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BOOK
Hellboy
Odder Jobs

Authors: Various
Titan Books
RRP 10.99

ISBN 0 84576 019 0
Available 25 March 2005


In 1994, Mike Mignola created one of the most unique and visually arresting comics series to ever see print:
Hellboy. Tens of thousands have followed the exploits of "the world's greatest paranormal investigator" in comics form and novels. In 2004 writer/director Guillermo del Toro made Hellboy the number one film in the country, reaching millions more fans. Now see Mignola's creation as seen through the eyes of some of today's best writers in film and literature...

Odder Jobs is the follow up to 2003's Odd Jobs. So are these the rejects that were not deemed worthy enough to contribute to the first collection? Possibly.

My main problem with collections like this are that the whole idea just seems lazy. Can you imagine other franchises doing a similar thing? Maybe get a group of writers to come up with short stories based around the Star Wars or Star Trek franchises... actually that's not a bad idea because their universes are so vast and most people know enough about both franchises to add their own tale. But Hellboy? I'd be interested to learn how many of the contributors were actually Hellboy fans in the first place, and how many had to take a crash course in order to fit their writing to this universe.

Thank goodness there is a rundown of all the contributors at the back of the book - because quite frankly I had no idea who most of them were. In fact, after reading their mini-biographies I am still a little unsure who some of them are.

The collection opens with a rather poor offering from Frank Darabont - well written but so dull you'll fall asleep. David J. Schow's Water Music will appease fans of Abe Sapien. Other entertaining additions include James L. Cambias's The Vampire Brief, Sharyn McCrumb's The Wish Hounds and James A. Moore's Of Blood, Of Clay.

Any die-hard Hellboy fan will probably feel the need to add this to their collection. But, to anyone else this will be very average.

Nick Smithson

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