Read Before Providence 12: Speculations on the End of an Era

Providence 12 Dreamscape variant cover – art by Jacen Burrows

Next week, March 29, 2017 (update: looks like it may be the week after: April 5), Providence #12 will be available. After Moore and Burrows’ The Courtyard, Neonomicon, and Providence it feels a bit like the end of an era. Moore’s text version of The Courtyard first saw print in 1994. Lovecraftian elements appeared in several of Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stories. 2010 saw The Courtyard‘s future spun into four issues of Neonomicon. Then, from 2015-2017, Neonomicon‘s world stretched into so-far-eleven prequel issues of Providence. Alan Moore has hinted that he also has another brief Lovecraftian comic coming in the near future.

For Providence issues two through ten, Facts in the Case would preview what our contributors expected was coming next, and especially what Lovecraft stories appeared very likely to form the basis of each issue.

Providence 12 Women of HPL variant cover. Art by Jacen Burrows

For issue 12 the upcoming themes are not so clear.

In many ways, Providence #11 completed the circle: Black’s journey – and Providence itself – returned to the point where it began in issue #1, and then skips forward to pick up where Neonomicon left off when it ended. While we’ve been treating Providence as a kind of prequel, there have been hints all along that this wasn’t quite the case.

As Sax, Brears, Perlman and Barstow – all characters from The Courtyard and/or Neonomicon, have popped up toward the end of Providence #11, it probably makes sense to go back and read through The Courtyard, Neonomicon, and Providence to see where we are heading. A very pregnant Brears appears on the Women of HPL variant cover for issue 12.

This post will feature some speculation on what might be ahead – and invite readers to comment on how Providence might end up. 

Speculation:

The End of the World? It is not too helpful to expect that regular or variant cover images take place during each issue. (Covers are done well in advance, and often are a riff on a character or theme, not necessarily a definite event taking place inside.) Nonetheless, issue 12’s Dreamscape cover features Cthulhu wreaking some sort of fungal destruction on a present-day (interestingly apparently un-domed) New York City. Cthulhu’s arrival may mean the end of the world. But then again, Moore has ended the world before and it turned out okay. In Moore’s Promethea the protagonist ended the world, and then things quickly came back a little better and brighter. In Moore’s Swamp Thing cataclysmic forces of light and darkness clashed, and the seemingly-doomed earth persisted more-or-less as before.

The Black Man? Though readers apparently saw him commit suicide in Providence #11, it is difficult to imagine that Robert Black will not feature prominently in Providence #12. Given that Black’s dreams forsee (or perhaps “herald”) the future, perhaps the events of issues 11 and 12 are somehow seen through Black’s eyes? Perhaps the roles of the Herald (Black) and the Redeemer (Lovecraft) span across time, in some sort of Moore time-as-an-eternal-solid way.

The Commonplace Book? The one hint we did get at the end of issue #11 was that Barstow thinks Black’s commonplace book may be the key to whatever is happening, or possibly how to end it. The most obvious element might be the Aklo cipher that Black copied, but could there be something else in the book that we missed, some insight that Black unwittingly wrote down which prevents – or causes – whatever happens in issue 12?

Forshadowing? Certain earlier scenes appear to foreshadow later developments. One example that seemed like foreshadowing but hasn’t yet resurfaced are the panels in Providence #5 where Black and Massey are climbing the stairs, and apparently someone or something is looking in at them. Are there unresolved threads that readers have spotted that might be resolved in issue 12?

Use the comments to let us know what you’re expecting in issue 12 next week.

 

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89 thoughts on “Read Before Providence 12: Speculations on the End of an Era

  1. I really hope this isn’t the end. Moore’s been on about retirement from comics before. I think Providence, barring some huge misstep, is the writer at the top of his game. No reason to believe he might not have an epiphany or even already a percolating thought that would drag him back to tales Lovecraftian. As far as what to expect, I really can’t begin to imagine. If fact I’m hoping in true Lovecraftian fashion, Moore delivers the unimaginable.

