synopsis for a 6-issue miniseries
illustrated and soundtracked by
SIR RICHARD WENTWORTH
TEENAGE LUVKRAFT is a comically horrific coming-of age saga in which a 16 year old tiki-faced cartoon of H.P. Lovecraft (the great pulp poet of cosmic horror) struggles to achieve dignity and gravitas amongst the beautiful people of a fun-loving seaside town. He finds himself by following the counsel of a forbidden book and by delving into his inner darkness, conjuring a kind of glamour from his wretchedness. In the process, he transforms the cosmos and the town around him from a fogged-up window into a sickly funhouse mirror.
It's a six-issue story told from many angles, disguised as an anthology comic, with one major 22 page episode per issue, and back-up strips that explore various sub-plots through the visual vocabularies of different genres. Imagine that "Lovecraft Feeling", spliced with the tropes of "beach movies", Archie comics, Saturday morning cartoons, and Rankin-Bass holiday specials. Imagine Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello singing in the shadow of the risen R'Lyeh.
In issue #1 (entitled "BEACH BLANKET BEYOND"), young Howie Luvkraft is spending the summer with his Aunt Agatha in the seaside town of Innsmouth. With his sycophantic friendling Augie Derleth in tow, he hopes to put the atrocities of his past behind him and achieve a state of "popularity". With the help of an ancient grimoire (the Heckronomicon of the Mad Beachnik Abdul Al-Atlas), bestowed upon him by an enigmatic octopoid female named Kadatherine Marsh, he bests the local surfing champion and becomes the new Big Shoggoth, "king of the beachniks". His surfing skills summon forth the sunken dreaming demon city of R'Lyeh, from which Kadatherine's clan originates. Mayhem and carnage ensue. In the aftermath, Howie achieves a kind of "popularity". He receives worship and romance, grows quickly disenchanted with both, and returns to his research as R'Lyeh and Kadatherine return to the ocean depths. Until next summer, anyway. The suddenly bruised ambience of Innsmouth suits him. He decides to stay and spend his senior year at Innsmouth High.
Back-up strips include "ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA" (Lovecraft does the Little Mermaid), "RICKY PICKMAN, WATERFRONT ARTISTE" (a two-fisted art story on imitation black velvet), and "THE KINGS IN YELLOW" (a wacky musical sitcom, as if the Monkees lived in Lovecraft's "Witch-House").
In Issue #2 (entitled "SQUAMOUS TIMES AT INNSMOUTH HIGH"), Howie begins his senior year at Innsmouth High in the shadowy wake of the R'lyeh incident. His classmates and teachers are all unnerved by him, except for one: his science teacher, a defrocked and deformed theoretical physicist named Crawford Tillinghast. Tillinghast coerces Howie into using the occult algebra of the Heckronomicon in the reconstruction of his Glissando Spektrola, a kind of ghost radio that makes thought-forms visible and tangible. He then uses it to summon forth a trio of demonic sleazebags called the Ziggurat Pack (Sinatrathotep, Dinozosmos, and Sammeethazat). He gets possessed by Dinozosmos, the sleaziest of the bunch, who proceeds to seduce all the prettiest girls at school in Tillinghast's transmogrified lounge lizard form. In a fit of pique, Howie uses the Heckronomicon to lure Dinozosmos into the body of Tillinghast's son, Crawfish, who is swiftly lobotomized. Howie is a young man of science. He's not doing this stuff to get chicks.
Back-up strips include "DEMON SEED SLUMBER PARTY", "DR. FRANK FENTON'S PSYCHE-SHREDDING TALES OF PSYCHOANALYSIS", and "WEIRD ROMANCE"...(wherein Asanette the homecoming queen must choose between the demonic sleazebag who yearns to deflower her, and her boyfriend, a once-handsome cube of shuddering flesh).
In Issue #3 (entitled "SKI PARTY AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS"), Howie is sent as a junior chaperone on an Honors Society ski trip to the Mountains of Madness. He agrees for the opportunity to explore the caverns there: subterranean territories mentioned in the Heckronomicon, where insect angels with brains like cities fell from the stars and made feeding zones in the ice when the world was young. Howie leads the smartest kids in school on an underground expedition at the crack of dawn. Their guide is Ronnie Ryklz, an obnoxious spelunking instructor with the demeanor of a Vegas insult comedian. As they enter the darkest recesses of the frozen earth, he ridicules everyone mercilessly, Augie especially. Howie quickly loses his classmates and goes deeper than any human ever has, through passages littered with the skeletons of organisms unknown to science. He finds an ancient crashed space-ship in the ice. His probing activates a long-dormant security system, unleashing giant amoeboid monstrosities. They schlup through the caverns, killing everyone. Ryklz is hiding in a cul-de-sac with Augie, who's been pushed to the edge by the general panic and the verbal needling. After one insult too many, Augie flies into a berserker rage and murders Ryklz. Still in shock, he escapes the caverns and goes back to the lodge, where Howie is waiting, decoding some fresh hieroglyphics he transcribed in the depths. He's surprised to see Augie. All the other kids are dead.
Back-up strips include "TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR UNHOLY SOLSTICE" (Aunt Agatha's Victorian childhood memories of Christmas in Innsmouth), "CITIZEN SANTA" (grim biopic of a toy tycoon who made a pact with the Old Ones), and "LUVKRAFT ON ICE" (an Ice Capades version of "SKI PARTY AT THE MONTAINS OF MADNESS").
