Mike Mignola loves the writing of "the Pulps." There was a time when reading was the main source of entertainment for people. That started shifting when the cutting edge media of radio took over the ears and hearts of the world.
Mike and I aren't so old as to remember them the first time around. I first heard about them around the edges of comic fandom while Mike plunged into the reprint editions of the seventies. You've heard of Doc Savage, The Shadow and The Green Hornet, no doubt (if not, start Googling!) but the one who had the biggest influence on Mike's own pulp creation was The Spider.
He was created as an answer to The Shadow but was more ruthless and much crazier the the more popular caped avenger. He had a cigarette lighter with a secret bottom that would affix a small, scarlet spider sticker to the foreheads of the men he killed.
The Lobster is much scarier than that. You'll learn much more about him in a coming Dark Horse Comics mini-series written by Mike Mignola. There'll be a new definition of "action-packed" by the time you get through reading it. To the left and right are two covers from the mini-series.
In The Phantom Claw you'll see Lobster Johnson about the same way he was portrayed in The Conqueror Worm. I know a lot more about the character but Mike, quite rightly, wants to tell that story himself.
But I'll tell you what he is not. He is not a simplistic do-gooder with a chiseled jaw and a sparkling smile. He does not "quip." He is not the Lone Ranger in goggles. He is as dark and quirky a character as you have ever seen crawl from the mind of Mike Mignola.
And that can be very quirky indeed.
Next up: I glimpse into my writing process when dealing with animated action. Meanwhile, don't forget Hellboy: Blood and Iron this weekend! Watch for a new trailer online.