Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire


  • Hardcover
  • 285 pages
  • Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire
  • Mike Mignola
  • English
  • 08 December 2018
  • 0553804715

10 thoughts on “Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

  1. Rory Rory says:

    I picked this up when I received an email from Barnes Noble recommending that I pre order it since I had purchased Hellboy books in the past At first I had thought it a novel for which Mignola was providing illustrations, but returning to the email repeatedly in the following weeks, I found it featured 150 illustrations by Mignola, and promptly ordered it Only when it arrived did I discover that it is in fact co written by Golden and Mignola, with 150 illustrations of varying sizes from 2 I picked this up when I received an email from Barnes Noble recommending that I pre order it since I had purchased Hellboy books in the past At first I had thought it a novel for which Mignola was providing illustrations, but returning to the email repeatedly in the following weeks, I found it featured 150 illustrations by Mignola, and promptly ordered it Only when it arrived did I discover that it is in fact co written by Golden and Mignola, with 150 illustrations of varying sizes from 2 by 2 to full page.A plot summary can give you the general idea of it, and can be found on most sites I mostly wanted to talk of my experience of reading the book I know not what Golden contributed to the writing because he and Mignola s storytelling appears to have meshed seamlessly Mignola s nigh obsessive mental catalog of old folklore from around the world plays out much like it does in any issue of Hellboy you can find on the shelf of your local comic shop, but it is refreshing in this new form It is a gothic epic to which one must draw inevitable ties to Bram Stoker s Dracula and strangely to Moby Dick as well The rich imagery paints vivid scenes to play in your mind, which I found took one of two forms theobvious, being accompanied by Mignola s illustrations, is to mentally image everything as another of his comic books, but the text is also easily imagined as a film version, especially after Guillermo Del Toro s successful adaptation of Hellboy Imagining the savage form of Lord Balti as envisioned by Del Toro was a small giddy moment for me while reading a particularly action filled scene.One must take into account my unbridled love for everything that Mignola creates, as well as my long held interest in Gothic literature, when I say that, having only finished this mere moments ago, it is one of my favorite books of all time


  2. Stephen Robert Collins Stephen Robert Collins says:

    I bought H B copy of this great book when came out but unlucky I lost it Finally got new copy I read it in 2007 so now 13ys later it gets it s second read.I finally got around to giving this it s 2nd read in June 2020 on lock down I cannot remember anything about it but after reading it 13ys ago with an average of about 100 books each year that s over 1300 who remembers everything it s not like Moby Dick, or Perfume but it was interesting horror with unwell illustrations as well as a WWI vam I bought H B copy of this great book when came out but unlucky I lost it Finally got new copy I read it in 2007 so now 13ys later it gets it s second read.I finally got around to giving this it s 2nd read in June 2020 on lock down I cannot remember anything about it but after reading it 13ys ago with an average of about 100 books each year that s over 1300 who remembers everything it s not like Moby Dick, or Perfume but it was interesting horror with unwell illustrations as well as a WWI vampire creepy gothic Dracula style story.From the pens of Hellboy and Buffy the Vampire an odd crossing of writers Mignola who is like Allan Moore in his graphic novels or Gaiman books and Golden who did lot of really bloody good Buffy and early Angle books.Odd thing is that this book is also about a plague that has hit the land


  3. Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) says:

