Tug's Pick of the Week

HELLBOY: THE CORPSE Cover Art — Click for a Larger ImageHellboy: The Corpse

Well, if there’s one thing that everyone here at Heroes and Dragons is looking forward to, it’s the Hellboy movie.  After all, he’s on everyone’s list of favorite characters.  Who doesn’t love a big red demon-guy who beats up on monkeys with bolts in their necks?  As I write this, we’re two weeks away from what quite a few initial reviews tout as the best comic-book movie ever.  Of course, Dark Horse and creator Mike Mignola aren't going to let this occasion pass by without giving moviegoers lots of neat Hellboy stuff to pick up when they walk into their local comic shops.

Whether you’re a longtime comic reader who has never tried Hellboy out or someone who has never picked up a comic before but enjoyed the movie, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up Hellboy: The Corpse, a one-shot due out this week.  Before I tell you how cool the story and the art are, let me get the best part out of the way — it’s only 25¢!

If that fact alone hasn’t convinced you to pick it up, chew on these little tidbits:  “The Corpse” is without a doubt the best Hellboy story out there.  Originally released in two-page serialized installments in Capital City’s Advance Comics, the story follows Hellboy as he tries to return a missing baby to her parents.  He makes a deal with the three imps who stole the baby, but first he has to bury their drunken and somewhat dead friend.  As usual in Hellboy stories, supernatural wackiness happens, and Hellboy gets to hit big monsters.  Besides being a great story and featuring Mignola’s amazing art, this one-shot is something of a how-to on the basics of using the comic medium for incredible storytelling.

Still not sold?  OK, how about this:  “The Corpse” itself is 25 pages long — that works out to just a penny a page!  And it doesn’t stop there.  The rest of the 40-page book contains designs and images from the scenes of “The Corpse” that appear in the Hellboy movie.  Believe me, there hasn’t been a title in recent memory that has delivered this much comic goodness for such a low price.

If you’re looking for other goodies to fill your Easter basket this year, there are two art books sure to satisfy your need for all things Hellboy.

THE ART OF HELLBOY — Click for a Larger ImageThe Art of Hellboy was released a few months ago as a hardcover, but now you can get it in softcover at the much lower price of $29.95.  This collection is really impressive.  It seems as if every Hellboy picture Mignola has ever done is presented here on beautiful oversized pages.  There’s a reason why he’s called "the artist’s artist,” folks, and every one of the almost 200 pages in this book shows you why.

HELLBOY: THE ART OF THE MOVIE — Click for a Larger ImageHellboy: The Art of the Movie is something else to look out for.  This softcover has everything you could want to know about the designs of the characters and sets from the Hellboy movie.  The book’s presentation is quite well done.  It contains the entire shooting script for the movie, and as you read along, you get to see the concept designs, storyboards, etc. that correspond to the part of the movie you are reading about.  It’s a really neat way to present the material.  Some extremely talented artists are featured (including that Mignola guy), and it’s interesting to check out how some of the character designs developed into the final product.  Top it all off with an introduction by Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro, and the $24.95 price tag is 100% worth it.

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