The King In Yellow, a new title by I.N.J. Culbard from SelfMadeHero launches on 28th May 2015 in all good bookshops and will with a launch party at Gosh! Comics in London – and we have a small sampling of some of the pages below, another great-looking book on a par with The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and Celeste.
Adapted from the disturbing collection of short stories by fin-de-siecle horror writer Robert William Chambers, I. N. J. Culbard weaves these supernatural tales about a global epidemic of madness into a terrifying graphic novel. Named after a fictional play that is referenced through much of the work, the book introduces us to a world of macabre characters and malevolent spirits, as well as presenting the curse of a forbidden play, “The King in Yellow” that first seduces the reader and then drives them insane.
Born in Brooklyn in 1865, Robert William Chambers was an illustrator for Life, Vogue and Truth magazines. His second book, The King In Yellow, first published in 1895 in Britain, has become a cult favourite, influencing writers from H.P. Lovecraft to James Blish. His writing career spanned fantasy, romance and war fiction.
The first half of The Yellow King features some highly esteemed weird stories, and the book has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural. Four of the stories “The Repairer of Reputations”, “The Mask”, “In the Court of the Dragon” and “The Yellow Sign” (which inspired a film of the same name released in 2001) mention “The King in Yellow”, a play which induces despair or madness in those who read it.
Chambers was influenced by many of the writers of the late 19th Century Decadency Movement, including Edgar Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde. His own influence extends from contemporaries like Raymond Chandler ‘to current masters of the form, including Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin.
The King In Yellow is also a central literary reference in the first season of HBO’s True Detective TV series, which helped push the book up to Number One on Amazon UK’s horror charts in 2014. Its influence has spread to games and music, with references in the lyrics of Blue Oyster Cult and King Crimson.
Culbard, an award-winning artist who has won deserved international praise for his deft adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft and Conan Doyle, as well as his original sci-fi tale, Celeste, which was shortlisted for the British Comic Award in 2014, seamlessly weaves Chambers’ Paris-set tales into a mesmeric standalone read.
Culbard has also previously collaborated on a critically acclaimed Sherlock Holmes series with Ian Edginton. His adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Shadow Out of Time and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath have all been published by SelfMadeHero. He has also worked on The New Deadwardians for Vertigo, Dark Ages for Dark Horse, Brass Sun for 2000AD and Wild’s End for BOOM! Studios.
• The King in Yellow by I.N.J. Culbard will be published on 28th May 2015 | ISBN 978-1-906838-92-8 Paperback | 144pp | Full colour | £14.99
• I.N.J. Culbard’s Lovecraft adaptations, including SelfMadeHero’s Lovecraft Anthologies, will be available from 18th May 2015 on SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel App for iPad