Our Member of the Month for December, 2022 is Alfredo Gómez Mansilla of San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain.
Alfredo says: “Since I was a kid I have been a lover of science fiction, especially Star Wars, the Marvel Universe (both comics and cinematographic) and many TV shows from my childhood that I continue following today: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Mighty Max, Biker Mice from Mars, Street Sharks, etc., as most children who grew up in the '90s. When I think about it in hindsight I realise that each one of these series had elements with reminiscences from the Mythos, some characters or villains, which I was not aware of back then.
It was around 2011 (when I was 21 years old) when the first edition of the Mansions of Madness board game was released. Until then I heard little about Lovecraft's work and the little I knew was thanks to the Call of Cthulhu® roleplaying game. But I was mind blown when I acquired Mansions of Madness and started playing it. I wanted to investigate more and more and learn about the works of the author from whom all those ideas came. That’s when I fully discovered H. P. Lovecraft. I started by reading a compilation of stories that I got as a present and that was the beginning of the madness. I remember long nights reading and enjoying stories where the endings weren't as happy as I was used to, playing video games that were clearly inspired by the mythos, and playing more and more board games, which was the original reason why I got introduced to this.
Then 5 years later, all this became an absolute obsession when I started playing what for me nowadays is one of the best existing board games out there, which is no other than Arkham Horror: The Card Game, an immersive cooperative game that transports you to Mythos as when playing a role-playing game. This is an amazing solo experience, but becomes even better when playing with friends which I did, and led to meeting plenty of other fans. And it is thanks to this game that I became part of "Los Archivos de Arkham", a weekly podcast in Spanish about this and other Lovecraftian games and products. In our episodes we often talk about news related to the Mythos, review books and much more. And thanks to all this I started buying more books, reading much more, going further and further, and this is something I continue to enjoy every day. We also organise events regularly and have created an amazing community around our channel.
One of my best experiences in life occurred in August this year, when two good friends of mine (David Avilés and Egoitz Uribeetxebarria, also life members of HPLHS) and podcast colleagues at Los Archivos de Arkham, and myself organized a trip in which we toured New England. Our trip took us from Newburyport to Salem through the coastal road, ending in Providence where we had the chance to spend a couple of days visiting our beloved Lovecraft’s hometown. This is was a trip of our lives, enjoyed every single moment in the region and we all highly recommend to anyone who might like to experience it. Then the cherry on top, we travelled to Indianapolis for GenCon 2022, the largest board game convention in the US, where we visited the HPLHS booth to acquire forbidden tomes and artifacts, and we had the chance to meet the fantastic crew that form this association. And we were carrying our membership passports—of course!—so they could receive the appropriate stamps.
But after all written so far, I must say that I still consider this the beginning of the road. This fantastic universe is growing every minute thanks to all the people who collaborate creating content in one way or another, whether it is by designing board games with great original stories based on the works of Lovecraft or by writing books and stories that have the essence of Mythos, or building communities like The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society (thank you!). And there I will continue, as a content creator now, trying to help expand this universe more and more, for as long as I have any sanity left.”