Five Questions With Hellboy's Mike Mignola Ahead of a New Documentary About His Work

Filmmakers Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna have taken to Kickstarter with an eye toward crowdfunding a new documentary they're making: Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters. The film features interviews with dozens of luminaries, including Mythbusters host Adam Savage, Hellboy film actor Doug Jones and actress Vanessa Eichhotlz, novelists Christopher Golden and Victor LaValle, Dark Horse Publisher and founder Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Editor Katii O’Brien, Marvel EVP of Creative Development Joe Quesada, comic book writers Vita Ayala, Chris Roberson and Thomas Sniegoski, and award-winning cartoonist Fábio Moon, as well as interviews and art demonstrations with painter Jason Shawn Alexander, Duncan Fegredo, Michael Avon Oeming, award-winning colorist Dave Stewart and, of course, Mignola himself.

The project is set up with a month-long campaign, meaning that there are four weeks left to get your hands on one before the end of March. You can support the campaign -- which allows for pre-orders of physical and digital versions of the film and more -- here.

At the same time, Mignola is set to release his Quarantine Sketchbook through Dark Horse Comics. The drawings were originally meant to be just social media postings, but the publisher offered to put them in print as part of a charity push to benefit the World Central Kitchen.

Mignola joined ComicBook to talk about his 2021 projects.

When we have spoken to you in the past, and talked about your reputation and impact, you have deflected, choosing humility over promotion. How did you come to be part of a celebratory project like this?

Well, never really thought of it as “celebratory,” though from what little bits I’ve seen people do seem to be saying some very nice things. For me—for my part—I was just talking about what I’ve done, about how Hellboy came about, and stuff like that. When the project was first discussed, I knew they would be talking to other people about me, but never really knew what they would be say—or how many people Jim and his crew would be talking to.

Is there any particular area of your work that you think people will look at differently after the film?

I don’t know. For my part I don’t think I discuss anything I haven’t talked about before. I suppose people might be surprised to see how much Hellboy stuff has influenced/inspired other people. I know that’s what constantly surprises me.

Looking forward rather than back, you've got the Quarantine Sketchbook coming out soon. Do you think you could have found time to put something like that together if you were doing conventions?

Conventions weren’t really taking up all that much time — I wasn’t really doing many. It was more the fact that I was suddenly not even going to the grocery store — AND I had no big projects I was working on. Just all that time sitting at home and having no idea (pre-vaccine day) how long this would go on, the sketches were just a way to fill time and entertain and distract myself.

It seems as though you never *aren't* busy. Has the sketchbook given you license to play a little bit, since you know it will ultimately still yield something you can use?

I had no idea that the sketches would be anything more than stuff I posted on Facebook. But, yes, I’d never before felt comfortable taking that much time just to play. It was nice. And I never felt there NEEDED to be a book. And I wouldn’t have done a book if Dark Horse hadn’t agreed to do it as part of the fundraising for the World Central Kitchen. But having seen the book, I am super glad it all worked out. I think some of the drawings in here are not just the oddest drawings I’ve ever done but some of my best.

Going back to the documentary -- have you watched any of these? I know people did them for Jeff Smith and Terry Moore years ago; are there any you have seen, or would like to see?

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What little I’ve seen is actually pretty overwhelming. As I mentioned above, I really didn’t give much thought to what people would say about me or my work. It’s nice. I can’t really imagine what it will be like to see the whole thing.

Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is on Kickstarter through March 31.