Hey! Stinky! I'm Mike and I created HELLBOY twenty years ago while sketching for San Diego Comic Con. A sketch turned into comics which turned into movies. My publisher Dark Horse Comics has declared today #HellboyDay at comic stores galaxy wide, and I'm here at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood to talk & draw. Some of you may also know my work on Rocket Raccoon. I should mention the new hardcover Hellboy: The First 20 Years and the first HELLBOY chocolate you can eat by Sweet are now available.

Ill be here for a couple hours starting at 2pm PT and the folks at Meltdown are helping with this reddit thing. Watch a live stream if you care: http://justin.tv/meltdowncomics otherwise AMA on Hellboy's cake day!

edit: Thanks everyone!

Comments: 1131 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

xavier7740634 karma

What is your opinion of the movies?

MikeMignola889 karma

I'm very happy with them. It was a fantastic experience working on the movies, I'm happy all the fans were happy with the films even though they were different from the comics.

bonespear129 karma

On top of that what would you change about the movies? And are there more characters you would like to add to their universe?

MikeMignola352 karma

Lobster Johnson would be an excellent character to bring to the screen.

lioness413573 karma

HI DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MikeMignola548 karma



Will you ever revisit The Amazing Screw On Head? I loved the shit out of that.

MikeMignola1158 karma

No, I got it right the first time.

Humanstein494 karma

Do you and Guillermo Del Toro hang out and talk about things with too many legs? Please say yes.

MikeMignola589 karma


HuliJing275 karma

Hi Mike,

The short strip "Pancakes" has to be one of the most theologically profound moments I've seen in a mainstream comic. It hints of the last bit of The Brothers Karamozov with a dash of Chesterton thrown in. What was the inspiration for that?

Edit for the link.

MikeMignola319 karma

Trying to get my daughter to eat anything other than noodles is the start of that. She inspires many stories.

TIGit267 karma

You are my hero. I love the way you use light and shadow in your works! I've done master's studies paintings on your style, all those delicious sharp angles, deep shadows and limited color palettes! How did you come into this as an art style? It's so very different and dynamic from everything else I've' seen in classical and comic art.

And if I may ask another question, can I ask how you came upon the idea of Hellboy and the Hellboy Universe? There is so much mythos and layers of plot, was it built up over time, or just one moment of insight?

MikeMignola405 karma

How did I find my style? Thirty years of trial and error.

darkphenox197 karma

As a veteran of the Industry for so long, what is the biggest change behind the scenes in comics that you have noticed?

MikeMignola287 karma

It's completely different than twenty years ago. I'm very happy to have my own little corner of the industry to hide in.

BadFlag149 karma

Mr. Mignola,

Your work in a roundabout way inspired me to pursue a degree in geology and paleontology. The stories you weave within the backdrop of myth, folklore, and legend lined up perfectly with my own interests. The lone investigator on site, faced with a heap of trouble and never enough information is someone I have found myself identifying with more often than not.

As this is an AMA, I’ve got to ask some questions:
Do you have a favorite resource for folktales and myths which you recommend?
On the names and language of the Ogdru-creatures, is there an actual translation you have in mind when it’s written, or is it meant to be incomprehensible/madness inducing?
Is there an overall plan or outline for Hellboy’s journey, or does it sort of reveal itself as you write?
Do you see the aliens in Hellboy’s world as something other than beings from a different planet?

Thank you for finding such a unique niche to fill in the world of stories, I am truly excited to see Hellboy’s tale continue to unfold!

MikeMignola159 karma

Theres a creature in Egyptian mythology called ogduet or something like that. Eight frog headed creatures. Changed the number to 7 for a Catholic connection in this universe. So yes there is a method to the Ogdru-creature madness.

Mataraiki138 karma

How awesome would a BPRD television series be?

MikeMignola191 karma

It could be REALLY awesome.

chappy0215124 karma

Just came here to say thank you. Hellboy is responsible for getting me back into comics as an adult.

MikeMignola97 karma

Thank you!

LouisaLu96 karma

Batman: the animated series had my favorite incarnation of Mr. Freeze, and I learned that you designed it. Did you contribute to any other Batman villains?

Also on display in my living room is a cover you did of Batman vs. Dredd. I love your comic covers for Batman comics!!!!1!!1!

MikeMignola137 karma

Mr Freeze was the only thing I did that they used.

MedicinalSpectre89 karma

The obvious questions are all accounted for, so:

If you had to see Hellboy written/drawn by authors totally unaffiliated with you or your team, who would you pick? Why them?

Hellboy seems to translate well to a variety of different media, did you ever think in your head that there was one media specifically that you wanted Hellboy to branch out into?

Finally, Hellboy has often switched genre from horror and the supernatural into urban myth and folklore. Do you see another paradigm shift in its tone or inspiration that you're itching to yake a crack at?

A final word: your work is something that I can share with my fiance and it's another great talking point between the two of us. We love Hellboy, the BPRD, and its affiliated work. Thank you for something really fantastical and unique to bond overs. Cheers, Mike.

