“Hellboy v. 6: Strange Places” by Mike Mignola

I highly recommend the Hellboy graphic novel collections. They’re high quality, with author commentary, passionate introductions by famous fans, and generous extra stories and material. Hellboy: Strange Places, though, was darker and more murky than the previous volumes. Creator Mike Mignola writes that he was influenced by 9/11, and that there were several stops and starts to the main story. Certainly it’s much less humorous than the preceding books, but it still has its moments, like a pig-demon intent on revenge, and Hellboy’s commentary on the odd and scary creatures he has to deal with:

Hey, giant fish-lady! Let’s get this show on the road!

If you’re new to the Hellboy graphic novels, Strange Places is not a good place to start–for that I recommend the beginning, Seed of Destruction. But the art is stunning, and the hints about Hellboy’s past and future continue to tantalize.

FYI, if you have seen the movie(s), there are some differences from the books, which have no romance with Liz, and a smarter, more sympathetic and nuanced Hellboy. But the books and movies are each great on their own merits.

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