Our Encounters With Evil Review

by Nick Devonald on November 13, 2019

Story & Art: Warwick Johnson-Cadwell

So what is Our Encounters With Evil: Adventures of Professor J.T. Meinhardt And His Assistant Mr. Knox? It is a hardcover original graphic novel sequel to Mr. Higgins Comes Home, released two years prior, also drawn by Warwick but that one was penned by Mike Mignola. For Our Encounters With Evil Warwick has take over the writing as well and it feels like he’s the stories been told to really bring out his talents as artist. It contains four relatively short stories and an epilogue featuring the aforementioned J.T. Meinhardt & Mr. Knox, joined this time for some of their adventures by Ms. Mary Van Sloan.

And it’s good fun throughout. It’s funny, well written, and a through back to the classic Hammer horror stories that Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell both have mentioned loving, and there is a clear reverence here for them.

Before we go any further I have a confession to make. My first impression of Warwick Johnson-Cadwell’s art was that it wasn’t very good. It felt almost childlike. After hearing a lot of praise about his style before I was a little taken aback. But despite not liking the art initially I carried on reading and found myself drawn into the world of Professor J.T. Meinhardt & Mr. Knox. After a while I was so gripped in the story that any concerns I had over the artwork were long forgotten.

By the time I finished and began looking over it again to review I changed my opinion on his art. It’s unique and wouldn’t suit say a Marvel or DC comic. But it isn’t trying to. And it fits the story perfectly.

There is a fluidity and sense of movement in all his panels that make it feel almost like you’re watching it on the big screen. A perfect case in point is the opening of the story, where our heroes are on horseback chasing a horse drawn carriage. There is a real sense that this a high-speed chase, and it works excellently. It helps make the scene feel really exciting.

But that same sense of motion even applies in the scenes where there isn’t any action. And I really like it.

The art is a perfect match. Indeed a more traditional comic book artist working on this book probably wouldn’t get the same results and the story would be worse off without it.

At times the story is absurd, and there is a sense of ineptitude around the titular duo, who are thankfully rescued by Van Sloan’s competence on many an occasion.
If you’ve ever read a hardcover from Dark Horse you know the quality and craftmanship that goes into them, and this is no exception.

The story ends 'to be continued', and I look forward to reading the inevitable sequel at some point in the future. There is plenty of scope for more stories set in this world. The book doesn’t suffer from Mike Mignola’s absence; indeed, it is stronger for it. Left alone to his own devices Warwick Johnson-Cadwell has crafted a fantastic set of stories that deserve to be further explored in the future.

A good fun throwback to classic Hammer movies, fans of Mignola or Mr. Higgins Comes Home will love this. Thrilling and exciting the art style won’t be to everyone’s liking but give it a try. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the art by the time you finish the book.

We recently had a chance to chat with Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Click Here to read our interview with him.

Our Score:


A Look Inside