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Swipe File: Indigo Imp

2011 October 10

We’re currently enjoying a spell of perfect autumn weather, here in Lakewood, and the other night I decided to take advantage by dropping in at the Winking Lizard for dinner on their big porch. As per usual, I tried out a couple of new (to me at least) beers. One of these was Indigo Imp‘s Blonde Bombshell.

This American blonde ale, apparently the product of a relatively new local brewery, was just about everything you could ask of a craft beer. It was much more than just “old wine in a new bottle,” although it does arrive in a very cool bottle of which more in just a moment. Blonde Bombshell has the most delightful tart-ness, which blends perfectly with the beer rather than turning it into fruit punch or something. I highly recommend it.

The bottle was also a novel source of interest, however, for a couple of reasons. One, it appeared to have the remains of some kind of wax seal; per the brewery’s web site this must have been “the imp bottle,” “the one bottle in every six pack dipped in wax.” Cute.

The brewery logo featured on the bottle was also cute, as well as rather familiar in terms of both content and style.

Indigo Imp logo

Cool, but strangely familiar...

A toothsome demon-creature with dot eyes, rendered with little squiggle scales and large areas of solid black, hm… I’ve seen this kind of thing somewhere else…

Demon creature by Mike Mignola

One example of many

Naturally, upon examining the Indigo Imp label, I immediately thought of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. The similarity to his work is unmistakable, although the Indigo Imp is apparently the work of an outfit called gumbo, inc. There’s no way I would believe the resemblance to be coincidence, so I suppose we’ll call this an “homage.”

I should note a couple of things, as caveats to this identification. One, as on the Bleeding Cool web site, the term “swipe file” is not used to suggest plagiarism, but is simply an industry custom. Everyone borrows. Two, interestingly, this is not the first time that other artists have carefully reverse-engineered Mike Mignola’s graphic style for a commercial work of their own.

All that said, I do think it would be an appropriate gesture to send Mike a sampling of Indigo Imp’s products at least, just to acknowledge the inspiration taken from his work.

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