Crypt of Cthulhu

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Zine
Title: Crypt of Cthulhu
Publisher: Cryptic Publications (1981-1990), Necronomicon Press (1990-1999, 2017-now), Mythos Books (1999-2001)
Editor(s): Robert M. Price
Date(s): 1981-2001, 2017-still running
Frequency: eight times a year
Medium: print
Fandom: H.P. Lovecraft, Cthulhu Mythos, weird fiction and horror
Language: English
External Links: a Lovecract website where many articles can be accessed
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Crypt of Cthulhu is a fanzine by Robert M. Price, dedicated to Lovecraft and Cthulhu Mythos. The main content was literary and historical studies, but it also published fiction, both reprints and new works, as well as letters of comment and reviews of books, films and games. It had been published by various presses from 1981 until 2001, and then was re-launched in 2017. The issues appeared eight times a year in accordance with the “ecclesiastical” calendar:

  • Candlemas (February 2)
  • Eastertide (March 19)
  • Roodmas (May 3)
  • St. John's Eve (June 23)
  • Lammas (August 1)
  • Michaelmas (September 29)
  • Hallowmas (November 1)
  • Yuletide (December 17)

Crypt of Cthulhu is one of the most famous and long-running Lovecraftian fanzines. Some of the articles from Crypt of Cthulhu were later collected in the books by Starmont House:

  • The Horror of It All: Encrusted Gems from the “Crypt of Cthulhu”
  • H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos
  • Black Forbidden Things: Cryptical Secrets from the “Crypt of Cthulhu”.

Editor's Comments

Price described his fanzine as

a bizarre miscegenation; half Lovecraft Studies rip-off, half humor magazine, a 'pulp thriller and theological journal'

Price cited as the reason for re-launching Crypt of Cthulhu in 2017 that:


The Lovecraft Movement has recently mutated into a frightful caricature of itself. One thinks of the insidious influence of the alien Colour on the Nahum Gardner farmstead. It is part of the destructive (and highly annoying) politicization of everything today. If, like me, the Hierophant of the Horde, you are pretty sick of this strife, what say we set aside our politics for the nonce and just get back to the glory days of Lovecraft fandom and scholarship?[1] And the best way to do that would of course be to revive Crypt of Cthulhu! So we did! We have hit the ground running, offering great articles, poetry, and reviews by Will Murray, Don Burleson, S.T. Joshi, Scott Connors, Sam Gafford, Ann K. Schwaeder and others. And this is just the beginning! So come on in and join in the gibbering![2]

We are serious about Lovecraft, so our discussions of Lovecraft's life and work are serious, too. We set and meet high scholarly standards in our articles about HPL, his friends and colleagues, and their fiction. Their work is both fascinating to the mind and fun for the imagination. Thus our work strives to be both, too. Have we succeeded? I think so. And a special section of fantastic verse ought to prove how classy we are! [3]

Issue 1

Crypt of Cthulhu #1 was published in November of 1981. It had 24 pages.

Contents

  • Cover Art by Robert M. Price [illustration] (front cover)
  • Editorial Shards by Robert M. Price [editorial] (2)
  • Lovecraft’s Concept of Blasphemy by Robert M. Price [essay] (3–15)
  • [The words “SADAY” and “HOMOVSION”…] by Robert M. Price [notice] (15)
  • The Fun Guys from Yuggoth by Robert M. Price [essay] (16–17)
  • [[H.P. Lovecraft] was not himself an occultist…] by Marc Edmund Jones [notice] (17)
  • R’lyeh Texts [review] (18–22)
    • ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King; reviewed by Robert M. Price (18–19)
    • The Omen by David Seltzer; reviewed by Robert M. Price (19)
    • “God’s Devil: A Ghost Story with a Moral” by John Warwick Montgomery; reviewed by Robert M. Price (19–20)
    • “Fear” by L. Ron Hubbard; reviewed by Robert M. Price (20)
    • “Black Man with a Horn” by T. E. D. Klein; reviewed by Robert M. Price (21)
    • “More Light” by James Blish; reviewed by Robert M. Price (21)
    • “Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King; reviewed by Robert M. Price (21–22)
  • Mail-Call of Cthulhu by Robert M. Price (23)
  • Describing de Scribes by Robert M. Price [essay] (24)

The issue can be read here.

Issue 2

Crypt of Cthulhu #2 was published in December of 1981. It had 28 pages.