    Balti, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire uses the story within a story narrative very successfully Three of Lord Balti s close acquaintances, Doctor Rose, Demetrius Aischros, and Childress all meet at a pub, awaiting Balti They each tell their story about how they came to meet Balti and when they became aware of the unnatural evil that exists in the world around them Interspersed is the narrative about how Henry, Lord Balti, came to be the formidable vampire hu Balti, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire uses the story within a story narrative very successfully Three of Lord Balti s close acquaintances, Doctor Rose, Demetrius Aischros, and Childress all meet at a pub, awaiting Balti They each tell their story about how they came to meet Balti and when they became aware of the unnatural evil that exists in the world around them Interspersed is the narrative about how Henry, Lord Balti, came to be the formidable vampire hunter who is nearly as frightening as the creatures he hunts.As a huge fan of Victorian horror and ghost stories, I enjoyed the narrative device, which reminded me of MR James s ghost stories and William Hope Hodgson s Carnacki tales Except this is a lot darker in content Balti is a hero who lives in the dark, on the edge of despair, with everything he loved having been destroyed by the same vampires he hunts He is definitely a tragic figure, seething with anger and rage Yet, he s still sympathetic, which is a feeling underlined by the fact that three of the narrators are men who are still loyal to him, despite having seen him at his worst For all his rough edges, he is definitely needed in this world in which the Red King continues to afflict his deadly plague on humanity, and his minions go from town to town, spreading destruction.The stories that each of the men told were creepy and disturbing, a melange of weirdness and horror, with a vintage feel They have an air of dark nightmares, in which you question the reality However, you know that it happened, because that is why these men are meeting together They are survivors of those nightmares, and in different ways beholden or loyal to Balti Each character is distinctive, their narrative fitting their personality and worldview As the name indicates, the story pays homage to the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Steadfast Tin Soldier Balti saw himself as that soldier A man who had a loving family and a loving wife when he left home to fight in the Great War, but lost everything He is that soldier moved around a battlefield by an indifferent creator, who feels nothing for his suffering Like the soldier, his beloved is forever denied to him, but still he fights This allusion is achingly poignant and beautiful, a needed element in this story of unrelenting darkness and despair That is not to say that good does not conquer, but the cost is extremely high for those who fight on the side of the light.Balti, in the end, was a good book Mignola illustrates it with his woodcut engraving styled, black and white drawings They add somewhat to the narrative, but they are so stylized, it s not the same as a graphic novel, in which the illustrations help to tell the story However, they bring to mind the woodcuts you might see in a Fairy Tale collection, such as Andrew Lang s fairy books I could see that as a deliberate choice on Mignola s part One of the other things I really appreciate about this collaboration is that you cannot tell which author is writing which part It s a seamless finished product, demonstrating much appreciated creative harmony between Mignola and Golden Once again, I m glad I was able to get this from my library, since these kinds of books are too pricy for my budget It s definitely worth reading, especially for fans of the above authors and those who enjoy classic horror literature and fairy tales Although it s dark reading, it was imaginative and involving I d recommend it


