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The Nightmare Factory, Vol. 1

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  48 reviews
"A fractured mind is often the way into a world not suspected by those of an innocent normality."

Enter the universe of renowned horror master Thomas Ligotti—a universe where clowns take part in a sinister winter festival, a scheming girlfriend makes reality itself come unraveled, a crumbling asylum's destruction unleashes a greater horror, and a mysterious Teatro comes and
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Harper Paperbacks (first published September 1st 2007)
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Bill  Kerwin
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird-fiction

A graphic interpretation of four Ligotti stories: "The Last Feast of Harlequin," "Dream of a
Mannikin," "Dr. Locrian's Asylum" and "Teatro Grottesco."

With Ligotti, often the most suggestive horrors are philosophical rather than physical, and therefore images cannot convey how disturbing these stories really are. Still, these illustrated tales are both compelling and useful, as aids to a literary meditation on nihilism.

These illustrations may operate in much in the same way as an icon that is us
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, I decided to cheat and read a comic book instead of the real book by Thomas Ligotti. The introduction was not the most inspiring one, and I think it is totally my fault. In the ideal world, it should have worked. According to critics, Ligotti's works are very subliminal, dark, Lovecraftian , and very atmospheric. So, the images should have contributed to the feelings of space and presence, but they did not. There are a number of reasons. 1. I have always been a word over an image person. 2 ...more
James Pratt
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
To me, Thomas Ligotti's work is a good demonstration of how horror is most effective in small doses. These illustrated adaptions of a handful of his stories haul you in but don't give you enough time to become acclimated (and therefore desensitized to) the premise before bringing things to an abrupt (anti) resolution. Ligotti is one of the modern masters of weirdness and the artwork ranges from decent to downright spooky. Interesting stuff.

James Pratt, author of "When Dead Gods Dream"
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best gift someone (at least this girl) can receive is a book, or in this case, a graphic novel of an author's most horror-inducing tales. I've been figuratively dying to get my hands on The Nightmare Factory, and now thanks to the merry holidays, I have it in my possession. Once I had a moment to myself, my greedy hands pawed at this book, devouring its words and images like the literary glutton that I am. And before I knew it, I had reached its end. The graphics ceased, but my enjoyment had ...more
Oct 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
some critic somewhere said once that ligotti's overarching theme was his stories' sense of dread, in a word: doubt. his characters are saddled with it like a melancholic Atlus, the coming gotterdammerung too strong to allow you to even care to shrug. well, none of that translates to the comic medium. a couple (four total here) of the stories' ends are completely changed, one of them has an entirely new character in its protagonist and the most well known (and most comically (heh) astute) the La ...more
R.R. López
Aug 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
La fábrica de pesadillas en realidad es una fábrica de somníferos.

Es innegable que Ligotti es un escritor con gran dominio del lenguaje, una imaginería muy original, y una prosa evocadora con reminiscencias de Poe y Lovecraft, pero sus narraciones a veces son demasiado introspectivas y muy lentas para mi gusto.
Este libro lo he usado un par de noches que tenía insomnio, y mano de santo.
Tade Thompson
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A bit of a strange intro to Ligotti (who I have had the hardest time tracking down works from over the years). The stories here are clearly all abbreviated/transformed for the medium, and while the art is pretty solid in this volume, I don't know if this is how I want to become familiar with his work.

A lot of it also feels very Neil Gaiman/Last Temptation-y, but I suspect that's simply because I read the Gaiman first.
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
the art is interesting, fits the feel of ligotti's stories. however, the stories as presented lack the atmosphere that make ligotti as rad as he is.

if there's any reason at all to pick this up, it's to read Ligotti's introductions to his stories. the intros are at once logical but creepy as fuck.
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars but upped to 3 stars because the art work was very good and added to the novellas. But only two of the novellas were well chosen and well rendered. The rest were not. It is worth reading this for the two first stories but I wouldn't buy it and put it on my bookshelf.
♡ Carla
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dane Divine
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories are very old-school horror, which is the point. Pretty cool little collection.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: weird, graphic-novel
I have read this graphic novel of four shortish adaptations (of Thomas Ligotti short stories by people not Thomas Ligotti) and four short introductions (by Thomas Ligotti), before, and my thoughts shifted from initially enjoying it to thinking that it has missed the mark. Rereading it to coincide with my reading of Songs of a Dead Dreamer, I find that both of my takes were correct. First off, the artwork is excellent in just about every way, and for certain types of fans of horror and horror com ...more
Roman Stadtler
Nov 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Well, reviewer Rob summed it up perfectly below. I'll just add; what a snorefest! The Last Feast of Harlequin was the best of the four stories, with a promising set up and interesting action, both with Lovecraftian flavor, but the protagonist wasn't interesting in the slightest, there was no sense of dread (though all the elements were there) and the ending was a whole lot of "That's it, huh? Well."

Dream of a Mannikin - I'm not sure what this story is about, something to do with objectification
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Definitely creepy. Ligotti really built up a nightmare with a great amount of skill. But each story's ending left me wishing he would have taken it a step further. Each story the reader is clutching the book thinking, oh dear lord what horror awaits. It's such a perfect fear emotion to pull out of people. Then the ending. And it's not like it's a badly written ending or anything, it's just I wish there was MORE.

