Writers: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Toni Fejzula
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: 30th December 2015
Lobster Johnson is so retro it should come with a smoking jacket, a Martini, and a cigar. Only to be read in an Oxblood Armchair, with Billie Holiday playing on the wireless. This time around, we have a done-in-one following the attempted murder of a world famous Glass Blower at the reveal of his greatest work; The Glass Mantis. A proper old school noir crime story, it’s fast paced, steeped in sepia tone, and has all the hallmarks of a pulp crime novel.
Mignola and Arcudi are masters of their art-form, we talk about it enough here on the website, and I do it enough in person almost as much. This tale is no different, with perfect pacing, drama, deceit and new characters you instantly warm to. Not to mention the nicely placed Mignola twist in the latter pages. Trust me, it’s a doozy.
Lobster Johnson always has a soft spot in my heart, as does a lot of other “new Pulp”; for example, the works of Brubraker and Philips. There’s just something so nostalgic about them that makes me want to dive in for more. This latest LJ story has a helping hand with that in the form of Toni Fejzula, whose art is somewhere between the painted work of Tim Sale, with simple linework giving the panels room to breathe, and the work of the aforementioned Sean Philips. His choice of colour palette has a warm European flavour, with sepia backgrounds reminding you it’s a story of old, bright pastels accentuating the delicate glasswork, and blue tones colouring the darkness.
Grimy and Gritty until the very end, it’s a pleasure as always. On a day that I really needed cheering up, Messers Mignola, Arcudi, and Fejzula provided.
R.I.P. Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister.