Monday, July 26, 2010

The Hellboy Project: Hellboy Weird Tales Vol. 2

by too many people to list

It's always cool when new people get to play with someone's toys, especially when a character or property is so tied to one particular style or aesthetic.  The first volume of Weird Tales was pretty exciting, but this second one felt a little less satisfying.

There are some really good stories in here - I liked Kev Walker's Johann Kraus story (really, I like Johann a lot), and Jim Starlin's take on Hellboy, as well as JH Williams's amazing homage to teen slasher flicks.  Scott Morse, Jill Thompson, and Evan Dorkin provided amusing or whimsical tales, and the Will Pfeiffer/P. Craig Russell contribution is of course beautiful, but I found I didn't really get into many of the stories.  It seemed to me more like a bunch of exercises that are technically very skilled, but emotionally vacant.

I good example of that would be the John Cassaday Lobster Johnson story.  It's written in the form of a Sunday paper strip, with yellowed paper and dates that place it in the 1930s, but it works in bondage gags.  I found myself skipping over it; it just seemed a little too precious for me.  I felt similarly towards the Tommy Lee Edwards story - I just didn't really get it.

Oh well, this was never meant to be canon, and was a pretty cool concept, even if it didn't always work out in execution.

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