Steven Universe Creator Rebecca Sugar Explains How Hellboy’s Mike Mignola Helped Develop Series

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola had a huge hand in developing the look of Steven Universe. The Cartoon Network showrunner talked about the iconic cartoonist helping with the main character’s design in a new documentary, Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters. It turns out Mignola had the idea to use the star imagery on Steven’s shirt. But, the legendary comic artist also introduced the diamond motif across the series as well. Sugar was massively thankful for his input early in the process. Back then, she didn’t even know if she was going to get a chance to bring Steven to series at Cartoon Network. Her vision became a reality to the tune of a wildly successful show, a spinoff, and a movie. So, everything kind of panned out. But, who knows what would have happened if she didn’t seek out some timely advice from the Hellboy creator.

“[I wanted] something really powerful and all-encompassing,” Sugar explained. “And, like, without skipping a beat, he said, ‘Oh, Ishtar, you want Ishtar. She’s the Babylonian goddess of just about everything.’ And he pulled out a book and opened it up to Ishtar… she’s the goddess of love and war and passion and everything.”

“I was always fascinated with the way that he would use visuals, a reoccurring symbol or of a flower or something carved into the wall,” they added. “There’s one thing that I like in Mike Mignola’s comics, these moments the place you enter a room and there are simply these little tiny panels of all the particulars in that room that offer you that feeling of your peripheral imaginative and prescient, form of scanning all the pieces and catching on these little objects and gadgets. And you are feeling the burden of these photographs. You really feel that one thing is behind it, that it has some type of energy.”

In an interview with after the finale of Steven Universe Future, Sugar talked about how emotional it was to have people connect with this work on that level.


"When people reach out to me and say, 'I'd never seen a story like this episode or what's going on between these characters, I'd never seen that before,' and I understand that," they mentioned, "there are a lot of things that I never saw in cartoons when I was younger that I thought, and up until making this show I thought, 'Well, I guess only I have ever really felt like this.' I wanted to talk about those things, I wanted to express those things to have people understand."

Could you imagine Steven Universe in the complete Hellboy style? Let us know down in the comments!