Submit “Ask the Artist” Questions Now For Providence’s Jacen Burrows

Jacen Burrows Cthulhu (detail) - drawing for Providence #1 Pantheon variant cover
Jacen Burrows Cthulhu (detail) – drawing for Providence #1 Pantheon variant cover

Providence artist Jacen Burrows has generously agreed to do an “Ask the Artist” session for readers of Facts in the Case of Alan Moore’s Providence. Submit your questions now; use the comments section below. Starting this Friday July 15, 2016, Burrows will be responding to questions.

The Facts Providence team will be collating questions, in some cases combining similar questions and passing them along to the artist. Burrows says it’s fine to ask about earlier works, but that he won’t answer questions about page rates nor will he show scripts because they are not his property.

If you’re interested in asking a question, go for it. For background, you might want to check our Jacen Burrows appreciation essay or these earlier interviews where he has spoken about Providence:

Questions are in the comments below. On or around July 15, we’ll create a new page with Burrows’ answers, and we will update this post to include a link to that new answers page. Update: the new page – with your questions and Burrows’ answers is here.


26 thoughts on “Submit “Ask the Artist” Questions Now For Providence’s Jacen Burrows

  1. I am curious about cats – seems like there is a black cat in nearly every issue of Providence and Neonomicon – and they’re part of some Lovecraft history and stories, too. Are you a cat person? Were all these cats in Moore’s script, or were any of them your idea? Were any of the cats you drew covered up by the lettering so we missed them?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m intrigued, and amazed, about the wallpapers appeared in many interior scenes of Providence; there are many of them with different colors and patterns; did you designed them (and used them) with a particular objective? In some of them I find suggestive patterns, did you make some kind of research about the early XX century wallpaper designing?


  3. Now that the series is almost completed, could you see yourself venturing into Lovecraftian waters again in the future?


  4. Are there any more pages of alternate artwork for Neonomicon or Providence? I know that there was an alternate ending to The Courtyward, with one of your pages published in The Courtyard Companion. Does Moore often come back with changes to scripts?


  5. Can you please describe the process of designing Lovecraft’s various non-human creatures for this project? Were some easier to conceptualize visually than others?


  6. 1: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the artwork improve from standard-to-pretty-good on The Courtyard to some-of-the-best-in-contemporary-comics on Providence. I hope that doesn’t come off as a backhanded compliment, as that’s not my intention. It’s just a great progression.

    It’s been said before that Alan Moore really gets the best out of his artists. Jacen, would you say working with Moore has had any impact on your art style in any way? If so, how?

    2: I’m always curious about Alan Moore’s scripts. It’s been a running topic in the industry that his scripts are extremely detailed. Can you give your impressions on reading his scripts? Also, as a follow up, is there any big difference between his scripts for Neonomicon and his scripts for Providence?

    Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to see how Providence wraps up!


  7. 1. The picture in “Neonomicon” and “Providence” seems to be slightly different from one of “The Cortyard”, especialy corncerning characters’ features, which seem to be a bit less detailed and less angular. Is that just because your style has changed, or there’re some other reasons?
    2. Carcosa was brown-eyed in “Neonomicon”, though on “Providence” #10 Pantheon Cover he is blue-eyed. Why so?


  8. How closely do you try to match Lovecraft’s original descriptions for his characters? For example, your interpretation of Dr Alvarez/Munoz is identical to his original description, whereas Increase Orne (the Terrible Old Man) is missing the long white beard which Lovecraft focuses on. Do you allow yourself much leeway when it comes to breaking continuity from Lovecraft’s stories?


  9. 1. What is up with the yellow border around some “dream”/unreality panels? Is it purely to define the borders of a dark panel, or is there a specific thematic reason?

    2. Huge fan of the alternate covers of Providence, some really incredible work being done on these covers. I’m curious if you can elaborate at all on the Pantheon covers, your process in bringing those various unimaginable beings to life and more importantly if you could speak at all to the relevance of each issue’s god/monster to the subject matter contained within (I understand this might be Moore’s territory- Does he simply give you an entity’s name and let you run wild, or is he more specific?)
    Also, related, can you finally settle once and for all just WHAT that toad on the #6 Pantheon is?


  10. #1 – Will you ever write a comic of your own some time in the future?

    #2 – What was the single most difficult panel and/or page you had to illustrate in Providence?

    #3 – On average, considering you are both the penciller and inker on a given project, how long does it take you to create a page, and do you ever have to restart from scratch due to a glaring and unfixable mistake?

    #4 – Are you friends with any well-known artists in the comic book industry? If yes, which ones?

    #5 – Which is your favorite Lovecraft story, and why?


  11. Err and another:

    Can you elaborate at all on your process for illustrating #5’s Witch-house? And is there any particular weird detail of it that you are especially proud of?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this was my question as well. You’ve mentioned that it was quite a process to illustrate that attic room – I assume because of all of the angular distortions and changes in shape that the room undergoes during Black’s stay. How in the world did you keep track of all of that and how specific were Moore’s instructions on mapping those distortions out?


  12. Who’s indeed the character on #9’s Women of HPL cover? There’re two general versions – HPL’s mother and Crawford Tillinghast’s housekeeper in “From Beyond”. Which one is correct, if any?


  13. Much appreciation to Jacen, Joe and Robert, as well as Alexx. Thank you all.

    1. Jacen, what, if anything, do you think Alan has used/taken from his time spent collaborating with you that has added to/influenced his writing or process?

    2. When you are remarquing, such as Neonomicon #1 Retailer Incentive cover, is it an enjoyable process? State of mind while drawing 250 similar pieces in a row?

    2. As this is Alan’s last or probably penultimate comic, has that had any bearing spoken of out loud between you both, or been storied in to Providence in any way, as in an ‘Easter Egg’, etc.?


  14. Oh! I have another, if there’s time: We know Alan Moore heavily researched Lovecraft’s work in preparation for Providence. But, can you tell us some or all of the books that you’ve read for Lovecraftian research and/or reference? Are there any Lovecraft related books you’d recommend?


  15. Two major characteristics of this series are intense architectural detail, and long dialogue scenes. Has there been a visual connection between those two things? Do you feel like the book’s emphasis on architecture has affected how you draw the characters’ expressions and body language?


  16. With Providence the line between fiction and reality tends to be pretty blurry. Have you – as the artist – perhaps had any strange experiences where elements of the story mysteriously seemed to find their way into your own life?

    Love your work and can’t wait for the final 3 issues!


  17. Hi Jaccen, I’m curious about one thing in paricular. Since the story is so intricate, I imagine you must have a number of scripts ahead of the issue you’re working on. If so, in general, how many scripts do you have access to?

    Or maybe, you’re only working with the script of the issue you’re working on and have the general «map/plot» of the serie as a reference or guideline.

    I can only imagine a poor soul trying to put together a 5000 pieces puzzle without the box as reference.

    Thanks for the great great work.


  18. Considering the relevance of the literary work of H. P. Lovecraft for the Providence comic, what do you think about that the World Fantasy Award dropped the Lovecraft’s image as prize after some controversy emerged after Lovecraft’s racism?


  19. Jacen,

    My favourite thing throughout Providence/The Courtyard/Neonomicon has been your take on the menagerie of various flora/fauna.

    Is there any chance of a collected volume or original collection of these?


  20. Has anything surprised you about the reception to the work? Is Avatar happy with the sales, and do you feel they’ve been able to reach the audience?

    Can you tell us anything about the project’s future as a collected edition? Limited S/N hard cover? Multiple or singe volumes? Any plans as of yet?


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