Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Red walks into a swamp...
I'm waiting for someone to realize that comic book books don't work and comic book movies only work well once in a blue moon. I think I'm probably going to be waiting for quite a while.
Emerald Hell is by no means bad (though I did get pretty irked by the repetition of the words "emerald hell" throughout the book) but it's totally superfluous. It's got the exact same structure as every other HB book I've read but, because those books were comic books, it doesn't look anywhere near as cool.
The vocabulary is fitting for a book written for a comic-reading audience, the characters do everything that you expect them to, and there's a lot of really shitty dialogue. This is a middling novel but it would make a pretty awesome comic so I'm just a little confused as to why we have a novel of this story instead of a comic.
I know art is hard. I know doing pages is hard. I know that it takes a TON of effort to make a comic book and that effort rests heavily on the shoulders of an artist who might not be up to it - but it takes a ton of effort to write a novel too and so I sort of feel like this was a wasted effort. It's got everything that makes HB awesome - all of Hellboy's personality and quirks, weird witches in the woods, a spooky formerly-human bad guy - except for the kickass visuals and the kickass visuals are why I read Hellboy comics instead of watching Inspector Gadget. Without the image of Red coming in and breaking things and looking grim and stomping on skulls a Hellboy story and an Inspector Gadget cartoon are the same thing - shaking the mystery tree until clues fall out. Sure Piccirilli tells us that HB is kicking ass but it's not the same thing as seeing him kick ass, which is the entire point of reading comics.
Piccirilli, Tom. Emerald Hell. Dark Horse Books. New York: New York. 2008.