cover image Mike Mignola: The Quarantine Sketchbook

Mike Mignola: The Quarantine Sketchbook

Mike Mignola. Dark Horse, $39.99 (232p) ISBN 978-1-5067-2427-0

Throughout his 2020 Covid-year quarantine, Mignola (the Hellboy series) posted hundreds of figure sketches in his trademark shadowed, spooky style on social media. This treasure-trove gathers them together, with sales to benefit the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. Monsters, cryptoids, B-movie brutes, skeletons, aliens, dinosaurs, bats, and lots and lots of “skull guys” populate full-page reproductions of Mignola’s superb pencil work. His distinctive slope-shouldered, deep-eyed figures read as unearthly and macabre versions of familiar characters like Thundercats and He-Man, Kermit the Frog, and Hanna-Barbera cartoons: the Fred Flintstone family is appropriately Neanderthal, right down to the “it’s a living” mini-mammoth vacuum cleaner. Though these are a series of portraits, every sketch is energetic: faces grimace, werewolves drip blood, and monstrosities such as creepily transformed cereal and advertising mascots like Count Chocula radiate menace. Of course, there are plenty of appearances of Hellboy and his wide supporting cast. Absolutely a must-have for Mignola’s fans, this compilation’s also a fine reference work for aspiring cartoonists in his vein. (Mar.)