Monday, September 15, 2014

Commentary On Mark Ellis's The Miskatonic Project The Whisperer In Darkness Graphic Novel For Your Old School Campaigns

 Grab It Right

Today I re introduced  myself with some very old friends, I cracked open the Mark Ellis creation The Miskatonic Project graphic novel. A bit of background, this was a series by Millennium comics from way back in 1991. The mini series ran from December 1991 through April of  1992, and it had some striking covers and great artwork by Don Heck and Darryl Banks on the interiors.
Now at the time I was DMing a ton of Call of Cthulhu and White Wolf games World of Darkness. So the series fit right into the backdrop of my campaign world. The striking thing about the Project was that these were survivors not simply comic book heroes. Sure they might have a bit of pulp abilities but these were flawed investigators going up against a very uncaring universe and the machinations of the Mi Go.
Here's a break down according to Wiki:
 Created by Mark Ellis, The Miskatonic Project consisted of three paranormal investigators who apparently had experienced brushes with the Great Old Ones in the past. Lord Justin Sabbath, Professor Augustus Grant, and psychic Fleur Avignon used the Miskatonic University as a base of operations. They worked closely with noted folklorist Professor Albert N. Wilmarth, who brought the Mi-Go to their attention.
Set in 1929, the first issue introduced the members of the Miskatonic Project in a framing sequence penciled by Darryl Banks and written by Mark Ellis. The rest of the issue was filled out by writer Terry Collins' adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s story "The Whisperer in Darkness", with art by noted Lovecraft illustrator Daryl Hutchison and Melissa Martin.
The following two issues presented a sequel to the events of "The Whisperer In Darkness", penciled by veteran Marvel Comics artist Don Heck, with a script provided by Mark Ellis and Terry Collins. The Mi-Go and their human collaborators were portrayed as paving the way for the return of the Old Ones, including Cthulhu. Inspector John Raymond Legrasse, the New Orleans police officer who first appeared in Lovecraft's inaugural Cthulhu story, "The Call of Cthulhu", appears in the second chapter.
The three issues were collected together as a single graphic novel published by Millennium Publications in 1993. An updated edition featuring new artwork and retitled The Miskatonic Project: H.P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness is slated for release by Millennial Concepts in October 2008

Though this series took a lot of liberites with the HP Lovecraft stories for a more hands on pulp approach, this was one of the most accessible comic series for introducing a novice to the works of HP Lovecraft. These are as I've stated before flawed characters who each have their own agenda's and reasons for going up against the Mythos. This is a very hard story in some respects because it crosses many of the elements of the Lovecraftian mythos and universe.
Since this is a Mark Ellis creation you can expect plenty of action and pulp style thrills along with plenty of cult activities, random violence and some sharp twists as well.
All in all this is a really fun take on the mythos with a branding all of its own. For using this with Call of Cthlhu there's some real story and adventure choices which worked will for me not for you as a DM.

Using The Miskatonic Project In Your Old School

I never ever introduced the 'Project' in any evidence when I was writing adventures set with in the same universe. I had a ton of blow back and aftermath investigative work right into the deep end where the characters of the Miskatonic Project had left a  ton of  Lovecraftian debris in the wake of one of their fly through investigations. I had my PC's who were a part of the Project dealing with the fall out and their own machinations and experiences with the Mi Go.
Since all of the classic locations are covered by the series adding or subtracting Lovecraftian elements as needed happens and frequently during adventures. The main antagonists throughout this series is the Mi Go an old favorite of mine who don't get nearly enough press. This series went a long way toward dealing with the who and why of the Fungus from Yuggoth. But the fast paced world of this series is going to be a bit of a change of pace in the world the Project.
 All in all this is a very good solid series to grab for a completely different take on the events of the Misktontic Project. Grab this one when and where you can. Its a 

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