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Hell Notes: Hellboy – Past, Present, and Future 2

By | March 17th, 2014
Posted in Annotations | 2 Comments
Logo by Tim Daniel and Mark Tweedale

I hope you’re enjoying 31 Days of Hellboy so far. We had such a great response with 31 Days of Abe last year, this was practically inevitable. In the previous Hell Notes I tackled Hellboy’s youth. If you haven’t read it, you probably should, because I’m launching into this thing right where I left off, assuming you’re already up to speed. This time I’ll be exploring his career as a B.P.R.D. field agent. Mike Mignola has written a lot of stories in this period of Hellboy’s life, and I think it would be rather pointless to talk about every single adventure, so I’m going to stick to the major points. If you want a full history, I recommend finding a strong table and reading all the Hellboy library editions. That’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s been fantastic…

Please note, this column contains spoilers for practically everything Hellboy related.

HELLBOY: THE WORLD’S GREATEST PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR

A typical day at work.
Hellboy was quite the media darling in the early days. At three years of age he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, and when he officially joined the B.P.R.D. it wasn’t long before headlines started calling him “The World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator.” In truth, that title probably belongs to someone like Sir Edward Grey. Don’t get me wrong, Hellboy was a skilled investigator, but he’d never really excelled at the kind of book-learning required to be the world’s greatest. However, he was able to survive what would kill most agents, so he always got the most dangerous jobs, and the most dangerous jobs made good headlines.

Hellboy’s time in Mexico (see the previous Hell Notes) had been brutal, and things were never quite the same afterwards. When he was little he’d dreamt of being a hero like the Lobster, fighting monsters and saving the day. Then the rose-coloured glasses came off. In reality, being a paranormal investigator was more like being a plumber than a hero. He was called in to deal with messes no one else wanted anything to do with. This is one of the things I love about the character, that most missions are just another day at the job. Everything is very understated. He doesn’t kick down the door and pose heroically, his coat flapping in the wind, with an aura of light around him; Hellboy trudges up to the door and knocks. He doesn’t whip out a vial sacred spring water blessed by a rare sect of monks with any kind of reverence; He fumbles around in his toolbelt for a bit, pulls out the vial and thinks, “Maybe this will work…” SPLASH! “Crap.”

It’s a good thing he can take so much punishment. If he were human, he would’ve died many times over before he got to Hellboy: The Fury. Either that or he would have been sent on much more mundane jobs. Hellboy was the guy the Bureau sent in to take care of mass killings, exorcisms, poltergeists, sacrifices, vampire cats, alien abductions, possessed madmen, Nazi war apes, werewolves, witches, ghouls, and cannibals. He even had a period of hunting vampires.

Aliens!

Virtually all the European vampires Hellboy encountered (except for Vladimir Giurescu, who I’ll talk about later) were during the years from 1966 to 1982. Before 1966 he’d met very few European vampires (which are very different creatures from the vampires of the Americas). Then in Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead he stumbled upon a vampire that had made an army of vampires, but left them all sleeping in their coffins. This was rather peculiar because in Hellboy’s world, vampires became something of a rarity from 1774 onwards. That was the year heads of the vampire families gathered and decided to go into hiding. Humans had gotten too acquainted with the ways of vampires, and this had fashioned them into powerful adversaries. It was agreed that vampires would be allowed to slip into myth, all the while secretly swelling their numbers, until humankind had forgotten them. And then they’d strike.

Continued below

The B.P.R.D. already knew a little of this. In B.P.R.D.: 1947, Agent Simon Anders involuntarily played host to two vampire spirits, and by 1948 he had become a vampire himself. Following the incident in 1966, Hellboy and the Bureau were involved with several major vampire incidents. In 1969 Hellboy was in Romania (the same area he would later encounter Roger and his brother) for an outbreak of vampire activity. In Budapest, 1975 there was another major incident, this time involving at least one of the heads of the vampire families, Ilona Kákosy. Both these incidents have only been mentioned in passing in other stories. We readers are left to guess what happened then. It seems to me there was a period of the Bureau’s history in which Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. were actively hunting vampires, because after 1982 they seemed to have the attitude that they’d taken care of that problem.

