Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Catching Up With Arkham Bazaar: Cinema, Cthulhu, Cults and Dreams

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon is returning to Los Angeles on September 26-28th! One of the vendors making their eldritch return is Arkham Bazaar, which specializes in Lovecraftian film and audio, Cthulhu gifts, T-shirts, Uncanny art and sculpture, and other Oddities. Their wares run the gamut of Weird tale authors like H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Clark Ashton-Smith, Robert W. Chambers, and Robert E. Howard.

We had a chance to talk with Gwen Callahan about what's in store this year!

It's been a year since we last checked in with Arkham Bazaar. What have been some of the highlights for you from the previous year?
This year has been pretty exciting! In October, we did a Best of The HPLFF night at the Hollywood Theatre, and in April we put on the 19th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon here in Portland. We marched in Portland's rose festival Starlight Parade dressed as cultists, and heard a few people shouting, "ia! ia!" along the parade route! Throughout the year we have been busy creating new products - like our Vintage style tin signs, new t-shirt and work shirt designs, a limited edition book of Dreams in The Witch House, which we partnered with Mike Dalager to include a full cd of the DITWH Rock Opera with it. We just finished up San Diego Comic Con where Mike joined us to help promote the album, and GenCon where we got to see a lot of amazing mythos themed games being released.


You're returning to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles. What were some of the popular items you had from last year Did the attendees surprise you with what they liked?

It's always a bit of a whirlwind at the festival, but people always seem to like the work shirts that we do with our Lovecraftian designs, and the limited edition glassware that we have made with our designs on them. We have a fantastic glass artisan who etched each glass by hand. We are particularly excited because we have some new designs and glasses for this year's festival!

What can we look forward to this year from Arkham Bazaar?

We will continue to create new designs to put on shirts, posters, and other wearables, and find unique items to put on the website. One of our missions is to create and find unique Lovecraftian items to bring to the fans. The thing we are most excited about for 2015 is the 20th Anniversary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon in Portland. We already have a few fantastic guests lined up for that!

What's been some of the Mythos news exciting you lately?

There are a ton of great new books coming out. We were particularly pleased that the IndieGoGo campaign for She Walks In Shadows (the all-woman anthology of HPL inspired stories) was funded. Huan Vu and Jan Roth - the filmmakers responsible for the amazing "Die Farbe" successfully raised funds to make their next film, "The Dreamlands," which is already in production and looks amazing! We are beyond excited that this is going to happen, and can't wait to see it!


What do you see as some of the toughest challenges in bringing forth a Lovecraftian vision from the Cthulhu Mythos?

There are so many great things being produced across all genres - film, fiction, games, art, apparel - I think the greatest challenge is keeping things fresh and original. How do you build on Lovecraft's foundation without just copying or mimicking?

What's the strangest dream you've had lately?

Brian dreamt that we were doing a Cultist ritual at DragonCon, but everything was going wrong. We forgot the robes and no one knew the chant! I am pretty sure that this stems from the anxiety of putting on two film programs in the next month! We are doing another "Best of the HPLFF" night on Oct 4, and Zompire: The Undead Film Festival Oct 11-12. I know that they will both be fantastic, but there is a lot of work leading up to it.

This year, the theme is Shadows Over Innsmouth. What was the big takeaway lesson from that story for you?

"The Shadow Over Innsmouth" explores themes that were quite pervasive in Lovecraft's fiction. The concept of the "other" tying in with xenophobia, the idea that there are things we can't see or understand just below the surface, that we are not necessarily in control of our own destinies, and that ultimately, our biggest fear might not only be the intrusion of the other into our own being, but that we might also embrace the change from our familiar self towards the other, as does the main character of Innsmouth.

Be sure to visit Arkham Bazaar at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival or go online at: http://arkhambazaar.com/

No comments: