Thank you kindly dear friend! When I was a youngster I was something of a book worm(still am)I had a real love affair with classic fantasies.(Poe,Guy De Maupassant,Robert W.Chambers, Lord Dunsany, Lovecraft,even obscure stuff like Ben Hecht's "Fantasious Malare"and E.R.Eddison's "Worm Oroborus")Wonderful stuff!
I can see why,Chamber's character of the Yellow King and Jack Kirby's Dr.Doom have a lot in common and some differences as well; Both wear a mask, Both are "Princely" villains, Both have a commanding presence, both have fanatical loyal followers. The Chief differences is that Dr.Doom is mortal ( a meta-human,but mortal still) The King in Yellow is an ancient pre human entity. Dr.Doom thinks he's a god, The King in Yellow IS a god( a dark god that is.) Dr.Doom's mask is part of his armour and a sigil (symbol) of his power and goals. The mask of the Yellow King is not so much a mask or armour but a physical manifestation of himself on the mortal plane. And there you have it!
If you enjoyed Machen's "The Great God pan", then the series of Chamber's "king in Yellow" stories will be right up your alley!
But an odd thing is this. When ever I seen an anthology of the King in Yellow stories, it has the various short stories and poems(the poems copy Poe's "Opiated" pieces quite well, and the prose is very much like Machen and Guy De Maupassant's work,yet original!) But for some reason it shifts from these tales of fantastic terror to fictionalized reminisces of Chamber's years as an art student in Paris,before,during,and after the Franco-Prussian war. Still in all, a good read.
Thank you most kindly. The Chambers "King in yellow" stories(along with Arthur Machen,E.A.Poe, and Lord Dunsany's work) Was instrumental in the inspiration for H.P.Lovecraft's work... Machen's ability to put a fantastic horror in a realistic setting,From Dunsany the creation of an original phaeton of Gods and Demons and their mythos,From Poe character motivation and atmospheric setting,and from chambers the idea of a "Cursed" work of art.In Chamber's stories the book "The king in Yellow" was a play written in prose and poetry of an ancient deity known as the King in Yellow that although it was written beautifully ,it had a seductive,addictive and toxic effect on all those who possessed the book.A portal to a dark realm,a key to hidden terrible and powerful knowledge, and the tool of the king in Yellow...From this came Lovecraft's Necronomicon of the mad poet Abdul Azarhad. I adore Lovecraft's work.And to me it was always interesting to see what his inspirations were.