Our Providence #2 annotations are published. We’ll keep editing and improving them, but at this point, we think they’re more-or-less thorough, with tons of Lovecraft, plus Poe, Chambers, Duchamp, Huxley, demons, witches, werewolves, polyptychs, slow zooms, Yazidi, Neonomicon, a family tree, and even some minor nitpicks.
But, a few things have still eluded even our obsessive review.
Can you help figure out any of these details that we couldn’t quite solve? Click on images to enlarge. A few of these may become clearer as subsequent issues come out. We’ll see.
1. What is the framed land and sea picture?
It’s on the wall at Suydam’s, next to an image of King Tut, first on Page 9, panel 3 and it’s visible in a handful of panels. It could be generic, or maybe there’s a specific reference that Moore and Burrows are trying to make.
2. What is the second statue at Suydam’s?
There’s a small statue with horns (P10,p2) which we’re pretty sure is Cernunnos, a Celtic horned deity. Then there’s a second small statue that we never quite get a really clear view of. It’s visible on P11,p1, P13,p1 and P14,p1. It certainly is not the Silver Surfer, but I think it resembles him, probably as much as any smooth shiny metallic statue would, so that’s my (Joe’s) pet name for it. Commenter John Zaharick suggests it could be a Deep One (from Lovecraft’s “Innsmouth” and Moore and Burrow’s Neonomicon.) Anyone recognize it?
3. What is the framed woman in black picture? solved: Goya
It’s also not shown entirely clearly, but there’s a framed art piece depicting a woman in black (maybe a witch) with cherubs (or some other small creatures) at her feet. The best view of it is on P13,p1. It looks like it might be in the style of J.C. Leyendecker, who Jacen Burrows mentions here. Is there a source that it references?
4. What are those worms at the base of the gold column?
On Page 17, at the base of the gold column there are worms. The column from is from Lovecraft’s story “The Horror at Red Hook” but there doesn’t seem to be anything in the story that would indicate worms at its base. Any ideas?
5. Who is Aloysius Massey?
On Page 36 (page  of Suydam’s pamphlet), there’s a reference to Aloysius Massey. Aloysius was married to Hekeziah Massey, who is Providence’s analog for Keziah Mason from Lovecraft’s story “The Dreams in the Witch House.” The pamplet states that Aloysius Massey was a ‘common peddler’ “hanged at York Assizes in 1640, where he stood accused of murdering three women whom, allegedly, had been in his employ as prostitutes.” Keziah Massey insisted that “she’d known nothing of where the dead women’s wedding rings and personal effects, which she tried to sell, had come from.” The story particulars don’t match any history, legend, or fiction we’ve found. Suggestions? His initials matching Alan Moore’s might be some kind of in-joke.
6 – Who is Shadrach Annesley?
On Page 38 (page  of Suydam’s pamplet), there’s a reference to Sea-Captain Shadrach Annesley who brings Providence‘s Neonomicon to America. Moore has Annesley associated with Providence’s analog for Joseph Curwen from Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and with Etienne Roulet of Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House.” It will likely be clearer in a future issue, but possibly Annesley is a sea-captain that served Joseph Curwen in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, such as Capt. Manuel Arruda, or else an Innsmouth captain, possibly one that would go on to serve under Obediah Marsh (Providence analog: Jack Boggs) from Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”) Who do you think Annesley is?
7 – What buildings are these?
Providence #1 is full of very specific real buildings in lower Manhattan, including the Flatiron Building, the Herald Building, and others. We were able to use Google maps to nail down exactly where and which way Robert Black is walking in most exterior panels. Providence #2 is a little more difficult to nail down locations. A church and a church-graveyard are clear. But there are pretty distinct looking buildings that Burrows depicts that look very characteristic of 1919 Brooklyn, but don’t correspond specifically to any specific site we’ve been able to pin down. Do any of these building look familiar to anyone?
In theory, these are all across from the street from the Dutch Church cemetery at Church Avenue and Flatbush Avenue. Some of this area has been redeveloped since 1919, so not finding these specific buildings there today doesn’t indicate that Providence is somehow inaccurate… but maybe we missed something, or maybe it would be fun to find Burrows’ references.