Speaking of 1982, Hellboy killed two major vampires that year; the infamous Vampire of Prague, and a few months later he tracked down Ilona Kákosy, who had escaped the Budapest incident seven years earlier, and killed her.

Hellboy would have known who Ilona Kákosy was too. That he killed one of the heads of the great vampire families is a big deal. I wonder if perhaps he had already hunted and killed all the other heads by this point in his career. Maybe he interrupted a gathering in Budapest and Kákosy was the only one to make it out alive.

Hellboy and the Baba Yaga.
See, this is what I really enjoy about this pre-Cavendish era of Hellboy’s career, the way it can open up a whole new avenue of Hellboy’s life that was previously unknown. At the moment we’re in the middle of a surge of “Hellboy in Mexico” stories, but before 2010 Mexico wasn’t even really mentioned at all. And these things play off in the present day stuff. These stories start off as what appear to be inconsequential romps, but looking back these things are the first pebbles of roaring avalanches. Who knew Hellboy shooting out the Baba Yaga’s eye in 1964 would have such far reaching consequences? Or that Gruagach the changeling would begin a bloody war? Or that a baby Hellboy saved in 1959 would become his girlfriend? These stories shine a little light on fragments of a much larger picture.

And it’s a picture that’s still very much incomplete. There are some major moments of Hellboy’s life that have been mentioned, but never explored. For example, in 1979, Hellboy, Abe, and a few other agents went on a mission to China. The mission went bad, and some Bureau agents were killed. This wasn’t just a, “Well, that’s the job, sometimes you die,” kind of incident either. It was Hellboy’s fault. As readers we’ve never been told what happened, but it has been said more than once, with no hint of doubt from anyone, it was Hellboy’s fault. This was a major, character-defining moment, and it hasn’t even been told yet.

Anastasia Bransfield.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that Hellboy took a leave of absence from the B.P.R.D. in 1979. While in a London pub, beating up trolls, he met the British archaeologist, Anastasia Bransfield. They travelled together for the next two years, to various digs and saw many strange and wonderful things. There was also kidnapping and attempted murder, but in general it was a pretty good time for Hellboy. However, his relationship with Anastasia was having a negative affect on her career. Honorary human status or not, most people did not think it was appropriate for a human to have a relationship with what appeared to be a demon. Hellboy broke it off with her, hoping that Anastasia would fight him on it, but instead she just let it happen. That hurt.

By 1981, Hellboy was back at the Bureau again. But, you know, the job wasn’t all bad. Hellboy had a genuine interest with the weird. It wasn’t all about going out there and beating the crap out of something. Sometimes it was going to Hurstmonceaux Castle to see the lady ghost that rode around in the halls on a donkey. Things weren’t perfect, but for the most part Hellboy seemed pretty happy back then.

Continued below

But then this was before Hellboy knew what he was, what his hand was, of the unseen crown he wore upon his head, of his terrible destiny. It was an era of innocence. Hellboy had fifty years to learn about himself, yet he never did. In fact, he actively avoided it. In 1962, the psychic Cynthia Eden-Jones, one of the occult experts present in the East Bromwich church the day Hellboy first appeared, had pleaded with Hellboy to reopen the Hellboy incident case. But the case remained closed.

Hellboy never wanted to know what he was. He didn’t sit up late at night, wondering. No, he was able to sleep because he didn’t know. He didn’t deal with who he was, instead he beat the crap out of creatures a lot like himself. This is an issue explored in The Troll Witch and The Ghoul, two of my favourite Hellboy stories. They deal with the same theme, and almost seem to be companion pieces of a sort, two sides of the same coin. The Troll Witch, set 1963, is told through a conversation with a witch, born of a human mother, but troll-like. In her youth, when the trolls roamed the hills, she would go out and fight them, for she saw in them that which was monstrous in herself. One day, when the trolls attacked her sister, the troll-witch rode down into Trollheim to do battle armed only with a wooden spoon. Even decades later, that wooden spoon was still wet with the blood of trolls, and the troll-witch presented the spoon to Hellboy as way to combat the trolls without a single blow being stuck. “And I wonder… How will you feel about that?”

