I’ve been a fan of the Hellboy character since the original Dark Horse comics. I just love that combination of world-weary paranormal investigator and permanent adolescent male. Hellboy succeeds (when he succeeds) only after screwing things up, often spectacularly. Mike Mignola’s artwork manages to capture the two sides of the character, being almost classical and yet also capturing the joy of a boy demon eating pancakes for the first time. (My favorite Hellboy short story.)
Much as I love the comic, I’m just as big a fan of the films by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Ron Perlman as Big Red himself.
As I wrote earlier this month in the Hellboy entry for our 50 Greatest Comic Book Castings of All Time, Ron Perlman is perfect casting and Del Toro the perfect director for Hellboy. Together they managed – sometimes against studio interference – to make Hellboy one of the best comic book adaptations of all time. And then one-upped themselves with The Golden Army. I’m still sad that we never got the third film that was intended.
I could draw every monster in the Hellboy movies for Monster Sketch Monday, they’re so good. Kronen and Samael from the original and… well, every monster in the second film. (I’d planned on adding the Angel of Death to this illo, but alas I ran out of time, as per usual.) The supporting characters as well, including Abe and Johann and Liz and… well, you get the idea. The one I did include (and didn’t capture very well) was suggested by Sailor – the tree-kaiju known as the Last Elemental. From seed to murderous spider plan in minutes, the design is cool in the typical Del Toro fashion (rather than Mignola fashion, though I have no idea if he had input on the design or not). It reminds me of Biolante from the Godzilla film, although it would have been cooler if the Last Elemental had a giant alligator mouth full of teeth like that creature.
I’m rambling more than usual, but as far as comic book adaptations go I still think of the Hellboy films as some of the most successful in terms of capturing both the look and the heart of the source material. I kinda want to go watch them both again – don’t you?