By Mac Carter (Writer), Tony Salmons (Pencils & Inks), and Adam Byrne (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I didn’t review the last issue of The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft because I wasn’t able to get my hands on it until last week. Now that I’ve read it, I can say that I found it bizarre and somewhat frustrating because of how surreal the Lovecraft scenes were. It was enjoyable, sure, but not quite as clear as I would have liked.

The Story: Lovecraft is the target of a manhunt after the events at Sylvia’s fiancé’s house. He knows how the creature that kills comes into being. But will anyone believe him?

What’s Good: The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft #3 is quite compelling and fixes nearly all the problems that plagued the last issue. The moody artwork is easier to follow, the storytelling isn’t as jarring, and the plot moves forward at a better pace. In short, my faith is renewed in the creative team, thanks to how “Never Again to Sleep” plays out.

Mac Carter ramps up his mini-series by effectively telling two interconnected stories (one’s about H.P. Lovecraft’s encounter/battle with the supernatural and the other’s about the manhunt for H.P. Lovecraft) without really sacrificing anything. What’s most notable about Carter’s writing is how well H.P. Lovecraft is written. He’s appropriately desperate and intense when the situation calls for it, yet heart-wrenchingly melancholy and self-depreciating when narrating.

With Carter’s effective storytelling, Tony Salmons’ artwork adds a lot to the surreal tone of the story. Tony Salmons handles the characters well and does a nice job of bringing Lovecraft’s horrors to the page. Also, as I mentioned in my review of the first issue of The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, Salmons’ style continues to really capture the story’s time period.

What’s Not So Good: Predictability is one thing that brings down Carter’s Lovecraft story. You can see pretty much everything coming from pages away and it takes away from a lot of the suspense that Carter is clearly working hard to build. Another thing that brings down Carter’s mini-series is some of the artwork. While Adam Byrne’s colors add a lot to the more surreal scenes (a few of which look awesome), the average panel seems muddy or lacking with a final layer of polish. I’m all for the “indie” look, but not when the visual storytelling suffers because of it.

Conclusion: The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft #3 is predictable and features some frustrating artwork. That said, it’s also well written and does justice to the horrors that Lovecraft is known for. It’s definitely worth a look if you are a fan of the author or just looking for a good horror story.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny