Hot Best Seller

Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins

Availability: Ready to download

Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. Drawing upon other media—including children’s books, sculpture, pulp fiction, cinema, graphic design, painting, and illuminated manuscripts—Bukatman reveals the mechanics of creating a world on the page. He also demonstrates the pleasurable and multiple complexities of the reader’s experience, invoking the riotous colors of comics that elude rationality and control and delving into shared fictional universes and occult detection, the horror genre and the evocation of the sublime, and the place of abstraction in Mignola’s art. Monsters populate the world of Hellboy comics, but Bukatman argues that comics are themselves little monsters, unruly sites of sensory and cognitive pleasures that exist, happily, on the margins. The book is not only a treat for Hellboy fans, but it will entice anyone interested in the medium of comics and the art of reading.


Compare

Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy's world is a highly aestheticized encounter with comics and their materiality. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. Drawing upon other media—including children’s books, sculpture, pulp fiction, cinema, graphic design, painting, and illuminated manuscripts—Bukatman reveals the mechanics of creating a world on the page. He also demonstrates the pleasurable and multiple complexities of the reader’s experience, invoking the riotous colors of comics that elude rationality and control and delving into shared fictional universes and occult detection, the horror genre and the evocation of the sublime, and the place of abstraction in Mignola’s art. Monsters populate the world of Hellboy comics, but Bukatman argues that comics are themselves little monsters, unruly sites of sensory and cognitive pleasures that exist, happily, on the margins. The book is not only a treat for Hellboy fans, but it will entice anyone interested in the medium of comics and the art of reading.

30 review for Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charles Hatfield

    A masterpiece of loving attention and lively interaction with the works under study. More than that: a constellation of ideas that bear on comics in general, art and culture at large, and the very act (or as Bukatman says, the adventure) of reading itself. Coherent scholarly and critical books that engage with a single, cohesive body of work are fairly rare in comics studies. Rarer still--the proverbial hen's teeth--are those that engage a single body of work while rewriting one's understanding o A masterpiece of loving attention and lively interaction with the works under study. More than that: a constellation of ideas that bear on comics in general, art and culture at large, and the very act (or as Bukatman says, the adventure) of reading itself. Coherent scholarly and critical books that engage with a single, cohesive body of work are fairly rare in comics studies. Rarer still--the proverbial hen's teeth--are those that engage a single body of work while rewriting one's understanding of comics in toto. This is as good as any example I've encountered. Better, in fact.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Orrin Grey

    I'll admit that I ordered this book partly out of curiosity but mostly because I'm something of a Mignola obsessive. (I've also got the comparatively low-budget Right Hand of Doom: A Critical Study of Michael [sic] Mignola's Hellboy edited by Benjamin Szumskyj.) When it arrived, I was surprised to find that, before I even read a word of it, Scott Bukatman's book looked amazing. As seems appropriate for a volume so concerned with the notion of book-as-object, Hellboy's World is a gorgeous and perf I'll admit that I ordered this book partly out of curiosity but mostly because I'm something of a Mignola obsessive. (I've also got the comparatively low-budget Right Hand of Doom: A Critical Study of Michael [sic] Mignola's Hellboy edited by Benjamin Szumskyj.) When it arrived, I was surprised to find that, before I even read a word of it, Scott Bukatman's book looked amazing. As seems appropriate for a volume so concerned with the notion of book-as-object, Hellboy's World is a gorgeous and perfectly-sized piece, with text spaced for easy reading and lots and lots and lots of lovingly-rendered color plates of both Mignola's artwork and the work of his collaborators, his inspirations, and other artists and illustrators. So the book looks great, but how was it? Also pretty great, I've gotta say. I don't read a lot of academic writing these days, and some of the stuff in Bukatman's book was... if not over my head then at least outside my bailiwick, but for the most part this is an informative, approachable, and enthusiastic exploration of the narrative and aesthetic world that Mike Mignola's work creates, both within the context of the stories themselves and, perhaps even moreso, as an actual, material object. The book is written to appeal to both Hellboy fanatics like myself and more broadly to those interested in comics theory or academic writing related to comics, film, and books. (Much is made of the connection between comics and the illustrated literature of children's books, which is central to Bukatman's premise that Hellboy creates a heightened "adventure of reading.") This broader focus occasionally means that some elements are elided or given short shrift, but for the most part, this is as engaging as one could hope for from a book exploring the work of one of my favorite creators. I read it in just a few days, and recommend it highly to any other Mignola fans who aren't completely put off by words like "diegetics."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ross McLean

