As we say goodbye to an irrationally gloom-shrouded year, it seems surprisingly fitting that I stumble on the newly-posted cover of Life magazine’s “Gloom Number” from July 1914. One imagines Lovecraft must have noticed this in the Reading Room of the Public Library, and on the magazine racks, at the start of July 1914.

Presumably the death of John Barleycorn, dated to 1st July 1919 on the central tombstone, had some relevance to the anticipated legal and political moves toward prohibition of alcohol? The cartoonist would thus be implying that the planned prohibition of alcohol would not work. If that’s the case then he also implied that those who promoted prohibition were gloomy killjoys, long past the age at which fun might be had.