Excitement abounds for we enthusiasts of Alan Moore, HP Lovecraft and Weird Fiction, as the crashing denouement to Providence looms overhead. Considering that the exact release date for Providence #11, let alone #12, is aptly unknowable, now is the prime time for speculation. Such speculation should not, of course, be limited merely to theorizing on what happens next, but could also stretch to the overall motives and meanings behind the series, and how that might predict what happens next.
This can be logical and precise, based on the evidence presented; those of us eagle-eyed readers, for instance, had by the release issue #3 or #4 realized that Prof. Alvarez’s comparison of Robert Black with that other Herald reporter who found Dr. Livingstone was subtly foreshadowing Black’s inevitable encounter with Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Equally, it is also possible that such theories become outlandish, echoing the excesses of 9/11 truthers in their drawing together of thick black lines between distant, disparate dots. Or, rarely, there might be a happy medium between the two.
I put it to you, fellow readers: Providence isn’t just about Lovecraft, his fiction, its meanings and its impact. It’s also a riposte to True Detective Season 1.
There is an excellent two-part interview with Alan Moore up at the Someone Who Isn’t Me podcast hosted by Daniel P. Carter. Alan Moore completists will be interested in listening to the entire interview: part 1 and part 2. Moore discusses consciousness, Jerusalem, magic, the Northhampton Arts Lab and much more. It includes quite a bit on H.P. Lovecraft, and even a reveal of some of what is in Providence #11.
In part 1 (minute 34:15) Moore describes the leap from pre-linguistic awareness into modern human consciousness, which he calls “the entire haunted palace” echoing the Edgar Allen Poe story The Haunted Palace which lends its title to Providence #10.
In part 2 (starting at minute 43:35) Moore speaks at length about Lovecraft, and offhandedly reveals something about Providence #11. Below is a partial transcript:
Carter: I’m going through Providence at the moment. It’s made me go back and read Lovecraft again, which I hadn’t done. I got into his work when I was really young – just in really silly ways as well. I’d found out about him through liking Metallica. They have a couple of songs: The Call of Cthulhu and The Thing That Should Not Be. Also through the role-playing game. Then started reading his work. I only read The Courtyard and Neonomicon fairly recently, after getting into Providence. It started making me look into other things like Kenneth Grant saying the idea that there was some kind of link between Lovecraft –
Moore: That Lovecraft is intuiting something –
Yeah. Which is essentially going back to something we said initially about how art is created. Where does art come from? Where does writing come from.
It’s a valid idea, I guess. It’s just that Lovecraft was such a fierce rationalist. Now I know Kenneth Grant gets around that by saying “ah – he didn’t know that he was channeling these things that are real.”
I think it’s more complex than that. The thing is Lovecraft came up with all these things purely out of his own imagination. They had enormous resonance because Lovecraft was almost an unbearably sensitive barometer of, what I suppose you might call American dread.
He was frightened about everything. He was awkward with women. He was frightened of immigrants – or despised them – if there’s any difference; but also, other than these average middle class fears of his time, Lovecraft was reading science magazines, and he understood the revolution that was going on in science: how Einstein had practically undone the whole of humanity’s conception of where it stood in the universe. And had re-written a lot of the basic rules of the universe.
I think Lovecraft was initially horrified by Einstein, but then came to absorb his theories and probably to understand them. It seems that he has understood and he’s taken them on board. So what Lovecraft’s fiction was reflecting was that we existed in a hostile random universe – well, not so much hostile but completely oblivious. A universe so vast that we were reduced to the tiniest, most insignificant speck – in a remote corner of this infinite blackness. Continue reading →
Guillermo Del Toro is, of course, the director of numerous fantastic and horrific films. He is also big fan of both H.P. Lovecraft and of comics.
The exhibition displays visual art, sculpture, films, props, comics and other objects, primarily from Del Toro’s personal collection. This is topped off by some similarly-themed artwork from the museum’s collections.
I did not expect to see any Alan Moore, but, among a lot of original comics art, there are two framed From Hell pages, but Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Continue reading →
It turns out that I don’t live that far from Providence letterer Kurt Hathaway’s suburban Los Angeles home studio. I asked and he was willing to let a fan drop by to see the inner sanctum where Providence and many other comics are lettered.
When I arrived, Hathaway was in his garage tinkering with a rolling camera track that he plans to use on a film project. He brought me into his modest lettering studio, mostly a desktop with two large monitors. The room is decorated with numerous shelves of action figures including G.I. Joe, superheroes, cowboys, and more. There is also plenty of artwork, on display and in files, both by Hathaway and other comics artists he has worked with.
We’ve been inundated with comments – which we really do enjoy and appreciate, and definitely use to fill out our annotations. For right now we are keeping the comments closed on the Providence #11 annotations page and we’re hoping that our readers will comment on this post with speculation on what will happening next. The week issue #11 comes out (it looks like November) we’ll open the comments for that page.
Alan Moore seems to sometimes telegraph what’s coming next, but still manages to surprise and keep readers guessing. Just how badly have we all predicted the series in the past? Most of us have been proven wrong as soon as the next issue is released. See our earlier prediction threads:
p.s. If you’re looking for more Providence insights, see where we recently published the remainder of questions and answers from Jacen Burrows’ Ask the Artist interview. Read the excellent revealing interview here. Burrows stated that he is interested in responding to some more questions as the series concludes. Add your questions as comments on the interview page.
Providence #10 is due out in stores this week (then again maybe not this week, but fairly soon anyway), and in this third and final act, the revelations regarding H. P. Lovecraft and the Stella Sapiente are coming fast and thick—but every new revelation seems to bring with more questions and new mysteries. While we’ve speculated quite a bit about where Moore & Burrows might be headed for the climactic revelation, for readers getting ready for this issue, we’d like to focus on a few specific questions, and the stories that might influence this issue. Spoilers below the fold.