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Hellboy: The First 20 Years Hardcover – April 1, 2014


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Hellboy: The First 20 Years + Hellboy in Hell Volume 1: The Descent + Hellboy: The Midnight Circus
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Product Details

  • Series: Hellboy
  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616553537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616553531
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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It really shows off the beauty of the art contained within the book.
Jonathan Balofsky
Would make a great gift for casual fans and a welcome addition for completist as well.
Right Hand of Doom
In summary, this is a great conversation starter as a coffee table book.
Rob Slaven

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:07 Mins
Here's the second Hellboy artbook. It's not the sequel to The Art of Hellboy that was released in 2004 though.

Hellboy: The First 20 Years is a 20th anniversary artbook to celebrate the character and title that Mike Mignola created.

So unlike that 2004 artbook, this one features just art without any commentary. What you'll see are mostly cover art for Hellboy, B.P.R.D, and some from Abe Sapien, Witchfinder and others. Selected pieces have sketches provided, not a lot, and there also also some comic partially inked comic panels.

There are about 20 pieces or pages of art from before 2005, and the rest are from the last ten years.

The art is fantastic of course. The style is very recognisable Mike Mignola. Striking and bold. Lovely use of blacks that really suits the mood of the comic and character. Even Peter de Seve who wrote the introduction also drew in similar style for his guest art. There are a few watercolour pieces that look really different from the others.

It's a nice hardcover artbook. 136 pages. Large and tall format to fit the typical comic book dimensions so that the covers can be reproduced big, and they are reproduced very well in this book.

It's a fantastic book for fans of Hellboy and Mike Mignola.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Balofsky on March 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Mike Mignola's Hellboy is one of those series that comes along once in a blue moon. It struck a chord with readers of all types for its masterful blend of folklore, mythology and occult storytelling as well as detective fiction a times.
The characters truly seem real ( a real feat considering the protagonist is a demon from hell) and we as readers were drawn into their stories.
Hellboy has always appealed to fans of all types because of the masterful writing and the way it bucks trends. But the art is also a main point. Mignolas's art is on a whole different level than most comic artists and his drawings seem alive.
Hellboy: The First 20 years is an artbook retrospective taking us through the two decades the big guy has been around, with minimal text. Mignola lets the art speak for itself. We get to see how the characters evolved, what art stood out, and what Mignola liked best.
The art shows not only how the characters evolved but also various ideas for characters, some that can to be, some that came in different ways, and some that never ended up being.

The book itself is built well. Its near the same size as the library editions and will not fall apart. It really shows off the beauty of the art contained within the book. The binding is solid and there are no problems with the pages when opening the book. Best of all despite the amazing build of the book, its very affordable unlike many other art books. This was clearly a labor of love from Dark Horse to give something to the fans and it shows. But this is more than just an art book. In many ways it is the history of the character showing what was and what could have been in ways I mentioned earlier.
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Format: Hardcover
As usual this book came to me for free in exchange for a review. This time, and increasingly so lately, it was via NetGalley. Despite that kind consideration I give my scrupulously honest opinion below.

Firstly, it must be noted that my previous experience with Hellboy has been confined to furtive glimpses of the character when referenced by other authors. I've always been somewhat intrigued but this is my first substantive experience with the character.

On the positive side, the book covers the whole history of the milieu of Hellboy quite nicely though there does seem to be a lot of emphasis on 2002 and beyond despite the start of the character in 1994. The art is detailed, evocative and makes me more and more want to start over with Hellboy from the beginning and 'see what all the fuss is about.'

The only negative I would point out is that the 130 pages are almost entirely devoid of any text so as an interested outsider I can't really say I know any more than I did before about the series. It's still intriguing but it's just as much a question mark as it ever was. This is not in any way a proper introduction to this two decades of work by the author.

In summary, this is a great conversation starter as a coffee table book. For those who have spent the last two decades as fans this will be a great retrospective and a masterful collection. If, however, you're just starting out this isn't the place to go for an overview. I'm sure to the vast majority of readers that is patently obvious but it seemed a worthwhile thing to point out since that's exactly the position I find myself in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen W. Green on April 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pretty cohesive example of Mike Mignola's later work. Beautifully produced, this will add a great source of inspiration to your comic or art library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you're a fan you may be drawn to this book by its complete Hellboyness. Starting with the first drawing of Hellboy, artist Mike Mignola takes you through twenty years of Hellboy memories. There is no story arc, indeed there are no captions or explanations apart from an introduction and a forward. But there is Hellboy from every angle and in various media.

But say you're a more casual fan, but still admire the illustrator's craft. Well, this book may prove even more rewarding. Mignola's point here was to display the evolution of Hellboy and consciously and intentionally, to also track the evolution of his own artistic approach to Hellboy. Mignola notes his move from excessive detail to an almost minimalist interpretation. In the Introduction, Peter de Seve observes that as Mignola has cast aside detail his drawings have taken on "a craggy volume, as if all the elements, including Hellboy's pitted face, are carved in stone." The work has a "sculptural quality".

That observation is so right and so appropriate to the creation and presentation of Hellboy. It also suggests what it is you can discover by perusing this volume.

So, happy Hellboy fan, or just an art admirer, it seems to me that this book is worth a close look.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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