Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hellboy



Hellboy is a success story to cults everywhere. Mike Mignola first created the character for Dark Horse in 1994 after a solid career drawing for Marvel and DC Comics. Mignola always said he wanted to draw a book that contained everything he liked. This is it. It's the story of a demon from hell raised by humans and now works as a paranormal investigator fighting demons and monsters.

Hee hee hee.

Since it's a melting pot of all of Mignola's influences the books can be a little hodgepodge. Stories just sort of happen without a lot of structure. But what happens is always great. Monster fights, old mythology, people yelling "BOOM!" and lots of lots of darkness drew in a small but loyal readership. Not bad considering Mignola barely draws a story a year.

One of those readers was Guillermo del Toro who fought tooth and nail to turn it into a feature, vowing to keep it true to the comic. He did and the film is as brilliant and as cultish as the book. It's one of my favorite movies and I've lent it to a few friends who can't get past this cover.



One of Mignola's strengths is that when someone else wants to do a Hellboy story, he lets them do it their own way. So there have been stories by Eric Powell, Erik Larsen, John Cassiday and more drawing a very stylized character in a totally different style. The latest version is this one:


This comes from Tad Stone's new blog detailing the creation of two direct to dvd animated films. There's only a few entries so far but it's already a fascinating look into the animation process.

By the way, I got the opportunity to meet Mike Mignola last year at Midtown Comics and totally blew it. I had no idea he was signing but when I stopped by there he was and not much of a crowd around him. I couldn't think of anything to say that wouldn't sound nerdy and, since I was caught up on the book, couldn't find anything to buy that he could sign. I hung around for about ten minutes and left. I'm still kicking myself for letting that opportunity slip by.

2 comments:

Cromely said...

How can you not love Hellboy. He protected us from all sorts of demons, creatures, auditors, and psycho killers on tha treacherous strech of highway from Minneapolis to Chicago.

hornsterfresh said...

Jim Mags is always down to do anything, for example....Hey Jim do you want to go to hitchhike to Deluth? "Sure"says Jim. "Hey Jim do you want to walk to San Diego? "Sure" says Jim. Hey do you want to buy some firecrackers "Sure " says Jim. I call him "What the Hell Boy" he has guts. Guts are rare. Why didn't the skeleton cross the road, No Guts. I love having a 6 year old.