Well now. We’ve highlighted Hellboy before and figured to do some more after pulling gems out of a box that we haven’t seen in a while. We already showed you the first officially published Hellboy art from the Great Salt Lake Comic-Con program (1991). Hellboy shows up next on the cover of an Italian comic book fanzine called Dime Press (issue #4, published in 1993). There’s no Hellboy story inside and he isn’t quite what he will become but he’s a lot closer.
Hellboy’s first full appearance in his finished design was published as a short story. In the early 1990’s, Dark Horse Comics published exclusive giveaway comics sampling various short stories and art. The comics were distributed at the San Diego Comic-Con and because production runs were very limited, these comics are apparently quite prized today. The showcased characters and stories were popular or coming into popularity at the time so there’s some neat stuff. Star Wars, Sin City (we’ll post a short story of Miller’s creation in a later post), Madman, Grendel … lots of good ‘uns.
The Hellboy story was a black and white 4 page deal-e-o, scripted by John Byrne and plotted and illustrated by creator Mike Mignola. It’s since been collected into the Hellboy: Seed of Destruction trade paperback. The following crappy scans are from the San Diego comic.