It’s a good question. In The Ghoul Hellboy had tracked down Edward Stokes, a man that had lived over two hundred years by dining on human corpses. There was no doubt Ed was a dreadful creature, but when Hellboy went after him, he never fought back. Hellboy beat the crap out of this guy, and even threatened him, telling him to fight back because he’d never once brought in any one of these guys alive. Think about that. Hellboy had been a B.P.R.D. agent for forty years by this point and had never brought in one of the nasty monsters for research (the R in B.P.R.D. is there for a reason), even in a case like this where he could have easily done so. He didn’t want them studied, he wanted them dead.

Yet Hellboy wasn’t utterly blinded either. He was capable of recognising the monsters that were monsters in appearance only, the one’s that many of the human agents who have dissected. Hellboy wasn’t afraid of Liz after she killed thirty-two people, including her family. He offered a hand of friendship to Abe when first they met. He reached out to Daryl Tynon, a lonely soul trapped in a wendigo. These moments are Hellboy at his best.

THE END OF INNOCENCE

I know it seems strange to talk about Hellboy being innocent, especially after some of the messed up stuff he’s seen, but for the first fifty years of life he was allowed to live in a protective bubble of ignorance. He was allowed to simply be Hellboy. But it wasn’t to last.

Seed of Destruction

In late 1992, Professor Bruttenholm joined the Cavendish expedition into the the Arctic Circle in search of Hyperborean ruins. By January the following year, the expedition team had vanished. There was a search, but after finding no trace, the expedition was given up for lost in July.

Then in May, 1994, Professor Bruttenholm showed up in his Brooklyn home. Hellboy arrived before long to find him going through all his old papers, reviewing everything he had on the Hellboy incident of 1944. The Professor remembered very little of what had happened to him, only that the Cavendish brothers had succeeded in finding the Hyperborean ruins they were looking for. While he struggled with the strange blanks in his memory, he was attacked and killed by a frog monster. Hellboy went into a rage, and killed the creature, but upon inspecting its remains he found them to be oddly human.

Continued below

Hellboy’s investigation soon led him to Cavendish Hall in upstate New York. He, along with Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman, went to meet up with the elderly Mrs Cavendish, the sole survivor of the Cavendish line. Their conversation was civil enough, but took a nasty turn when Abe Sapien went to investigate the lake around the Hall, Liz was kidnapped by frog monsters, and Hellboy was dragged into the bowels of Cavendish Hall by the tentacled Sadu-Hem.

In the flooded caverns below, Hellboy was presented to Grigori Rasputin, a mysterious monk with a familiar voice, the very same monk that had summoned Hellboy all the way back in 1944. He claimed Hellboy was his servant, brought into the world to bring about Ragna Rok, and usher in a new race of man. He commanded Hellboy and expected to be obeyed. So obviously Hellboy shot him in the face.

Wherever did a monk pick up such language?

This did not exactly please Rasputin. He had intended to use Hellboy to free the Ogdru Jahad, the seven dragons who are one, but this act of defiance led Rasputin to dismiss him and tap Liz’s power instead. He managed to shake the Ogdru Jahad in their prison, but before he could go any further, Abe threw a harpoon through his chest, Liz set him on fire, and Hellboy crushed his bones.

They like to do their killing thoroughly at the B.P.R.D.

But before Rasputin died, he warned Hellboy that if he killed him him, he would would never know who he was or understand the power inside himself. Hellboy thought he could live with that, but for the first time he had had his eyes opened to the big picture and his role in it, and what he saw scared him.

After the funeral of Professor Bruttenholm, Hellboy travelled to a place he had not been since his first day on Earth, the church ruins in East Bromwich. While there, he saw a vision of his mother on her deathbed, and of the evening his father came to claim her in her chained coffin. Of all the disturbing things that happened in this vision, the most worrying was when Azzael spoke to Sarah Hughes of the child gestating inside her, his favourite son. With those words, the vision of Azzael met Hellboy’s eyes. There was no mistaking who he was talking about.

