Celebrating Hellboy’s twentieth anniversary, Hellboy: The First 20 Years brings a wide selection of images in a handsome oversized hardcover.
Mignola has expanded Hellboy into the most exciting group of books since the early Marvel universe, and his style has influenced art and illustration far beyond the world of comics. Selected finished pieces are shown alongside sketches and raw scans from the last twenty years. Never-before-seen art! Mignola’s best pieces from the last twenty years!
This is an art book, with no analysis or accompanying text providing a look at Hellboy over these past twenty years. There is an introduction by Peter de Sève and a foreword by Mike Mignola, and then 125 pages of art with no label, followed by an index of images.
The art is all by Mignola: wonderful, varied and career spanning. It’s all here: breakdowns, pencils, inked pages and above all coloured covers which dominate the book. They span every title of the Hellboy universe right and provide a nice look at the time period. We’re even treated to rare Mignola paintings like the one below.
Mignola states in his foreword “this is not The Art Of Hellboy Volume 2. The idea here is to show the evolution of the whole Hellboy thing”. Since The Art Of Hellboy covered the first ten years the bulk of the material in this volume is from the last ten years, still a large pool of work to select from. It’s interesting to see an artist’s body of work in one block; Mignola’s style hasn’t changed from 1995. He knows what he wants and has stuck with it, as have his large following.
We’re treated to a four page original art story from The Goon, and several comparisons of penciled or inked art and the finished coloured work following. I would have preferred more original art, but it is nice to see this multitude of covers without the logos or credits covering anything up.
If you’re a fan of Hellboy then most likely you enjoy Mignola’s art style. Hellboy: The First 20 Years is a well produced art book covering the Mignola-verse through images. It’s a nice coffee table style book with a low entry point of $20 and makes a worthwhile addition to fan’s collections.
Originally published at Comic Book Daily.