The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

NYCC 2008: Spotlight on Mike Mignola

Written by: Ron Bricker

“Mike Mignola’s fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn’t remember why) and reading Dracula at age 12 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered. After several years of solid work for DC and Marvel, Mike joined several other comic book creators (John Byrne, Frank Miller, Geof Darrow, etc.) to form the Legend imprint at Dark Horse Comics and there he created Hellboy, a tough and leathery occult detective who may or may not be the beast of the apocalypse. There are now 6 Hellboy graphic novels (with more on the way), several spin off titles (Hellboy: Weird Tales, Hellboy Junior, BPRD), 2 anthologies of prose stories, several novels, 2 animated films and now two live action films starring Ron Perlman. Get out your horn grinders, strap yourself in, and welcome the creator of HELLBOY!” – NYCC Program Guide

The panel doors opened up after the conclusion of a previous panel and the adoring fans came pouring in.  People were actually scrambling over themselves in order to catch a glimpse of the man that spawned Hellboy.  CC2K’s coverage will include some brief insights and tidbits of that which followed and, God willing, a full transcript of the event to be added later… if my mic works.

Mike immediately turned the discussion into a Q&A.

Mike relates his love of all that is horror and myth and folklore all back to the first time he read Dracula as a child.  He also tells of his favorite childhood comic, Thor, which also frames his love for the mythic.  “It’s just so weird,” he said.

One fan actually asked if Mike considers all of the Hellboy incarnations to be considered universal.  Mike looks at the worlds to be separate, movie and game world, novel world with some comic influence, but mostly they’re separate.

One fan also asked if Mike would ever do some long stories; something like 6 issues or better.  Mike Mignola said that he has a graphic novel coming out soon, but he doesn’t really ever want to do any long stories.

Mike actually started out as in inker, but one of the editors at Marvel took a note on his terrible inking abilities and told him it was time to draw.  After about 6 or 8 years, Mike final settled into illustrating.

Another fan asked if Mike would ever try to take a break from the epics and focus on a small story about normal people… after a joke (see transcript…maybe) Mike said that he would never really consider taking a break from epics and monsters.

Oh, and the Hellboy Companion is done.  It also includes Mike’s reading list; stuff that he’s been collecting and stuff that he has used as inspirational material.  Unless a mistake has been noticed by the editors, it should be printing soon.

Some fucker actually asked if Mike Mignola was a Skrull…

Mike also commented on the difficulties of writing.  He labeled it as exceptionally hard; but he tries to always approach it as an artist.

Mike was also given the chance to talk about movies that may have influenced him.  Beneath the Planet of the Apes “lit [him] on fire.”  He also mentioned The Bride of Frankenstein.

A third animated film was written with Lobster Johnson, it looked great and everything was awesome… but they pulled the plug.  After that, there have been no talks about Hellboy animation.

A 4 issue series, Crooked Man, is coming out soon… Hellboy will roam around in the mountains and deal with some backwoods magic.

When asked about crossovers, Mike said that he doesn’t really want to do anymore.  He just doesn’t have the time to do things that aren’t his.

The panel closed rather abruptly due to time, it ended with “I think that’s it.”