To hell... and back?

Raise Hell As Mike Mig­nola calls time on Hell­boy, the de­mon-turned-para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tor, artists from across the in­dus­try pay trib­ute to the land­mark comic se­ries

ImagineFX - - Editor’s Letter -

Mike Mig­nola’s de­cided to say good­bye to Hell­boy for a while. We cel­e­brate the artist and his hellish cre­ation.

“I’ve never taken a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of time to just do work es­sen­tially for my­self,” says Mike Mig­nola, the pro­lific artist and writer be­hind Hell­boy, who re­cently an­nounced that he has de­cided to pause work on the se­ries and fo­cus on per­sonal projects. “I’ve no idea where it’s gonna go,” he adds, “but it’s ex­cit­ing. It’s what keeps me go­ing.”

This is un­charted ter­ri­tory for Mike. Pre­vi­ously, the Eis­ner award-win­ning artist has had plenty of work lined up and

de­mand­ing his at­ten­tion. But it was a paint­ing com­pleted in his lim­ited spare time that sparked a re­al­i­sa­tion. “I only av­er­age about one paint­ing a year, and the last paint­ing I did, I ac­tu­ally re­ally liked,” he re­veals. “So I thought, ‘Gee, if I do a bunch of paint­ings, maybe I’ll ac­tu­ally fig­ure out what I’m do­ing in­stead of re­learn­ing ev­ery year.’”

Even though this is the end of the road for now when it comes to Hell­boy, Mike stresses that he still has plenty of other projects to keep him busy. “I can’t re­ally take a year off — I’m co-plot­ting Bureau for Para­nor­mal Re­search and De­fense, but I’d like to take a year off from draw­ing any kind of comics.”

Con­sid­er­ing Hell­boy is one of the most crit­i­cally ac­claimed comics from the past three decades, Mike’s de­ci­sion not to fo­cus on the se­ries has un­der­stand­ably made waves in the graphic novel com­mu­nity and be­yond. “Mike Mig­nola is the smartest comic book artist of his gen­er­a­tion,” says iconic comics cre­ator Frank Miller. “He puts his words and his pic­tures to­gether with great care and makes it all look very easy.” Pre­vi­ous work on Gotham by Gaslight and Cos­mic Odyssey had al­ready gar­nered Mike a lot of fans, in­clud­ing Cat­woman artist Adam Hughes. “I was on board with Hell­boy from day one,” he en­thuses. “I ad­mire ev­ery­thing about it: the art, the writ­ing, the de­sign, the world-build­ing, the sheer unique­ness of the voice of the sto­ry­telling… all are head and shoul­ders above the rest. Mike Mig­nola’s Hell­boy makes ev­ery day seem like Hal­loween, and Hell a pretty cool place to visit.”

Heavy Metal vet­eran and Hell­boy artist Richard Cor­ben ob­serves that the se­ries was a source of in­spi­ra­tion for a gen­er­a­tion of car­toon­ists. “His comic art is beau­ti­fully sim­ple, so sim­ple that other car­toon­ists think they can

The Hell­boy in Hell se­ries kicked off in 2012, and picked up where the orig­i­nal se­ries left off.

Mike Mig­nola is the smartest comic book artist of his gen­er­a­tion

em­u­late his style, which is fu­tile:” he ex­plains. “He’s one of the best. Con­grat­u­la­tions on your master­piece Hell­boy in Hell, Mike.”

With dis­cus­sions about bring­ing out a third Hell­boy film, to­gether with rum­blings over a tele­vi­sion se­ries, this might not be the last we’ve seen of the char­ac­ter, but Ul­ti­mate-Spi­der-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis in­sists that it’s the cre­ator who’s re­mem­bered. “Mike is so ex­cel­lent, so con­sis­tent, that my fear is that peo­ple may take it for granted. Do not. He is one of the great comic leg­ends of all time, and we get to watch him live.”

You can keep track of Mike’s up­com­ing projects at

Cre­ator Mike Mig­nola con­tin­ued the se­ries by writ­ing and il­lus­trat­ing the Hell­boy in Hell col­lec­tion.

Hell­boy made its de­but in 1993 and has gone on to win Eis­ner and Har­vey awards.

Hell­boy is a fan favourite, hav­ing been voted the Best Indy Char­ac­ter. The Hell­boy saga will meets its end in For Whom The Bell Tolls.

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