  4. Eric Eric says:

    Good lord, said Doctor Rose, the sardonic mask slipping a moment I d no idea his family had met such an awful end But what of the monk Did you ever discover what became of him Aischros nodded, not looking at them He died just as he had foreseen The mariner s eyes were unfocused He felt as if he were looking through them, beyond the walls of the inn The recollection of his time on Trevelyan Island lingered with him, and he knew that, having told the tale, it would be some time before Good lord, said Doctor Rose, the sardonic mask slipping a moment I d no idea his family had met such an awful end But what of the monk Did you ever discover what became of him Aischros nodded, not looking at them He died just as he had foreseen The mariner s eyes were unfocused He felt as if he were looking through them, beyond the walls of the inn The recollection of his time on Trevelyan Island lingered with him, and he knew that, having told the tale, it would be some time before he could distance himself from it again I never knew how it all happened, Childress said Only that Henry s family had died, and Elowen had been murdered At his speaking of Lady Balti s name, Aischros flinched and looked up A soft smile of remembrance touched his lips Elowen had been a kind of epiphany to any who met her.Doctor Rose opened his cigarette case and offered him one Aischros shook his head and the doctor held out the case to Childress The man hesitated before accepting But when the doctor struck a match and went to light the cigarette, Childress flinched away from the flame He frowned deeply, then reached out to take the match.Mister Childress had no love of fire that much was clear He rubbed his palm across the burn scar on his neck and frowned How well did you know them Aischros asked him.Childress let his smile bloom All my life Trevelayn was my home My heart is filled with memories of a time when it was like paradise But I was gone a very long time, and the last time I returned there, I saw what it had become I try not to think about that I want to remember it as it was in my youth and Henry and Elowen that way as well It seems you also have something to share with us, Doctor Rose said.Childress nodded, his humor fading, the way Aischros supposed it must in this gray, dull place I wonder, the man said Was this what Henry had in mind, having us all meet like this that we, who each know only a part of him, would share these tales Doctor Rose frowned and looked toward the door of the inn Aischros and Childress did the same It did not open Of Balti, there was no sign.The gloom had deepened Evening would arrive soon The serving girl had begun to light oil lamps and the innkeeper was trying to light a fire in the hearth A heavy iron chandelier hung from the ceiling, boasting dozens of small light bulbs, but no one even attempted to turn it on Somehow Aischros felt sure that the electricity did not work at the inn If he had to wager, he d bet that it had simply ceased functioning at some point, and no one had bothered to have it fixed Or perhaps it had never worked at all Such a modern thing as electricity would have seemed out of place in this decrepit purgatory The ghosts would not have allowed it Is he dead, do you think Doctor Rose asked Did he send us those notes to gather us here so that we would eulogize him Aischros grunted softly and shook his head He s been dead for years Since that night But he can t rest Don t you see He promised You speak in metaphor, though, Doctor Rose replied, almost worriedly You don t mean he s truly dead What is that Truly dead His blood pumps he breathes and walks and eats Does that make a man alive Neither Childress nor the doctor had an answer to that Your story, Mister Childress Doctor Rose asked In time, he replied, turning to focus on the mariner First, however, I feel certain there s another story that Demetrius must tell Aischros grimaced, the weight of dread still upon him What do you mean Come now, my friend, Childress said, lifting his glass of ale in a kind of toast You believed that monk s every word It was plain in your face and your choice of words You shared a bond with Henry that he obviously felt quite strongly And you believed Doctor Rose s incredible account He s told us of the experience that allowed him to accept Henry s story What gave you such faith in impossible things Aischros lowered his gaze a moment, then looked up I have tried to forget Childress took a sip of ale and grimaced He set down the glass It s a day for remembering things best forgotten The mariner ran a hand over the stubble of his chin, his fingers tracing several of the myriad thin scars on his face All right, he said, looking at Doctor Rose and then back at Childress Once And then never again The mariner let go of the arms of his chair and sat forward, staring at them It could not have happened, but it did I know that it did 4 1 2 stars


  5. R. R. says:

    When I saw this today, Iwell, I licked my chops Hmmmm An interesting take on the ManBearPig legend, doctor Hmmmm An interesting take on Sesame Street, sailor.Hmmmm An interesting take on whatever the fuck that was, soldier Hmmmm Has it really been twelve years since From Dusk til Dawn was at a theater near you Because it s still fresh in my mind and, ah, fresh in the mind of the authors people held captive fighting for their lives in the lair of the vampires until, suddenly, th When I saw this today, Iwell, I licked my chops Hmmmm An interesting take on the ManBearPig legend, doctor Hmmmm An interesting take on Sesame Street, sailor.Hmmmm An interesting take on whatever the fuck that was, soldier Hmmmm Has it really been twelve years since From Dusk til Dawn was at a theater near you Because it s still fresh in my mind and, ah, fresh in the mind of the authors people held captive fighting for their lives in the lair of the vampires until, suddenly, the cavalry arrives.I doff major hats to the authors though, for actually getting me to shudder the sailor s tale You can t beat puppets coming to life for true horror And, well, when it s a town full of puppetsBut, in the end, the campaign of Lord Balti was less interesting than the stories each man told in turn.Though, I must ask you now that we re seated here in the gloom and it is very, very lateI must ask you how do you know Lord Balti, and why do you yourself believe that true evil stalks this world I see it in your face you ve seen things Share Share Anybody want to start a Waiting for Balti group


