Being a teen is hard enough without discovering that you’re an ancestor of an ancient race of cosmic gods, but learning new things about yourself is one of the major parts of adolescence. Calla has had more intense growing pains than most in Stela’s Calla Cthulhu, a YA action-horror comic that combines elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythology with a strong Buffy The Vampire Slayer influence and a visual style akin to early ’90s Disney animated movies. It’s a fresh interpretation of Lovecraftian ideas that takes a lighter approach to the bleaker themes of Lovecraft’s work, incorporating them into a teen experience that is easy for readers to relate to.
Co-writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer (who recently released an excellent Beasts Of Burden one-shot) and artist Erin Humiston all have significant experience in animation, and those skills have come in handy as they work in Stela’s vertically scrolling format, creating a very smooth reading experience for Calla’s adventures. The first run of Calla Cthulhu chapters ends this week, and this preview of the latest installment highlights Humiston’s rich character expressions as Calla meets the brother of the young boy she saved in the action-packed first chapter (which can be read for free on the Stela app). Each beat of the conversation is broken down in crisp detail, and readers can learn more about Calla and Khalil’s developing friendship when chapter six of Calla Cthulhu hits the Stela app tomorrow.