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.
We’re still refining them, but our basic annotations for Providence #3 are up. In this issue, Robert Black travels to Salem, which is very much a portrayal of the town of Innsmouth from Lovecraft’s short story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” There are lots of parallels with Lovecraft’s “Innsmouth” and with Moore and Burrows’ earlier Neonomicon issues #2-4 which also take place in Salem.
There’s still a week before the August 12 release of Providence #3, so we figured it might be a good time to do some more background (like the earlier post for #2) to prepare readers for the next issue. Below is a spoiler-free explanation of some of the underlying Lovecraft stories that seem like they may well inform Providence #3.
From Providence #2, at the end of the Commonplace Book (P30), Robert Black is recapping the issue’s events and writes “Suydam mentioned the Boggs Gold Refinery in Massachusetts, and I’m serious thinking about handing in my notice at the Herald, giving up on this apartment and just going there.”
Boggs was mentioned in Moore and Burrows earlier Neonomicon, where Boggs’ tunnels are shown and Leonard Beeks states “Jack Boggs was who Ech-pi-el [H.P.L. – Lovecraft] based Obed Marsh on” (see Neonomicon #2, P15,p2.) Boggs/Marsh is connected with the Deep Ones – the race of sea-monster-fish-men, one of which appears in Neonomicon #2-4.
The sinister Obed Marsh features prominently in the narrative background of Lovecraft’s short story “The Shadow over Innsmouth” which is probably worth a read (or listen) before Providence #3 comes out. Obed Marsh is a sea captain who takes on a “south sea islands” wife, and makes a pact with the Deep Ones, bringing the Esoteric Order of Dagon to Innsmouth, and receiving from them abundant fishing and gold – the latter of which is smelted at the Marsh Refinery located in a former mill on the lower falls of the fictional Manuxet River, as described in “The Shadow over Innsmouth”:
Things went on that way fer years, an’ Obed got enough o’ that gold-like stuff to make him start the refinery in Waite’s old run-daown fullin’ mill. He didn’t dass sell the pieces like they was, fer folks ud be all the time askin’ questions. All the same his crews ud git a piece an’ dispose of it naow and then, even though they was swore to keep quiet; an’ he let his women-folks wear some o’ the pieces as was more human-like than most.
On Neonomicon #3 P3,p3, the tunnels show a hand-carved “Jack Boggs 1787” so the patriarch Jack Boggs is likely long dead in Providence’s 1919 (as was Obed Marsh in Lovecraft’s 1931 “Innsmouth” story.) It is perhaps more likely that Boggs’/Marsh’s interbred human-Deep-One descendants will be featured in Providence #3.