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.
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 →
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).
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.
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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 sales figures for August 2016 are in at Comichron, and we’ve updated the Innsmouth Gold page accordingly. There are still a few things in the works here at the Facts blog, but since we have been pretty quiet lately while we wait for the next issue, we thought it might be interesting to briefly talk about the business side of things.
First off, publishing gaps between issues are routine in the comics world, especially with small press publishers. The ability to churn out multiple titles on a monthly (or weekly!) basis requires writers, artists, inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors to work very fast and with a great deal of coordination, and when some of those folks probably juggling multiple projects, sometimes they just don’t make the page per day needed – and that’s without any printer delays. The downside to these lapses is the long wait between issues, which can put off customers (especially on short-run or limited series), and these kind of gaps are usually (although not always) associated with a drop in sales. The drop between Providence #9 (June 2016) and Providence #10 (August 2016) was about 530 copies, or roughly 4% of the direct sales readership; that’s a little less but about comparable to the drop between Providence #6 (Nov 2015) and Providence #7 (Feb 2016), and we’re probably going to see a comparable drop between #10 and #11, just because of how the issues are being spaced out.
Other factors also come into play. The secondary market for comic books used to be a lot smaller, dominated by specialist sellers like your favorite Local Comic Book Store – the folks you would go to when you missed a back issue and wanted to read what happened. The triple revolutions of collected editions, digital editions, and the internet comics marketplace has substantially opened up the market for “back issues.” Now readers can compare prices and survey inventory from comic stores and independent sellers around the globe; put off hardcopy comics and just get digital copies of any missed issues missed on Comixology or Avatar Press’s web store; or…just wait for the collected edition to come out, so that you can sit down and read the whole thing at once.
The latter is what I suspect a lot of readers are doing. Having missed an issue due to the delays in the schedule, or unsatisfied with the pace and dropped the series, many readers are likely just waiting for it to end so that they can pick up the collected edition…of course, they may well end up paying for it.
This is the Camelcamelcamel chart for the Providence Act 1 Hardcover Limited Edition, released in May 2016, tracking the sales prices – minus the more extreme price spikes, which are caused by feedback loops in automatic pricing algorithms used by some Amazon sellers; even so, you can see how the red and blue of 3rd party sellers on Amazon reflects a fairly typical cycle of price spikes and resets. Amazon sold through their inventory around early July, leaving the market at the mercy of 3rd party sellers – which tend to spike and then drift back down, although the asking price in general has steadily risen – which is pretty typical for many out-of-print books on Amazon. The lesson being, if you want the limited edition, you should probably pick them up for cheap as they come out. Continue reading →