  6. All Things Urban Fantasy All Things Urban Fantasy says:

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyThis gorgeous illustrated novel is one of the scarier things I have read A framed collection of short stories, the tale is told by three strangers around the table of an inn BALTIMORE is about war, plague, human weakness and vampires.These vampires are original and disgusting The translation that the horrors of the Great War awoke literal monsters is very effective Both authors are veteran fantasy and horror writers They create a slew of amazing mo Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyThis gorgeous illustrated novel is one of the scarier things I have read A framed collection of short stories, the tale is told by three strangers around the table of an inn BALTIMORE is about war, plague, human weakness and vampires.These vampires are original and disgusting The translation that the horrors of the Great War awoke literal monsters is very effective Both authors are veteran fantasy and horror writers They create a slew of amazing monsters, eachterrifying than the last, sometimes simply by being benign in initial appearance.If you re not a fan of short stories, you may find the format a bit repetitive Each man tells two stories why he believes in magic and monsters, and how he met Balti The frame around these stories is expanded at the end, when Balti actually shows up and takes the men hunting.Mike Migonla s dark, silhouetted illustrations hint at the horror without showing it, which is perfect You re hearing stories of monsters without truly seeing them The shadowy, imperfect images perfectly represent the faulty nature of memory and imagination.A perfect blend of Gothic imagery and twisted history, BALTIMORE, OR, THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE is a beautiful book to treat yourself or any horror, fantasy or graphic novel fans in your entourage


  7. The Flooze The Flooze says:

    Vampires Forgotten gods Cannons shook them in their resting places Spilled blood awakened them The ravages and chaos of war brought them forth But they were sleepwalking creatures, content to exist as scavengers feeding on the flesh and blood of the dead and the dying Until Balti.Humanity itself is to blame for the ills that come to call, but Balti alone gave the malevolent force its purpose and drive And so for Lord Balti the true battle begins.________As much as this is Balt Vampires Forgotten gods Cannons shook them in their resting places Spilled blood awakened them The ravages and chaos of war brought them forth But they were sleepwalking creatures, content to exist as scavengers feeding on the flesh and blood of the dead and the dying Until Balti.Humanity itself is to blame for the ills that come to call, but Balti alone gave the malevolent force its purpose and drive And so for Lord Balti the true battle begins.________As much as this is Balti s tale, it s also the story of three men of disparate backgrounds, summoned to a grey and joyless city The battlefield surgeon, the grizzled mariner, and the wealthy soldier trade stories as they await Balti s arrival The group s insight into our hero is intriguing, but evencompelling are the abominations each man has witnessed As Childress points out, the men are together not just to wait for their friend, but to discuss evil Their stories are chilling and grotesque with the horrific qualities disturbingly and perfectly punctuated by Mignola s illustrations Bearing a striking similarity to woodcuts, the drawings are heavy and dark against the stark white page, adding additional weight to the story Golden s descriptions are jaw dropping the blackness of the battlefield, illuminated only by the flash of firepower the vampires abominable creatures who are black of body and red of eye, their muzzles stained with the blood of the fallen the grey pallor of the infected, and the flat, lifeless black of their sunken eyes the Red King cloaked in crimson, with grey wraiths at his beckon call Add to these the demons and monsters of Rose, Childress and Aischros experiences, and you ll find yourself shivering and grimacing at the vivid imagery These stories are the stuff of nightmares, and I enjoyed every nuance


  8. Michael Michael says:

    I ve always wanted to be able to sit in a book lined study sipping brandy, or in an out of the way tavern with a group of grizzled old men swapping stories of the supernatural that occurred earlier in our lives I may be well on my way towards being old and grizzled, but the only scary stories I have involve high school and the single evening I spent bussing tables at a Ponderosa in Ellisville, MO For now, I ll just have to be content reading books like Balti The highlight for me was the s I ve always wanted to be able to sit in a book lined study sipping brandy, or in an out of the way tavern with a group of grizzled old men swapping stories of the supernatural that occurred earlier in our lives I may be well on my way towards being old and grizzled, but the only scary stories I have involve high school and the single evening I spent bussing tables at a Ponderosa in Ellisville, MO For now, I ll just have to be content reading books like Balti The highlight for me was the story involving something that lives at the bottom of a lake that was ten kinds of creepy stacked on ten other kinds of creepy I was in creepy heaven


  9. Wart Hill Wart Hill says:

    Dnf Kinda boring.


