The adventures of Hellboy and his friends in the pages of Dark Horses comics have always examined the spooky underpinnings of the occult. But this week’s issue of Abe Sapien takes a whole new look at Western occultism, through the gorgeously macabre art of Santiago Caruso—and io9 has an exclusive look!

A warning: some of the art below might be a little NSFW for work time browsing.

Abe Sapien #30, out tomorrow, is a standalone story that delves into the history of the mysterious man named Gutav Strobl, a regular supporting character in the series who is fascinated by Abe. The issue dives into the dark arts to fulfill his desire of standing alongside the Devil as his right hand man when the apocalypse comes (an Apocalypse that Abe obviously wants to stop).

But Abe Sapien #30 is also one of the first comics to be drawn by Argentinian artist Santiago Caruso, who gives Strobl’s backstory a dark, mystifying look that’s both exceedingly creepy and seemingly pulled from the pages of some ancient tome. Mike Mignola, Hellboy creator and co-writer on Abe Sapien with Scott Allie, is full of praise for Caruso’s art in a quoted provided to io9:

I’ve been fascinated by Santiago Caruso’s work since I first laid eyes on it. It never fails to be beautiful (even the very disturbing pieces) and wildly inventive, so dense with symbolism that often his pieces feel like a puzzle we will never be able to solve. I was overjoyed when he wanted to work with us and can think of no artist better suited to illustrate the history of one of our strangest and most complicated characters.

But without further ado, here’s an exclusive look at Caruso’s work on Abe Sapien #30:




Abe Sapien #30 hits comic book store shelves tomorrow, January 13th.