25 July, 2007
Disembodied Japanese heads etc
Title: Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom
By: Mike Mignola
Anung Un Rama is the virtually indestructible creation of Beelzebub himself. He has red-skin, wears a goatee, a tiny ponytail and has blank yellow eyes. His head bears two sawed-off horns. He is the Beast of Apocalypse - his fate, to plunge the world into chaos. There is only one problem: Anung Un Rama - or Hellboy as he is readily known - doesn’t seem to think much of this plan.
Turning his back on his destiny, Hellboy spends most of his time investigating paranormal events and battling myriad demons and monsters. Often he gets horrifically trashed, but he’s always game for a challenge.
The most enjoyable collection of Hellboy stories can be found in the graphic novel Hellboy Vol 4: The Right Hand of Doom. Not only does writer-illustrator Mike Mignola address several origin curiosities but he also includes one of my favorite Hellboy tales - a bunch of disembodied Japanese heads trying to get a bite of Hellboy in a forest.
Mignola’s drawing has been called impressionist, even inspired by German Expressionism. I can vouch that it’s pretty darn cool. At the end of the novel Mignola presents his sketches - done (from what I could gather) with a thin lead holder, 0.5 ink gel pen and a medium sharpie. It’s a revealing exhibition of his talent and flexibility.
Next article: Tacky loopiness and bravura singing