I love Guillermo Del Toro for his great, big, unabashed imagination.  I also love him for his great, big, unabashed other things, but let’s stick to his imagination for now.

As you know by now, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is headed your way this July 11th, 2008.  We’ve covered the film very heavily on the site (or, rather, Devin’s covered it heavily – and brilliantly), so any questions you might have regarding the plot or the characters should be answered somewhere in the related articles below.  This second installment in the series concerns a war between humankind and the army of the invisible realm, a conflict only Hellboy can quell.  Of course, Hellboy doesn’t quell quietly, so you can expect lots of car flipping, building crumbling, dimension shattering mayhem. 

And while you’re waiting, how about a look at some conceptual art with comments from Guillermo and visual designer Francisco Ruiz Velasco?  Didn’t think you’d object.  Enjoy!

Glasses Prototype

Francisco:  This was designed by Pablito Angeles based on Guillermo’s sketches.  It’s a device that makes it possible to look through magical spells and reveal hidden things of the fairy world.

Guillermo:  Fairies use a “glamour” effect to hide themselves so the optical device removes that effect and shows the “true” nature of things.  For the geeks, this is a riff on several classic pulp fantasy stories that use similar devices.

Limb Vendor

Francisco:  This is also based on Wayne Barlow’s design.  I was asked to remove all the skin parts and replace them with more costumes. (I love that big hand on his back.)

Giant Doorway

Francisco:  This drawing was done by Wayne Barlowe, although I’m sure Mike Mignola had a big part in this design.  The general idea is that this stone giant has been lying in the ground for hundreds of years and the erosion has badly damage it.  In his belly is a doorway to the magical realm.

Guillermo:  I wanted the doorway to be special and I felt this was a chance to do a Harryhausen-esque moment.  So I asked Mike to sketch a broken stone giant and then tweaked his face to be a bit more like the Angkor Wat ruins.  Originally the doorway was through a twisted tree but that was too close to Pan’s Labyrinth

See how these figure into the action of Hellboy II: The Golden Army on July 11th, 2008.  And be sure to visit the official site in the meantime.