Mr. Higgins Comes Home
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell
FC, 56 pgs, $14.99 US
I’ve read so much of the Mignolaverse that I feel like I’m running out of material. Mignola and his collaborators are still releasing new product but it was kind of nice to have a backlog of trade paperbacks and floppies on my reading pile because I could read Mignola when I wanted to read Mignola. There was no waiting for new releases.
For some strange reason I have extra time on my hands around the store these days so I wandered among the shelves and spied a Mignola book not yet in my collection: Mr. Higgins Comes Home. I bought it. Got to support local, you know.
A pair of fearless vampire hunters question a man hidden in a monastery. Meanwhile, at Castle Golga, preparations are underway for the annual celebration of the undead. The man– Mr. Higgins– has a history with Castle Golga and does not want to return. The hunters, though, need him in their fight to rid the world of vampires.
This story feels a lot like the old movie The Fearless Vampire Hunters in the best of ways. The landscape, the castle, the vampire hunters, the bits of comedy sprinkled around. The familiarity is easily overlooked when one spends time with the art as provided by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. Every panel is packed with delicious detail– the rooms filled with knick-knacks; the scenery lush. The relatively simple character faces are expressive. There is a strange flatness to some of the panels and a crookedness to others. The designs are other-worldly and sinister, and yet also whimsical without being dismissive of its subject matter.
I was not familiar with the artist but a quick Google search revealed his UK origins, where he has worked in editorial illustration, concept design, storyboarding, and narrative art of various forms. Listed among his clients is Aardman Animation!
There are many things I miss while having ComicReaders closed to the public. One of those things is watching people browse and discover comics. My love of Mignola as a writer and artist led me to Mr. Higgins Comes Home and Warick Johnson-Cadwell. I am grateful for the opportunity to make that discovery. (Chad Boudreau)
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