15 Things You Never Knew About the “Hellboy” Movies

Tom Baker and CBR.com present 15 Things You Never Knew About the Hellboy Movies.  Here are three of my favorites…

10. THE SET DESIGN IS FULL OF EASTER EGGS
Never one to let a good prop to go to waste, del Toro opted to populate the B.P.R.D.’s hall of antiquities with nods to his previous films, including an encore for the creepy jar babies from “The Devil’s Backbone.” Mike Mignola’s art, meanwhile, is so evocative that it was hard not to try and get in some of his designs into the film’s set decoration, including an original illustration for the gag in-universe “Hellboy” comic seen in the first film.

Perhaps most enticing of all for fans of the “Hellboy” comics is a fleeting appearance by Roger the Homunculus, a major member of the B.P.R.D. team in the source material. Complete with large ring around his groin, Roger appears as a hulking gray statue on a plinth in a hallway. This is seen when John Hurt’s Professor Broom is showing new recruit Agent Myers around the B.P.R.D. headquarters in the first film. In the same scene, the “Iron Shoes” from the short comic story of the same name can also be glimpsed in a display case.

8. RON PERLMAN WAS DEL TORO AND MIGNOLA’S FIRST CHOICE

Revolution Studios were thinking big when they first got the ball rolling on a “Hellboy” film. Preceding the coming comic book movie boom, and perhaps working from the template of Sony’s “Spider-Man” success, they wanted big name stars to headline their somewhat more offbeat superhero story. Some of the Hollywood stars being bandied about during early discussions about who should play Hellboy himself included Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and, of course, Nicolas Cage.

What would have likely been a very different, perhaps more manic version of “Hellboy” was avoided when Guillermo del Toro came aboard the project. A fan of the comics from way back, he worked closely with creator Mike Mignola to make sure his big screen version of Hellboy was authentic and respectful to the source material. As such, he discussed the lead actor with Mignola personally. They agreed to a meeting where both would say their first choice for the part in unison. To their surprise and relief, both of them said Ron Perlman.

6. HELLBOY VERY NEARLY HAD A LEFT HAND OF DOOM

The Right Hand of Doom is one of the core, unshakable icons of the “Hellboy” mythology. Both a Biblical reference and an excuse to put a cover of that one Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song on the first film’s soundtrack, that huge stone first Hellboy wields is important in-universe (as an impossible-to-escape sign of his destructive destiny) and metatextually (it provided the title for a short story collection of the same name). And yet, all of that very nearly changed.

When the idea of a “Hellboy” movie first began to pick up steam, one of the major mooted changes from the source material was to swap sides and make it the Left Hand of Doom. After all, it’s somewhat impractical to expect an actor to perform whilst retaining zero use of their dominant hand. All the early costume design and concept art for the “Hellboy” film depict the character with the Red Left hand, until the casting of Ron Perlman proved particularly fortuitous: not only did he have the requisite frame and gravelly voice, he was also a southpaw!

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 39: Kane, Byrne, Barr, Black and More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 39, Ken took a look at Collector 28 from 1973.   Edited and published by Bill G. Wilson.

Collector 28 is a nice find.  I’d never seen it before reading Ken’s column.  Chock full of the stuff that fanzines were known for this issue features:

  • A color Ken Barr cover
  • Art by Don Rosa, Alan Hanley, Bill Black, a Don Newton portfolio, John Byrne, Gil Kane and more.
  • Articles on Star Trek and The Shadow and more.

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

The First Hellboy Sketches Ever by Mike Mignola!

Most Hellboy fans are familiar with the drawing above.  It’s the first pass Mike Mignola made at what became Hellboy, one of comic’s most iconic characters.  Much rarer is another early riff on Hellboy by Mignola.

You can see larger versions of both sketches, get the story behind them and how a random sketch stuck with Mike Mignola and ultimately morphed into the Hellboy character we all know and love at CBR.com.

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 38: Toth, Byrne, Newton and More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 38, Ken took a look at Charlton Bullseye 4 and 5 from 1976.   Edited and published by Robert Layton.

