|A commision of Enigma & friends|
|Opening page of Face|
The thing that most struck me about the book, aside from being a great creepy, human horror story, was that the art and story seemed to come from the same place. The underlying humor that Milligan infused the script with is also felt in Fegredo's art. The same is true with what was, pre Hellboy, Fegredo's largest body of work Enigma. I struggle to think of anyone else who could have bought the screwed up tapestry of english silver age villains, their gay creator, lizards and white trash to life the way Fegredo did.
For me, the most notable thing about Fegredo's next series, Millenium Fever with Nick Abadzis, was the absence of the frenetic inking style of Face and Enigma. There's a lot more control in the inking; it all gets a lot more economical and the art benefits from it greatly. This would mark the direction for the rest of Fegredo's comic work.
It's very pretty art but the colours are a little lively and the story's mental!
While all the above were great (with the possible exception of the Reed Richards book), Fegredo found a home for his sensibilities with Hellboy.
|One of Bermejo's completed Hellboy pages|
Glen Murakami of the WB Superman and Batman cartoons suggested Fegredo for the job, which I have to say, I would have too!
Hellboy has forced a kind of restraint on Fegredo's style that makes it simmer in all the quiet moments. While almost everything in Fegredo's published career leading up to it has been overtly humorous and kinetic, his Hellboy run was full of quiet moments that made the punching and the leaping and the running all the more frantic. Dave Stewart used the same palette for colouring Fegredo's Hellboy as he had on Mignola but in a more lush, painted style so while it was consistent with what had gone before it was also fresh.
In all my years collecting comics everyone recognised how much talent Fegredo has but it's taken Hellboy to really put him on the map of the general comics readership. We understand there's more Hellboy to come from him and I can't wait.
Fegredo to seek out, in a vague, top of my head chronological order:
Kid Eternity (Vertigo)
Absolute Vertigo (Vertigo)
New Years Evil: Scarecrow (DC)
Weird War Tales 3 (Vertigo)
House Of Secrets 6 (Vertigo)
Batman Chronicles #9 (DC)
The Dreaming 26 (Vertigo)
Winter's Edge #1 (Vertigo)
Chasing Dogma (Oni Press)
Flinch #6 (Vertigo)
Spiderman Tangled Web 5-6 (Marvel)
Ultimate Adventures 1-6 (Marvel)
Tom Strong 29 - 30 (DC/ABC Comics)
Monsters on the Prowl (Marvel)
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: Darkness Calls (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: The Storm & The Fury (Dark Horse)
Also check out the twenty something brilliantly inventive covers on Shade the Changing Man from 42 onwards.
P.S.Vertigo have 48 pages of Face, 3 issues of Girl, a Weird War Tales 8 pager (War & Peas), a Weird Western Tales 8 pager sitting there desperate for a nice collection. Come on! Get on with it!
|Unfettered Shade cover|
|Wedding present from a friend|
|Return to Enigma|
|Love to Halo Jones|
|Love to Shigs Miyamoto|