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.  Continue reading

Interview with Providence Colorist Juan Manuel Rodríguez

Providence colorist Juan Rodríguez – photo courtesy of Rodríguez

Juan Manuel Rodríguez is the colorist for Providence. Rodriguez lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lives with his wife Maria and their two daughters Sofia and Camila, and a brand new baby boy who just arrived this week.

Rodríguez studied Graphic Design at Interamerican Open University (UAI). Earlier he studied Cartoon and Illustration with Marvel and DC illustrators Juan Bobillo and Marcelo Sosa and studied Multimedia Design and Web and Digital Art at the Argentine Institute of Computation (IAC).

Juan Rodríguez illustration for Bastion

All of Rodríguez’ professional career is related to design and comics. He taught Graphic Design, Multimedia, and Digital Art classes for eight years and also worked for advertising agencies for several years. His art was frequently published in the science fiction magazine Bastion.

Bloodrayne comic cover by Juan Rodríguez

He started coloring comics professionally in 2005 for Image’s Noble Causes, then for the IDW series Zombies!: Feast. He colored Digital Webbing’s BloodRayne, Boom Studios’ Hunter’s Moon, and Devils Due Publishing’s Jericho comics continuation of the television series. He also did some covers and projects for Marvel and Image Comics with Rob Liefeld.

Rodríguez began coloring for Avatar Press in 2008, where he colored Gravel: Combat Magician, Chronicles Of Wormwood, Wolfskin, Crossed (including Badlands and Wish You Were Here), Neonomicon, Night of the Living Dead, Lady Death, God is Dead and now Providence.

The interview took place over email in early 2017. Rodríguez’ original Spanish language text appears below the English translation.

Facts Providence: Do you read a lot of comics? What were your favorite comics growing up?

Rodríguez: When I was a kid I read a lot of comics, I read everything. Thanks to my Uncle Carlos, who was a comic book fan, I started reading old comic strips from DC and Marvel, then many European comics (especially Metal Hurlant [Heavy Metal] magazine), and national magazines like Fierro, Scorpio, Paturuzú. My favorites include Batman and Justice League by Keith Giffen, The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, [Moore’s] Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Miracleman, and Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison and Dave Mckean.

Did you read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft before you started doing the colors for Moore and Burrows’ Lovecraft comics? What are some of your favorite Lovecraft stories?

I have read some Lovecraft books. The stories I remember most are: “The Colour out of Space,” “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Whisperer in Darkness,” and “Dagon.”  Continue reading

Providence #11 Annotations Posted

The penultimate issue of Providence came out yesterday, and it is a reference-packed tour de force taking the narrative from Black’s 1919 to the present day. Eagle-eyed readers can spot “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Horror at Red Hook,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Thing at the Doorstep”, Robert E. Howard, William Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith and much, much more. There are also plenty of ties to Moore and Burrows’ The Courtyard and Neonomicon.

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Detail from Providence 11 Dreamscape variant cover – art by Jacen Burrows

The Facts Providence team has first-run-through Providence #11 annotations up. Site authors and readers will continue to review, update and add details. Look them over and let us know if there are things we got wrong or missed.

Providence 11’s $40 Century Variant Covers by Raulo Caceres

Providence #11, Century Variant 07 - Mountains of Madness; art by Raulo Caceres
Providence #11, Century Variant 07 – Mountains of Madness; art by Raulo Caceres

Just announced today: Avatar will be publishing a series of ten extra variant covers for Providence #11. This new limited edition set are “Century” variant covers drawn by Raulo Caceres, artist of Moore-curated anthology Cinema Purgatorio‘s Code Pru. Each cover depicts a scene from Lovecraft fiction. Each Century issue retails for a whopping $39.99, with the set of ten retailing for just $285. While supplies last, purchase Century variants at Comics Cavalcade.

Facts Providence has a new page specifically for annotations of these Century covers.

These Century variants are the only Providence artwork so far that is not the product of Providence’s hard-working artist Jacen Burrows. Though perhaps Mitch Jenkin’s photograph at the end of Providence #7 also counts in this category.

The Century covers bring the expected total of Providence covers to 99. There are twelve issues with seven regular variations (regular, Dreamscape, Pantheon, Portrait, Weird Pulp, Women, and Ancient Tome) plus four ghoul covers for issue #7. That is not counting collected editionsContinue reading

Providence Ending Preview Panels Via Jacen Burrows New Twitter

It has been a while since we last posted. Can we blame it on having fun annotating Jerusalem, Cinema Purgatorio and Crossed+100? Perhaps it is more due to a brief lapse in the publication schedule for Providence. The creators and Avatar Press are readying the final two issues, which are reportedly (similar to Watchmen) chock-full of comics, with no more of that pesky Commonplace Book back-matter. Providence 11 is due out in November. Covers have been publicized and Alan Moore has dropped a tiny hint at the content.

Today, though, we are sharing a couple of Providence preview panels via Jacen Burrows’ relatively new Twitter account @Jacen_artContinue reading

SWIM Podcast: Moore on Lovecraft and a Hint About Providence 11

Alan Moore by Daniel P. Carter - via Instagram
Alan Moore by Daniel P. Carter – via Instagram

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

Lovecraft and Moore on Display at L.A. County Art Museum Guillermo Del Toro Show

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View of LACMA’s Guillermo Del Toro exhibition, including life size figure from Pan’s Labyrinth. Photos by Joe Linton

It is not directly related to Providence, but there is plenty of H.P. Lovecraft and even a bit of Alan Moore at the L.A. County Museum of Art’s Guillermo Del Toro At Home With Monsters exhibition on display now through November 27.

The show travels to the Minneapolis Institute of Art next year February 26 through May 21, 2017 and then to the Art Gallery of Ontario from September 30, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

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