Hellboy confided this story to Abe alone, then did his best to forget it.

Wake the Devil and Almost Colossus

Three years after the Cavendish Hall incident the B.P.R.D. learnt of the murder of a former Nazi that had smuggled the body of a deceased vampire out of Germany during the last days of the war. The body of the vampire, Vladimir Giurescu, was missing from the scene of the murder, and next to the Nazi’s body, written in blood, was the symbol of Project Ragna Rok. The presence of this symbol disturbed Hellboy, it was plain on his face during his briefing, though no one noticed it. As the Bureau team set off to Romania to possible locations of Castle Giurescu, Hellboy was determined to convince everyone the mission was a wild goose chase, talking instead about enjoying the Paprika Chicken in Romania and making bets that they’d find nothing. Abe could see right through it though. Hellboy was worried, though he’d never admit it.

Hellboy’s mission went wrong fast. His jetpack exploded, he got beaten up by a Nazi cyborg when he landed, attacked by the Witches of Thessaly when he found the secret temple of Hecate, the Queen of Vampires, and after all the he failed to prevent the resurrection of Giurescu. At that point he decided the best way to deal with things was to blow the whole castle up, which led to Hecate showing up. Don’t get me wrong, Hellboy’s a tough guy, but Hecate’s a major mythological figure (actually several… Lamia, Kali, Lilith are all other names Hecate has had throughout history), and it was only through luck that their fight forced them outside as Castle Giurescu blew up. Hecate had been cursed so that she could not bear the light of day, and so she was killed. (Yay, something kinda went right, I suppose…)

Continued below

This wasn't exactly a fun mission for Hellboy.

However, the blood of Hecate still lived in the veins of her son, Giurescu, and he sacrificed himself to revive her in a new body made from an iron maiden and the ruined flesh of the Nazi Ilsa Haupstein. The reborn Hecate attacked Hellboy, and attempted to wake the devil to his great purpose, to become his true self, Anung Un Rama, urging him to loose the Dragon and bring about the death of man. Hellboy was offered a choice, to become the agent of change in the world or to die. Hellboy chose option number three, to do with his life what he wished, breaking off the horns that had grown from the stumps on his forehead. This was one of Hellboy’s most defining moments, witnessed in the etherworld by the Baba Yaga, Dagda (King of the Irish Fairies), and the masked Sir Edward Grey. This was when Hellboy gave birth to himself and began walking his own path.

He was found by Kate Corrigan afterwards who informed him of the death of Agents Clark and Waller, of Abe being injured, and of Liz stuck in a hospital, inexplicably dying after apparently having her fire powers taken by what had formerly been a lifeless homunculus (Roger). With the clock ticking, Hellboy had no time to process what had happened to him, and he and Kate immediately set to the task of finding the run-away Roger.

Roger's “big” brother.
I mentioned earlier the compassion Hellboy showed to Liz, Abe, and Daryl, all of which appeared to be monsters, but in Hellboy’s eyes were not. Here Hellboy was presented with a creature that appeared to have stolen Liz’s life force and killed Agent Bud Waller. It would have been easy for Hellboy to write off the fleeing homunculus, but Hellboy looked beyond the immediately obvious. When corpses were reported missing from graveyards, he was quick to point out that the newly woken homunculus simply didn’t have time in the week he’d been alive to become so active.

Indeed, Hellboy was right. There was another homunculus, older and uglier, the product of the same alchemist that had created Roger. This older homunculus was building a new body from corpses, large and god-like, to rule over humanity. The older homunculus found Roger and tried to convince him to join him in the new god-body, but when he tried to use Kate Corrigan as raw material for the creation, Roger fought back and defended her. Ultimately Roger was forced to kill his own brother, leaving him all alone in the world. And that’s all Roger wanted, was to be left alone.

