Providence, Act 1, by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows

Second frame of third chapter:

Collecting the first four issues of Alan Moore's Providence series, itself apparently both prequel and sequel to his Neonomicon (which I haven't read) and very much tied in to the Lovecraft mythos (with which I am familiar but not expert). It's the story of Robert Black, a young New York journalist in 1919, Jewish and gay and hiding both, who travels to Rhode Island to investigate a mysterious cult. (But this is not our 1919, exactly.) Each of these four issues ties to a specific Lovecraft story – "Cool Air", "The Horror at Red Hook", "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and "The Dunwich Horror"; I knew the last two but not the first two.

As you expect with Moore, it's a layered text with many knowing references to 1919, 2015, Lovecraft and occultism in general, not to mention sexuality and race. I don't think I had come across Jacen Burrows before, but he successfully conveys 1919 both in our reality and when the moments of Lovecraftian horror come. I enjoyed it but did not really get into it enough to feel that I want to get into the rest of the series, when Moore's Jerusalem is sitting on my shelves looking at me.

I picked this up on a whim, but am amused to find that the publishers now insist that it will never be reprinted and second-hand copies are going for $100 dollars or more on Amazon. So that turns out to have been an unexpectedly sound investment, and I am open to reasonable offers for my own copy.

This was my top unread graphic novel in English. Next on that list is even more Lovecraftian, Ian Culbard's treatment of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.