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H.P. Lovecraft's tales of alien Elder Gods and their looming threat have entered the lexicon of horror and been adapted, referenced or ripped off countless times in the more than 80 years since they first saw print, often to diminishing returns. Fortunately this collection has its head and heart in the right place, understanding what makes Lovecraft's oeuvre work and maintaining its creepiness. The quality of the art varies wildly, but all of the writers are strong, including work by Mark Waid, William Messner-Loebs and Steve Niles. Some of the stories actually manage to infuse humor into the mix, and the results are engaging, especially "How to Get Ahead in the Occult" by scripter Christine Boylan and "The Cruise of Cthulhu" by Todd Lepre, both featuring art by Cheethat's reminiscent of classic Swamp Thing work by Steve Bissette and John Totleben. Though it doesn't achieve those lofty heights, the material found here is quite good and should leave the reader craving more. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.