Providence #8 Annotations Posted

Randall Carver from Providence #8 P2. Art by Jacen Burrows
Randall Carver knows the score. Detail from Providence #8 P2. Art by Jacen Burrows

We are still, yawn, wiping the sleep from the corners of our collective eyes, but the Facts in the Case of Alan Moore’s Providence team has finished our first-draft annotations for Providence #8.

As with Moore and Burrows earlier issues, there is plenty on the surface, and lots references buried below. The issue features the then 29 year old Howard Phillip Lovecraft himself (!) plus his maternal grandfather. Additionally there are Lord Dunsany, Randolph Carter (or Randall Carver if you please), dreamscapes, ghouls, ghasts, cats, klansmen, a Civil War general, legionnaires, and plenty more.

The issue references numerous Lovecraft works including “The Silver Key,” “The Unnameable,” The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” and “Beyond the Wall of Sleep.”

Dig a little deeper and readers will find Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo, and even the return of Merrill Brears and Johnny Carcosa, prominent in Neonomicon and The Courtyard.

Read all about it – right here.

And, of course, use the comments section to let us know what we missed or got wrong.


8 thoughts on “Providence #8 Annotations Posted

    • Speaking as someone raised in that city, the natives (at least those I hung out with) mostly pronounced it “Wuh-ster”. (I don’t have a firm grasp how Bostonians would pronounce it.)


  1. This was a truly wonderful issue and a great job annotating it, thank you so much.
    I have never seen speech-bubbles used like this before, instead of boxes I mean. Outstanding.
    Is the bridge dream entry the first time Black refers to Lily as “her” in the Commonplace Book? He was very elusive about her\his gender before.
    Also the grandfather clock in Carver’s room might be a reference to the clock in “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”. I was somewhat disappointed though, not to see the “curious coffin-shaped clock whose dial bore baffling hieroglyphs and whose four hands did not move in consonance with any time system known on this planet”.


    • Black always refers to Lily as “her” in the Commonplace Book, most likely out of concern that someone would read it and learn he is homosexual.


  2. I’m glad that the story is starting to build. Even as a huge Lovecraft fan, a lot of the early issues of Providence seemed light on story and heavy on Lovecraft “easter eggs.” It was disappointing that more wasn’t made out of Black’s trip through Innsmouth in Issue 3 or even 4. The characters or events in one issue have very little impact on the next.

    Does Robert’s journal entries bother anyone else? They are almost always just a recap. I was hoping for something more, like what Moore did with The Watchmen and Tales of the Black Freighter, chapters from Under the Hood, Rorschach’s psych evaluation…

    Having said all of that this series has still been very exciting. I’m hoping Moore has a big ending planned.


    • Matt –

      I agree. Issue 8 seems to have broken the dam a bit, especially with Black’s long description of his dream in the Commonplace section.

      It also contains what appears to me to be a “meta-fiction” styled nod to the previous Commonplace Book entries and the plot in general. Black describes Carver’s “Twilight Odyssey” hero as “drifting down the river from one strange and surreal land to another, his bizarre encounters having little to do with each other and only connected by the slender thread plot-thread of his continuing journey.” A better description of “Providence” so far we could not render.

      At his moment Black is still a cypher, he doesn’t recognize his own importance in the universe he’s exploring. The people he encounters appear to know his role, and have been pretty straight forward in their willingness to tutor him, but he is still oblivious to seeing anything but his own grounded reality.

      It’s interesting to note that Hermes was known to be the only god allowed to visit Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. Perhaps our clues are already in this issue’s dream description and its bridge metaphors. Black, as Hermes/Herald/Messenger, may be the mediator who can traverse planes, but he’s yet to see the other side. It’s possible the psychoanalytical effects of Carver’s lucid dreaming routine will allow him to glean deeper knowledge and find “the messenger” within.


  3. my general feeling is that Robert is a Golem – an uncouncsious messanger (Herald), crafted by the Stella to authentically provoke Lovecraft into chronicling their superficial intentions to the world, making them myth. (just like another, “competing” faction is at the time attempting to increase their influence with a “Redeemer” Golem\ritual, I’m inclined to think)


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