Contents

  • Cover Art by Robert M. Price [illustration] (front cover)
  • Editorial Shards by Robert M. Price [editorial] (2)
  • What Was the “Corpse-Eating Cult of Leng”? by Robert M. Price [essay] (3–8)
  • Was Lovecraft Pentecostal? by H. P. Lovecraft [notice] (8)
  • Oops! by Robert M. Price [notice] (8)
  • Lovecraft the Name-Dropper by Charles Garofalo [essay] (9–10, 19)
  • The Statement of Lin Carter by Robert M. Price [essay] (11–19)
    • Zoth-Ommog by Robert M. Price [illustration] (16)
  • A Fun Guy from Yuggoth [essay] (20, 26)
    • The Occult Relevance of Lovecraft by Ronald Shearer [essay] (20, 26)
  • Are You a Deep One? by Robert M. Price [illustration] (21)
  • R’lyeh Review [review] (22–24, 26)
    • Halloween II directed by Rick Rosenthal; reviewed by C. J. Henderson (22–24, 26)
    • Ghost Story directed by John Irwin; reviewed by C. J. Henderson (22–24, 26)
  • Mail-Call of Cthulhu [letter] (25)
    • Letter by L. Sprague deCamp (25)
    • Letter by Gerry de la Ree (25)
    • Letter by Brian Lumley (25)
    • Letter by Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, Esq. (25)
  • Mysteriis [puzzle] (26)
  • Describing de Scribes by Robert M. Price [essay] (27)
  • Next Time [essay] (28)

The issue can be read here.

Letters of Comment

[L. Sprague de Camp]: Many thanks for CRYPT OF CTHULHU. On reading your piece on HPL's use of "blasphemy", it struck me that you could have connected the second meaning, the tabu on unauthorized mixing, with HPL's own outspoken hatred of racial, cultural, fee. mixing. : : : As you doubtless know, some EODers still regard me as something from under a flat stone because in my LOVECRAFT I presented HPL in a somewhat less than heroic light. lä!


[Gerry de la Ree]: Thanks for the copy of CRYPT OF CTHULHU. I have never belonged to the EOD, although I did receive the first four or five mailings of the organization some years back. I'm sure your attractive booklet outshines most of the material submitted to EOD and similar APA groups.

Issue 3

Crypt of Cthulhu #3 was published in February of 1982. It had 24 pages.

The theme of the issue was Robert E. Howard.

Contents

  • Cover Art by Jason C. Eckhardt [illustration] (front cover)
  • Editorial Shards by Robert M. Price [editorial] (2)
  • The Strange Case of Robert Ervin Howard by Charles Hoffman and Marc A. Cerasini [essay] (3–7)
  • The Borrower Beneath: Howard’s Debt to Lovecraft in “The Black Stone” by Robert M. Price [essay] (8–10)
    • The Black Stone by Justin Geoffrey (Robert E. Howard) [poetry] (9)
  • Yag-kosha the Elephant Man by Robert M. Price [essay] (10–11)
    • Yag-kosha by Robert M. Price [illustration] (11)
  • Mysteriis Solved! [puzzle] (11)
  • Gol-Goroth, A Forgotten Old One by Robert M. Price [essay] (12–13, 17)
  • Genres in the Lovecraftian Library by Robert M. Price [essay] (14–17)
  • A Fun Guy from Yuggoth [essay] (18–19)
    • The Call of Cthulhu’s Cadillac by John Anthony [humor] (18–19)
  • Yago-Sothoth by Robert M. Price and Richard Abate [illustration] (20)
  • R’lyeh Review [review] (21–22)
    • New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (Arkham House, 1981) edited by Ramsey Campbell; reviewed by C. J. Henderson (21–22)
    • The Tomb (Del Rey Books, 1981) by H. P. Lovecraft; reviewed by R. M. P. (Robert M. Price) (22)
    • At the Mountains of Madness (Del Rey Books, 1981) by H. P. Lovecraft; reviewed by R. M. P. (Robert M. Price) (22)
    • The Lurking Fear (Del Rey Books, 1981) by H. P. Lovecraft; reviewed by R. M. P. (Robert M. Price) (22)
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Del Rey Books, 1981) by H. P. Lovecraft; reviewed by R. M. P. (Robert M. Price) (22)
  • Mail-Call of Cthulhu [letter] (23)
    • Letter by Ed Babinski (23)
    • Response by Robert M. Price (23)
  • Describing de Scribes by Robert M. Price [essay] (24)
  • Next Time [essay] (back cover)

The issue can be read here.

References

  1. ^ It should be noted that Price himself is not always willing to "set aside politics" in his fandom activity, as his controversial speech at the opening ceremony of NecronomiCon Providence 2015 indicates.
  2. ^ Quoted from Necronomicon Press website
  3. ^ Quoted from Necronomicon Press website