Categorized | Comics

Fall of Cthulhu: The Fugue Graphic Novel Review

Posted on August 15, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy

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Cy is an ordinary guy with a beautiful fiancee — until his uncle’s suicide changes his life forever. Consumed with discovering the motive behind his relative’s sudden and painful death, he finds notes and scribblings about a nonsense word he doesn’t recognize… Cthulhu. Obsessed, he seeks out answers to questions he should have never asked. A horrifying glimpse into a modern day Lovecraftian world filled with nightmares and excursions into Lovecraft’s Dreamlands!

The Fugue collects the first several issues of the Fall of Cthulhu comic book series. This is a modern tale of the Cthulhu Mythos featuring several well-known elements of the setting that have been built up over the years in various novels, anthologies and role playing games. The treatment of Miskatonic University is a great background element throughout the story, for example.

The story begins with a prequel of sorts showing what appear to be the final days of the mad scholar Abdul Alhazred. These events come into play later in the story, even though the primary focus of the book is the story of Cy and his attempts to unravel the mysteries surrounding his uncle’s death.

Cy really is “an ordinary guy with a beautiful fiancee” at the beginning of the book. He does not have any special powers or belong to any secret societies. He has a bit of rough past, which is why his uncle means so much to him I suppose. The need to understand what would drive someone he cares about to suicide (in public no less) is the first step along Cy’s dark path. As he gets deeper into the mystery he meets several cultists, travels to the Dreamlands, meets a couple of gods and encounters tragic events throughout the city.

While the story is entertaining and the characters are a mix of good/evil and saints/madmen, I found the entire thing just a bit too predictable. The big reveal was hinted at a bit too aggressively and pretty given away early on. The only other real complaint, if you can even call it that, is the motivations of the supernatural characters seemed a bit shallow, almost too human. Nodens, the supposedly great hunter seemed more arrogant than confidant. Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into it, I’ll leave that up to others to decide.

The book itself is a 6×9 trade paperback, making it smaller than most graphic novel collections. However, it is easy to read and the size does not impede the artwork in any way. Speaking of the artwork, Jean Dzialowski (with Andrew Ritchie handling the Dreamland sequences) does an excellent job bringing the setting to life.

Visit for news and updates to the Fall of Cthulhu series.

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