William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The House On the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, adapted to graphic novel by Simon Revelstroke and Richard Corben, with Introduction by Alan Moore.

WIlliam Hope Hodgson Richard Corben Simon Revelstroke Alan Moore The House on the Borderland

This graphic novel version of Hodgson’s novel takes many liberties with the original narrative. All of the characters are younger than in the original, the setting is some 40 years later, and the framing story of the two men who discover the crucial manuscript is changed and made more violent. The nameless recluse of the original is given a name, for some reason, and his dead beloved and his live sister are telescoped into a single character, with jarring effects. Additional sexual elements have been added, evidently to gratify Corben’s desire to depict them (I won’t gainsay the impulse). A visionary coda reveals a great arcanum absent from the original.

The story that results is in some ways more integrated and easier to follow than Hodgson’s 1908 novel, but part of the charm of the original (to me) was its unwieldiness and unresolved enigmas. This version piles horror upon horror with a steady pace, and Corben’s illustrations communicate that very well.

Alan Moore’s introduction does not address the present adaptation, but rather the original story by Hodgson, and it is a good read of its own, though brief. [via]