I was first introduced to Mike Vosburg’s work through my love of Sax Rohmer. His wonderful artwork graced Master of Villainy, the 1972 biography of Rohmer by the author’s widow and Cay Van Ash. Later, I would discover Mike’s artwork also appeared in The Rohmer Review fanzine.
Many more years later, I was fortunate enough to have Mike provide the back cover illustration to my second Fu Manchu book. He also gave my daughter a gift of autographed copies of some of his professional work, which made her feel like the luckiest nine year old girl on the planet. I don’t claim to know the man well, but I adore his work and know him as a genuinely kind and generous artist.
The influence of Sax Rohmer is never far away from Mike’s art. From his early professional work for Marvel Comics in the 1970s with The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu (featuring Shang-Chi, the son of Fu Manchu) to Offcastes, his 1993 Epic Comics limited series set on a future Earth that parallels the colonialism of the past right down to classic Yellow Peril elements, including the Zayat Kiss, Rohmer’s shadow looms large.
Today, Mike is best known as an award-winning storyboard artist for the Hollywood majors. He still has his hands in the indie comic world, though with such titles as Retrowood, Lori Lovecraft, and his latest creation, The Mad Mummy.
How best to describe The Mad Mummy? What if Preston Sturges wrote a screwball comedy mixing Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos with Fu Manchu and Universal’s monster classic, The Mummy (1932)? That’s really the best way to describe this beautifully illustrated, but decidedly offbeat, series.
Adam Ray is an interesting older gentleman who moves into a quiet Los Angeles suburb, unaware his two exes are near at hand. The trick is Adam Ray is Aten Ra, a high priest who broke his vows and is cursed for all eternity to live the life of a living mummy.
Adam is also a former Hollywood stuntman who appeared in many of the vintage Hollywood mummy movies. He and his pet cat, whose first life was spent in ancient Egypt, take on Eminent Domain, the Elder Gods, the Council of Seven, Fu Manchu, Fah lo Suee, and even Harry Flashman in the course of this highly entertaining series.
This series is filled with so many valentines to the past, the constant switching of tone and genre never phases one since we’re on a roller coaster ride with a writer/artist who loves the past as much as the rest of us. Do yourself a favor and check this exceptional series out.
The Mad Mummy is available through iVerse/ComicsPlus at: digital.comicsplusapp.com/publishers.php then type in AV Publishing or Mad Mummy in the Search button.
William Patrick Maynard was authorized to continue Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu thrillers beginning with The Terror of Fu Manchu (2009; Black Coat Press) and The Destiny of Fu Manchu (2012; Black Coat Press). The Triumph of Fu Manchu is coming soon from Black Coat Press.