Recommended Reading: By Chance or Providence Review

By Chance or Providence is a collection of 3 short graphic stories by Becky Cloonan. Each of which is eerily beautiful and wonderfully told.

Wolves – A hunter is dispatched by the king to track and slaughter a werewolf. But the hunter is hesitant. Something is holding him back as flashbacks interrupt his thoughts with one consistent memory, his lover. Her curse is his curse.

In The Mire, a squire is set on a mission to deliver an urgent message prior to pending great battle. He’s forced to leave, by his commander, and traverse a cursed swamp. All the while trying to figure out why he was sent out instead of abiding by his sworn oath to his commander. He finds out what awaits him at the castle changing his entire life.

Demeter isn’t your classic love story. After surviving a shipwreck, he meets the love of his life. They live as happily as they can for 7 months. At the end of the 7th month, she notices a creature from the sea. It’s time, he must go back to the the sea. For you see, he actually died in that shipwreck. The sea is now collecting what it’s owed.

The writing is just right. Enough context to help support the beautiful art but not so much it would overwhelm the reader with the narrative. The stories are short and to the point. Though it is a quick read, I doubt much value would have been added with a longer story. It’s perfect just how it is.

The art is gorgeous and quite possibly the best aspect of By Chance or Providence. As much as I believe the writing is great, it works more as a support for the art. The art, also drawn by Becky Cloonan, can the tell the story itself. It’s descriptive and expressive with Wolves being my favorite, second Demeter and then The Mire.

by_chance _or_providence_demeter by_chance _or_providence_demeter2 by_chance _or_providence_wolves

Does this get Shortboxed?

This definitely gets shortboxed. I’m seem to be on a roll in terms of good indie and self published books. I really enjoyed the art and story telling by Becky Cloonan. Keep an eye on her work, I know I will.

Where to get it

You can get By Chance or Providence at your local comic shop or book store. It’s also available online on

If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.

Recent Posts


Join our newsletter to get weekly updates!