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Hellboy, Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Other Stories Paperback – October 2, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 7 of 12 in the Hellboy Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

P. Craig Russell lives in Kent, Ohio, and has spent forty years producing graphic novels, comic books, and illustrations. He is well-known for his graphic novel adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Sandman: The Dream Hunters, as well as his Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde series. His work ranges from such mainstream titles as Batman, Star Wars, and Conan to adaptations of classic operas and a Jungle Book series. He has won several Harvey and Eisner Awards.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593078609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593078607
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By TorridlyBoredShopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 7th installation in the Hellboy graphic novel releases is something good to acquire, BUT acquiring it depends on what you want from your Hellboy.

First and foremost, the stories herein are mostly collected tales from fragmented places. The Troll Witch, The Hydra and the Lion, Doctor Carps Experiment, and The Ghoul are pieces from the "Dark Horse Book(s) of the..." (Witchcraft, Monsters, Hauntings, and The Dead respectively). These range from five to eight pages depending, and all of them have something to offer. The best piece in the book HAS to be The Troll Witch, and I personally liked Doctor Carp as well. The Ghoul is a Shakespeare adaptation and the Hydra and the Lion is, as Mignola admits in its forward, a bit odd. If you want these and don't want to pick up all of those books, then this is a good way to do it.

Second, there is some random stuff here and some new stuff BUT some of it isn't the best stuff out there.
The Penanggalan is an older story that came out of a Wizard magazine release, and covers a beast spawned from Malaysian folklore. It is a big odd but also a bit predictable, covering ground that Hellboy covered back in 2004. The Vampire of Prague is unique to this series but isn't really one of my favorites. P. Craig Russell did the artwork and, to be frank, it looks a bit rudimentary. When reading Hellboy I guess I've been spoiled and I want Mignola to cover every aspect. The story is small, good to read but normal, and Mignola could have sealed it for me and didn't. I guess that's something that is up to individual tastes.
And the last is Makoma, the longest addition to the book by far, covering some of Hellboy's younger years when he was in Africa.
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Format: Paperback
I always await the new Hellboy volume with anxious anticipation, and this one was no exception. "The Troll Witch and Others" is a collection of Hellboy short tales and is generally good, but with a few disappointments; it's not the best volume in the series, to be sure.

There are a number of triumphs in this volume: the title story, "The Troll Witch," a retelling of a Norwegian folktale, is a touching as it is chilling; and the steampunk-tinged haunted house tale, "Dr. Carp's Experiment," is beautifully bizarre. And "Makoma," an African folktale retold masterfully by Mignola and drawn by both Mignola and Richard Corben, is humorous and weighty at the same time.

Others, however, don't work so well. "The Hydra and the Lion," by Mignola's own admission, is just plain bizarre, and "The Vampire of Prague," a tale written by Mignola and drawn by P. Craig Russell lacks the gravitas of the other stories. Mignola notes that he gave Russell a lot of leeway in drawing and pacing this story, and it shows: it's far too slapstick and silly to be a real, classic Hellboy yarn and Russell's artistic stylings just don't fit. Overall, however, this is a good volume of Hellboy tales, although not the best by far. Worth it for Hellboy fans.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume marks a transition in the Hellboy series as Mike Mignola laid down his pencils and inks and turned the book over to other artists, setting off fanboy wailing that can be heard to this day. In fact, I'm wailing as I type this, and the people in the desks around me are staring. But Mignola, still at the writing helm of the book, brought in more-than-able replacements in P. Craig Russell, Richard Corben and later Duncan Fegredo. "Troll Witch" is a collection of scraps and one-offs, few of consequence or even much substance. They're larky little experiments that give Mignola a chance to riff on the multicultural folklore he loves so much. Mostly it works like this: Hellboy visits a faraway locale, learns a little bit about the hometown spook, then gets his ass kicked before somehow managing to triumph in the last couple of panels. Hellboy has a lot in common with Ash the Stud from the Evil Dead movies: He's supremely confident but not equally competent. He visits Malaysia for a run-in with the Penanggalan, a blood-drinking noggin that took flight with a tail of intestines when a woman got so startled she accidentally kicked her own head off. "That might be the stupidest thing I've ever heard," sez Hellboy, a hulking red demon with a ponytail and soulpatch, who wears shorts and a trenchcoat and carries a rosary and likes to smoke cheroots and eat giant stacks of pancakes. He goes to Prague for a smackdown with a rather pitiful little vampire. He socks it out with a hydra in Alaska. Norway's Troll Witch captured the book's title, but the collection's real showpiece is "Makoma," the first Mignola/Corben collaboration, a nerd's dream team pairing that's always guaranteed to produce something special.Read more ›
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Worth a read for the Hellboy completionist, but otherwise a lackluster collection of short stories that don't impact the main Hellboy storyline. Most are short with a lot of "BOOM!" but not much depth or story. I wasn't initially fond of Corben's guest artwork here, but enjoyed his style more in Vol. 10: The Crooken Man. Russell's contribution to this book bored me, and I didn't find his artistic style to fit within the Hellboy universe that Mignola (and later Fegredo) have carefully designed.
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