We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
In honor of this year’s 20th anniversary of the first appearance of Hellboy, the enduringly popular and endlessly entertaining ex-paranormal investigator created by Mike Mignola. One of comics' most idiosyncratic characters with a supporting cast to match, Hellboy is cited by many artists rivaling Batman as the most fun character to draw and reimagine in different styles. Throughout the existence of Best Art we've featured loads and loads of visions of Hellboy and his friends in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and what follows is a compilation of some of our favorites.
On March 22, 2014, comics fans across the world celebrated Hellboy Day, a special day commemorating the release of the first issue of Seed of Destruction, the first Hellboy mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, twenty years ago in 1994. In those twenty years, creator Mike Mignola, together with a number of talented collaborators, has expanded his most famous character into one of the coolest and most satisfying franchises in comics, with stories branching out into such spin-off series as BPRD (aka the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Sledgehammer '44.
Although I am sure Mignola has many more years' worth of stories about Hellboy and his compatriots left in him, now seems as good a time as any to look back at what has come before. While this list is by no means exhaustive — a complete list of awesome Hellboy moments would easily be one hundred times this length; sorry if yours got left off, pancakes fans — here are ten moments that I believe are emblematic of what makes Hellboy one of the most enduringly excellent and exciting books on the shelf.
Q: What makes a monster a Halloween monster? Why is Dracula okay but Godzilla is not? -- @chudleycannons
A: If you're following me on Twitter, then you may already know that earlier this week, I got into a heated argument with comic book writer and holiday enthusiast Benito Cereno over what does and does not constitute a "Halloween Monster." The whole thing sprang out of a Halloween-themed musical countdown that Benito's doling out over at his Tumblr -- stick around to find out how the Garfield Halloween special got him in trouble as a youngster -- that included Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla."
My argument -- which I posed to my ex-friend in a very civil and conversational manner that definitely did not start with "hey stupid" -- was that this song wasn't a good fit because Godzilla, while he is definitely a monster, doesn't fit thematically with Halloween. Benito's argument was that it was a fun song. But obviously, as we all know, you can't have fun without rules.
In yet another moment clearly meant to remind you that you are no longer young, The Simpsons is about to air it's 24th "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween special. Any current or lapsed fan of the show is familiar with a few of the traditions that go into the annual episode, including the altered opening and horror-inspired Couch Gag. The theme continues this year, and this time the producers of the show brought on Guillermo del Toroto create the opening. Just under three minutes long, the animation features guest appearances by a few comic characters, as well as a nod to Futurama, and some inspiration from Mad magazine and former Hellboy artist and frequent del Toro collaborator Guy Davis.
What's so impressive about Art Baltazar and Franco -- the Eisner-winning team behind Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures and Patrick The Wolf Boy -- isn't just that they create great all-ages comics; It's that they can seemingly take any concept and manage to give it a humorous, kid-friendly spin. The latest example comes courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, as the duo have teamed up to create Itty Bitty Hellboy, an all new ongoing title featuring their all-ages look applied to new stories of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz, Lobster Johnson and the rest of the B.P.R.D. crew as kids.
Dark Horse has provided a six page preview of the upcoming series, and you can check it out after the cut.
Add Mike Mignola to the growing list of legendary artists -- Joe Kubert, Neal Adams, David Mazzucchelli, Wally Wood and Walt Simonson, to name a few -- whose work has gotten the Artist's Edition treatment from IDW. The first five issues of Hellboy in Hell, the most recent series in Mignola's Hellboy saga, will be collected in the book, according to an IDW press release.
Animation: Warner Bros. Animation has released new images and official box art for Superman: Unbound, which arrives on home video and digital formats on May 7. Movies: There's a new still of Hugh Jackman on The Wolverine movie's Facebook page captioned, "The past is always behind you, but the memories still remain...
Twin Brazilian brothers Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon joined the ranks of our favorite comic book creators when they grabbed the English-speaking audience's attention with highly stylized and frequently innovative artwork on the first two books of multiversal super-spy comic Casanova, written by Matt Fraction. Since then, ...
We didn't realize when we set out to list our favorite comic books of 2012 that it had been such a fun year to be a fan of the medium that we all love so much. The last twelve months offered readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies; the return of much missed mangaka and the emergence of exciting new talent; a new crowd-sponsored visibility for self-publishing; and the ascension of the fan artist from bedroom dreamer to Tumblr tycoon...
On sale now from Dark Horse is Hellboy in Hell #1, a comic that marks not just a new creative achievement in the already superlative oeuvre of cartoonist Mike Mignola and a return to drawing the main Hellboy story after several years away, but also the beginning of a new and carefully considered phase of his professional career...
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