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. While most of these have been addressed previously, grouped together by theme (Book of the Dead, Auxiliary, Convention, etc.), these are the covers for the collected editions and miscellaneous issues that fall outside those categories.
Neonomicon #1 Remarqued
The central figure appears to be scrying using a traditional crystal ball, a common feature in fantasy and occultism; the details of the figure themselves are fairly obscure – humanoid, with scaly skin and a scraggly beard, in what appears to be an underground (and possibly underwater) setting; possibly evocative of or inspired by the underground race in Robert E. Howard’s “The Worms of the Earth“. The blood-stained mark on the wall behind him is a depiction of Lovecraft’s elder sign.
Neonomicon Trade Paperback
Agent Brears and Agent Lamper standing in front of the gate to the eponymous Courtyard, beyond which stands Johnny Carcosa. Above, a figure probably intended as H. P. Lovecraft or possibly Aldo Sax.
A motley of images taken from The Courtyard and Neonomicon. Agent Brears, fully dressed, is depicted as drowning (likely representative of her swim in Neonomicon #3 and Neonomicon #4, as well as the more symbolic association of Brears’ as the central protagonist being overcome by events; notably the cover fades from light at the top to pure black at the bottom, implying Brears’ literal descent into darkness. The hooded figure to the left of her is Aldo Sax, with the nautilus-shell gate beyond that the same gateway as depicted in the eponymous Courtyard. The veiled figure to the right and above her is Johnny Carcosa, complete with the Elvis-style cowlick and dilated pupils suggesting drug use or eyes adapted to a dark place. The papers and objects floating down with Brears include her FBI badge and gun, and images depicting the entrance to the orgone chamber (revealed in Neonomicon #2) and the eye of the Deep One, as well as an Ulthar Cats flyer. The inverted-pentagram-with tentacles, with a central eye, which has been used throughout the series as a decorative element, is also prominent both below Briers and in the title block.
Neonomicon Signed Hardcover
A variant on the more elaborate version of the incomplete pentacle-with-tentacles used as a design motif throughout the Neonomicon series; a version of this cover was also used to illustrate some interior pages, such as the title page of the Neonomicon Hornbook.
The truncated pentacle, with or without the eye and dangling tentacles, is a characteristic symbol that appears throughout Neonomicon as a decorative motif, primarily on covers and non-story pages, in a variety of formats. The symbols are an eclectic mix of real-world and apparently fictional occult symbols; for example the Roman numerals I, V, and X can be clearly seen on each arm, as well as a what looks like a Roman number II with a diagonal slash through it (in other covers, this appears to be a normal II); the inner quadrangle has both an infinity sign, calling to mind the Book of the Dead cover for Neonomicon #3, the Greek capital letter Phi (Φ), and an ichthys in its original pagan configuration, symbolizing fertility (or, in the light of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, the overlapping of two different realities).
Relatively harder to see are the small sigils in the corner of each “leg” of the truncated pentacle. The symbol in the triangles with Roman numerals I and II are patently two of the “gate” symbols (AGGA and BANDAR) from the Simon Necronomicon, while the other two sigils associated with V and X are also taken from the Simon Necronomicon, albeit in different contexts.
Neonomicon #1 Tenth Anniversary Signed Hardcover
In late 2019, Avatar Press announced the 10th Anniversary Signed Hardcover edition of Neonomicon was due out in early 2020. Publication/distribution was then delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The annotations team has yet to spot a copy on the stands. As of July 2021, Avatar’s inhouse Comic Cavalcade store lists this edition as being available on June 21, 2021. Readers – have you seen this book out yet?
The cover image features the same art as Neonomicon #1’s New York Comic Con variant cover.