In issue #4 (entitled "SPRING BREAK LUVKRAFT U.S.A."), Howie is expelled from school in the wake of the Ski Party incident. Howie grabs the Heckronomicon, says good-bye to the ocean where his girlfriend lives, and sets out on a little motorbike to "find America" and have adventures. He visits his Aunt Sadie in Catpatch, where she's breeding white trash studs on a human dude ranch. Howie leaves as she loses control and it bursts into a riot. In Littleburg, he finds that his Ucle John and Aunt Martha are raising a beatific alien would-be savior as their adopted son. Howie shoots him dead with a Leptonite bullet to preserve the sanctity of the human gene pool. He goes down south to Whisperville, where the Desmond family almost converts him to their Voodoo Christianity. He leaves with teen evangelist and aspiring popstar Julius Desmond just as Whisperville is stricken with an apocalyptic hurricane. In Cloaca Canyon, Howie and Julius lasso ravenous herds of shining trapezohedrons. They find that embodied geometry can be milked. Julius asks to be left at a crossroads. He has to do some business with a shadowy presence. Howie travels on to Hollywood, to his Aunt Norma's creepy mansion on Sunset Boulevard. She wants to make a movie of his life. While the "Beach Blanket Beyond" movie is in development, Howie gets caught up in the L.A. party scene, where everyone grooves on his "edginess". He burns out and walks into the sea, where he is received by Kadatherine, who lives in all liquids.
In issue #5 (entitled "TOWN WITHOUT LUVKRAFT"), we see how Innsmouth fares during Howie's cross-country journey. Most of the locals are infected with the lonesome mist exuded by Kadatherine, who lives beneath the waves and within them. They all miss Luvkraft and they're not sure why. Many of the locals ease this frustration by beating up Augie at every opportunity. He's still at Aunt Agatha's. He's wracked with guilty nightmares about the murder of Ronnie Ryklz, so he thinks he's dreaming at first when Ronnie's identical twin brother Dick Ryklz shows up at the house. Dick just got out of prison, where he was corresponding with Aunt Agatha, wooing her at a distance. He gets Agatha to marry him in a hurry and make him the sole beneficiary of her will. A delivery comes from Hollywood, a box containing Howie's things, including the Heckronomicon. Augie tries to hide it from Ryklz, but fails, and gets kicked out to wander the streets. At the beach, he tries pathetically to call forth R'Lyeh. With some mild bubbling, Howie emerges from the surf. They get back to Aunt Agatha's just in time to see the birth of a demonic siamese Ryklz, two Ryklz heads on a massive maggot body, insulting each other into oblivion. Side effect of an attempt to use the Heckronomicon for evil...as if it could ever be used for "good". Aunt Agatha doesn't mind the loss of her beau. She just uses that "changing of the will" routine to get her convict lovebirds into bed.
Back-up strips include "LUVKAT" (Aunt Agatha's cat "Blackie" starring in a Heathcliff/Top Cat vision of Lovecraft's Ulthar as a seedy pussy heaven), "VIVA VON STITCHES!" (a biker movie expose on the goth surf zombie subculture that's been growing around Luvkraft's memory since he disappeared), and "BORSCHT BELT BEYOND" (wherein Dick Ryklz must spend a billion eternities entertaining toxic god-forms in the 5D casinos of R'Lyeh).
In issue #6 (entitled "PROM QUEEN OF THE DAMNED"), we find a flashback to Kadatherine pining for Howie in her bizarre undersea kingdom, finding him in her element (see TEENAGE LUVKRAFT #4), and drawing him back to Innsmouth.. She wants him to stay with her forever, but he wants to complete his education. He returns to Innsmouth High. He delivers a soul-crushing, nihilistic address to the student body, describing his adventures and what they taught him about man and his place in the universe. He's suddenly considered "cool". Augie, abandoned, secretly starts studying the Hekronomicon. Asanette Marsh, the homecoming queen, is possessed by an alien worm in her brainmeat that speaks with her father's voice, filling her with strange hungers. She asks Howie to the prom. His acceptance incites Kadatherine to emerge from the waves and enroll at Innsmouth High as a foreign exchange sudent. At the prom, Howie nervously spurns Asanette's advances. She makes out with Kadatherine's date (drunken octopoid OOthmeque) instead. The worm almost takes possession of that monstrous, all-powerful body, but OOthmeque vomits the worm into a toilet. Howie tries, but fails, to patch things up with Kadatherine. She senses that she has a new "boyfriend" as a power-mad Augie summons forth every demon in the Heckronomicon at the same time. As another apocalypse begins in Innsmouth, Howie receives a telegram. He's been accepted for early admission at Miskatonic University. He rides into the bloodshot sunrise on a borrowed motorcycle as R'Lyeh rises again, and Innsmouth is consumed at last in a holocaust of eldritch agony.
Back-up strips include "DADDY'S LITTLE VESSEL" (a tale of Asanette's mad scientist father and her creepy childhood), "AN ULTIMATUM FOR THE PEOPLE OF EARTH" (the conquering worm who once lived in Asanette's body, making its demands as it revolves inside a toilet bowl full of octopus vomit), and "BIG CUBE ON CAMPUS" (featuring Randy Carter, Howie's surfing rival from "BEACH BLANKET BEYOND).
This last tale from Randy’s freshman year (studying alongside Howie at Miskatonic University) will set up the sequel: "TEENAGE LUVKRAFT: THE COLLEGE YEARS".