Wednesday, April 22, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Comics That Shaped Me (Part 10)

HELLBOY (1994-)

You'll remember I mentioned that the manager of the awesome local comic shop (Abstract Sprocket) was great at recommending new comics to me that would quickly become favourites? Well, here's another one of those great recommendations. I was a huge fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula movie when it came out, and there was a comics adaptation of it that was in such a unique and brilliant style, it was etched onto my memory.

Of course, that comics adaptation (that has recently been rereleased) was by Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy. I remember having issue 1 of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction waved at me at the comic shop saying "You'll like this! It's also got a talking monkey in it." (Referring to the rather excellent support strip at the back of the issue featuring Art Adams' Monkeyman & O'Brien).

You probably know the basic story of Hellboy from the awesome Guillermo del Toro movie with Ron Perlman - Hellboy is a demon summoned during the last days of WWII by Nazi occultists. When he arrives, he is just a baby and is taken in by the US military and raised by Professor Bruttenholm as the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is being formed (the BPRD).

As an adult, working for the BPRD alongside other persons of unique abilities, Hellboy basically goes around with his big, stone hand and punches evil supernatural creatures back to the hellscapes they came from. It's great, funny, action-packed, pulp adventure.

But that artwork. Man, that artwork is amazing. Such a unique and vivid style, with amazing high-contrast shadows. It's just something else. Absolutely love it.

We faithfully bought all the individual issues, and then when Dark Horse produced the Hellboy Library editions, we bought them all again collected in gorgeous clothbound hardcovers. Ooooh yes.

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