It was bound to happen eventually. For decades Cthulhu was an obscure literary icon known to only a handful of devotees initiated into the mysteries of the Mythos. Knowledge of the Great Old One was essentially viral, spreading via direct physical contact with existing fans and occasionally through the letter columns of certain outre publications. Even then, infection was unlikely. It might take multiple exposures to the Mythos before it took hold of the victim's mind, forcing them to scour second hand bookstores for forgotten tomes. Sometimes, despite multiple exposures, it just never took.
Now, years later, the world is a much different place. Lovecraft's creation has become so ubiquitous that "Lovecraftian" is an eagerly embraced marketing term used by all kinds of dreck, from comics to movies. In the span of a single generation Cthulhu has gone from being a figure of cosmic dread and horror to a punchline, a kind of hipster Satan.
In short, we've reached Peak Cthulhu. The Mythos, and Cthulhu in particular, has reached it's maximum level of cultural penetration. The first signs that total saturation was approaching were visible on Etsy, where an ever growing army of crafters were cranking out Cthulhu hats, cozies, plushies, slippers, purses, earrings, and all manner of ill-conceived geegaws.
But that, my friends, was just a taste of the true horror.
We've gone far, far beyond that.
Even as we speak there are entire factories in China dedicated to mass producing Cthulhu merchandise. Swag that, amazingly, will then get resold around the world as quirky, handmade Cthulhu cuteness.
These disturbing Cthulhu slippers come to us from the Yiwu United Crafts Co. of Zhejiang, China. They're eager to provide you with up to 1,000,000 pairs of these...a month.
Or the ever popular Cthulhu ski mask from the Qingdao Ever Fortune Industrial Co., Ltd. of Shandong. Need a pallet or two of hideously machine knitted hipness? No problem! Why, they'd be happy to send you an entire shipping container of these...things.
*"Peak Cthulhu" will be featuring all sorts of horrifically bad Cthulhu merchandise. Much of it will be items available for import from Chinese sweatshops, but I reserve the right to include the best of Etsy. And by "best of" I mean the most appallingly craptacular junk.