Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mike Mignola's Hellboy: Weird Tales Review (Mike Mignola, Guy Davis)

When Mike Mignola went to work on the first Hellboy movie, rather than put the comic on hiatus, he handed the reins over to a revolving door of writers and artists to put together short comics featuring Big Red. The results are collected in this large hardcover anthology, Weird Tales.

The stories themselves aren’t particularly memorable. Out of the twenty or so here, Mignola’s is one of the few that stands out, showing how tricky it is to write Hellboy and how talented Mignola is to do so for multiple books. His story, How Koshchei Became Deathless, with art by Guy Davis and Dave Stewart, is an interesting Eastern European-type myth about an honourable knight who is betrayed, resurrected and gets his revenge. 

Eric Powell’s Midnight Cowboy follows kid Hellboy after he accidentally mutates his dog. Randy Stradley’s Hot sees Hellboy investigating a haunted Japanese onsen (hot spring) in the late ‘60s. The stories are just ok but, like practically everything in this book, I enjoyed the art more than the writing - Seung Kim’s pencils in Hot are awesome. 

Steve Parkhouse’s art in Flight Risk, Roger Langridge’s in Abe Sapien, Star of the BRPD, Alex Maleev and Matt Hollingsworth’s in Still Born, Scott Morse’s in Cool Your Head, Andi Watson’s in Party Pooper, and Craig Thompson’s in My Vacation in Hell, all look fantastic even if the stories are pretty much instantly forgettable. 

Weird Tales is an excellent showcase of artistic talent even if the writing throughout is pretty weak. Hellboy is a series it seems is much more fun, not to mention easier, to draw than to write!

Mike Mignola's Hellboy: Weird Tales

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