To a crowed house, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola held court at Comic Con this morning. Joining him were editor extraordinaire Scott Allie, renowned artist Cameron Stewart, and newly crowned king of BPRD art, Tyler Crook.
Before they opened it to question and answer, Mignola had a few points he wanted to make. There are no plans for a Hellboy 3 movie. The crowd was clearly disappointed.
“It’s wonderful to see BPRD spread out and away,” said Mignola. “[It was] way to find artists we like to give them a little corner of the universe to play.” Allie chimed in, “We didn’t say we needed more books. It was just letting the story grow, or finding an artist we like.”
The floor was then opened to Q&A.
Q. Will we see Hellboy on Earth with BPRD?
A. Mignola-“Hellboy on Earth, that’s a good title. Haven’t gotten there yet. We’re doing some young Hellboy with BPRD in past. Hellboy in Hell is a regular book. First four issues are monthly. Then one shots. Done in one. Sometimes two and three parters.”
Q. Plans for working with Duncan Fegredo again?
A. Mignola-“Duncan has the script for a Hellboy GN on his desk. It’ll happen sooner or later. We’re not pressing him. He’s earned his rest. He has some film work, I think”
Q. The Corpse is one of my favourite stories. Did you know how heavily it would influnce future events.
A. Mignola-“Not a clue! But it worked. It was the third Hellboy story I did. But it was the first one that worked. It was like I sobered up after I finished. It was like nothing I’d seen in mainstream comics. I liked it, other people liked it. It was great. It was like the heart of the Hellboy stuff. It’s very appropriate that that little pig guy was big later on. Never thought the baby [in the story] would be Hellboy’s love interest later! That’s one for the shrink!
Allie-“And Mike and to nake this work in two page increments! For a catalog that no longer exists.”
Mignola-“It was a fun format for me to be forced into.”
Q. Do you find you have the liberty to tell stories you always meant to tell with Hellboy jumping around in time?
A. Mignola-“The only place I run into problems is it’s really hard to tell world shattering events set in the past. ‘Did Galactus turn up in the 50s?’ You’d think people would still be talking about that. And I write things in that we never see. Like Arthur Conan Doyle and the Giant Rat of Sumatra. You’ve got it in the back pocket. And someday I have to do the one Hellboy Lovecraftian story, set in France.”
Cameron Stewart-“And it’s fun to paint yourself into a corner sometimes. Find your way out of it.”
Allie-“And sometimes Mike will put a piece down in Hellboy in Hell and it’ll get picked up in BPRD, but we don’t know what will come out first sometimes.”
Mignola-“We want to make sure all the puzzle pieces fit. Like the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra. And since my wife takes care of the real world, I get to make this shit up all day long.”
Q. Where did Edward Grey come from?
A. Mignola-“He was created to fill the Victorian occult/detective stories that I like so much. Because everything I like needs a counterpart in Hellboy.”
Q. Joe Golem [Mignola’s latest novel with Christopher Golden] in comics?
A. Mignola-“Not right now. Please buy the book. I hear it’s not doing so well. (laughs) Not really. We only have so many slots. We could, but it would take a BPRD or Hellboy slot.”
Allie-“We start doing so many books, Mike has no say in what’s going on. We don’t want it watered down. We’re doing them because we’re in to each story. We don’t want it spread thin.”
Mignola-“Most of the [BPRD] books that say [John] Acurdi and Mignola, it’s usually 99% John. Sometimes 80, but…We want to let some of the artists write a little. Scott, and Cameron. If our goal was to expand all over the place, we could find writers. We don’t want that.”
Allie-“With [BPRD] Exorcism, Mike adjusted the supernatural stuff.”
Mignola-“I only know what was wrong.”
Stewart-“And it was on the first pass.”
Mignola-“[laughs] Not terribly wrong”
Q. Will we see a second volume of The Hellboy Companion?
A. Mignola-“That book was a bitch. To a large extent it was done so we could figure it all out.”
Allie-“The worst thing we did is the timeline.”
Mignola-“I think it was a best thing!”
Allie-“But we found out we could tell BPRD 1946.”
Mignola-“Big empty holes that we could fill with the timeline.”
Q. Any plans for more folktales? Or Amazing Screw-on Head?
A. Mignola-No Screw-on Head. At least in comics. I’m happy with it as it is. For the folklore, that is Hellboy in Hell. And without reference for specific things either. I’m much freeier to adapt things in hell.”
Q. Any surprises to you in character development.
A. Mignola-“I should write some of this stuff down before I drew it! I can’t write that ‘Ha Ha, missed me’, Spider-Man dialog. Writing vague prophesy helps. I can figure it out later.”
Q. After BPRD 1948 is done, anything more?
A. Mignola-“No firm plans. We’ve talked about doing Hellboy with BPDR. I’d love to do stuff with Hellboy right before he became an offical agent. The weirdest thing drawing wise is he’s a little kid and then an adult. I have a bunch of ideas for Broom doing WW2.Stuff that led up to meeting Hellboy.”
Q. Lobster Johnson?
A. Allie-“A series of one shots and two part sories. It’s mostly Acurdi writing. We’ve got a number of artists lined up. Sebastion Fiamarra, Max’s brother. And Kevin Nowlan is doing one. He and Acudi are old friends.”
Q. Cameron what’s on your drawing board?
A. Stewart-“My online comic. And then I’ll be be doing more BPRD!”
Q. And Tyler?
A. Tyler Crook-“BPRD. I did a fill in on Sixth Gun.”
Q. Anything more with Edward Grey or things set before that?
A. Mignola-“More Grey if we can find the right artist. There’s so much there. I’d love to tell the Jack the Ripper debacle. Pre Grey? Probably not. Though we did introduce a wrinkle. We got a slice of pre-colonial America. And Vampires invading America. Set after Boston Tea Party.
Allie-“We’ve got to do another big thing with John Severn. We’re talking a western.”
Mignola-“I’d love to do Grey in Asia. Russia. All these characters want their own books. Part of Scott’s job is reigning us in. And I’m not going to tell you the Jack the Ripper story now!”
Q. More Hellboy in Mexico?
A. Mignola-“I plotted it once and forgot, but i think I remember it. I’d never seen The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. And while I was watching it, I was reknitting it as a Hellboy in Mexico story. I think [Richard] Corben is done in Mexico. We may do more Hellboy together, but probably not in Mexico.”
Q. How about an animated BPRD? And how is the digital work going?
A. Allie-“If you can read a digital tablet, it think it’s great. More accurate that the printed version in some way.
Mignola-“I had a conversation about 2 page spreads. It’s a problem, but I like it. As long as I get a book. I’m a book guy. With the animated? No talk.”
Stewart-“Digital no longer needs to be 22 pages a month. It changes what we can do.”
A. Mignola-“If it’s film? None. On the comic stuff? I will let toy guys be toy guys. Getting guys to work in my style is a pain in the ass. If I start nitpicking, it goes on forever. Hard for me to be objective.”
Q. What do you get influenced by recently.
A. Mignola-“I dunno. Different stuff. A lot of silent movies and paintings. The old symbolists and impressionists. Hopper, Van Gogh. Shapes, not character. I love that kind of stuff!”
And with that, Mignola wrapped up and thanked the crowd, sending us on our merry way!