The Best of the Rest - Alex's Favorite Short Stories
I recently asked the Mignolaverse.com editors and writers what they thought were the best short stories in the Hellboy series, and most of them took up the opportunity to write a little about those tales. We’re not including Weird Tales, or the novella stuff, and we agree with many of you that some of the short stories are the most important (only, quicker). Here are some of our favorite shorts, from Mignolaverse.com First up, Alex.
There is something about the scale of the impending doom that makes this short story one of my favorites. Even though this story took place in 1982, before Hellboy knew about the Ogdru Hem and the Ogdru Jahad, we, the reader are aware. But that threat seemed far away, in the background, whereas the Varcolac was here, massive and horrifying. Additionally, you have deep pools of blood, hordes of terrifying vampires, and a fantastic twist. Some interesting notes: This introduced us to the Countess Ilona Kakosy, who would appear in the prequel series B.P.R.D. 1947 and B.P.R.D. Vampire. A varcolac is actually a real creature from folklore, usually depicted as a werewolf, not a vampire, but the concept of eating the moon is part of that lore.
The Bride of Hell
First of all, let us get out of the way, that Richard Corben is one of the best horror artists, period. He has a way of making everything so much creepier, even in daylight. In regards to the story, it is a fascinating exploration of free will, and questioning what is morally right and wrong vs the concept of spiritually good and evil. It also has a really good balance of horror, comedy, and tragedy. On one hand, we had a woman on an altar, chanting cultists, and the demon Asmodeus, a monster by all appearances. On the other hand, we had a priest, a holy cemetery ground, and the will of a Saint. As the story progressed, we learned that we weren’t seeing the whole picture, and the heroes and villains both perceived the other as such. The only neutral party here was Hellboy, who had to deal with the consequences of his choices on his own.
Buster Oakley Gets His Wish
Few can boast the skills that Kevin Nowlan possesses. He is a notable artist, colorist, AND letterer, and he puts all three of these skills to work in this story, and it works so well. This short is so very funny, and so absurd, that the dark tones of Mignola’s art would not have sold it as well. I don’t know what the most ridiculous part of this story was, is it that the aliens abducted and tried to anally probe Hellboy, or that they turned a young Satanist into a kid with a cow’s head, or maybe those ghost cattle, or the fact that the farmers in this story loved their cows SO much, that they had pictures up all over the house? All of those things are quite strange, but I think it has to be the flying pig in the background that no one was paying attention to. This story is silly, and I love everything about it, and I am glad that it is actually canonical.
DO YOU have a favorite short Hellboy story? We’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org