Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hellboy: Reading Obsession of the Year

What can I say-when I'm on a kick, I'm on a kick.

Been reading more of the Hellboy graphic novels and getting kind of bummed that there are only a few more for me to track down and read.
Once I'm done with those I suppose I'll have to transfer to Mignola's B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) title. The only problem is I already know from Conqueror Worm that Hellboy ends up quitting the B.P.R.D. and is doing his own thing-as in the next few collections-Darkness Calls and The Wild Hunt.

Each of those 2 books are building toward something big and at times I almost wonder what is taking Mignola to get us there-don't get me wrong I am greatly enjoying the ride-Mignola and I after all have read a lot of the same books so its very cool to see where he gleaned inspiration-but its almost like I can see the end of the ride coming and its giving you that sinking feeling even though you are still flying high.

Another in the collection Masks & Monsters takes place before Hellboy quit the B.P.R.D. and is roughly two different tales. In the first he teams up ever so briefly with Batman and then Starman (I don't even know who that is) to stop a South American Nazi/Lovecraftian plot. Mignola did the art and its fantastic but the story itself, scripted by James Robison, was a little weaker. It has Batman (who I also like a lot) but he really brought nothing to the tale-it could have been anyone.

The second story was written by Mignola but drawn by Scott Benefiel-he's good but I prefer Mignoal's art. The twin 45's wielding heroine known simply as Ghost was the guest star this time around. I think I actually have Ghost issue#1 around somewhere. The tale itself was alright but almost too weird/gory (and thats me talking). So Masks & Monsters was kind of a trade off book and not as good as the regular series.

At the rate I'm going I may finish off the last few Hellboy graphics by next month-and like I said when I'm on a kick I'm on a kick.


Lagomorph Rex said...

If I'm not totally mistaken.. the Masks&Monsters book isn't considered "in Canon" hence why its got a slightly different cover design. Same situation as the Weird Tales volumes..

If you are seriously jonesing for Hellboy however, I'd recommend those two volumes.. There are also about 10 novels, and 3 short story collections which are all pretty good. "On Earth as it is in Hell" is especially down right scary.

The B.P.R.D volumes all take place after Hellboy leaves the bureau, and its not entirely sure where abouts the Hellboy books fit continuity wise as far as I know.. But both books are simultaneously building up to the same thing.

The storyline is also being fleshed out backwards in the Witchfinder, Lobster Johnson and Abe Sapien books..

It's all rather confusing and at this point I've some what given up on trying to keep it all straight.. and much as I'd hate to see it go, I hope that when it's time for the final story to hit.. it will be a doozey.

David J. West said...

Thanks Lagomorph, I feel late to the game-but it is a good game.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Hellboy is great stuff. When I have more time & more money to burn, I'll catch up ... or try to catch up, anyway.

Charles Gramlich said...

I liked both movies so will eventually get around to these. So far I haven't picked any up though.

David J. West said...

I hear you Paul-its a neverending battle to collect everything I want to read.

Charles-yep that was me too-I liked the movies (2 animated,2 regular) and have kicked myself for why I didn't start reading these sooner.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Its a constant battle with the checking account to try and keep up with my book buying..

I used to buy issues and trades, then just trades, and now I just don't buy much at all.. I'm at least 5 Mignola trades behind.. and a goodly number of the Conan reprints..

Sad really.. i need to get on it.

David J. West said...

Lagomorph-I feel your pain, I bargain shop all I can because books are a neverending obsession and I don't have the bank account to cover all the titles I want to get. I am grateful my local library is graphic novel friendly.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Goodwill and annual library sales are my salvation. Without them I'd not have read nearly as many books as I have. It's nice to be able to go into a library sale, and spend 20$ and get 20 books.

David J. West said...

Lagomorph-absolutely. I am surprised at some of the books my local library lets go. My gain though and I ain't arguing.

Lagomorph Rex said...

It's rather remarkable the sort of stuff they let go, and seemingly have no interest in checking the actual value of either.

I've found several Harold Lamb volumes that way..

But most of my sales are just stuff that people donate, and they frequently have some really good stuff if your willing to dig through the totally unorganized tables.. and elbow your way through the little old blue hairs looking for their james patterson novels.