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    • Well, he’s getting on a bit, I begrudgingly admit he’s earned a retirement. Much as I wanna see him go on writing as long as he lives… and beyond. I imagine Alan can afford to retire any time he wants to.

      What’s really awful, is that (in the 2000AD documentary) Neil Gaiman mentions he once sat with Alan, and Alan explained the whooooole epic of Halo Jones. How it was all going to go, all 9 books. I don’t imagine he’s written the scripts, but he knows what happens. Gaiman was in tears over it.

      I mean, I don’t *want* to kidnap Alan’s wife or kids, but which would be the bigger crime? That, or failing to blackmail Alan into finishing Halo, and it thereby being lost to humanity forever? I think history would forgive me.

      2000AD own the copyright but I’m sure Rebellion would give him that and a big gold box of chocolates, just to see it written, whoever publishes it.

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      • I saw that 2000AD documentary as well. What really tickled me about the Gaiman part was the fact that we’re all still waiting for him to finish Miracleman. Issue 24 came out in 1993. All the rights have now been cleared up. Still. No. New. Miracleman.

        I just did a complete re-read of The Courtyard, Neonomicon, and Providence and what I have sorely missed in Moore’s interpretation of the Mythos would be the scientific aspects of Lovecraft. The cold descriptions of the creatures The Whisperer in Darkness, the time/body shifting of The Shadow Out of Time, and most of all the horrific discoveries of At the Mountains of Madness; these were the stories that truly changed my view of man’s relationship with the cosmos.

        Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every second of Alan Moore’s Lovecraft work. It’s just that I have been a Lovecraft fan since I was 12 years old, and my favorite stories that Lovecraft did are the more “Sci-Fi” ones for lack of a better description. I understand that it certainly changes the flavor of what Moore is doing, but c’mon everyone, there is still time to see a giant penguin or two.

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      • We’ve some of the Lovecraftian science fiction elements occur in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: particularly the back matter of Volumes I and II, with some aspects in The Black Dossier and Nemo: Heart of Ice in particular (especially if you love those penguins). And we have seen some body shifting as well if you consider League: Century with Oliver Haddo and more immediately in Providence Etienne Roulet’s possession of Elspeth Wade’s body and temporary control over Robert himself.

        Moore does use these elements. They are there but I can see how someone might want to see more of them.

        And for the record, Andrew L, I really wish Marvel would finally publish more Miracleman stories after all those re-releases: especially a continuation to the Silver Age and then the Dark Age.

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      • I REALLY want to know what Avril’s plan is, getting MM to kiss Young. What could that possibly be about? Any news yet on what decade issue 24’s coming out?

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  2. I did not know about the short Lovecraftian comic that Alan Moore planned until right now as of the reading of this post. I think one thing Lovecraftian and Alan Moore teaches us is that it is never over. It only continues in cycles: both the writing and the story.

    I’m not sure how this is going to end, to be honest. I’d totally forgotten about the hands of light and darkness reading out to each other in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, though Promethea has always been in my mind. I think … maybe the best way to figure out how this is all going to end is to look at how Lovecraft interpreted the end of the world: as humans become likened to the Great Old Ones and enjoying orgies of power and destruction: of genuine joy and glee in obliterating old and stratified lives and spreading out into newer, older, larger existences. Perhaps humankind wakes up from its small bubble of slumber and realizes it is part of a much larger, grandiose, non-Euclidean dream.

    Maybe the full terror is the moment where Robert Black and all the others have attained this state of madness and they realize that the horror of this, or what would have once been horrifying due to this state, is their truest sense of happiness. it’s like the theme of a lot of Clive Barker’s stories: that what you fear the most is what you desire, except on a much more cosmic (cosmicisistic?) scale.

    But will this ending, or this beginning, have a precedent, an antecedent, or create its own? I, for one, greatly look forward to watching how this happens with all the rest of you. I think there will be much that can be said and much more that we will have much to say.

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  3. I sort of doubt a full Prometha ending is coming. One of the interesting tensions of Providence is how Moore pushes back at the simple equation of Lovecraftian creatures with monstrousness, while never letting us lose sight of the terrible things they do.

