The Old Weird, weird fiction written between 1890 and 1940, was often reactionary and, in the figure of H. P. Lovecraft, racist. Contemporary New Weird writing is characterized by a contrasting politics that stresses the weird as the destabilization of normative conceptions of the human. In the work of the United Kingdom–based publisher Savoy we find a different strategy: confrontation with and replication of the racist and anti-Semitic strategies of the Old Weird. The Savoy work centers on the character Lord Horror, a fictionalized reworking of the wartime broadcaster for the Nazis, William Joyce, who was nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw and executed for treason in 1946. Lord Horror is a multimedia production appearing in novels, comic books and graphic novels, music, and films. Focusing on the graphic novel Reverbstorm (2012), this article explores the dense visual and textual “universe” of Lord Horror as a form of weird fiction. This universe is visually indebted to the work of Lovecraft, develops a visual weird architecture, exacerbates the form of pulp modernism, and intensifies the disintegration of narrative. The neo-weird of Reverbstorm develops a new form of weird fiction in which the instability of the weird becomes problematic and is not simply to be celebrated as a site of liberation.
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Benjamin Noys; Full Spectrum Offense: Savoy's Reverbstorm and the Weirding of Modernity. Genre 1 July 2016; 49 (2): 231–253. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00166928-3512357
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