Doodles in the margin from an artist living and working in the Scottish Borders.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Let The Train Take the Strain

The only way I'll ever get to draw a Hellboy strip is to just draw one, so I have. It's like the joke, "My Grandfather whistled the national anthem for Queen Victoria. She wasn't there, but nonetheless that's who he was whistling it for."

I've always been interested in the old blues legend of the singer going to the crossroads to make a bargain with the devil, exchanging his soul for musical talent. Likewise I've always had the notion in the back of my mind of illustrating folk songs or blues songs; one of my favourites is the diabolic, close-shave-with-damnation vision of 'Down Bound Train', particularly the riotous version by Steve James but written by Chuck Berry, of all people.

The idea of a bluesman going to the crossroads and meeting an unexpected sort of devil seeded the whole thing and it crystalised into this story. Besides, steam engines and hell and so on seemed to fit nicely with Mike Mignola's vision.

I'll do a post sometime about just why Mike Mignola's artwork is so good (lots of black, for one thing - proper black black)but for now here's my pale imitation.

With a tincture of Bo Diddley for flavour.

The fonts are Letter-O-Matic, and Duvall Outline for the title.

Legal, please-don't-sue-me disclaimers: 'Down Bound Train' lyrics copyright Chuck Berry. Extracts from 'Who Do You Love' copyright E. McDaniel. Hellboy character copyright Dark Horse Comics and Mike Mignola, and I dare say I've infringed rampantly all over you. Sorry.

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