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The Family Sarnath: H.P. Lovecraft meets Family Circus!

Updated on May 8, 2013

Behold! Throughout millennia past, many an abomination has trod the earth. Whether atop the blood-soaked ziggurats of Sumer, or within the deep, emerald-encrusted chambers of Mayan kings entombed, this watery orb has witnessed unspeakable horrors. It is therefore nearly unthinkable that one such nondescript and typical family could unleash such dark perversions upon the earth, and yet, so is the unfortunate reality. What follows then, is their story...

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A Note of Introduction to you, my Dear Reader.

Ah Family Circus, no other comic lends itself so well to the complete perversion of its original intent.  From Nietzsche quotes to dysfunctional scenarios, the poor Keane family has found itself in undreamed of complications.  Hence, I cannot resist, and must further the exploitation. 

Yes, I know, blending the writings of Lovecraft with the art of Bill Keane has been done before.  Under the name of "The Nameless Dread," these comics blended the round-headed innocence of the all-American family with the bone-chilling terror conjured up by the best horror writer ever, H.P. Lovecraft.  But, rumor has it that the brilliant woman behind "Nameless Dread" has since hung up her hobby, and I don't want it to ever end.  Though there are probably fifty other people doing this exact same thing, I will go out on a limb of hubris and claim that I can do it the best.  Mine will not be just simple Lovecraftian quotes gracing appropriate Family Circus comics!  No, I intend to plumb those depths never before dreamed of by mere man.  An overall plot line will be maintained throughout, and specific attention will be paid to the individual personalities (and eventual destruction of those personalities) of each family member!  Not even Mr. Keane can boast such lofty purposes.  Journey with me then, down the rough-hewn, cyclopean corridors of eons past, through sinister temples of ancient Babylonian deities, far beyond the realm of all that is pure, sanctimonious and sane, to the unspeakable darkness that is...The Family Sarnath!

Chapter One: What Happened to the Keane Family?

I feel it is incumbent upon me to offer a synopsis of the bizarre and potentially dangerous Keane clan. From what I have gathered, it appears that upon one of their many beach outings, Mother and Father Keane were dragged into the deep by some malignant denizen of Dagon, where unheard of things were done to them. After they surfaced, whatever remnant of the old Mr. and Mrs. Keane was utterly extinguished, and things were never quite the same in the Keane household.

The first to succumb to the dark desires of Mr. and Mrs. Keane was their oldest son Billy. With an almost other worldly enthusiasm for the study of occult literature, Billy's grades soon plummeted, and conversely, his knowledge of the unseen world reached zeniths unheard of for a ten-year old child.  

While Mr. and Mrs. Keane's admiration for Billy increased daily, the same could not be said for his younger brother, Jeffy. 

Jeffy possessed not the ability to suspend his humanity for the greater good of the Deep Ones.  A fragile innocence defined the very essence of poor Jeffy, and when that first appearance of the thing was thrust upon Jeffy's consciousness, it could be said he was never quite the same.  Ever clinging to his own humanity, Jeffy lives life as a tragic figure, ever fearful and ever distressed.  His sanity lies on the brink. 

Thankfully for Dolly, she'd never been entirely sane even before the Deep ones infected her parents.  Hence, the transition from weird little kid to weird little fish-hybrid kid was a simple one to make.  Dolly generally repeats the fragments of what she hears from her parents during their strange, occultic rites, or from what she has digested in the vast library of her brother Billy.

All Captions are taken from these Brilliant Books!

Chapter Two: School Troubles

Billy, once boasting a solid "average," on his report cards, was now plummeting further and further into the depths of "inadequate."  His odd aversion to his peers was also cause for concern for his teachers, as Billy's recess was now spent watching his classmates from afar, a look of disdainful curiosity on his face (as one teacher put it: "He resembles a feeble old lion who would love to chase down and maul his prey-if only he'd had the energy").  Parent-teacher conferences were an odd affair, as Mr. and Mrs. Keane could never fully rid themselves of the odorous and offensive combination of fish, seaweed, and death that clung to them like barnacles.  Unsurprisingly, these conferences were inevitably cut short by Billy's teachers, who cited any manner of excuse to relieve themselves from the Keane's presence.  It soon became incumbent upon Mr. and Mrs. Keane to alleviate suspicions as to the evolving nature of their son, and hence a tutor was hired.  Billy ate her within the week.   

Chapter Three: The Trials of Jeffy

The sensitive child can easily find himself burdened by the demands of modern society. The pressure to achieve in both school and at home coupled with the emotional stresses brought on by things such as playground bullying and a lack of financial and/or marital stability within the home can lead such a child into anxiety, anger, and depression. Now imagine the sensitive child in an environment in which his parents are near demonic fish-people whose five-year plan entails offering numerous human sacrifices to the demigod Dagon while preening you for a diet consisting of plankton and a life lived breathing through gill-slits two-miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean . Rough, eh? Well now you know how poor Jeffy feels.


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      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      An interesting hub. Family circus was always kinda off and lovecraft is one of my favorite writers.