Thursday, December 10, 2009


I do not buy DVD’s for their bonus contents, usually. Final Fantasy was close to being a exception to that rule, and Hellboy is pretty close to a DVD set I would say is worth getting for the bonus materials alone*, part of what I liked about them is (small wonder there) the slideshow with advance poster art and different design ideas. It’s something I personally would hope to see become a standard feature like, dunno, putting the original trailer on the DVD. I mean nobody want’s to see a slideshow of movie stills (which isn’t bonus content, it’s just the laziest excuse for having non), but trailers, lobby cards or poster artwork are a part of the movie going experience and therefore they have a place (or should have a place) on every DVD. So much for my rant of the day, on to some artwork for the Hellboy movies:

Let’s start off with these B&W posters for Hellboy II. I don’t recall having seen the version on the left used, which is a pity, while they are bound to put anybody that isn’t familiar with the figure on the wrong track I simply love them. I like that old time spy action feel. I do believe I saw the version on the right at least as online advance; didn’t like them then, don’t like them now, even though they give a fairer sense of the movie’s steampunk scenario, especially the here shown Nemoesque Dr. Krauss.

Advance for the first (left) and the second (right), both following a similar theme, the pairing of our hero from the burning pits with holy symbolism.
Despite the vastly overused imagery I like the first one, but it’s the second one that really works.
First associations: The Godfather, naturally, but it also showcases a darker aspect of the idea behind Hellboy. The comics/movies are set in a universe modelled after H. P. Lovecraft, and there you're either evil or victim, the pictures beautifully reflect Hellboys position between these opposing forces.

A further promotional advance for HB II, playing Toro, doesn’t he look just a tad like Legend’s Darkness in that pose?
And an alternative take on the movie poster, I don’t think it got actually used but I like the playfulness of the approach (they did use the pose for a more dynamic looking version, though).

Two more alt posters for HB II, a new take on the group shot used for the first, I’m partial to the second of them, it reminds me ever so slightly of a cross between the newer Dracula’s gothic style and The Crow.

There’s a lot of different takes of HB in typical hero poses, I love these two for the first and second movie, for one I’m a fan of the wild west movie iconography for other the first reminds me of Dust Devil. The over the top comic design of the second one perfectly captures the mood of the movies.

Not much to say about these two, they are just striking beautiful drawings.
Typical advance art, this is not something you put on a final movie poster, put the kind I could see hanging on my wall.

The final poster version for HB II, typical hero pose, but something feels off in that take, it's to passive a stance; they seem to have wanted to go for a feeling of danger for our heroes, but the way the lower part cuts-off makes it hard realize that they are supposed to be surrounded here. The alternative take found on the DVD, works way better in my opinion, it's a active image with a dynamic to it the other dearly misses.

Btw, what is it with white haired, pale guys anyway?

*In case you wonder: Alien 20th Anniversary Edition, is still my personal reference for a all-round perfect DVD edition.


  1. what dvd set is this from!?

  2. The pictures are taken from the 3-Disk version of "Hellboy" and the 2-Disk version for "Hellboy 2" respectively.