The Old, The Bold, & The Hideous Come Home To Mr. Higgins
Jun 09, 2017
by Vince Brusio
When the opportunity to work with Mike Mignola came along, artist Warwick Johnson was more than ready to illustrate his Mr. Higgins Comes Home (JUN170024) for Dark Horse Comics. The lure to work on characters that are well-entrenched in our long-term memories was too good to pass up, and in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, Warwick explains how he was turned loose, and given more than enough rope to hang himself. Which is a good thing when you’re doing horror comics.
Mr. Higgins Comes Home (JUN170024) is in comic shops October 18.
Vince Brusio: How did Mike Mignola convey the idea for Mr. Higgins Comes Home (JUN170024) to you? What intrigued you enough to make you want to commit to illustrating this project?
Warwick Johnson: We met in person at a sketch panel last year at the Thought Bubble Festival , I LOVE his work and I knew he knew mine. We talked briefly and he said we should do something together which was amazing. More so when he got in touch with me with the story a few weeks later. And in truth I was less intrigued and more uncontrollably enthusiastic to illustrate this project.
Vince Brusio: What can you tell us about the characters in this story, both the A-List star like Mr. Higgins, and the supporting characters? If you had to profile them as a behavioral psychologist, how would you describe them to a room full of police officers? What makes them tick? What are their ticks?
Warwick Johnson: We know them all already, mainly. These are characters that years of folk tales and legends have presented to us, as have Universal Studios and Hammer Horror. They are a room of Usual Suspects but Mike Mignola brings such life to them, even the undead ones. There are good goodies and evil baddies and those that are trying to make the best of terrible circumstances.
Vince Brusio: As Mignola is an artist himself, was there any give-and-take as to how this story would be rendered? Or did Mike turn you loose, and tell you to go full-gonzo?
Warwick Johnson: I would have to go with the Full-Gonzo there. Mike Mignola is the writer in this book and I seem to have run with it in terms of the design. I sent him sketches as the story took shape and I worked with what he liked but I’ve had a lot of freedom, which is a lot of fun.
Vince Brusio: This hardcover is said to appeal to readers who fancy The Amazing Screw-On Head. Why the comparison? How do the two works compare to one another?
Warwick Johnson: I think the greatest comparison is what these books lack, which is Hellboy. The Amazing Screw On Head is a fantastic work and I love it. The stories there are able to try what they like without the need or responsibility to be anything other than what they are in those pages. I’d love to see more stories from each and every one of those strips but if I don’t then I can only imagine what might happen, which is magic. Mr Higgins Comes Home is like that I hope. We know the characters, so you can daydream what other adventures they may have been on.
Vince Brusio: What is it about this story that made you want to bash your head against a table? Or were you satisfied with production from start to finish?
Warwick Johnson: I have never been more excited drawing a project, throughout all the rough stages and the finished art. I have had regular physical pangs of excitement remembering that I’m working with Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Comics on a fantastic story. However, that has also meant daily headbashings on tables! Yes, hand-wringing and despairing at the work I’ve done as I AM working with Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Comics! I need to get it right.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.