By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Mike Mignola and I have one big thing in common. Our love of ghosts and monsters started at an early age. He read Dracula and I saw the classic Bela Lugosi film. Although we were at different ages when we were exposed to this work interpreted across different mediums, the fact this creator and I have a love for Victorian age supernatural style drama says a lot about what we like to examine the most. For me, whether that’s with a cinematic product like an early attempt with CGI with Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) to Sweeny Todd (2007), not many products exist in this sub-genre of horror films unless I want to consider Hammer Film’s work a highlight of the period.
His work, Mr. Higgins Comes Home, is a one-shot which beautifully depicts the attitudes common in this age and plays with a slowly creeping fear of the unknown. If the people from this age are not ready to challenge it, then a lot of the mysteries will still remain behind locked doors — like with what Count Golga has planned for Walpurgis, the Devil’s own night. This time is when witches and warlocks gather. The fact such an event actually exists in European tradition makes me believe this author did his research, or he knows a lot more about the occult than he can let on in a singular world where Hellboy exists in. Technically, the festivities fall on the night of April 30th and into the early hours of May 1st. This tradition is considered a second Halloween in certain parts of Europe.
This work originally hit bookshelves Oct 18th. I wanted to wait till Halloween Night to read it, savour it, lick it and … well, frolic in the fun of watching Higgins have it out with Golga. I do not want to give away too much about the story, but let’s just say this clash between two great supernatural entities makes reading this work fun. There’s a quirkiness reminiscent of a Studio Laika product (other readers who have posted about this work compare the quality to Tim Burton, but I think not). Shades of a Hammer film can be felt too, and the off kilter artistic style of Warwick Johnson- Cadwell really helps deliver the punch-line of where this work ends.
If you’re not convinced of this product yet, Dark Horse Comics released a look at the first few pages of this work: