Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite characters in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
With Halloween rapidly approaching, we are continuing our exploration of comics' spookier side, and this week we're taking a look at the world's greatest paranormal investigator, Mike Mignola's Hellboy! Find out which real life human served as the inspiration for the big red monster-punching muppet, what other hero starred in the secret proto-Hellboy story, and how a simple one-off goof sketch grew into an internationally known franchise.
Lucifer. Mephistopheles. Beelzebub. Auld Hornie. Satan. Nick. Clootie. Whatever you choose to call him, the devil has a long and storied (pun intended) history, from his humble beginnings as a nameless adversary in the book of Job to a tempter in the desert to the spokesmodel for canned ham.
The prince of the power of the air has been at the center of stories for thousands of years, canonical, deuterocanonical, and extracanonical alike. His status as an instantly recognizable symbol and a royalty-free denizen of the public domain have made him an irresistible go-to in stories where an ultimate evil is needed, including in comics.
Today is Mike Mignola’s 55th birthday, and that’s the perfect excuse to look back at a comic and illustration career that spans back to the 1980s.
There’s a reason Mignola’s art has not only captivated comic readers for years, but also attracted the attention of Hollywood, where his designs and aesthetics have been applied to both animation and live action. Mignola’s style is deceptively simple, but there is a beautiful elegance in that simplicity, even when manifests in the ugliness of some demon or nightmare creature. There is a mastery in every line and scratch he puts on a skull or statue or monster.
I realize that it's something I should've been reading all along, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that I finally sat down and caught up with Hellboy In Hell, and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, it's great. If you're similarly behind, the book follows Hellboy after his death preventing the battle of Armageddon and his descent into Hell, where he has to struggle with a destiny that would see him sat upon the throne of Lucifer and ruling over the armies of the damned. So, you know, the usual.
It seems like I have pretty good timing, too, because in a few weeks, the book returns as Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart bring us the second arc of Hellboy's posthumous adventures, "The Hounds of Pluto." Check out a preview below!
Joe Phillips' table in Artists' Alley is always an essential stop for me at San Diego Comic Con. The former Heretic and Superboy artist is one of the only guys at any comics show who can always be counted on for a great selection of quality beefcake pin-ups that rival the cheesecake that's so prevalent on other artists' tables. If you're in the market for a coquettish Angel, or a stripping Steve Rogers, Joe Phillips is your man.
But this year Phillips had something new on his table --- and so incredibly camp that it may appeal to much of the same audience that loves the hero beefcake. Phillips has taken some of the biggest stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and cast them as some of the biggest names in superhero comics, to give fans a vision of what these movies might have looked like in another era.
In recent months, commemorative poster-creating powerhouse Mondo has expanded its reach to more realms of film-inspired memorabilia. While the Austin-based company has been pumping out vinyl soundtracks, VHS re-releases and clothing options, to name a few, Mondo has only just begun dipping its toes into the figure and statue game. However, this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Mondo made a big splash, offering early looks at a variety of new comic and movie-based pieces inspired by some of the most iconic characters and creators of our generation.
We spoke with Mondo's Creative Director of Toys and Collectibles, Brock Otterbacher, about the company's fresh slate of offerings, and how he hoped to stand out in an ever-crowding market. With new items based on Hellboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the way, Mondo is clearly setting the bar high for itself. Factor in the wealth of artists and creatives at Mondo's disposal, and you have a company that seems poised to make a major dent in the collectible space (and wallets) in 2015 and beyond.
This week, Dark Horse announced the plans for the next year of Hellboy and BPRD stories, and while there's something that I think we all expected, there's also one pretty big surprise mixed in there, too.
Under normal circumstances, I am generally way too lazy to take advantage of the blank cover variants that publishers put out, but the Hellboy 100 project isn't exactly a normal circumstance. In order to support the Hero Initiative, the charitable organization that helps creators in need, Dark Horse has produced a limited run of 100 blank cover variants for Hellboy and the BPRD: 1952 #1, giving each one to an artist to produce a one-of-a-kind variant.
Many of us have been fans of the numerous limited collectibles Mondo's released since the company got its start. Over the years, there have been countless movie posters, soundtracks, VHS tapes and other niche items offered by Mondo, with more and more seemingly coming each and every day. Recently, Mondo started dipping its toes into the figure/statue game, with a fully-articulated Iron Giant and a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes pieces already on the way.
Today, Mondo took another step towards obscure geek memorabilia masters with the announcement of the First Hellboy statue. Before appearing in his own self-titled series, Hellboy existed merely as a sketch done by creator Mike Mignola at a convention in the early '90s. This First Hellboy shared a few things in common with his eventual successor, but lacked the trenchcoat, Right Hand of Doom, killer sideburns and proclivity for pamcakes. Now, nearly 25 years later, the First Hellboy is finally getting his due.
There are few headlines in this world of ours that combine my interests as perfectly as "Scientists Identify A New Dinosaur And Give It The Nickname 'Hellboy.'" Like, maybe if the scientists were riding dirtbikes and skateboards, or the discovery of the new fossils came as a result of someone's bat-themed vigilante activities, that would do it, but let's be real here: Those are pretty unlikely scenarios, and imagining them is just improving on perfection.
And the reality of the situation is pretty perfect indeed: As reported by NPR, the newly identified Regaliceratops peterhewsi has been informally named after Mike Mignola's perpetually grumpy paranormal investigator, owing to the presence of a pair of prominent horns just above its eyes. As for whether it filed those horns down as a rejection of its demonic heritage, the fossil record remains sadly incomplete.
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