Something For The Weekend: ‘BAE Wulf: The Shadow Over Innsmarch’ Is An Intriguing Lovecraftian Mystery

by Olly MacNamee

As the longwinded title to this new book by writer CJ Standal and artist JM RinguetBAE Wulf: The Shadow Over Innsmarch, is a graphic novel very much beholden to the works and worlds created by America’s favourite pulp horror writer, HP Lovecraft. The isolated rural community, the mysterious disappearances and the revelation of a monster are all elements that are straight out of the pages of Lovecraft.

Like many before him, writer Standal has been inspired to write a contemporary horror with an eye to the past as we learn of a disgraced journalist who now writes for a gutter press rag that leads her to Innsmarch looking for a story. In doing so, BAE Wulf soon finds herself in big trouble thanks to her determination to hunt down the creature feeding off the townsfolk, like some kind of vampire.
Along the way we get prise extracts from the journal of Innmarch resident HP Prufock, who originally recorded the original cases of missing persons 100 years ago. Y’know, round about the time the real life Lovecraft was writing his own tales of the Ancient Ones and creating a world that would offer fertile ground for other creators to be inspired.
And so we have, essentially, a modern take on one of American horror’s literary greats and the potential for future stories revolving around the eponymous BAE Wulf, a modern monster hunter very much in keeping with her own namesake, Beowulf. It’s probably the reason why we never do get to find out why Wulf went from promising young hard-hitting investigative journalist to bottom feeder for this reality’s version of The National Enquirer.

But then, is it even that important we do learn of her downfall? It’s hardly relevant to the story being played out in this graphic novel. All in all, what Standal has done is introduce us to a character he is no doubt hoping to continue to return to with future books. In name checking both Lovecraft and Beowulf, it would seem that Standal won’t just be tied down to the kind of horrors Lovecraft created and could well be influenced by other writers, while also delivering menagerie of original creeps too. After all, Standal wouldn’t be the first person to be influent by Lovecraft, and Wulf certainlyseems to show no fear when gazing into the pits of Hell.
BAE Wulf: The Shadow Over Innsmarch is available from Markosia digitally at your usual online books stores.

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