The second volume of the comic book about killing vampires started by Mike Mignola himself. This time, Johnson-Cadwell became the sole creator of the adventures of Professor Meinhardt, and the bloodsucker hunter himself has more than one adventure.
Goth to touch
As you know with Mr. Higgins coming home , the adventures of Meinhardt and his entourage arise from the inspiration of gothic cinema, and even more from the delight of the Fearless Vampire Slayers returning in the titles of our reviews . If you take that into account, the whole story will be relatively predictable for you. First, there is always a clear distinction between good (hunters) and bad (monsters). The latter are as bloodthirsty as they are silly. The crew cleaning the world itself is also more lucky than smart – in short, be more comedy than horror.
Johnson-Cadwell in interviews about this comic says that the characters brought to life by Mignola are simply full of adventure possibilities. That is why there will be several adventures this time, and to the professor and Mr. Knox will be joined by the monster slayer, Miss Sloane. Like in Mr. Higgins, most skirmishes will start in a horror atmosphere and end with a clever twist. I find this volume much funnier than the first, perhaps because we get more evil who, as I mentioned, are not necessarily crime geniuses. The more it may happen that you like them. And here is a certain weakness of the Johnson-Warwick comic: our hunters hunt for quite a nice crowd of misfits, but we never get a chance to get to know the title evil better. In turn, the ruthless exterminators of monsters lose a little in our eyes, because they do not sin with reflection and remorse.
Ah, that line!
Johnson-Warwick is praised for its dynamic and detailed drawing. It’s close to Mignola, although it actually gives the characters and scenes more movement. In Our Skirmishes with Evil you will find at least a few visual jokes, sometimes the story literally revolves around the picture, and the individual frames illustrate something like an internal monologue of the characters, discovering the bottom of the situation in which they found themselves. There are successful onomatopoeias in comics, but thanks to the author’s control over the choreography and facial expressions of the characters, they are often not needed at all. A slightly wilted bow of the hand, darting eyes and a line of gaze are enough.
In my opinion, the charm of Johnson-Warwick’s line is fully revealed in close-ups, wide frames are sometimes empty, and chase scenes do not always maintain dynamics. The cartoonist worked on designing characters for animated films – perhaps thanks to this experience he can summarize a great part of the hero’s past, especially the monstrous one, in one frame. At the same time, he uses the wide, but classic repertoire of horror movies. We have already seen it in the previous volume.
Professor Meinhardt lives in a well-ordered world where you know who the monster is, and as such deserves to be stuck for eternity. Vampires are elegant, rich and nasty. Poor peasants walk in folk clothes, they have no chance of meeting a predator. Fortunately, at least Miss Sloane is not a compilation of familiar pieces … unless we look at the suffragettes …
Our skirmishes with evil are a charming piece of cake for lovers of the classics. Something like “you know it, listen to it.” Jokes are funny, but not surprising. Kreska is happy, but we’ve already seen her. Good and bad do not go beyond the molds. Add quotes from film and literature to it, and you will get a safe gift for the next Christmas or birthday.
Of course, there is no crime in sticking to the known and proven. I had a lot of fun with this comic. However, I would prefer to know more or more – what happened after the successful ending? How did some vampires survive this long after they foolishly died? Has the professor ever thought more before driving a stake? And his entourage?