Rediscovered: The Big Picnic

John D. Haefele just got a nice nod for Xmas for his Cyclopean tome Lovecraft: The Great Tales — and from noted Lovecraftian Ken Hite, no less.

In November I got an enthusiastic yet somewhat startled note from my academic pal Tom Krabacher, who said: “Here’s a Kickstarter that actually delivered!

“The second volume of Ken Hite’s Tour de Lovecraft  arrived a couple days ago. This one, The Destinations, looks at HPL’s use of locales, both real and imaginary. 

“It comes with a updated and expanded edition of the earlier Tales volume in a nice slipcase. There’s a sewn-in bookmark ribbon and, for those of us who need them to decorate our Jr. High trapper keepers, some stickers as well. 

“All at a very reasonable $35 price.

“The process wasn’t without glitches; the original delivery date was Halloween 1919, but delays with their Romanian printer and the pandemic got in the way. Still, there were regular updates and it came through in the end. 

“No Chicken-Fried Cthulhu here!”

Krabacher is a big booster of the original Hite book — he loanered it to me awhile back — but I think he’s been burned on Kickstarter too many times for his own good. He likes to toss in money on potentially worthy causes, he really does, but resisted on Chicken-Fried Cthulhu because it was being done by some of the same people who put forth the magazine Skelos.

As I recall, the vague proposed plan was that Skelos would appear quarterly and so you’d Kickstart in for four issues, get them all in a year, then resub. I think the first three issues may have dribbled out over the course of three or four years, with a two or three year wait before issue four was pronounced as available.

Of course, Krabacher — who paid the full freight up front — has yet to receive his copy of that fourth issue. Makes you lose faith in humanity and its endeavors.

He’s lucky Hite can deliver.

And the guy knows a great book on Lovecraft when he sees one.

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