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  4. In terms of Cthulhu ending the world, he will and he won’t. Earth as we know it will be gone and will have never existed, but Yuggoth will always have been. Sort of like how matter can be neither created nor destroyed. As the solicit says, “This is the issue when all you know changes. The finest horror work ever written comes to a conclusion you cannot imagine. All the threads are weaving into a tapestry of history re-imagined. Or was our history the fiction? Time to wake up, he who slumbers. This is Providence… or is this Yuggoth?”

    That being said, I think the Commonplace Book does give the FBI a chance to stop all this. It contains part of Black’s translation from Hali’s Book, which explicitly tells them about the coming birth of the Dreamer (i.e., Cthulhu) who will retroactively re-write history, and about the symbols that can be used to contain the Great Old Ones. If the FBI can put two and two together and figure out that Merry is pregnant with Cthulhu, they have a fighting chance of stopping all of it (by using the symbols and maybe killing Merry before she gives birth, but hey, this is a horror comic).

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    • I think that the key here might be one part of the Commonplace Book where Robert records the Elder Signs that are apparently “banishing rituals” from Hali’s Book. The problem, however (and I suspect I’ve said this somewhere before), is whether or not those symbols or anything that seems antithetical to the Dreamer and its ilk are true.

      As Robert Derie pointed out to me once on Twitter with regards to some of my own articles on Providence, we have to rely on the reliability of the writer. While he was referring to Robert Suydam’s pamphlets and dubious reliability, I take the lesson further.

      Are those pentagrams and swastikas Elder Signs for banishing rituals? Hali’s Book is an English translation of the lost Kitab text. Isn’t it possible that the translation that Black transcribed was wrong? How many translated versions of the Bible and Biblical Studies on its semantics exist? What if the Kitab said something differently from the Hali’s Book version: a turn of phrase or idiom that couldn’t be captured properly in English? And the scary thing is that it might not have been malicious or purposeful: just another example of humanity’s inability to always understand the nuances of its own perceived existence.

      So yes. I think the FBI does have a chance of stopping this from happening, but I doubt that they will and i seriously doubt that events will be as straightforward as a Biblical apocalypse with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or a simple banishing thereof.

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  5. I think that Barstow is clearly the man in the dream sequence with the damaged hand, looking defeated with the commonplace book.

    But defeated is a key word here.

    A Lovecraftian ending isn’t about things actually ending. It’s about inevitability.
    So far Providence has been a reconstruction and reaffirmation of Lovecraft’s narrative tropes. I don’t see why this would be any different. One of the things that has caught my attention is the meta aspects of the series,

    My theory is that Providence, the comic, is an adaptation of the commonplace book. That the end of the world is averted. But in doing so brings Robert Black to the fame and influence he so wanted in life, now that the commonplace has been dredged out into the public limelight. And that Providence, the comic, in universe is now proliferating the ideas of Hali’s Booke to a new generation.

    Making their re-use all but inevitable. They may have won the battle, but the war is lost. And it is lost by us and out fiction.

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    • A clarification: the FBI agent and holder of the Commonplace Book is actually Carl Perlman: the agent of Jewish ethnicity that Aldo Sax hated so much and Merril Brears had an affair with before losing his hand to Sax.

      And I actually really like this suggestion for the series’ ending. It would be an echo of Watchmen, of course with Rorschach’s Journal, but there is some resonance there. I could see Robert gaining this fame and influence posthumously, of course, but I like the idea that in a lot of ways Providence is Robert’s magnum opus spanning over space and time. But I also think there is room for my interpretation it is humanity that ultimately becomes the monster: that we are just that part of the monster waiting to awaken.

      The war is lost. The War is won. Beginnings and ends are the same.

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      • Oh right. I meant Perlman.
        I don’t know why I wrote Barstow. Might need to reread before the last issue.

        I liked your ideas as well, I wouldn’t mind either. I just felt that this way you could really delve into how Moore was playing around with the realm of fiction.