But Hellboy wouldn’t allow that. He saw the humanity in Roger and he demanded he acknowledge where he got the power that had given him life and at what cost it came at. He was able to convince Roger to return to Liz’s power and to pass back into sleeping death. The interesting thing is Hellboy knew Roger was essentially going to die. There was no point getting attached to him. Yet Hellboy gave him the dignity of his humanity, and on the way to the hospital where Liz lay dying, he named the homunculus Roger. He didn’t have to. It probably would have been easier for Hellboy to let this guy die again if he didn’t have a name, but he knew he deserved better.

Hellboy made a big impression on Roger, and formed a large part of his moral centre, and when he was revived, Hellboy helped him come to terms with the things he had done and made him feel like a human when Roger was so determined to feel like something less. Back in those days Roger was a bleak, brooding guy, and getting him to forgive himself was a major step towards becoming the Roger readers fell in love with.

The Right Hand of Doom and the Crown of the Apocalypse

Of course, Hellboy was left brooding on his own questions after everything that happened in Romania, and he wasn’t able to ignore it as much as he’d like to. He was contact by Adrian Frost, the son of Malcolm Frost who had tried to convince Professor Bruttenholm and the U.S. government to kill Hellboy during the first eight years of the young demon’s life.

Continued below

Adrian Frost had discovered a piece of paper tucked in his father’s bible in the book of revelations, a drawing of Hellboy’s hand with the words “Behold the Right Hand of Doom” written in old Lemurian. There have been other texts like this, one written by Pope Sylvester II in 999 CE, “And I looked down into the end of the World and saw the Beast, and in his right hand was the key to the Bottomless Pit,” and another by Arnot de Falvy in his Revelation number seven, “…I saw a city, silent as a tomb, barren as dry bones, and the angel said, ‘This is desolation.’ And I went down into it and the only living thing there was the creature … In most ways it had the shape and character of a man and was not terrible to look upon, but then I saw in its right hand it held the key to the Bottomless Pit.”

Hellboy told Frost everything that had happened to him, and how he had broken the horns from his head and refused to destroy the world. “And now you think you’re off the hook,” Frost had said. “How can you be?” Frost pointed out that even if the hand were struck from Hellboy’s arm, there was no place he could ever hide it where it wouldn’t be found. It was Hellboy’s burden to bear so that it could never be used.

Igor Bromhead.
Hellboy was further confronted with his nature when two foolish Satanists, Count Guarino and his wife, opened a box they believed contained Satan. It actually contained Ualac, a minor demon of Hell and cousin of Hellboy. This demon was bound to service by his secret name, learnt by Igor Bromhead, a warlock and criminal Hellboy had previous put in prison back in the eighties. Ualac told Bromhead that the Great Beast, the harbinger of the Apocalypse, was loose in the world, and that he had denied his fate, but had never given up his crown or his power to loose the agents of destruction. He betrayed to Bromhead Hellboy’s secret name, Anung Un Rama, giving the warlock a powerful tool to get his revenge on him.

Ualac.
When Hellboy came for Bromhead, he was bound just as Ualac had been bound, and Bromhead allowed Ualac to take the Crown of the Apocalypse from Hellboy’s head and place it on his own. This changed Ualac, making him a greater demon, and deepening his knowledge, so that he knew that the Right Hand of Doom had to be struck from Hellboy’s arm while he still lived or it would be poisoned against them.

Meanwhile Hellboy heard voices from the etherworld, the voices of Dagda, Sir Edward Grey, and a mysterious pipe-smoking goblin whose voice Hellboy recognised, the same goblin that had returned baby Alice Monaghan to him back in 1959. These three questioned Hellboy, asking him what his name was. Hellboy answered that he was Anung Un Rama. But Anung Un Rama was the World Destroyer, the Great Beast…

With this realisation, Hellboy was free from Bromhead’s bindings. Hellboy beat the crap out of Ualac, and in desperation Ualac called on the help of Astaroth, Grand Duke of the Infernal Regions. Astaroth imprisoned Ualac and took the Crown of the Apocalypse from him, telling Hellboy that it would be waiting in Hell for him. Hellboy responded by telling him he could keep it. As for Bromhead, he escaped in all the commotion.