Once fanzines started to gain notice, the comics companies decided to put out their own fan mags.  Marvel had FOOM.  DC had the Amazing World of DC Comics.  And Charlton had the Charlton Bullseye.

These two issues have an amazing talent line-up…

4: Cover by Joe Staton, Peacemaker pinup by Walt Simonson, an E-Man story by Nicola Cuti & Joe Staton, a Frank Thorne E-Man pinup, a John Byrne comic story and more.

5: The Question cover and a story written and drawn by Alex Toth, a pinup by Mike Nasser, an interview and art by Don Newton, a comic story written and drawn by John Byrne, a pinup by Neal Adams and more.

Whew!  More than worth the price of admission.

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

Steranko’s Used and Unused Covers to Captain America #113

Most comic fans will quickly recognize Steranko’s classic cover to Captain America #113.  Have you ever seen the much rarer unused version (again by Steranko) shown below?

I like both but think that the used cover is the better of the two for getting someone to buy the issue.

You can see much lager versions of both over at The Bristol Board.

 

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 35: Frazetta, Wrightson, Steranko and More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 35, Ken took a look at Infinity 2 from 1970.   Edited and published by Adam Malin and Gary Berman.

Until Ken’s post, I had never seen or even heard of Infinity 2.  My loss because this fanzine is jam-packed with great stuff.  Infinity 2 starts with a Frank Brunner cover (with more interior Brunner art), has art and an interview by Berni Wrightson (interestingly enough the interview was conducted by Doug Murray who went on to write the Nam series for Marvel after serving in Nam himself), art and an interview with Frank Frazetta, a Steranko Black Panther sketch, a Virgil Finley portfolio, sketches by Dave Berg, Jeff Jones and more.  What a find!

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 32: Adams, Kaluta, Wrightson, DeZuniga, Buckler, and Much More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 32, Ken took a look at Phase [Part 1 of 3 is linked] from 1971.   Published by Phase Publications/Sal Q.

Until Ken’s post, I had never seen or even heard of Phase.  It’s an interesting argument that Phase isn’t really a fanzine, it’s a prozine.  Look at the names of those who contributed to Phase – Neal Adams, Mike Kaluta, Berni Wrightson, Tony DeZuniga, Rich Buckler, Ken Barr, Frank Brunner, Jeff Jones, Gerry Conway, Ernie Colon, Tom Sutton and more!  Keep in mind that in most cases we’re not talking just spot illos but full stories!

I’d say that although the contributors are pros, they’re also fans.  Don’t we have better nits to pick?

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

Savage Sword of Conan Art by Zeck, Broderick, Potts & Adams and More!

I remember when I first saw this Mike Zeck frontpiece for Savage Sword of Conan.  It made me want my own Zeck Conan art and so Conan was the first sketch I ever got from Mr. Z.

One of the things I’ve al love about the ole Savage Sword of Conan magazines were the different artists who appeared there.  Diversions of the Groovy Kind posted the Mike Zeck piece above along with Conan riffs by Ron Wilson and Joe Rubinstein, Carl Potts and Neal Adams, Keith Pollard, Don Newton, Pat Broderick and Kerry Gammil.

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 26: Adams, Jones, Nino, Anderson, Cirocco and More!

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 26, Ken took a look at Venture 5 from 1976.  Edited and published by Horizon Zero Graphiques/Frank Cirocco.

I owned this issue!  I remember being impressed by the Neal Adams cover and interior art by Jeff Jones, Alex Nino, Brent Anderson, Carl Potts, Frank Cirocco, Gary Winnick, Steve Leialoha, Steve Oliff, and Tom Orzechowski.  What a gathering of talent.

In Ken’s Ink Stains 26he talks about his friendship with Brent Anderson and reprints the first piece that Ken ever had published — the Bruce Lee piece inked by Anderson below! [This did not appear in Venture 5.]

Ah, the memories of the glory days of fanzines.  Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

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