Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Black Sun #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Writers Mike Mignola and Chris Robeson in collaboration with artist Stephen Green and colorist Dave Stewart, bring their most famous creation to an arctic setting. There’s plenty of action and intrigue blended with the deadpan humor we’ve come to expect from our favorite scion of Hades. Fans of 1950’s science fiction will find Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Black Sun an absolute bulls-eye. Issue one is filled with overtones of the John W. Campbell novella “Who Goes There?,” most notably filmed as The Thing from Another World in the 1950’s by Howard Hawks and in the 1980’s by John Carpenter simply as The Thing.
Black Sun issue 1 introduces us to a new B.P.R.D. affiliate, the young cryptozoologist Woodrow Farrier. The character seems named with a bit of a nudge and a wink, as a farrier is a horse shoeing specialist. By the issues’ end the adventure expands beyond a Yeti hunt into unexpected territory.
This Dark Horse Comics series opener skates your way on September 21, 2016. Skeletonpete Says…
Hmm, as a speculative setting for a third Hellboy movie this might afford director Guillermo Del Toro a gateway to the frosty Mountains of Madness after all .
Hellboy In Hell #7 Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Scott Allie
Cover Artist: Mignola with Stewart
Release Date: August 26, 2015
I Took a Dog’s Paw, A Hog Jaw, and Tied ’em in a Knot…
There is no rest for the expired when you happen to be Hellboy. He’s dead. He’s in Hell. He’s all messed up. Yet even in death he’s going to have to face a world of deadly problems, possibly the expunging of his eternal soul thereby becoming a hollow howling haunter of hell. He is not without benefactors but their needs are reciprocal and large.
Written and rendered for the printed page by HellBoy creator Mike Mignola and his trusty wingman, colorist Dave Stewart, issue #7 of Dark Horse Comics’ Hellboy In Hell presents us with the first of the two-part story “The Hounds of Pluto.”
I Took a Black Cat, A Cave Bat, and Threw ’em in a Pot…
Inspiration can come in the strangest forms, and editor Scott Allie informs us that Mignola found his muse for a key story element in a skeletal feline Halloween ornament. That item is elevated to star status on the cover of HBiH #8 (September 2015).
Mignola brews his stories in a cauldron of classic motifs that often suggest the frames of a silent era film. Caligariesque street-scapes, post grave grudges, glitchy golems and Shakespearean incantations are all part of the mix here. To heighten the effect, colorist Stewart juxtaposes the hard lines and stark tones of Hell’s very active memento mori against subtle watercolor washes depicting Hellboy’s verdant reveries of Alice and the rebirth of existence in the wake of what was once England.
What role must HB play in the rise of the new Albion? Not even those intrinsically involved know for sure, but you can begin your own deductions when this issue hits the bookstore shelves. SkeletonPete Says…
If you want to catch up with just how our hero got to this place in time and space before HBiH #7 is released, check out Dark Horse’s The Storm and The Fury: HellBoy Volume 12 compilation which pulls together the two story arcs you need under one cover.
BTW, if you’re wondering where my lyrical paragraph headers come from give Johnny Otis‘s “Castin’ My Spell” a listen. I particularly dig the version done by Johnny Kid and the Pirates in 1964.
Portrait of the Agent as a Young Hellboy…
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (with John Arcudi) spins up a new mini-series for Dark Horse Comics charting the earliest mission of the big red guy. It’s 1952 and the Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense is adding a global vision to its explorations. They’ll be investigating the possible occult nature of mass murders in a small Brazilian mountain town and, at the urging of B.P.R.D. Director Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, taking along their until now sequestered ward.
Shadows and Tall Trees…
Artist Alex Maleev (George Romero’s Empire of the Dead) renders atmospheric, “hard lit,” panels that convey the nuevo-noir feel of 1960’s – 70’s Italian giallo films like those of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. It’s an appropriate analog to Mignola’s own stark style and to my eye reminiscent of Eugene Colan’s work (Daredevil, The Tomb of Dracula) in the unabashed use of swaths of opaque black. Longtime Mignola collaborator Colorist Dave Stewart(Baltimore) heightens the effect by establishing a monochromatic pallet that makes the Hellboy’s red complection all the more incongruous and striking.
If there are any Hellboy novices left after 20 years of publication and two Guillermo del Toro films, the first issue of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 offers readers enough backstory to make this an easy entry point. Issue one hits comic stands on December 3, 2014 and the 5 issue mini-series will run monthly through April 2015. The tale promises to be a core addition to the HB mythos.
Dark Horse Comics declares March 22, 2014 Hellboy Day, with a series of world-wide in-store appearances by some of the celebrated franchise’s artists and writers. The event commemorates the first appearance of the red rascal 20 years ago in a 4 page story printed in San Diego Comic Con Comics #2. Series creator Mike Mignola will appear at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, information on other events from Portland to Brazil are listed below.
Dark Horse notes that attendees can expect “a slew of exclusive giveaways” and “an all-new sampler comic featuring two classic Mignola tales, “The Ghoul” and “Another Day at the Office,” as well as two new stories by Mignola, Fábio Moon, and R. Sikoryak!”
To further mark the achievement Hellboy: The First 20 Years, an oversized deluxe hardcover presenting Mignola’s art and curated by the artist himself, will be released to comic shops everywhere on March 19th. The bulk of the book presents gallery style pages of Mignola’s cover art minus the logos or text embellishments.
Mignola’s fearless use of dark space and negative areas has become a hallmark of his style. His distillation of detail down to the extremes of light and dark leaves only the most important visual information in the finished piece. Works like the front cover variant for B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death #1 (page 113) are exercises in simplicity with the artist challenging himself to see how few lines can be used to effectively tell the story.
In the book’s forward Mignola notes how he prefers this evolution in his art, the stripping away of any superfluous embellishment, which makes the smattering of early work seen in this volume now appear overwrought. In many cases original art is juxtaposed with finished work and it becomes clear how colorist Dave Stewart’s use of distinct chromatic blocks adds to the austerity of Mignola’s line work.
HELLBOY DAY EVENTS—Saturday, March 22, 2014
1.Mike Mignola—Meltdown Comics—Los Angeles, CA
7522 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046?(323) 851-7223
2. Tyler Crook, Dave Stewart & Scott Allie—TFAW—Portland, OR
7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Things From Another World—Portland Location
2916 NE Broadway Street?Portland, OR 97232?(503) 284-4693