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      • I think it’s worth noting that Sandy Pearlman, BOC guru, wrote an epic poem called “The Soft Doctrine Of Imaginos” which was chopped up and used as lyrics to the 1st three Blue Oyster cult albums and became the concept for the album “Imaginos”. I think it’s safe to assume that Alan is aware of their output.

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    • Oh heeeeere we go. Now I actually hope Cthulhu does bring the apocalypse, it’d serve comic publishers right for messing us around.

      I can take an extra week, just hoping nobody takes the piss and it ends up as months again.

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  6. Even for a readership now somewhat numbed to dismembered bodies and even number to slithery tentacles, an all-surpassing horror for issue 12 may have been foreshadowed…….an explicit, eyeball-eviscerating illustration of what is described in issue 11, page 10, panel 4, 23rd through 29th words (counting contractions as single words).
    As a precaution I may read issue 12 wearing welding goggles.

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  7. It’s not looking good for PROVIDENCE #12 dropping this Wednesday (March 29). Moore’s CINEMA PURGATORIO #9 is however. It’s not likely Avatar would ship two Moore books the same day. Also I haven’t seen any press that would most likely correspond to the end of a major Alan Moore series especially one as critically hailed as this one.

    I’m still holding out for next Wednesday, April 5 – Which is when Comixology is currently listing it.

    If I find out any solid information I’ll post it here.

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    • I am holding out for April 5th as well to see how this brilliant abomination ends. And I have noticed a small amount of press for the series in general — especially recently — except of course for this site, and other sites that show different covers and introductory summaries. It could also be that I am not looking particularly hard enough but this series is one of the best things he has ever written and I would like to see more on it: even and especially if I have to write more pieces on it myself.

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      • Hmmm. That June 28 on the individual issues is odd. P #12 is absolutely on the distributor’s master list (which just appeared today) for next Wednesday. Like I said, this is the most concrete shipping date I’ve found so far. April 5th had been a possibility as long back as a month or so ago. Avatar has been really good about shipping the month the book has been solicited for (in P #12’s case – March 2017). I only remember one issue not shipping in the solicited month and that issue actually shipped a week or so earlier in the previous month. We should know 100% by Monday-although Joe (below) says it’s a “GO” for next week and he probably has the inside poop.

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  8. Has anyone tried to overlay the “Women of HPL” cover on top of the “Pantheon” cover? I just realised the cloudline and lightning almost seem to match the shape of Cthulhu’s head and his eye.

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    • *проверил* Хех, и правда. Well, who knows… But what’s the problem? Progressive mankind has developed plenty of cunning devices for such cases, like proxy or VPN.

      By the way, if I’m in this thread, the last guess I’m going to make before #12 appears. What if the Redeemer and the great dreamer are actualy one entity, i.e. what if Merryl is pregnant with HPL reincarnation? That would be awfully nice twist, I think.

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      • Oh, my. It hadn’t occurred to me to consider what form Brears’ child would actually take. I don’t know if it’ll be Lovecraft reincarnated, exactly, but hmm… Now I wonder exactly what “The Dreamer” will be.

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      • lol yes, i know. i just kept expecting giant-sized providence issues from those comments burrows made, but i suppose he just meant he had to draw a few more pages without the back matter

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  9. Hope it’s out today. And who knows, the funniest and most poignant ending would be if both the world that Robert Black inhabits and Cthulhu’s Yuggoth turn into fiction, and from there into the pages of the comic book we read, thereby deconstructing the entire “reality” created within the comic book itself. It would be especially poignant if we got to see an image of Alan Moore himself at the end.

    …IF.

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    • Not really. There’s pretty much nothing more to be told now! I’m a bit disappointed the whole thing just pretty much happened, fait accompli. Still, no free will and all, that’s how it’s got to be. The Herald met the Redeemer back 100 years or so ago, so there’s not much else needs to happen. It was written, so it happened, and always had happened etc etc.

      Still, it’s a story, so it could’ve gone another way. Would’ve been nice to see the slimy gits of the Sapientae get their comeuppance. Bunch of upper-class, rich powerful twats get their own evil way. As ever. As ever the cops fail to be any help to anyone!

