January 13, 2022

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This Looks Cool: Mike Mignola, Greg Hinkle, Dave Stewart, and Clem Robins Serve Up Steampunk in Dark Horse's "Radio Spaceman"

 Welcome to a new feature here at Panel Patter, "This Looks Cool!" It's a chance for us to highlight an upcoming series we think Panel Patter readers might be interested in checking out and putting on their advanced pull lists. 


Fresh off a year in which Mike Mignola came up with some really awesome Hellboy Universe titles like Young Hellboy, Lady Baltimore, and The Silver Lantern Club, Mignola's now working in a different, awesome, steampunky direction with a new series, Radio Spaceman, with new collaborator Greg Hinkle and long-time partners Dave Stewart and Clem Robins.

I really don't think I have to work very hard to convince Panel Patter readers to pick up a new Mignola book, but this is my site so I'm doing it anyway. Mignola's one of the best at finding interesting ideas and story angles to pursue, and he's clearly got the same love and adoration for pulps that I do--the difference is he's a talented artist and I'm just a talented talker.

So what is Radio Spaceman about? Let's see what Dark Horse says about it:
In this two-part story, when a spaceship crashes and lands on a mysterious planet and some of the surviving crew go missing, the mysterious mechanical hero Radio Spaceman is called to investigate. But the planet hides much more than the missing crew, and Radio Spaceman may be stumbling into more than even he can handle.
In other words, Mignola comes up with incredible monsters and Hinkle, whose linework on the controversial Airboy (with James Robinson) gets to draw the hell out of them for about 60 or so pages. I'm totally good with that.

Apparently, Mignola doodled the main character, just like he did with Hellboy and it grew from there:
Radio Spaceman started in very much the way Hellboy did—A fast sketch done just for fun and a funny name that just popped into my head,” said Mignola. “That was during the early days of covid-19, when I was banging out sketches to entertain myself and posting them online. People seemed to like the guy, and I liked him—I did five or six sketches of him, but had no plans to do anything REAL with him. I didn’t have a story for him until, suddenly, one day I did. I wasn’t trying. It just happened. I don’t remember how exactly, but I’m suspecting it was one of those things that came to me in the shower. Most of the best ideas happen there.”
The best thing that happens to me in the shower is not losing more of my thinning hair, so Mike's doing better than me, apparently. Jokes aside, his pandemic sketches were amazing (and collected!) and it's no surprise that at least one of them (and probably more over time, I'd expect) are going to find their way into print.

So what's in this new two-issue love letter to pulpy horror goodness? I'll let Hinkle tell you:
"A machine man with a floating skull. Men with light bulbs sticking out of their heads. Extraterrestrial caves with ancient idols. Towering monsters. Alien bears. Vampires! Any one of these things would've made an interesting story. But when Mike Mignola calls and wants to mix them all up, you can't help but get very, very excited."
Me, too, Greg. Me, too.

You can get your dose of all these creatures and more starting March 2nd, 2022 and there should still be time to preorder at your local comic shop and/or digital device. I can't wait!