Afterwards Hellboy confided in Kate Corrigan, telling her that he was learning more about what he was and that he didn’t want to know. Kate told him that looking at the big picture would be scary at first, but in the long run it would be for the best. Still, Hellboy decided to bury his head in the sand one last time, and let go of the paper given to him by Adrian Frost, losing it to the wind.

He said “I don't think about that” too many times for it to be true.

Conqueror Worm

This was Hellboy’s last mission for the B.P.R.D., this time dealing with the return of a Nazi capsule launched back in 1939 (which Hellboy pointed out was the fabled last mission of Lobster Johnson, a nice bit of thematic foreshadowing). Roger had graduated to the role of B.P.R.D. agent by this point, with a newly-installed generator in his chest, along with an incendiary bomb. Obviously this outraged Hellboy, and he sure as hell made sure the Bureau Director, Tom Manning, knew it. Even still, he was given the detonator and told on no uncertain terms that Roger was expendable. After all, he wasn’t human like Liz.

Continued below

Roger and Hellboy were led up to Hunte Castle, the site of the Nazi launch ion 1939, by a guide who turned out to be a Nazi. Roger was thrown over the edge of a cliff in a hail of machine gun fire while Hellboy got the crap beaten out of him by Kriegaffe Number Ten, a cyborg gorilla built by Herman von Klempt. You may remember von Klempt. He was a Nazi head in a jar, only in this story he appeared more full-bodied.

Von Klempt left Hellboy to be repeatedly electrocuted by his Kriegaffe in the dungeons, however when Roger and Lobster Johnson (Yep, he shows up in this one) drained the Castle’s generator, Hellboy was able to break free and have his turn beating the crap out of the Kriegaffe for a change. This didn’t have a happy ending for the Kriegaffe.


It was then that Hellboy met one of the stranger creatures of his life; a man in shackles with bullet wounds in his chest. This man’s voice was familiar to Hellboy. In fact, he had been in the church in East Bromwich when Hellboy was summoned into the world in 1944. He had been sent as an assassin to kill Anung Un Rama, the Destroyer. However, he had stayed his hand. He saw in Hellboy free will, the chance that Hellboy might break the bonds of fate. Ten years later, the man had watched as Hellboy fought the Saint Leonard Worm, and witnessed lilies growing from Hellboy’s spilt blood, reaffirming his conviction that he had done the right thing when he had let Hellboy live.

The man explained to Hellboy the nature of the thing returning to Hunte Castle in the Nazi capsule, an Ogdru spirit that would consume all in its path. He gave to Hellboy the means to defeat it, a trap. Before he died, the man told Hellboy “…to be other than human does not necessarily mean to be less.” With his death, the man was finally revealed to be an alien.

Shortly after Hellboy was found by Roger (who had lost Lobster Johnson by this point), and the pair went to intercept the Nazi capsule as it arrived. They were ever so slightly late though, and the capsule opened, releasing a gas that turned the Nazis around into frog monsters. Once again Roger and Hellboy were separated as Roger tackled the frog monsters and Hellboy wrestled with the robot body of Herman von Klempt. When the Conqueror Worm began to emerge from the capsule, Hellboy released the alien trap, but von Klempt’s body got a hold of it and crushed it.

If the Conqueror Worm was not stopped, it would have brought about the end of the world, and Hellboy’s grenades weren’t making much impact on the creature.

It left he and Roger with only one course of action; Roger was to release the energy within him to force the spirit of the Conqueror Worm inside the homunculus. But Hellboy was afraid to commit to this plan, knowing what it could do to Roger. However, Roger could see this was the only plan they had, and insisted it was a good plan. As Roger leapt away, Hellboy said, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din,” a reference to the poem Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling. In the poem Gunga Din, an Indian water-bearer sacrificed his life to save that of an English soldier’s who had though himself superior to him. In the final line of the poem, the English solider spoke the words quoted by Hellboy. It’s moments like these that make me think that while Hellboy never really hit the books as hard as Professor Bruttenholm would have liked, his love of books still made a big impression on Hellboy.

