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The Nightmare Factory Paperback – Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061243531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061243530
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 0.6 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By RK on 21 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this thinking it was a collection of short-stories by Thomas Ligotti. It isn't. It's a graphic novel based on 4 of his stories. Frankly, I'd rather read the stories, so am very disappointed.The Nightmare Factory Since this item was not described as a graphic novel, I feel misled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tade Thompson on 3 Sept. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit disappointing.
I do not think Ligotti translates well to graphic novel format.
The art did not move me in any of the stories. Some of the choices of scene puzzled me.
I had high hopes for this, and I won't be buying volume 2.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Internal Madness Not Necessarily Manifested On The Page 19 Nov. 2010
By K. Harris - Published on
I was really excited by the idea of "The Nightmare Factory" as a graphic novel, but upon review I'm not sure that this is the best medium for the disquieting works of Thomas Ligotti. Those familiar with Ligotti's tales, often compared favorably to Lovecraft, know that they are filled with an internal madness. Characters struggle with unseen demons or relate past tales with much exposition. But what can come across as haunting on the page of a story can come across as inactivity in visual form. Psychological deterioration is hard to conceptualize in comic form. The artistry of "The Nightmare Factory" is apparent, but the artwork is framed with such stillness.

This ambitious collection is actually a representation of four Ligotti pieces--"The Last Feast of Harlequin," "Dream of a Mannikin," "Dr. Locrian's Asylum," and "Teatro Grottesco." Each section has an informative preface that gives context to the story and additional information about Ligotti's work. While I'm not accustomed to so much supplemental material in a graphic novel, it did add a necessary depth. The stories themselves are more creepy ideas than plot driven narrative. In as such, you'll probably like them or hate them. I probably thought "Harlequin" and "Asylum" were the two most rounded selections.

But, as I mentioned earlier, these graphic tales are actually not incredibly visual. Many of the stories relate with little or no dialogue, just an internal monologue or description from one panel to the next. That's fine--but the panels themselves then have to tell a compelling visual story. "Mannikin," for example, (which I like as a story) has endless panels of someone writing at a desk. Other stories just have lots of establishing shots-- towns, streets, buildings, etc...that are just place markers for the tale being related. They don't advance things visually. Look, I liked "The Nightmare Factory" and Ligotti fans will undoubtedly be intrigued--but newcomers or casual readers may expect a little more to draw their eye. KGHarris, 11/10.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Long overdue exposure for this dark light 3 Jan. 2008
By J. Bjorne - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ligotti has long been my favorite "horror writer." I was shocked to actually find this on the bookshelves of BOTH the big chain stores here in town. I hope this does well, because I would love to see another adaptation.

The only quibble I have with the whole package is the McKeever art for "Dr. Locrian's Asylum," but I've never been partial to his work. Still, that did not effect my enjoyment of the adaptation.

My favorite two Ligotti stories, "Dream of a Manniken" (the story that introduced me to Ligotti, I read in in an anthology and was instantly hooked and immediately bought the hardcover of "songs of a dead dreamer", and "Teatro Grotesco" are in this collection. Both are excellently adapted and rendered. "The Last Feast of Harlequin" is the first story in this collection, and the art is wonderful in it as well. Overall, the artists brought their A game, and the whole package is very atmospheric. AND Ligotti writes brand-new introductions to each story.

The price tag, $17.99, was a bit steep for my taste (I'm a full time student) but it's Ligotti-related, so I was bound and determined to buy it. FOX Atomic is supposedly watching the sales of this to see if maybe they might look into other Ligotti ventures. While I know it's a pipe dream, a Ligotti-scripted movie (there already is one, the wonderful "Crampton" co-written with Brandon Trenz, an expanded version of a script they wrote for the X Files years ago (and it would have made for the best episode of any of that show's last four seasons)) maybe in my lifetime???

If you like this, and Ligotti, I suggest also hunting down a copy of "In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land," which is a series of short short stories he wrote and which David Tibet of Current 93 composed suitably chilly music to listen to while reading it.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Tim Janson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thomas Ligotti is really one of the best-kept secrets in the horror field. He's almost a throwback to supernatural writers of days gone by who could scare you without having to resort to blood & guts. Besides that, Ligotti is a fellow Detroiter and I've recently found we attended the same college, Wayne State University. He must be a great guy! Fox Atomic Comics has released an original graphic novel based on several of Ligotti's short stories featuring art by some of the best in the business: Ben Templesmith, Ted Mckeever, Michael Gaydos, and Colleen Doran. Ligotti's stories are adapted by writers Stuart Moore and Joe Harris and Ligotti provides and introduction to each of the four stories in this volume.

