Some characters and the vistas that they inhabit refuse to be mere trifles and thanks to the fevered imagination and efforts of a dogged writer and artist, abandon their place in the background created for them and forge onward in an effort to become what they were always meant to be; the stuff of legend. While they haven’t quite reached the aformentioned plateau yet, Professor Meinhardt and his ever faithful assistant, Knox, the relentless hunters of the children of the night have taken the first steps on the journey that will, hopefully, see them attain the position they so richly deserve.
Comprised of a trio of tales in which our heroes battle the forces of darkness, Our Encounters with Evil is an absorbing and beautifully rendered and written book that pushes the Professor and his ward to forefront of the war against the undead. From discovering the truth about the fate of notorious vampire, to becoming caught in the middle of an age old duel between two nosferatu and finally, being tracked as prey and used as the playthings of a cunning and terrible foe, Our Encounters… furthers the story of the determined, if somewhat slightly inept, duo in grand fashion.
Our Encounters with Evil draws it inspiration from a wide range of influences, namely Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stocker, Hammer Studios fifties and early sixties heyday and The Fearless Vampire Killers, but even though it affectionately wears all of its forbears on its blood soaked sleeves, it’s also an incredibly original, vibrant, whimsical and at times, comedic take on a much loved horror staple. Johnson-Cadwell’s narrative is perfectly balanced with his ethereal, almost dream like art allowing the book to find a life and direction of its own and the characters and the gently teased history of their quarry to slowly, but surely worm their way into the imagination of the reader. I think I’ve just stumbled upon the beginning of something wonderful… Tim Cundle