The Laughter of the Melungeon Witches in Mike Mignola’s Hellboy: The Crooked Man
The Melungeons are a group of miscegenated people shrouded in mystery and mythology. Represented by Mike Mignola in his 2008 comic book mini-series Hellboy: The Crooked Man, they have been described by Wayne Winkler as a group comprised of a complicated and contested constellation of races and ethnicities, including whites, African Americans, and local indigenous tribes. This chapter examines how Mignola demystifies Appalachian witchcraft lore in Hellboy through the subversions of Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of a “laughing truth” that leads to generic parody laughter with respect to visual narratives or graphic novels. It looks at claims that Mignola was guilty of racial stereotyping or egregious misrepresentation of a historical Melungeon people, and argues that Hellboy actually undermines and refutes these stereotypes by situating them in a complex narrative of history, myth, and memory as well as giving a voice to a people who have long been neglected in official histories.
University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.