Sunday, January 07, 2018

Mr. Higgins Comes Home – review

Author: Mike Mignola

Artist: Warwick Johnson Cadwell

First published: 2017

Contains spoilers

The blurb: Preparations begin at Castle Golga for the annual festival of the undead, as a pair of fearless vampire killers question a man hidden away in a monastery on the Baltic Sea. The mysterious Mr. Higgins wants nothing more than to avoid the scene of his wife's death, and the truth about what happened to him in that castle. However, these heroic men sworn to rid the world of the vampire scourge, inspire Higgins to venture out and to end the only suffering he really cares about--his own.

The review: Professor J J Meinhardt and his assistant Mr Knox are heading into the Carpathians to deal with the vampire Count Golga. Their plans discovered. Meinhardt refuses to retreat but the Count Golga – who is due to have his annual Walpurgisnacht celebration – is also concerned and decides to invite the Professor as a guest.

The professor has taken it upon himself to recruit Mr Higgins. Now living as a patient in a monastery, a younger Higgins and his new bride Mary, were ‘guests’ of the Golga’s whilst on their honeymoon, a situation that ended with Mary preyed upon and Mr Higgins become a werewolf. The Professor cuts a deal with him that if he, as a survivor of the castle, leads them to the crypt, then he will give Higgins the death he craves.

This was a beautifully realised short Graphic, with beautiful, appropriate artwork (noting that Mignola produced the cover art but Cadwell’s art comprises a more delicate style that worked ever-so-well) and a story that owed much to the vampire films of yore – especially films such as the Fearless Vampire Killers, to which the story owes a very specific debt and would seem to be a love letter to.

If there was a complaint it would be in the length. Coming in at 49 pages, this is almost a single-issue comic in a hardbound cover. There was much that could have been expanded on but, you know what, I think if Mignola had stretched the story out and lengthened the novel then an essential element might have been lost. Sometimes less is more and this would seem to be the case here.

My thanks to Dave, who alerted me about the volume, and Sarah, who bought it for me for Christmas. 9 out of 10.


Fangfan408592 said...

I hated it. Weakest vampires I have ever seen.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Fair enough, each to their own. I thought the vampire pretty on par with those in the Fearless Vampire Killers