      It occurred to me that it was getting later and later in the book, for the cavalry to turn up. Then they didn’t! Booooo!

      Considering there’s something like an eternity of screaming to come, everyone took it pretty well. Or didn’t seem to care at all, actually. Not much good.

      Was good, though, the way the journey from Perlman’s house to the final location just took a couple of minutes. Like in a story, you don’t hear about all the boring bits of woodland Red Riding Hood spends her time traipsing through. Just the eventful ones. The same here, Perlman’s gang end up going right to their next scene in an instant. Narrative trumps reality, just like it’s going to do from now on.

      Similarly the way Increase and Shadrach just lure a couple of side characters off the edges of the page, then come back alone. Shadrach didn’t need to bother fetching a big axe and the tomato sauce. Just leads a guy off the page (conveniently oblivious, even in a story that’s been about one very oblivious man), then comes back dabbing his mouth and burping. It’s that simple in Yuggoth. Which is sortof Fiction-Land, as well as screaming Cthulhu-ville.

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  10. I have just finished reading Providence #12. It manages to tie a lot of threads together in a satisfying, but not mind-blowing way. I liked the idea of all books and narratives as “spoors”, life from other worlds infiltrating our minds. S.T. Joshi is integrated into the cast of characters as the last remaining scientist, a “Lovecraft scientist”, which I suppose we all are as readers of Lovecraft and Moore. There is a reveal of a prophetic dream from Black’s Commonplace Book, but I shall avoid further spoilers for the moment.

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      • There’s only one journalist in the whole story, and it didn’t sound like him. Plus his soul presumably escaped off to wherever it went, not long after it left his body in the Suicide Booth.

        Does The Terrible Old Man have anything to do with any journalists in Lovecraft?

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      • Ambrothe ith with uth now, from issue 10. Though in a cylinder is a bit mean. Unless it’s quite nice in there, he seemed happy I suppose. What makes you draw that conclusion?

        I suppose if living in a copper cylinder with some weird mechanism on the front, is the alternative to death, then it’s not so bad. Is the round green thing a camera lens, you think? And then maybe the fungoid carrying him around is somehow slaved to Ambrose’s wishes. So he has most of what he had before.

        The fungal assistants seem intelligent, they seem to know what’s going on, following the plan, and one of them speaks. Those little fringey things on their heads look like sensory organs.

        Having Roulet explaining everything that’s happened, all their setbacks, makes me think. Hasn’t he read Lovecraft? Surely he should’ve known what was coming with all of those characters. I’d guess he understands the whole fiction / Yuggoth thing, and knows about the Herald and the Redeemer. Why don’t any of Lovecraft’s characters, or their “real life” counterparts in the comics, read HP’s books? With their fatalistic world view, knowing what happens wouldn’t prevent it. Or would that present a paradox? A really boring, annoying one!

        Ah I’m looking forward to getting this all beaten out on the proper page for issue 12, lots to talk about!
        Good work, Mr Moore!

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      • Well, the cylinder is the scientific methodology that the exceedingly intelligent Mi-Go (the fungal guys from Yuggoth, who are probably being double entendred in the first line of this issue) use to transport humanity throughout outer space in The Whisperer in Darkness.

        In addition to writing fiction, Bierce was a journalist, and was in fact on a journalistic mission when he vanished in Mexico.

        Since being in a copper cylinder allows AB a chance to travel through space and since he was a misanthrope who was probably not terribly attached to the physical, I can understand why he is stoked about the things he’s seen and the stories he’s “filed”.

        And his father was named Marcus Aurelius Bierce.

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  11. I can’t wait for the annotations because there were a couple of things that have me feeling a bit out of space and in darkness about, if not completely deaf, dumb and blind.

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    • It’s from Beyond the Wall of Sleep (already quoted in Providence #8) – “We may guess that in dreams, life, matter and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.”

