Auxiliary Variant Covers

Avatar Press likes to use variant covers to promote its series, particularly short-run limited series like Moore’s; besides their artistic merit, several of these covers have more to say about the contents of the book than readers might think.

The Auxiliary variant covers were modeled largely on the style of the infamous EC Comics from the 1950s, in particular bearing a considerable similarity to the old Vault of Horror line. It is perhaps notable that EC Comics included unauthorized adaptations of Lovecraft, Machen, William Hope Hodgson and other authors, or perhaps Burrows was simply going for a distinctive “retro” look.

Vault of Horror #29 cover, by Johnny Craig
Vault of Horror #29 cover, by Johnny Craig

“The Vault-Keeper,” “The Old Witch,” and “The Crypt-Keeper” were the narrators of the tales in the EC horror comics line, forming the framing device for each issue, and inspiring generations of similar characters in comics and other media. In the Auxiliary covers, they are uniformly replaced with H. P. Lovecraft, Alan Moore (here showing scales as sign of the Innsmouth Look), and Jacen Burrows (depicted solely as a hooded figure with tentacles). The image of Lovecraft used is based on a photo of him in 1931 on a visit to Brooklyn in New York City.

H. P. Lovecraft, 1931
H. P. Lovecraft, 1931

Neonomicon #1

Neonomicon #1 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows
Neonomicon #1 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows

Neonomicon #2

Neonomicon #2 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows
Neonomicon #2 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows

Neonomicon #3

Neonomicon #3 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows
Neonomicon #3 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows

Neonomicon #4

Neonomicon #4 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows
Neonomicon #4 auxiliary cover, by Jacen Burrows

The cover of this flesh-blasting book is marked by a variation on the inverted-pentacle-with-tentacles sigil which has been the hallmark of Neonomicon; this time enclosed in a circle (as many pentacles are) and without the accompanying numerals or other sigils.

 

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