Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Peter Snejbjerg, Dave Stewart (Colours)
Release Date: 6th April 2016
Lobster Johnson books are always ones I seem forget are coming out, then immediately suck me straight back in within a couple of pages once they are. I mean that as no slight against the creators of course, as the series has been consistently fantastic since its inception, I just always seem to forget how much I enjoy reading it, maybe?
From the outset, Lobster Johnson is straight-up pulp. You could imagine it being a old-timey radio play or a Sunday strip in a newspaper. Mignola and Arcudi have managed to bottle that distinctive feel, and this time round have flavoured it with some old fashioned “missing homeless people/mad priest – bet you can’t guess where this is going?” flavouring. The story itself hits all the requisite buzzwords; there’s the missing homeless people, the mysterious priest offering free food, the homeless Army Sergeant and of course, the 11th hour save.
Peter Snejbjerg isn’t an artist I was familiar with before picking this one up, even though he has had a fairly prolific career. However, after seeing his super clean, almost Bruce Timm-like work here, I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for him in the future! There’s something about his work I just find super appealing. He manages to bring the pulp aspect to the story with a real old-fashioned feel to his work and an Eric Powell quality to how the story flows, with characters have that weird ‘eye bulge’ thing when they go crazy.
We’ve said it multiple times here at BCP, but Dave Stewart is an absolute machine when it comes to colouring. From his measured command of lights and darks to how chillingly visceral he manages to make a bloody plank of wood look. It almost feels strange to say, but he’s definitely up there with my favourite colourists, in an industry where they’re often forgotten.
With all these supremely talented creators working seamlessly together, this manages to be a fun done-in-one, like a meet up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. There’s nothing particularly new, as such, but it’s definitely good to catch up and see each other again and, most importantly, to make plans to do it all again.