    Books about other books usually fall into one of two categories: You have your pretty coffee table books featuring glossy photos artfully paired with tiny blurbs which seemingly go out of their way to say nothing and you have your blocky collections of solid text printed on stacks of toilet paper artfully bound between used manila envelopes. This book blows the doors off what I thought was even possible and is both insightful AND pretty to look at! Bukatman has a lot smart things to say about co Books about other books usually fall into one of two categories: You have your pretty coffee table books featuring glossy photos artfully paired with tiny blurbs which seemingly go out of their way to say nothing and you have your blocky collections of solid text printed on stacks of toilet paper artfully bound between used manila envelopes. This book blows the doors off what I thought was even possible and is both insightful AND pretty to look at! Bukatman has a lot smart things to say about comics and he somehow convinced The University of California Press to let him use high quality colour images to illustrate his points. What a concept! I don't usually bother adding works of literary criticism to my Goodreads account, but made an exception because this book actually felt like a real book. I recommend it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Citron

    At times a little dense, but there’s a lot in here that articulated some of the things that are really special about Hellboy comics - there are chapters discussing the literary context of occult fiction, the use of color, the use of stillness, the world-building as a collection of books in dialogue with themselves as well as HP Lovecraft and others. A book written with love.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steen Ledet

    Great study of Hellboy, sumptuously written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J

    A wonderful academic (yet very readable) exploration of one of comics' greatest characters. I have more to say but not currently the time to say it. A wonderful academic (yet very readable) exploration of one of comics' greatest characters. I have more to say but not currently the time to say it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    George Bieber

    This book was given to me and I’m happy for it. I mostly enjoyed the discussion on comic composition and page layout. I’ll need to read more Hellboy comics.

  8. 5 out of 5

    AJ Schlecht

    yay for academics being interesting WHILE writing on topics I love!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jared Pechacek

    A really great look at what makes Hellboy a unique and worthwhile comic (aside from "it looks cool"). I docked it a star because it dips into needlessly academic language a bit too much, and because it ends right as it's getting into some interesting talk about monsters, so it feels unfinished—how can you discuss Hellboy without spending a lot of time on the creatures inhabiting it? Still, recommended, though not as wholeheartedly as I'd like. A really great look at what makes Hellboy a unique and worthwhile comic (aside from "it looks cool"). I docked it a star because it dips into needlessly academic language a bit too much, and because it ends right as it's getting into some interesting talk about monsters, so it feels unfinished—how can you discuss Hellboy without spending a lot of time on the creatures inhabiting it? Still, recommended, though not as wholeheartedly as I'd like.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    An interesting treatment of a classic comic character. Filled with lots of cartoon clips that add to the appreciation of the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    This is easily one of the best books I've read all year. It's great for fans of Hellboy specifically, comics generally, aesthetics, art, and philosophy. This is easily one of the best books I've read all year. It's great for fans of Hellboy specifically, comics generally, aesthetics, art, and philosophy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Niklas Bersenkowitsch

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Dugan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  16. 5 out of 5

    John

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassiel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

  20. 4 out of 5

    despina

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tree Yager

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jared Kahanek

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emmet

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emmet Smith

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet DiDonato

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rybot

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  29. 5 out of 5

    Guillem de Valles Ibáñez

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben Berman Ghan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...