Hellboy_Strange_PlacesYou just never know where Hodgson will show up!

I was reading HELLBOY: STRANGE PLACES as part of my 365 Day Graphic Novel Challenge (where I read a graphic novel a day for a year and write about it here: http://365graphicnovelchallenge.wordpress.com/ which you all know about because you follow that blog regularly, right?) when I came upon an unexpected dedication:

“For Hans Christian Anderson,

King of Mermaids,

and William Hope Hodgson,

Master of the Sargasso Sea.”


Now it is obvious to any fan of Hellboy and his creator, Mike Mignola, that there is a very strong Lovecraftian influence throughout Mignola’s work.  This was the first that I had seen of an indication that Mignola was also a fan of Hodgson though.

The book is a collection of two stories (“The Third Wish” and “The Island”).  Both of these had appeared as separate comic book mini-series.  “The Third Wish” is where the Hans Christian Anderson comes into play and it is “The Island” that was inspired by Hodgson.

Mignola says the following in his introduction to “The Island”:

“This was a rough one.

“My original idea was a story inspired by the Sargasso Sea stories of William Hope Hodgson (1877-1917) and his novel, The Boats of the Glen Carrig–a graveyard of ships and a strange island overrun with weird fungus and monsters.”

hellboy_drinking_with_skeletonsUnfortunately, the story proved to be more trouble than Mignola had anticipated.  Despite two separate attempts, he still couldn’t get the story he wanted so it morphed into “The Island” which begins rather Hodgson like with Hellboy coming ashore in a cove of wrecked ships but actually delves more into the original of Hellboy’s world and the terrifying Ogdru Jahad.

Some of Mignola’s pencilled pages are included in the back of the book and they are enough to make us hope that one day Mignola, and Hellboy, will return to the Sargasso Sea and finally tell us that ‘impossible’ tale.




Filed under William Hope Hodgson

3 responses to “HELLBOY AND HODGSON?

  1. I talked at some length–though far from exhaustively–about Hodgson’s (specifically fungal) influences in Hellboy on the FUNGI website a while ago, though it’s already become outdated with new info. But to see a more Hodgson-ish story than “The Island” from Mignola, try the first volume of this Baltimore comic series.


  2. I think if Hodgson had not been cut down in his prime we would be talking about him today like people talk about Lovecraft or Machen. WWI took so many brilliant British lives. Great men and women seem to throw themselves into life so vigorously that they run the risk of being cut down early. I read a biography of Alexander Hamilton recently, granted a much different person than Hodgson, and it was the same thing: he threw himself into life so vigorously and courageously he was bound to be cut down early.

    • What makes Hodgson even more agonizing is that he had SEVERAL opportunities to leave the war. He was seriously injured during training exercises even before leaving England and could have stayed home after that. But he refused and rejoined the outfit. Then, over in France, he was injured yet AGAIN and could have taken a discharge. Also, do not forget that he was 40 years old at the time even though his rigorous training must have made him seem much younger. It was a tragic waste.

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