The aftermath of Roger’s choice to sacrifice himself is what I consider to be one of Hellboy’s strongest character moments. Roger, filled with the Conqueror Worm’s spirit, began to lose control and begged Hellboy to destroy him before the Worm took over completely. The rational thing to do was to blow up Roger, really it was the only choice, but Hellboy chose instead to make Roger fight. He chose to believe Roger was capable of something extraordinary, beyond what was considered possible. This is one of the reasons I like this story so much. It showcases Hellboy taking on the older brother role, and it’s made all the more powerful next to Roger’s trusting innocence.

Continued below


Ultimately Hellboy’s faith in Roger paid off when Lobster Johnson appeared and sacrificed himself to save the homunculus. And for a few moments at least Hellboy got to meet his childhood hero before he died.

Afterwards, when Tom Manning came to congratulate Hellboy on a job well done, Hellboy resigned from the Bureau. As he explained to Kate before he left, it wasn’t just that the B.P.R.D. planted a bomb on Roger, it was that he needed to deal with all his apocalypse baggage. He asked Kate to watch out for Roger when he was gone and to say goodbye to Abe (Liz had left the B.P.R.D. herself a year earlier).

These parting moments with Kate has been returned to numerous times throughout the series, each time gaining a new depth to its melancholy. It was the end of an era, and the beginning of journeys to strange places…

OK, that’s the end of part two. I gotta thank Daniel Chabon with his help on this one. He’s a life saver, and this would have taken much longer to pull together without him. He goes well above and beyond the call of duty. The third and final part of this epically long Hell Notes will be going up on the last day of March, so don’t miss that.

And this Saturday, March 22nd, is Hellboy Day. If you head down to your local comic book store, you’ll be able to pick up the Hellboy 20th Anniversary Sampler, which will republish the short stories Hellboy: The Ghoul (a personal favourite of mine written and drawn by Mike Mignola) and B.P.R.D.: Another Day at the Office (written by Mike Mignola with art by Cameron Stewart), along with a new Hellboy in Mexico story, Hellboy: The Coffin Man (art by Fábio Moon), and comic strips from R. Sikoryak.

Mike Mignola himself will be at Meltdown Comics & Collectibles in West Hollywood, California, from 2pm along with other special guests. If you are one of the lucky devils able to be there, don’t miss the opportunity.

And if you’re in Portland, swing by Things From Another World at 7pm for a Q&A with Scott Allie, writer of Abe Sapien and editor of the Mignolaverse books; Dave Stewart, the colourist behind virtually everything Hellboy related; and Tyler Crook, the artist of many B.P.R.D. arcs and the upcoming Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland.

Franco Aureliani, writer of Itty Bitty Hellboy, will be at Midtown Comics in Downtown New York City from 2pm to 4pm, and Art Baltazar (the other half of Itty Bitty Hellboy) will be at AW YEAH! Comics all day.

Further north, Tonci Zonjic will be at The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada between 2pm and 4pm. And in the south, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá will be at Quanta Academia de Artes in São Paulo, Brazil. And Max and Sebastián Fiumara will be at Moebius Liceo in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 5pm to 10pm.

Finally, if you live across the pond in London, head to Gosh! Comics between 2pm and 3pm where artists Laurence Campbell, Duncan Fegredo, and Mick McMahon will be in attendance for signings.

And these aren’t the only comic shops who’ll be participating in Hellboy Day. Many others around the world have signed up for promotional Hellboy Day packages. So swing by your local comic book store on Hellboy Day and join in on the fun! I’ll be heading to my own store, Comics Etc, in Brisbane, Australia. If you’re a local, maybe I’ll see you there.


//TAGS | 20 Years of Hellboy | Hell Notes | Mignolaversity

Mark Tweedale

Mark writes Haunted Trails, The Harrow County Observer, The Damned Speakeasy, and a bunch of stuff for Mignolaversity. An animator and an eternal Tintin fan, he spends his free time reading comics, listening to film scores, watching far too many video essays, and consuming the finest dark chocolates. You can find him on Twitter @MarkTweedale.

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