What we have here are two authors of popular sci-fi/horror pulp fiction punching each other in the face. Well, it’s fairly clear they’re not really punching each other, but regardless, say hello to Frank Belknap-Long (left) and Howard Philips Lovecraft (right). Lovecraft and Belknap-Long were good friends in real life, and this picture was taken on one of the few chances they got to meet in real life.
It is a popular stereotype that Lovecraft was a shut-in; that he preferred to stay indoors and shunned the company of others. As such, some might find it a bit shocking to find an image like him. Better still, he’s even smiling! Surely the face of a miserable shut-in.
Lovecraft, in fact, had a very active social life, whether it involved visiting friends in-state, across the states, or simply writing letters back and forth. He was not considered particularly an outcast by his friends, and many considered him to be charming and sophisticated.
This is of importance to me as it challenges the kinds of stereotypes that frequently surround writers of antiquity. Lovecraft in particular is my favorite author, and he is frequently subject to speculation that he was maladjusted or that he made people feel uncomfortable. As is shown in the image, he was every bit as good-humored and exciting as one might expect from somebody with a creative mind.
I am an actor and a writer, and between the way I play villainous roles and the subject matter of my stories, which tend to be macabre or at the very least somehow strange, people tend to stereotype me as “creepy”. For a few years, some of my theater instructors refused to cast me in anything but bad guy roles, or anything that was otherwise “creepy”. This affected me in a very negative way, since she herself specifically would tell me that she thought I was “creepy” when, indeed, I think I’m fairly well adjusted. I’ve even got friends who can back me up on that!