Let’s come out and state the obvious, Hellboy is awesome.
Mike Mignola’s creation is simple in concept, but where he has taken it with his trademark chiaroscuro art style is almost incomprehensible.
But while Mignola has a firm grip on the direction he wanted to take Mignola, I imagine he never had any real idea what imagination he has fired up in those who love his work. Thankfully, Weird Tales was born and is a great testament to the Hellboy-universe that Mignola has dreamed up, and a tribute to him and his work as well.
Weird Tales is a two-volume anthology which has the best of the best in the comics industry writing and drawing stories that are set in the Hellboy universe. Some involve Hellboy, some involve Abe Sapien, some are just ancillary incidents that the BPRD crew are just observers for.
Like all anthologies, mileage may vary for any reader, but personally, I do not think that there is a bad story in the lot. With stories ranging from two pages to “epic” ten page ones, there is a wide variety in stories and art (thankfully artists did not try to ape the master that is Mignola, but tried to carve their own niche into the universe, I admire that kind of ambition, and really, the artists do a great job, with some tremendously beautiful work to be found in the stories), and so I say there is something for anyone/everyone.
If you are in want for a quick dip into the Hellboy universe, Weird Tales is the place for you. You don’t need to know anything except that Hellboy exists. Everything else is just good storytelling where the summoned son of Azzael and is out to take care of supernatural problems that pop up with a strange amount of alacrity.
Trust me, you want to read this. And if you have read it, I think it’s time to give it another read, don’t you?
Thwip on folks!