  10. Travis Travis says:

    This was a very beautifully crafted book I found out about this book through Wizard magazine and with Mike Mignola, from Hell Boy, writing with Christopher Golden I was intrigued to read this novel.Balti blends the gritty reality, of what I presumed, is World War I horror with fantasy elements of a world beyond our world masterfully You completely feel that the evils the characters talk about in this tale could of happened in this dark era of our history Taking inspiration and themes from This was a very beautifully crafted book I found out about this book through Wizard magazine and with Mike Mignola, from Hell Boy, writing with Christopher Golden I was intrigued to read this novel.Balti blends the gritty reality, of what I presumed, is World War I horror with fantasy elements of a world beyond our world masterfully You completely feel that the evils the characters talk about in this tale could of happened in this dark era of our history Taking inspiration and themes from Hans Christian Andersen s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Balti is as much of an homage and re imagining of the classic fable as much as it is an original and thought provoking fantasy tale I really enjoyed reading this book from the writing to the illustration from Mignola I feel this book has yet to give me all of its secrets so it will be a joy to pick up an read again years from now


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Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire From celebrated comic artist Mike Mignola and award winning novelist Christopher Golden comes a work of gothic storytelling like no other Reminiscent of the illustrated tales of old, here is a lyrical, atmospheric novel of the paranormal and a chilling allegory for the nature of warWhy do dead men rise up to torment the living Captain Henry Balti asks the malevolent winged creature The vampire shakes its head It was you called us All of you, with your war The roar of your cannons shook us from our quiet graves You killers You berserkers You will never be rid of us now When Lord Henry Balti awakens the wrath of a vampire on the hellish battlefields of World War I, the world is forever changed For a virulent plague has been unleashed a plague that even death cannot endNow the lone soldier in an eternal struggle against darkness, Balti summons three old friends to a lonely inn men whose travels and fantastical experiences incline them to fully believe in the evil that is devouring the soul of mankindAs the men await their old friend, they share their tales of terror and misadventure, and contemplate what part they will play in Balti s timeless battle Before the night is through, they will learn what is required to banish the plague and the creature who named Balti his nemesis once and for all


About the Author: Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age he doesn t remember why and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began working for Marvel Comics, first as a very terrible inker and then as an artist on comics like Rocket Raccoon, Alpha Flight and The Hulk By the late 80s he had begun to develop his signature style thin lines, clunky shapes and lots of black and moved onto higher profile commercial projects like Cosmic Odyssey 1988 and Gotham by Gaslight 1989 for DC Comics, and the not so commercial Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser 1990 for Marvel In 1992, he drew the comic book adaptation of the film Bram Stoker s Dracula for Topps Comics.In 1993, Mike moved to Dark Horse comics and created Hellboy, a half demon occult detective who may or may not be the Beast of the Apocalypse While the first story line Seed of Destruction, 1994 was co written by John Byrne, Mike has continued writing the series himself There are, at this moment, 13 Hellboy graphic novel collections withon the way , several spin off titles B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien and Witchfinder , three anthologies of prose stories, several novels, two animated films and two live action films staring Ron Perlman Hellboy has earned numerous comic industry awards and is published in a great many countries.Mike also created the award winning comic book The Amazing Screw on Head and has co written two novels Balti, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire and Joe Golem and the Drowning City with best selling author Christopher Golden.Mike worked very briefly with Francis Ford Coppola on his film Bram Stoker s Dracula 1992 , was a production designer on the Disney film Atlantis The Lost Empire 2001 and was visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on Blade II 2002 , Hellboy 2004 and Hellboy II The Golden Army 2008 He lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter, a lot of books and a cat.