(view spoiler)
C.M. Crockford
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read two of Ligotti's other books (Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Teatro Grottesco) and I've read three of the stories adapted here. Even though I KNEW what was coming, I knew how the stories worked and how they would end, I still felt the same awful, numbing horror I always feel finishing his works, always. One is taken into a dream world without explanation or consolation when you read Thomas Ligotti and I feel as though I have been taken there a few times too many. I sat at a transit statio ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Perfect time of year for this. Interpretation of the clown story was super creeps, but all of the stories focus more on atmosphere than plot. However, I really like that, and there's also a heavy amount of philosophy and psychological exploration going on here, which is right up my alley as well. Ligotti writes more than your average horror tale and these are nicely illustrated, although I wouldn't go so far as to say they are fully adapted into comics... I guess technically.... I do especially ...more
Four odd and creepy stories.

But they seemed to be missing something.

The ideas were interesting and the art was fantastic. But something was lacking in the execution. I don't know if it's Ligotti's stories in general, or the adaptation, but there was something I didn't quite get. Maybe this is an intentional part of his writing, to leave the reader with a sense of bewilderment, but with a few of these, I was just left thinking, "huh?"
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

Overall, I'm kinda meh about the whole thing.

The art was decent, and suitably atsompherically creepy, but the stories were disjointed and hard to follow. Apparently they are based on prose novels, as opposed to being written for the format, so maybe that had something to do with it. I liked the one about the town with the asylum, and the clown one sort of stayed with me, but I don't even remember the others, and I just read it yesterday.
Mark Desrosiers
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Thomas Ligotti is the type of eggheaded horror writer who prefers to spook you with metaphysics and dreary clowns, rather than the usual electroconvulsive mix of corpses and demons. So let's just say that these stories aren't very frightening at all. Instead, you read this for the spooky art, which seems to improve on his originals in odd ways. I especially dug Ted McKeever's skin-gouging hard lines and Michael Gaydos's washed-out rainbow-noir coloring (in the freakiest of the four stories).
Keira Edwards-Huolohan
I wasn't a really big fan of this collection. They were not very nightmarish to me for the most part, and I only enjoyed 2 of the 4 stories (the first two). I guess I would recommend this if you can get it, simply for those first two stories. People with a more poetic/philosophical bent may enjoy the other two stories a bit more than I did.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Unfortunately for me, this is my first real introduction to Ligotti. Maybe I should seek out his actual stories or maybe just cut my losses. These feel like you're reading one of every ten sentences, like so much is missing. An extra star because the artwork is well done, but overall it's more annoying than enjoyable.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. Ligotti is pretty awesome, so let's jump on the graphic novel bandwagon!...and the results are not bad at all. It's a little bit difficult to get enthusiastic about this project because the addition of a visual element doesn't really seem to improve upon the original work, but at least they leave most of his creepycreepy language intact. A brief, enjoyable read.
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Four creepy stories, featuring skillful but fittingly unsettling artwork from four different artists. I personally found that all four comics relied too much on the narration, (it worked well in the first and last stories, but perhaps not the other two) and scarier visuals would've made them even better.
Chris kunselman
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
ligotti writes horror like it matters. his books are full of powerful sentences and slowly building unease. this comic adaptation isn't entirely succesfull, the stories could easily have been given another 5 or 10 pages yet most of the art was dark and interesting and far from typical. i enjoyed this quite a bit.
Atmospheric and well illustrated, but didn't seem very frightening to me. Rather than one tale, this book was four shorter unrelated stories. I think these stories would have been more enjoyable if they were longer and more in-depth.
I wasn't a fan of this one, which is disappointing, because I thought I would be. Ultimately, I found the stories utterly uninteresting. The art, however, was phenomenal. Especially in "Dream of the Mannikan." The lighting, the shading, the colors all made it pleasing to look at if not to read.
Leah Lucci
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
A lot of these stories were probably amazing as stories, but didn't quite translate well into comics. The illustrations were, however, beautiful, and some of the stories seem like they would be really cool to read in their entirety.
Feb 07, 2009 rated it liked it
I wasn't terribly impressed with this. I bought it on hearing it compared to Lovecraft and Poe, but I don't see Ligotti as anywhere near those writers. Certainly it has that atmosphere, but he doesn't quite pull it off as they did.
Aaron VanAlstine
Feb 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
Four stories illustrated by four different artists. The art is interesting but the so-called horror stories aren't scary, interesting, or compelling in any way. In fact, they are downright boring. It took less than an hour to read this "graphic novel" cover to cover. Skip this one.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #102: The Nightmare Factory (v1) by Thomas Ligotti 1 1 Nov 02, 2013 06:00AM  
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Thomas Ligotti is a contemporary American horror author and reclusive literary cult figure. His writings, while unique in style, have been noted as major continuations of several literary genres—most prominently Lovecraftian horror—and have overall been described as works of "philosophical horror", often written as philosophical novels with a "darker" undertone which is similar to gothic fiction. ...more
“But stories, even very nasty ones, are traditionally considered more satisfying than reality—which, as we all know, is a grossly overrated affair.” 0 likes
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