Mike Mignola re-imagines a classic monster gathering, with a savage twist.
Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell created this original graphic novel, set in the legendary Walpurgis night, as homage to classic horror books and films, especially those produced by Hammer Studios.
Two vampire hunters seek out Mr. Higgins, a recluse in a sanatorium, with the intention of bringing him back to the castle where he lost his peace of mind, the place where he witnessed the death of his wife, at the hands of vampires. Their obvious aim is to use Mr. Higgins’ knowledge of the whereabouts of the castle to their advantage, assailing it in the middle of the day and destroying the undead within.
Of course, the vampires are aware of their purpose, and decide to surprise the trio by inviting them to the castle, just in time for their annual festival.
The monster gathering, completely classic, meets every year on this special night with the intention of summoning the Devil himself. The liturgy that ensues seems to be a completely wasted effort; that is, until a black goat with a dark agenda approaches Mr. Higgins.
There were a few loose threads in the narrative that left me thinking about the entire thing: a vampire that releases the vampire hunters claiming this was one of the best nights of his undead life… the black goat that can whisper bad thoughts into Mr. Higgins… and the transformation of Mr. Higgins himself; perhaps I′m missing something?
I think this graphic novel will be enjoyed by any kid who has not yet been swarmed under Vampire lore. The setting reminds you of Bram Stoker′s Dracula, but the twist is meant to be a funny one, where all the monsters meet a terrible fate, prompted by a series of unfortunate and unseemly series of events.
A clear homage to Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, this outlandish tale, set aside of the Hellboy universe, will go on sale in comic book stores on October 25, hitting bookstores on October 31.
Featured image by Dave Stewart.