Friday, April 2, 2010

A Long-Overdue Apology to Duncan Fegredo

On June 9, 2008, I found out that Mike Mignola hadn't been the artist behind the recently-released Hellboy trade paperback, Darkness Calls. I wrote an angry post about it.

Then I read Darkness Calls, and it was very good. It focused on Russian folktales, featuring Koschei the Deathless, Vasilisa, and the Baba Yaga. I still would have preferred it if Mignola had done the art, and there were some panels that I couldn't help but think that Mignola would have done better, but I really liked Fegredo's style. It stuck close enough to Mignola's to feel like a Hellboy story without trying to copy what Mike Mignola had done before.

I should have retracted my knee-jerk statement then, but I didn't. I've been meaning to ever since.

Then, recently, we got The Wild Hunt, and it blew me away.

Fegredo returned to do the art, and he was even better than before. Mike Mignola's story continues to be excellent, of course, and the two go together perfectly. The Wild Hunt uses the folktales of the British Isles in the same way Darkness Calls had used Russian folktales. I do not consider the Fegredo-drawn comics in any way inferior to the ones Mignola did, and I seriously hope that Fegredo continues to be the artist for the "main" Hellboy storyline, once the "side" stories in Hellboy: the Crooked Man are over (as much as I like Fegredo, I cannot get into Richard Corben, who illustrated the Makoma sequence in Strange Places and a bunch of stories in the upcoming Crooked Man TPB.)

So, not to keep going on and on about it, I'd like to apologize to Duncan Fegredo and take back the things I said almost two years ago. Mr. Fegredo, you can draw my Hellboy anytime.

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