As you likely know, we’ve been sharing a ton of incredible, original art from some of our favorite creators for our 31 Days of Hellboy feature, but we’re not the only ones who appreciate great renditions of Mike Mignola’s creation. Writer Jai Nitz (of “Dream Thief” and “Toshiro” fame) has been collecting sketches of Hellboy since 1993 from some of the best and brightest of the world of comic art, and Nitz was kind enough to share his collection with us.
There are a LOT of pieces, so we’ll be splitting them into three parts. Today is part one, with part two coming tomorrow, and the final appearing on Hellboy Day. We hope you enjoy, and give Jai a shout on Twitter and Tumblr to say thanks to this kind gentleman.
Artists in alphabetical order, by last name, with anecdotes below about select pieces.
Note from Jai: Dragon Con 1996. First time Art was ever asked to do a Hellboy con sketch.
Note from Jai: Amazing piece. He wouldn’t do a con sketch, but instead took it home and mailed it to me later because he wanted it to be just right.
Note from Jai: I got this from Dan at a con in Chicago in 1997. Dan was the first person who ever heard my name and correctly identified its origins. We’ve been friends ever since. Dan did the cover of Dream Thief #4 for me.
Note from Jai: For my money, one of the best cartoonists in comics, and a great friend. Mike Mignola has seen my sketch collection several times. He always comments that this one is his favorite.
Note from Jai: Johnny has been a friend of mine for many years. He did me a quick con sketch that he never liked. He made me promise to never show that one and he’d do me a new one. He did a store signing at Elite Comics in KC that I helped put together for Planetary. He did this piece that day for me.
Note from Jai: This was my first con as an invited pro. Frank did this in the hotel bar. The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Note from Jai: His first Hellboy sketch. It predates BPRD by a few years.
Note from Jai: His first ever drawing of Hellboy. He signed it “Sorry, Mike!”
Note from Jai: Tom and I met because we both got stuck in Chicago after a con when my flight was canceled. We split a room that night and he did me this sketch. We’d go on to work together on Paper Museum.
Note from Jai: Dave’s first ever drawing of Hellboy.