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Hellboy: The Art Of The Movie
Guillermo del Toro and Mike Mignola
Titan softcover £16.99

review by Christopher Geary

This book contains is the final shooting script by Guillermo del Toro (based on the comic series created by Mike Mignola), lavishly illustrated by Mignola, Wayne Barlowe, TyRuben Ellingson, Simeon Wilkins (a newcomer, enjoying his break into the movie industry as a storyboard artist), and many others. What's immediately evident is how much difference and embellishment the director brought to Mignola's comicbook milieu, sharpening aspects of the principal characters. It's not simply that del Toro invested the comicbook material with powerful cinematic trimmings, but that both imagery and ideas were meticulously reworked, often quite radically, for the screen adaptation.

Particularly fascinating is the sequence of images that show the progressive 'evolution' of monster Sammael, from early 'winged' concepts through various tentacled Lovecraftian versions to the final nightmare creature on view, repeatedly, in the film's action horror scenes. The creativity that went into the development of Kroenen's removable mechanical hand and various masks is also wholly impressive, and the one-page thumbnail biographies (in standard comicstrip format) of the main characters, are probably unique for this kind of book. Highly intriguing for the fans of Hellboy film trivia is artwork for sequences dropped from the final script before shooting began.

As usual with this type of 'making-of' souvenir publication, there's a welter of pencil sketches and detailed studies, set designs, copious storyboards, hi-tech gadget illustrations, makeup test shots, production paintings, Photoshop effects' illustrations, behind-the-scenes pictures, and film stills, plus a 'fake' comicbook cover (as seen in the film), and some relevant frames taken from volumes of Mignola's comics which del Toro successfully mirrored in the film.
Hellboy: The Art of the Movie

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