Superhero Worship

The Arts

Edgar Wright says about “Hellboy 2” ‘I really liked. I’ve never read the comics, so I watch “Hellboy” as a Guillermo del Toro fan. He really creates his own universe, and it’s just beautiful. On a production design level it’s just absolutely staggering.’

Until I saw it again recently, I’d forgotten that it contained monsters from my book ‘Spanky’. What happened was this.

Guillermo del Toro bought the rights to ‘Spanky’ and because he was a storyboard artist, sketched out some brilliant creature designs for my demonic character. The designs were entirely original and created separately by him for the film version of the novel. We met a few times in London and he showed me the stunning drawings in his notebook. We discussed them and we were ready to go.

The film version was to be set in Pittsburg, the first half in winter, the second half in summer – Heaven (snow) and Hell (furnace heat) would balance the story. It was a wonderful idea, and would have worked beautifully.


As we were heading for pre-production, Guillermo was offered a fortune to direct ‘Hellboy 2’. He phoned me apologetically and said he was doing the sequel in place of my film. He explained he wanted to use his creature designs for ‘Spanky’, and as he had created them I agreed. It was odd seeing them in the movie, but it was decent of Guillermo to ask me, and I was glad they were used.

In my dreams he’d be perfect for my multi-monster mashup ‘Hell Train’, heading toward you soon…

4 comments on “Superhero Worship”

  1. Alan says:

    *Aaarghh* I’d rather have the ‘Spanky’ movie.

  2. J. Folgard says:

    I love that guy’s stuff -been hooked since I saw ‘the Devil’s Backbone’, and I’ve enjoyed everything from him since then, plus his earlier movies like ‘Cronos’ or even ‘Mimic’. He really seems to be a genuine class act, enthusiastic about his (many) projects, so I’d like to see a collaboration between you two.
    On a side note, would you feel like telling us which creatures were taken from the ‘Spanky’ development?

  3. admin says:

    The main one is the creature with eyes in its wings – that was to have been Spanky’s demonic form.

  4. J. Folgard says:

    Thanks! I’ll keep this in mind next time I pop out the DVD.

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