Of the many, many comic book heroes created in the comics boom of the 1990s (and having been part of that whole crazy scene, I can tell you there were tons of them), few have survived as sturdily or been as successful across a broad array of media as Mike Mignola's Hellboy.
He's appeared in comics from Dark Horse, novels, short story collections, toys, statues, other assorted merchandise, and of course a feature film, with a sequel due in a couple more years.
Tomorrow night, Cartoon Network will show an animated Hellboy movie, Hellboy: Sword of Storms. Very appropriate for Halloween weekend, and I hope you'll check it out at 9:30 ET/PT.
In all the years that Mike Mignola and I toiled in the same general trenches, we somehow managed not to ever meet, despite the fact that we share many mutual friends. That changed last year at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Mike was signing at the Hi-De-Ho Comics booth, and seeing him there, I introduced myself. We chatted a while, exchanged cards, and I kept going on my way.
Early the next morning, at our Mysterious Galaxy partner Terry's house, I took his card out of my wallet and looked at the address. The street name looked familiar. I thought about where I was, in an L.A. area beach community. Same street. I stepped outside of Terry's house.
And the house across the street, one house over...was Mike's.
Sometimes it's a very small world indeed.
So watch Hellboy: Storm of Swords. Because it'll be cool, and because it's the neighborly thing to do.