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  12. The most unsettling touch in the final issue is how everybody, now, comes to accommodate the supernatural in the way Robert Black has done throughout the story. It became a running gag, almost, how he could justify anything that happened. But I don’t think this was arbirtary. Rather, he was heralding the true state of the world, where every affront becomes natural and normalcy fades into the fog of imagination. Is it too much to wonder if this is how Moore sees our contemporary world, so driven by curated and manipulative narratives? This truly is the ‘evil’ twin of Promethea; ideas that devour rather than empower!

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    • Yes. This seems to be the whole point of the Brears/Joshi discussion of the Shadow Over Innsmouth ending, where the protagonist accepts his fate as a son of Innsmouth. As Joshi says, this is meant to increase the horror of the story, because it shows that his mind is changing as he mutates. For the survivors, this strange dream state is being instantly normalized, which means their minds are changing to accommodate this new “reality”. That and it’s amusing that the famously steadfast and prickly Joshi would be argumentative over an interpretation of a Lovecraft story even in the face of the apocalypse.

      The normalization of a constantly shifting reality was something I found highly relevant to the state of the world right now, where we are trying to assimilate illogical and terrifying new shifts in logic and sanity from our new overlords on a daily basis.

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    • As another point, I feel that not only is the ending like an evil twin of Promethea, but a darker version of The Black Dossier’s Blazing World spreading out and finally being allowed to drop the pretenses and fully take over again.

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  13. Read Providence 12. [SPOILER comments to follow.] I feel P11 was really the end of this series, with P12 working best as a kind of meaty epilogue to AM’s entire Lovecraft project, given the focus on the characters of the first two books. It was surprisingly explainy, too. One thought. The final issue hits hard the idea that there’s something in Black’s book that could save the world. Perhaps hitting this idea, repeatedly, was done as part of the issue’s effort to chill us with Lovecraftian cosmic horror fatalism, that we have no free will. But on the other hand, it made me wonder if AM emphasized that idea so that we would debate how to read that ending: given that all this Lovecraft lit is presented as the means for world makeover (the “spores” idea), that it’s alive in a fashion, are we supposed to be wondering if the act of ripping up Black’s book stopped the apocalypse? Might it have that kind of magic, that destroying it disrupts and dispels the unraveling and reformatting of the world?

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    • Jeff: Actually, I took it completely the opposite way. Issue 12 repeatedly makes the point that fictions are world-changing, and that they almost always start with books. “In the beginning was the Word,” and all that. The final destruction of Black’s journal implies, to me, that the final real link to Earth-That-Was, the seed that could bring it back, is gone. Yuggoth will always have been and shall always be.

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    • couldn’t agree more about #11 being the actual finale of the series. hate to admit, I might have preferred it that way. I had pushed aside my misgivings about how this whole thing was clearly destined to wrap up, because by #10 I was enjoying the whole series so much that it seemed like maybe moore would surprise me with a mind-blowing ending. but unfortunately so much of what i was afraid of about the ending by the third or fourth issue unfolded exactly as I had feared in this issue!

      upon first reading, IMO not moore’s finest hour as a writer here. I was afraid of going from multi-dimensional Robert Black back to Brears, but how could i have predicted that Carl Perlman would be such a complete bore. “Explainy” is a great way to put the feeling of this issue, particularly the dialog. Apart from the cool shifting-dream stuff (DO i have a wife and kids, etc.) which i liked, so many pages devoted to spelling stuff out that I felt as though had been explained far more eloquently in the last issue (visually instead of verbally). I mean I wouldn’t call the mentions of ligers the most subtly placed exposition… and then the box-ticking appearances of Mi-Go and Yithian (although hey, it was fun- resurrected my agony that we never got a Whisperer in Darkness issue). Not a hell of a lot of tension here, although i suppose it’s anti-climax by design. so much to ponder about this issue on further re-reads… But yeah, felt a lot like a sorta bonus epilogue that probably could have been a half-as-long and still have gotten what it did across.

      I thought this issue was so much more a tour de force for burrows than it was for moore. some great art in this one, really liked the Shub-Niggurath interpretation, all the shifting landscapes were wonderful.

