Hellboy: The Troll Witch and Others (Dark Horse)
Those lamenting the scaling back of Mike Mignola’s terrifically idiosyncratic illustrations (presumably so he can focus on comic scriptwriting, film development and other business affairs) will find a degree of solace in this seventh collection of Hellboy’s supernatural adventures. The book collects seven stories, mostly illustrated by Mignola, reprinted from various anthologies such as The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and . . . of Witchcraft, as well as ‘The Vampire of Prague’, written by Mignola and illustrated by P Craig Russell especially for this edition.
Of the gloriously macabre tales included herein there’s at least one absolute gem, ‘The Ghoul’, which, as the author’s preface tells us, is the oddest Hellboy story he’s put together. Inspired by one of the more morbid passages in Hamlet, this tale concerns the nocturnal activities of a graveyard cannibal and the dialogue is comprised almost entirely of quotes from poems. Ration these solo Mignola strips; it may be a while before we see a new one.