Horror fiction writer Howard Phillips "H.P." Lovecraft may not have invented the bogeyman, but his creations make that old creep look like a fluffy little bunny. Lovecraft filled his pantheon with powerful and hideous creatures like Cthulu, a cosmic sea god described as a scaly octopus with huge tentacles and wings, and set his stories in fictional New England towns like Arkham (ancient and cursed) Dunwich (decrepit and inbred).
Many Lovecraft fans used to gather annually at a convention called Necronomicon in the late author's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, but the last one was reportedly held in 2001 -- which really bummed out two regular attendees from Phoenix, Adam Niswander and Mark Boniece. So they decided to throw their own Lovecraft fan party this weekend at the Tempe Mission Palms hotel and call it MythosCon.
Niswander wrote four books in a series calledThe Shaman Cycle
(Integra Press), and several novels incorporating the Lovecraft Mythos. Boniece has served as chairman of numerous local conventions, including DarkCon (fantasy/goth), HexaCon (gaming), and CopperCon (science fiction). The four-day convention will be led byRobert M. Price
, a professor of theology and scriptural studies at Colemon Theological Seminary in North Carolina, who has written several scholarly studies on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos.
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The three will have a lot of activities to juggle, judging from the convention schedule. There are tons of panel discussions on things the gods and demi-gods in Lovecraft's works, Lovecraft's philosophies, and modern works he's inspired; an art show of work inspired by his creations; a gaming room where people can dive into role playing games like The Call of Cthulu; screenings of films based on Lovecraft's works; even a "Fantastical Poetry Presentation."
More than a dozen authors will also be on hand reading Lovecraftian works, including Price, Cody Goodfellow (Radiant Dawn), Ramsey Campbell (Incarnate, Midnight Sun), and F. Paul Wilson (Wheels Within Wheels, An Enemy of the State), plus a "Virtual Walking Tour" of Providence led by horror illustrator Jason Eckhardt.
Oh, and there's also body painting by local favorite Mark Greenawalt, and a Cthulu Prayer Breakfast on Saturday morning. Personally, we're hoping to see some Cthulu costumes, too. Pool noodles would make great giant tentacles.
MythosCon is scheduled to take place Thursday, January 6 through Sunday, January 9, at Tempe Mission Palms, 60 East Fifth Street. Admission costs $125 for full weekend passes, $25 for gaming-only passes. Tickets for the Cthulu Prayer Breakfast on Saturday cost an additional $35. For more information, visit www.mythoscon.org.