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      • although admittedly i couldn’t stop laughing at the appearance of Joshi, and there was a lot of goofy fun to be had here. i’m into the conceptual notion of taking the Lovecraft trope of the “older man with the magic book” and deflating it, but good god was it deflated. SO MANY THOUGHTS!

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    • Nah I don’t think something as easy as ripping up a book gets to dispel the whole descending of Yuggoth over our reality. It was just a nice mirroring of Lily ripping up his letter on a bridge in issue 1. There’s a word for that sort of mirroring in a story. “Chiasmus”, something I saw in a completely unrelated article (on “Back to the Future” actually) the other day.

      In a way Lily’s ripping up the letter was what started all this horror off. It’s what detached Black from his life in New York and set him on his fateful journey, to meet a bunch of nutters, then present the whole thing to Lovecraft. Would never have happened without Jonathan ripping up that letter, then killing himself.

      I think there may have been a solution in Black’s journal, but probably not. Since it was printed in the comic, anyone recall anything likely useful? He copied down the Aklo to English alphabet and a few bits from the Kitab, but not enough, I think. He spent all day (was it longer?) reading it, but didn’t really understand it.

      The fact the SS ran off with the original copy from St Anselm’s indicates there might have been something useful in that. But maybe not, perhaps they were just being cautious. Or they wanted the copy to work from, perhaps they had some part in summoning Johnny to turn up. Or the like, some useful part. Maybe getting Yog Sothoth to appear over the church.

      In any case, I think overall any chance of salvation was a slim one, and didn’t come to much. I wonder why Perlman just gave up like that? Overwhelmed?

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      • Good thoughts. I’m definitely re-reading issue one soon to reflect more on the mirroring of the rips.

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    • I would go so far as to say that the ending of 10 was actually a perfectly satisfying end to the series proper.
      11 and 12 have been the epilogue. 10 reaches the crazy peak of cosmic horror, destroys the protagonist’s mind, and leaves the fate of the world entirely in the mind of the reader. What could be a more Lovecraftian climax than that?

      11 felt like “Dance of the Gull Catchers”, as has been pointed out. This issue though, man you guys, I don’t understand the disappointment and/or let down being expressed over this issue. I found it as thought provoking and creepy as the rest of the series, and am entirely satisfied.

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  14. The moment I saw Sax and then what happens after, and then I read Facts’ observations about *why* Sax might see things differently … made me have some ideas as to why he and his compatriots before him committed their own murders: specifically in the manner in which they did.

    I can’t wait for Comments to be opened.

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    • In The Courtyard, Sax says the freeing of ultimate forms may be accelerated by pertinent sculpture. The Lloigor are just human beings in some future angle.

      So he was making tulips to support the cause. The same for the others. They’d all taken the white powder and knew Aklo. The tramp made weird “noises” in his sleep, the kid did weird “scat singing”, and the other guy wrote strange stories. All with weird words and noises, or as we know it, Aklo. It opened up their minds to the urgent and completely sensible need to kill and dismember people, so that humanity can evolve quicker, so we can take our place as Lloigor.

      Was also stuff to do with dho-nha, and the view of time from the outside, predestination, etc.

      So, that’s why the mutilated corpses. The dance party though, in Providence 12, was the icing on the cake! Makes perfect sense, that weird young lad, crooning away in Aklo to a bunch of heads and hands, so they can hear and applaud him. Meanwhile in the next room, their left-over bits have a boogie to his bizarre atonal guitar compositions.

      I also just noticed in The Courtyard, Carcosa has a print by Pickman, it’s the Boylston Street subway one he was working on in issue 7. When we saw it in issue 7 the paint was still wet, but by the time Sax sees it, it’s a print, probably one of thousands.

      I suppose “3 ghouls with big knackers poison a policeman” didn’t fit in with Johnny’s interior design plans.

      Like

  15. you know, his appearance has been making me think – Facts in the Case of Providence should 100% solicit an interview with Joshi about his thoughts on Providence. As of issue three, i know he had yet to read the series, i wonder when he was contacted about this insane cameo!

    Liked by 1 person

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