MikeMignola97 karma

Hellboy is so much my baby. I can imagine co-writing and have told Richard Corben has to co-plot it with me.

Isaeus88 karma

Hey Mike. I don't have any questions, but I just wanted to thank you for making Hellboy. It was the most beautiful and compelling series of comics I have ever read, and I'm just glad that you keep on making them. I think you're rad, and I wish you were at my comic shop today so I could shake your hand and have you sign something.

MikeMignola167 karma

Thanks mom!

daviannamorgan80 karma

Nothing to ask, just need to say thank you. My Mom is a huge fan! She collected the comics for years. When she was in ICU because she went into respiratory failure after surgery, she and I sat and watched Hellboy on her hospital TV (she was intubated, but wrote on a white board when Hellboy would appear: "My honey.")

She says one of the only things she remembers from the ICU (she was very, very ill for three weeks) is that I told her that if she pulled through, I'd take her to see The Golden Army! I kept my promise and did!

Just, thank you again for inventing the character my Mom loves so much.

MikeMignola62 karma

Happy to help.


I've noticed that you dont like to draw feet alot? Why is that?

MikeMignola131 karma

Theres a longer answer for another time. I find it more effective to root people to the ground with shadow.

Rxero1393 karma

I think you're looking for a Rob Liefeld AMA.

MikeMignola267 karma

I have clever ways of hiding feet and Rob has… less subtle ways.

AckbarsAttache59 karma

Hey Mike, happy to have you here!

I'm really curious if you had help in the course of the research you did to create the mythos of the Hellboy universe, or if you worked alone. What sources did you draw on?

The Hellboy and BPRD storylines draw on so many different mythologies, legends, and histories, I'm interested in how you meshed them all together to create something so unique, both narratively and visually.

Thank you again for hosting this AMA!

MikeMignola158 karma

Hellboy is a combination of everything I like. Old movies. Fairy tales. Old pulp magazines. Stan & Jack early stuff. Victorian ghost stories. I try to take everything I like and cram it in to one thing.

combatpony58 karma

I love the fact that Hellboy files his horns off. Did the first sketch already have this detail?

MikeMignola83 karma

When I first drew him, that was always on my mind.

bug-out55 karma

Does Eric Powell smell like bourbon or ham? Or bourbon and ham?

MikeMignola51 karma


marvel12049 karma

Hey Mike!

What were your initial thoughts when Ron Perlman was cast as Hellboy? Did he act and sound how you thought he would, in your head, originally?


MikeMignola122 karma

I never gave any thought to a voice when creating Hellboy. Once I hung out with Ron the only thought I had was I guess thats what he sounds like. We could never imagine anyone other than Ron to play Hellboy.

thezebulonian42 karma

I loved your character designs in Atlantis the Lost Empire. Its one of my favorite movies because of your input. Did you have to put yourself in another mindset for a project like that?

MikeMignola50 karma

I was just there as a consultant though I did work on a lot of the story. I was just there so Disney could pick my brain.

EZPlayer12342 karma

What's your favorite color?

MikeMignola114 karma

Rusty orange.

patchesmalone1042 karma

Mr. Mignola,

Thank you for Hellboy, and can you describe your experience on Gotham by Gaslight?

MikeMignola79 karma

It was a bitch to draw. I needed to do a book like that to show I could do moody stuff as opposed to superheroes.

gogopogo36 karma

Did you ever read a Comic storyline and think, "man, they blew it. They had such a good idea and screwed it up."?

If you could rectify any epic comic book storyline, what would it be?

Thanks for your awesome work!

MikeMignola131 karma

Let people fix their own comics. I got my own problems.

middenway34 karma

There have remarkably few Hellboy stories about the European vampires, but there have been references to some rather large scale incidents in other stories. In The Vârcolac hellboy tracked down and killed Ilona Kakosy, one of the heads of the vampire families, whom he had been after since she escaped after major vampire activity in Budapest in 1975. And there was another major incident in Romania 1969. Considering the B.P.R.D. knew about the vampire's plan, was there a period where they hunted down the vampire families? Is this a period we may see explored in future OGNs?

I'd love to see Hellboy and Bruttenholm tracking vampires together. In twenty years, we've never really seen them in the field together, though we've had many mentions of it happening.

MikeMignola45 karma

There's every chance for a team up.

turtlepowerpizzatime33 karma

Holy shit! Mike! And I'm actually here in time to ask you something! (I always seem to miss the good AMAs.) I love Hellboy/BPRD and have been a huge fan of the HB Universe since Seed of Destruction.

So...Why so much focus on BPRD instead of HB? Don't get me wrong, I love BPRD, but I'd much rather have fewer BPRD titles and MUCH more Hellboy. I'm hoping that once you get through Hellboy in Hell, you'll somehow rejoin him with the rest of the BPRD so we get more of him!

MikeMignola66 karma

BPRD comes out more often because there are more writers and artists working on it. HB is all me.

