Book Review – Hellboy: Odder Jobs edited by Christopher Golden

Hellboy Odder Jobs

My second book for Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 is Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the 2004 sequel to the first Hellboy anthology Odd Jobs, once again edited by Christopher Golden. This book collects 16 stories by a variety of authors including one by Frank Darabont and another co-written by Guillermo del Toro. Each story is accompanied by an illustration by Mike Mignola. My history with Hellboy anthologies has been a little out of chronology; when I first started checking them out I read Odd Jobs (1999) and An Assortment of Horrors (2017) within months of each other, the latter being the most recent release. I was excited to finally continue the “odd jobs” trilogy (as I’m dubbing it) properly, hopeful that my positive experience with the two books I’d previously read would continue.Read More »

Book Review – Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, edited by Christopher Golden

Summary

Sixteen of the biggest names in weird literature come together to pay tribute to Hellboy and the characters of Mike Mignola’s award-winning line of books! Assembled by Joe Golem and Baltimore co-writer Christopher Golden and featuring illustrations by Mike Mignola and Chris Priestley, the anthology boasts sixteen original stories by the best in horror, fantasy, and science fiction, including Seanan McGuire (October Daye series), Chelsea Cain (Heartsick), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger series), and more! The new writer of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., iZombie co-creator Chris Roberson, pitches in as well, and Chris Priestley (Tales of Terror) provides a story and an illustration!

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrors

Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, released on August 29, 2017, is the latest anthology of Hellboy short stories, once again edited by Christopher Golden. It’s funny the way things have turned out, with me having jumped to reading the newest one after having just gone through the first one back in August. When I read Odd Jobs the experience came as a great surprise. I picked it up as a novelty, wanting to see how a change in medium would feel for the character and the world, not expecting how much I’d love it. This precise experience is not something that could happen a second time. I’d been curious of how well a new collection would fare, considering it is now the fourth one produced and long after the first.Read More »

Book Review – Hellboy: Odd Jobs edited by Christopher Golden

Summary

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 in the novel, Hellboy: The Lost Army, written by Christopher Golden. Now, fans of the comic can enjoy the world of Hellboy as seen through the eyes of some of today’s best writers.

HellboyOddJobs

Hellboy: Odd Jobs is a 1999 anthology of Hellboy short stories edited by Christopher Golden. It gathers noted horror writers of the time to tell their own stories about the character, including a story by the duo of Golden and creator Mike Mignola, as well as a special cartoon by Gahan Wilson. The book presented a new opportunity for me: I haven’t ever read a book of prose adapting a comic book character before. Novel and comic book spin-off of movies and TV series are quite common, but novels and short stories supplementing comic book series doesn’t seem nearly as prominent. It felt a little risky. Hellboy is strongly defined by Mignola’s iconic art style. With that absent, save for a single illustration at the start of each story, I wondered how well these authors could capture the spirit of the character.Read More »

Book Review – Thirteen Degrees: 13 Scary Stories and Tales of Horror by Brenden Dean

Summary from Goodreads

Welcome the dreadful cold of terror with 13 original stories by Brenden Dean. Bring a blanket, huddle around the fire, and try to keep warm as you encounter psychotic abductors, deadly spirits and demons of the woods.

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Thirteen Degrees is one of the two horror anthologies I purchased months ago to get myself reading more of the genre. The book collects thirteen short horror stories by Brenden Dean, some as short as a few pages, others a fair bit longer. I won’t be going into anything too specific plot-wise, especially considering the book as a whole is a rather quick read.Read More »

Book Review – Suspended in Dusk, edited by Simon Dewar

Summary from Goodreads:

DUSK. A time between times. A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special. A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple. Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places. Secrets and dreams are kept… forever. Or was it all just a trick of the light? Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction.

DuskCover

While I love horror as a genre in film and gaming, I’ve only had minimal experience with its literature. To help remedy this, I decided to not only pick up some horror fiction, but go out of my way to find something more obscure. I dug up a business card I picked up at Fan Expo last year from Books of the Dead, a horror publisher, which led me to this anthology. Since each story is rather short, I will not be summarizing any of them in a specific way.

What I will say is the book is unified by a dusk motif: in some way or another each story incorporates this time of day as an idea, figuratively and/or literally, such as a peculiar event occurring during this time. Dusk is rarely a crucial aspect of each story, more of a narrative aesthetic that connects them all together.Read More »