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H.P. Lovecraft / Cthulhu Mythos paperback covers (Ballantine, 1976)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Apr 24th, 2021. Artwork published in .
    Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos by Lin Carter. [More info on ISFDB]
    Source: https://www.abebooks.co.uk John Thompson. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos by Lin Carter. [More info on ISFDB]

    This series of paperback books by and about H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) and the Cthulhu Mythos was published by Ballantine Books in 1976 with related cover designs, all featuring art by Murray Tinkelman (1933–2016). It’s probably the most prominent in-use example of Moulin Rouge.

    Drawn by Dave Davison for Photo-Lettering, the Art Nouveau-inspired design was shown in Volume 3 of the Alphabet Thesaurus from 1971 in three variants; Gothic (with lowercase), Caps (caps only, with some descending alternates), and Animated (with lowercase and many descending an ascending alternates for the caps). On the covers, Moulin Rouge is used in all caps and with EndcapS, i.e. taller first and last letters. While the letterforms for “Lovecraft” were squeezed, the titles were made wider through photographic means. Moulin Rouge is paired with ITC Korinna, a revival of a German Jugendstil roman from 1904.

    Davison Moulin Rouge as shown in Photo-Lettering’s One Line Manual of Styles, 1971.
    Photo: Florian Hardwig. License: CC BY-NC-SA.

    Davison Moulin Rouge as shown in Photo-Lettering’s One Line Manual of Styles, 1971.

    The Mask of Cthulhu by August Derleth. [More info on ISFB]
    Source: https://www.pinterest.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    The Trail of Cthulhu by August Derleth. [More info on ISFB]
    Source: https://www.biblio.com Mom’s Resale. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Mask of Cthulhu with spine and back cover.
    Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Mask of Cthulhu with spine and back cover.

    The Lurker at the Threshold, begun by H.P. Lovecraft and completed by August Derleth. [More info on ISFDB]
    Source: https://www.amazon.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Lurker at the Threshold, begun by H.P. Lovecraft and completed by August Derleth. [More info on ISFDB]

    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft. [More info on ISFB]
    Source: ttps://www.pinterest.se License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Doom That Came to Sarnath by H.P. Lovecraft. [More info on ISFB]
    Source: https://rubbersuitstudios.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft. [More info on ISFB]
    Source: https://www.ebay.ca Dogtropolis. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Lovecraft. A Biography by L. Sprague de Camp. Ballantine, 1976. [More info on ISFDB]
    Source: https://www.flickr.com John Keogh. License: CC BY-NC.

    Lovecraft. A Biography by L. Sprague de Camp. Ballantine, 1976. [More info on ISFDB]

    1 Comment on “H.P. Lovecraft / Cthulhu Mythos paperback covers (Ballantine, 1976)”

    1. Nick Cooke of G-Type spotted a sign for a Briefmarken (postage stamps) shop in Vienna. Some letterforms – especially M, but also E and N – are remarkably similar to Moulin Rouge. Coincidence? Did Davison see this sign (given it is that old, and not a more recent faux vintage addition)? Or is there a common source, like a lettering model, or a metal typeface?

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