This page is Providence convention covers – for Neonomicon go here.
Avatar Press uses variant covers to promote its series, particularly short-run limited series like Moore’s. Beside their artistic merit, several of these covers have more to say about the contents of the book than readers might think.
The convention covers, so far all “Weird Pulp” covers were produced specially to be sold at various comic conventions. The Weird Pulp covers (at least #1 through #6) are all drawn by Jacen Burrows then painted by Michael DiPascale over Burrows’ pencils.
Announced in this June 2015 Bleeding Cool article. This apparently depicts Tom Malone, of Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook,” in Pascoag panicking as described in “Red Hook”: “had turned to his left into the main thoroughfare where several modest business blocks convey a touch of the urban. At this point, without visible provocation, he committed his astonishing lapse; staring queerly for a second at the tallest of the buildings before him, and then, with a series of terrified, hysterical shrieks, breaking into a frantic run which ended in a stumble and fall at the next crossing. Picked up and dusted off by ready hands, he was found to be conscious, organically unhurt, and evidently cured of his sudden nervous attack.” Malone features prominently in Providence #2.
On sale here. Appears to be a reference to the events of “The Horror at Red Hook,” where Suydam and his bride were found slain and Suydam himself reduced to a “staring corpse.”
The cover depicts a scene from Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror” referenced extensively in Providence #4. From Lovecraft’s story: “The truth appeared an hour later, when a hastily assembled group of armed men trudged out to the Frye place at the head of the glen. It was horrible, yet hardly a surprise. There were more swaths and monstrous prints, but there was no longer any house. It had caved in like an egg-shell, and amongst the ruins nothing living or dead could be discovered. Only a stench and a tarry stickiness. The Elmer Fryes had been erased from Dunwich.”
This cover depicts a scene from Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator.” Herbert West’s Providence analogue, Dr. Hector North, is introduced in Providence #5. From the story: “It was a repulsive task that we [Dr. Herbert West and his assistant] undertook in the black small hours, even though we lacked at that time the special horror of graveyards which later experiences brought to us. We carried spades and oil dark lanterns, for although electric torches were then manufactured, they were not as satisfactory as the tungsten contrivances of today. The process of unearthing was slow and sordid—it might have been gruesomely poetical if we had been artists instead of scientists—and we were glad when our spades struck wood. When the pine box was fully uncovered West scrambled down and removed the lid, dragging out and propping up the contents. I reached down and hauled the contents out of the grave, and then both toiled hard to restore the spot to its former appearance. The affair made us rather nervous, especially the stiff form and vacant face of our first trophy, but we managed to remove all traces of our visit.”
Oddly, the subjects of Weird Pulp variants #5 and #6 are slightly at odds with the contents of the issues. Providence #5 focuses more on “The Dreams in the Witch House” which appears on the #6 cover. “Herbert West—Reanimator” is touched on in both issues.
The cover depicts a scene from Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House.” The man standing is Nyarlathotep also called “the Black Man”; the sleeper is Walter Gilman.
From “Witch House”:
“The evilly grinning beldame [Keziah Mason] still clutched him [Walter Gilman], and beyond the table stood a figure he had never seen before—a tall, lean man of dead black colouration but without the slightest sign of negroid features; wholly devoid of either hair or beard, and wearing as his only garment a shapeless robe of some heavy black fabric. His feet were indistinguishable because of the table and bench, but he must have been shod, since there was a clicking whenever he changed position. The man did not speak, and bore no trace of expression on his small, regular features. He merely pointed to a book of prodigious size which lay open on the table, while the beldame thrust a huge grey quill into Gilman’s right hand. Over everything was a pall of intensely maddening fear, and the climax was reached when the furry thing [Brown Jenkin] ran up the dreamer’s clothing to his shoulders and then down his left arm, finally biting him sharply in the wrist just below his cuff. As the blood spurted from this wound Gilman lapsed into a faint.
He awaked on the morning of the 22nd with a pain in his left wrist, and saw that his cuff was brown with dried blood. His recollections were very confused, but the scene with the black man in the unknown space stood out vividly.”
It is not clear that this blood-spattered canvas actually ties into the events of Providence #7, but its photo-realism and mix of art and blood reiterate some of the issue’s themes which center on Lovecraft’s story “Pickman’s Model.”
There are four Burrow/DiPascale ghoul variant covers for Providence #7. Through mid-February these are available as a Kickstarter add-on premium. The images appear as Pitman’s paintings throughout the issue.
This cover is similar to the painting described in “Pickman’s Model“: “There was a study called “Subway Accident”, in which a flock of the vile things [ghouls] were clambering up from some unknown catacomb through a crack in the floor of the Boylston Street subway and attacking a crowd of people on the platform.”
The title refers to Boston’s Great Molasses Flood disaster. As mentioned in Providence #7 P19,p2, the ghouls found the molasses soaked corpses to be “candy everywhere.” The composition is reminiscent of Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son. Commenter unzorg points out that it is also “reminiscent of Hannes Bok’s 1951 illustration for “Pickman’s Model” published by Famous Fantastic Mysteries (Goya’s painting is certainly their common inspiration)”.
This cover is similar to the painting described in “Pickman’s Model“: “a scene in an unknown vault, where scores of the beasts crowded about one who held a well-known Boston guide-book and was evidently reading aloud. All were pointing to a certain passage, and every face seemed so distorted with epileptic and reverberant laughter that I almost thought I heard the fiendish echoes. The title of the picture was, “Holmes, Lowell, and Longfellow Lie Buried in Mount Auburn”.”
- Physician (and father of Supreme Court Justice) Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
- Probably poet Amy Lowell
- Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Moore uses Copps Hill Burial Ground (probably better as “Copp’s Hill Burying Ground”) as an analogue for Mount Auburn, both cemeteries in Boston. It is not clear if there is a Lowell buried at Copp’s Hill, though several are buried at Mount Auburn.
This appears to be Lovecraft’s character Swami Chandraputra who appears in “Out of the Aeons” and “Through the Gates of the Silver Key.” The figures on the “clock” – which appears in “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” do not correspond exactly to either Aklo or any known occult symbols, but are reminiscent of both.
The image features Saint John’s Roman Catholic Church. The church appears in Providence #9 and on the cover of Providence #10 and was Lovecraft’s inspiration for the Starry Wisdom church in “The Haunter of the Dark.” The creature recalls Lovecraft’s reference to “the three-lobed burning eye” in that story.
The cover depicts Nephren-Ka, the Black Pharaoh, from Lovecraft’s “Nyarlathotep.” Nephren-Ka has the crown of upper and lower Egypt, and crook and flail typical of Egyptian pharaohs.
The cover depicts Cthulhu from Lovecraft’s story the Call of Cthulhu.