For the HELL of it….


Today’s sketch is of Mike Mignola’s terrific HELLBOY character. I’ve always been a HUGE Mignola fan, and I have, over the years, bought everything of his that I’ve come across. From his (I THINK) first major work on ROCKET RACOON through his FAFHARD and the GREY MOUSER and IRON WOLF work…..and who can forget his amazing stuff on the COSMIC ODYSSEY with Jim Starlin writing….? That is one of my favorite comics of all time and I treasure the trade collection I own from that classic. And I couldn’t fail to mention the fill-in issue of X-FORCE he did, which was the best issue of that comic in its entire run (although the legion of Liefeld fans howled about how much they hated it….!). Mignola always seemed to me to be a journeyman– always doing mini-series, specials, one-shots and short stories; I suppose anything that struck his fancy and he thought he could have fun with. But whatever he did, I bought. And it was fun to watch his style evolve and pare itself down over the years. Mignola seemed to be searching for the optimum way to tell the most with the least amount of line. But his rich use of black areas created a mood in his work that was stunning.

Then came HELLBOY.

With that character, came the culmination of everything that Mignola was probably searching for in comics as subject matter and inspiration. It’s only fitting that it came from his own imagination and sense of creativity. And the amazing thing is that as minimal as his work had become– Mignola managed to continue to push that boundry, all the while increasing the sense of mood and horror with each story. HELLBOY has been a joy to behold as it has spilled forth from Mignola’s imagination over the past years. It was an instant hit with fans– and as was probably inevitable, it spawned lots of merchandising and eventually a movie. And as Hollywood has discovered Mignola (he also was a huge creative force behind Disney’s ATLANTIS animated feature film) over recent years, his output has diminished. The latest two-issue HELLBOY tale entitled THE ISLAND may perhaps be our last look at extensive work from Mignola for some time to come. In the letters page of the first issue, the editor states that future HELLBOY tales will be drawn by other artists, with Mignola writing (or perhaps even only plotting). They tell us that Mignola may draw the ocassional short story now and again, but he’s concentrating on other things for now. I suspect that he’s busy working on the SCREW ON HEAD animated project based on his amazingly charming one-shot (how’s that for power….? Do one one-issue story, and get it made into an animated project…?). And I hear there’s a HELLBOY live-action film sequel in the works– and who knows what else he’s got himself involved with in Tinsel Town…? All I know is, he’s going to be busy NOT doing HELLBOY arwork…. and for me, HELLBOY without Mignola drawing him is not something I’m really all that intersted in. I’ll miss regular doses of Mignola.

That’s for sure.

This is Entry 140.


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