Arcane Secrets: The Curse of the Mottled Tentacle #1 - Lovecrafty for Kids? ~ What'cha Reading?

Arcane Secrets: The Curse of the Mottled Tentacle #1 – Lovecrafty for Kids?


I’m the mom that brings her toddler to playgroup in a Cthulhu onesie. Come on, if you’ve heard a toddler speak, you know for sure that they could be talking to the Ancient One himself, right? When I saw Arcane Secrets: The Curse of the Mottled Tentacle, I was, initially, insanely excited. Lovecraft for kids? Bring it on!


The only problem is, the book left me cold. It just didn’t interest me, it didn’t pull me in. I don’t expect to see The Great Cthulhu rising from the ocean and driving people insane on page one, but the storyline just didn’t connect with me, and I’m not sure it will connect with kids, either. Angel Svoboda takes on the task of making Lovecraft’s writing make sense to a child by making the names a bit easier to pronounce – Cthulhu becomes Xulu, for instance.

Svoboda also makes the storyline accessible to kids by bringing it to the basics: good guys and bad buys both want a magic piece of tentacle (Lovecraft alert!), the Finger of Curran. The bad guys worship Xulu, and are trying to get to the tentacle to help them release monsters into the world. There’s not a lot of linearity to the overall story, but the overall good versus evil theme, with funny situations like plant afros growing on investigator’s heads and a little, green tentacle-y guy named Elvis thrown into the mix, will appeal to younger readers.

While the story may have left me a little cold, the art is great. It’s bright, kid-friendly, and pops off the page. There are a lot of bright greens and purples to catch the eye, and the characters are cartoony enough to keep kids turning pages. The monsters aren’t terrifying, they’re goofy. Angel Svoboda also does the art for this book, and it’s fantastic.

I will likely pick up the next issue of Arcane Secrets, because I want to see where Svoboda is going with this story. Things tend to need an issue or two to work out the kinks. If you’re a Lovecraft fan, give it a shot – maybe this is your book, or a way for you to introduce this kind of storytelling to the kids in your life. If you’re not a Lovecraft fan, some of the story may go over your head, or you may just dive right in and work it all out. Either way, it’s a solid effort that deserves another look.

Writer: Angel Svoboda
Artist: Angel Svoboda
Publisher: Amigo Comics
Price $3.99
Release Date: Aug. 28, 2013
UPC: 79945668162700111
Diamond ID: JUN130722

About Author

Rosemary Kiladitis is a children’s librarian, a mom, and a proud fangirl/nerdgirl. She did her homework while watching reruns of the 1966 Batman series, which led to her longstanding relationship with the Bat, and she’s pretty sure that Barbara Gordon is the real reason she went to library school. She loves superheroes, supervillains, and is secretly married to Hellboy. Or Loki. She can’t remember, but it’s one of them. Roe blogs about children’s and teen books at, and you can read her 140 character ramblings on twitter @RoeSolo.


  1. Hi! Thanks for your words about my comic-book. I’m sure you’ll like the next issues because the story is better and with good continuity. And a lot of surprises! I invite you to read it and send me your opinion.

    Thank you for reading me.

  2. Rosemary Kiladitis on

    Hi there! It’s my pleasure, thank you so much for responding! I’m excited to read the next issue – I love surprises! I’ll make sure to review it and let you know. Thanks again and have a great day!

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