"The Last Feast of Harlequin" is a Lovecraft-inspired story very much in the same vein as "The Shadow Over Innsmouth". Here we have another strange old small town with creepy and rather unfriendly inhabitants who harbor a dark lineage. An anthropologist, who serves as the story's narrator, comes to the town of Mirocaw for their annual winter festival. The man has a rather unsettling fetish with clowns and wants to participate in the festivities by dressing in his own clown costume. He finds himself shunned by the townspeople despite his best efforts to fit in with the festivities. He'll soon find he has a dark connection to the others dressed in their bizarre clown make-up. Best story of the book by far I thought. Lovecraft influenced but with Ligotti's own flair and possibly a central character even more off balance than those love ol' Lovecraft.

"Dream of a Mannikin" features the best art in the book, courtesy of 30 Days of Night artist, Ben Templesmith. Weird dreams of manikins haunt the sleep of a therapist and his patient that soon have you questioning their sanity and their very existence. Templesmith is a genius in the use of colors and shading to evoke feelings and create an air of terror.

"Dr. Locrian's Asylum" is almost as good as "The Last Feast of Harlequin" as the curse of an old, abandoned mental hospital is released on the residents of a town when they finally tear down the old building. Horrifying images soon begin to appear throughout the town in windows where there should be no people. McKeever's caricaturist style is well-suited to the story. You get the feeling right from the beginning that there is something just not right about the town and McKeever manages to capture that sensation in his artwork.

Only the last story, "Teatro Grottesco" left me a little flat. This is an extremely odd take about the appearance of something called the Teatro and those artists that seek it out, or are themselves, sought out by the Teatro. It was all a little too existential for me but the painted artwork by Michael Gaydos was superb.

The horror scene in comics keeps getting better and better all the time and if Fox Comics and continue to put out fantastic titles like "The Nightmare Factory" they will be a force to be reckoned with...

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Disquietude, Decrepitude And Dementia 17 Aug. 2009
By DLD - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thomas Ligotti is an author who has mined a unique corner of the field of contemporary weird fiction. His work draws upon the cosmological horror of Lovecraft and William Hope Hodgson, the hallucinatory fancies of Poe and De Quincey, the alarming disquiet of Algernon Blackwood and the visceral unease of "Books Of Blood" era Clive Barker and weaves them into a unique tapestry of existential horror which is uniquely his own.

'The Nightmare Factory' is a graphic novel which makes a brave attempt at translating four of his singularly subjective literary visions into the graphic medium and, for the most part, it succeeds.

"The Last Feast Of Harlequin" (adapted by Stuart Moore and featuring Artwork by Colleen Doran) is a whimsical fancy in which Ligotti, by his own admission, emulates the spirit of Lovecraft as he introduces us to a narrator (who bears more than a passing resemblance to British actor Robert Powell - who played the lead in the surreal Australian political thriller, "Harlequin" ) who attempts to both satisfy his love of carnival and palliate his seasonal affective disorder by journeying to a typically Lovecraftian North American town which holds an annual midwinter carnival of fools. Suffice it to say, all is not what appears and the resulting theatre of absurdities proves to be more "grand guignol" than merely grotesque.

"Dreams Of A Mannikin" (adapted by Stuart Moore and featuring artwork by Ben Templesmith) is an extended riff upon the notion of dreamlike recursion and collapsing realities which follows the stream of consciousness narrative of a psychoanalyst trapped in an escalating cycle of metaphysical manipulation, somnambulistic fantasy and obsession with the inert.

"Doctor Locrian's Asylum" (Adapted by Joe Harris and featuring artwork by Ted McKeever) is a darkly entertaining tale in which the citizens of a town who attempt to rid themselves of an unsightly lunatic asylum, in order to absolve themselves of the past horrors that it represents, see their act of architectural and psychological catharsis backfire upon them in a truly apocalyptic fashion.

"Teatro Grottesco" (adapted by Joe Harris and featuring artwork by Michael Gaydos) is an extended rumination upon artistic superstition, urban legend and the loss of creative objectivity which sees a writer of "nihilistic prose" attempt to an engineer a meeting with the sinister orchestrators of the "world theatre" - whose eldritch agents manipulate the artistic consciousness of man through Machiavellian means.

Rife with visceral imagery and symbolism, this collection is an ideal introduction to both the works of Ligotti, and the more complex, verbose spectrum of weird fiction, and will appeal to lovers of the macabre and the Malevolent as well as fans of the authors mentioned above.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not Bad, but... 3 July 2008
By V. G. Wilson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To me, Ligotti's "stories" have always revolved around ideas, moods and suggestiveness, with an evocative use of language. Not the best combination for graphic storytelling. Still, these adaptations are impressive, at least in their artwork and their audacity!

The narratives are certainly watered downed, naturally. One of the things that has always intrigued me about H. P. Lovecraft and similar writers is their use of suggestion. This allows the reader to fill in many of his/her own blanks, as many critics have observed. No two readers will read the same story the same way when filling in those blanks. I find Ligotti to be in that fine tradition, so I can't recommend this volume too highly. It is interesting to see how at least one or two persons filled in those blanks, however (the writer and illustrator).
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