s work and with the Becks combined elements from both “black books” to print seventy-five numbered copies of The Notes and Commonplace Book of H.P. Lovecraft in 1938. Two copies, numbered 9 and 10, were deposited at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington D.C. After the Futile Press edition, the Commonplace Book was not printed again until Necronomicon Press released an edition in 1978, and another in 1987 edited and extensively annotated by David E. Schultz.

Quite recently, HPLHS member Robert S. Marshall visited the Library of Congress and took photos of the two copies of the Futile Press edition deposited there. He very kindly sent those photos to the Society for the benefit of his fellow members. As the Futile and Necronomicon Press editions are now both scarce and expensive (copies of the 1938 edition can go for tens of thousands of dollars), we thought perhaps the stars were right to warrant a new edition. We have created a painstakingly detailed typographic replica of the 1938 original, augmented with never-before-published material based on the original documents. Get yours here!

Johannes Mattsson

Stationery Treasures

  • February 3, 2020

Our deepest thanks to member Robert S. Marshall for the insanely generous donation to the society's library that arrived today.

The treasure trove included vintage books about Gregg Shorthand, native Australians, Elbert Hubbard, and Demosthenes, plus an issue of the Argosy from the 1930s and other vintage periodicals. Also vintage hotel stationery, antique office supplies including exactly the kinds of blank pocket notebooks that HPL used to use to jot notes in, a beautiful vintage wooden ruler case from the Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. of Providence, and more! All accompanied by hand-typed letters and telegrams. It will take us some time to appreciate it all.

Voluminous

Our New Podcast!

  • October 31, 2019

At last it can be told. We are releasing the very first HPLHS podcast, Voluminous: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft. Each week Sean and Andrew will be reading one of Lovecraft's many thousands of fascinating letters, and then discussing it. If all goes as planned, you should be able to find it wherever you get your podcasts. You can also go check it out here!