NornIronBear1933 karma

Hi Mike! Are you working on any new heroes?

MikeMignola62 karma


justincorrect31 karma

What's the biggest regret, or missed opportunity of your career?

MikeMignola75 karma

I regret I wasn't better when I started.

husky_198428 karma

I have always been amazed by how you create such interesting stories from the folklore of many cultures. How do you discover these aspects of culture? What does your research process look like when creating these stories around mythology?

MikeMignola45 karma

Many things interest me. My personal library is so big now that it's just easier to google stuff now.

zigstarr4224 karma

What level of involvement do you have in Mignolaverse titles other than Hellboy in Hell? For instance, with B.P.R.D. Vampire, how much of it was you, and how much of it was the Twins?

MikeMignola23 karma

I came up with the idea and a place to start, then told them to take it in whatever direction you want to take it. 98% them.

GodILoveCoffee23 karma

Hell, man, how does it end?

MikeMignola55 karma

I know how it ends.

amoorefan219 karma

If you could draw one character that you haven't for a comic book, who or what would it be?

MikeMignola39 karma

Theres a lot of Jack Kirby characters that would be fun to draw. Once.

gonesnake19 karma

How often are you surprised by what your co-creators bring to the Hellboy/BPRD world?

MikeMignola29 karma

Pleasantly surprised all the time. They are always better than I expect. I would be surprised if they weren't because we hire really good guys.

AsiaRand18 karma

If you could change one thing about Hellboy, what would it be?

MikeMignola37 karma

If I could go back in time and draw the first series better.

Matt__Larson17 karma

What are you having for dinner?

MikeMignola33 karma

I haven't thought far ahead.

middenway13 karma

Not a question, merely a comment. I love Becky Cloonan's work, especially her trilogy of self-published books, and I know she did covers for The Pickens County Horror, but if you ever find a way to have her on interior art in a story full of vampires or especially werewolves, I for one would be very excited about that.

MikeMignola15 karma

I love Becky's stuff. She doesn't need me she's a great writer on her own!

20jcp13 karma

After seeing the movies a few years ago, I've been working my way through the Hellboy and BPRD comics. Congratulations on the big 2-0!

So much of what I've read incorporates seemingly obscure folklore and magics in to little "one-shots", how did you come across these stories that you wanted to incorporate in to the larger narrative of Hellboy?

MikeMignola25 karma

I've been collecting books of folktales since I was in art school so I have a massive library amassed over the years.

Psudopod12 karma

Heya! What, if anything, do you think got you into art? What did you like to draw as a wee child?

MikeMignola29 karma

I can't remember doing anything else and I never developed any other skills as time went by.

el_bandit010 karma

How did you comic get discovered? And were you suprised at how it took off?

MikeMignola25 karma

I was definitely surprised at the reaction but it was a slow burn. Hellboy wasn't "discovered" I took it to publisher and they accepted it.

middenway10 karma

What is it about Kim Newman and Maura McHugh that makes them the right people to take on the further stories of Sir Edward Grey? And I just want to say I hope both shall be sticking with the character for a while... I'm very curious about true identity of Jack the Ripper, Grey's encounter with Vladimir Giurescu, how he was involved in shutting down the Universal Temple, and the tales of the Silver Lantern Club.

MikeMignola16 karma

Kim series Anno Dracula is one of my favorite Victorian era Vampire novels so I've been a big fan for a long time.

print_is_dead9 karma

Are you ready to sign a bunch more of these in near future? :)

I really loved Almost Colossus because I thought it really spoke true to conflict between brothers. I was searching through bios and didn't see it anywhere, so I was just curious do you have any brothers yourself? Congrats on 20 years!

MikeMignola11 karma

I expect more in the near future, but people have been bringing RR to sign for years. I do expect it to get much bigger very soon.

EvaHopkins8 karma

Do you have a favorite, of your own stories? It must be hard to choose. That's 20 years playing in your own universe! But do you have a tale where you nod your head at night to yourself & say: "yeah, that was a good one..."?

Aspiring fellow storytellers wanna know. Cheers.

Happy Anniversary, Mike, to you & Hellboy. Nicest Comic-Con neighbor a gal could ask for..! :)

(PS - fellow HB fans - the Hellboy Companion PB is a recent favorite of mine. The stories are best but it's so neat to see the timeline written out.)

MikeMignola12 karma

As a writer my favorite is still The Crooked Man.

Rob_Saget5 karma

Hey Mike,

  • I've talked to many modern-day comic book writers and most of them say you are their inspiration for their work. Who inspires you as a writer?
  • Do you ever see comics becoming fully digital?
  • I host a podcast that has comic writers and artists (such as Ann Nocenti, Dan Jurgens and James Tynion) talk about hobbies they nerd out about outside of their careers. Would either of you be interested in being a part of the show for an episode?

Thanks and look forward to your responses!

MikeMignola14 karma

I just read a lot. What drives me as a writer is just not to embarrass myself.