It's been awhile since Hellboy kicked the bucket in the epic The Storm and the Fury. Since then, Dark Horse Comics has announced that Hellboy's adventures will continue...in Hell. The first issue of Hellboy in Hell will be released in December. Creator Mike Mignola was on hand at New York Comic Con for a panel all about this upcoming title. Joining Mignola were Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie and B.P.R.D. artists Tyler Crook and James Harren.
Allie pointed out that they had very little to cover in terms of announcements. He preferred to turn everything over to the audience for questions because that was why they were all here. He mentioned some of the upcoming comics such as B.P.R.D.: 1948, The Abyss of Time, The Return of the Master, and A Cold Day in Hell. The Bureau is going to be busy over the next few months. Mignola pointed out that because of the sheer amount of titles that they have coming out, they plan very far ahead. They don't have just a few issues in the can. They're in this for the long run. Also, there will be more Lobster Johnson stories! Feel the claw!
That was it in terms of announcements. It seriously took maybe five to ten minutes. The rest of the panel was filled with audience questions and there were plenty. I'll try to explain the highlights below.
On the subject of Hellboy 3 or a B.P.R.D. movie, Mignola was quick to say that he usually prefaces Q&A sessions with "Ask anything...except about Hellboy 3." He pointed out that director Guillermo del Toro mentioned that he wanted to do another movie, but he's also attached to about 3,000 other movies right now so it's up in the air.
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A fan asked about Hellboy's fate now that he's in Hell. Mignola said that there's "a whole big mess that gets on in Hell." Now that he's down there, Hellboy doesn't just get the throne and rules. The first four issues have him settling in down there. These issues will be released monthly. Mignola wants to get away from some of the big mythology stuff that's surrounded the character and bring him back to being just a regular guy.
After the first four issues, Mignola is planning a series of self-contained stories as Hellboy journeys around Hell. There will be one issue stories, but in the event that an arc is longer, they will also be monthly so you'll never have to wait long for the end of a story.
Someone asked if Mignola had any plans to do further novels like Baltimore or Joe Golem. He said that there were no plans as he's having too much fun in comics right now.
In a previous collection of Hellboy stories, Mignola had supplied a reading list that allowed fans to learn more about some of the mythologies that were referenced in the book. A fan asked if there's a reading list for Hellboy in Hell. The short answer is no, but as of right now the fifth issue is very loosely based on a Grimm Fairy Tale.
Will Hellboy meet Lobster Johnson in Hell? Nothing planned.
A fan asked for tips on writing and creating comics. Mignola said that he was once asked how to create a commercial franchise. He said if he set out to create a commercial franchise, why would he call it Hellboy? He's spoken to a lot of people in the business over the years that would love to do the kind of stuff that he's doing, but they need the checks from Marvel or DC. His only advice is that if you are comfortable doing that, go for it. Otherwise, take a chance and make your own book. If it works, you'll be stuck doing something you love instead of something you like.
Another audience member asked how far back Hellboy's death was planned. Mignola's answer was a long time. It was planned from very early on, but he didn't realize that he had all of the players on the board in order to make it happen until he was in a writer's meeting with a group of people. He found that if he put a few characters into action, he could pull this story off.
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On the subject of a dream team up with Hellboy, Allie said that crossovers aren't fun. They only come up when the creator wants to work with friends. Mignola explained that he's not thinking "If only Hellboy could team up with Galactus."
Could things in future issues of B.P.R.D. affect Hellboy in Hell? Or vice versa? The books are connected, but it's not super apparent. There won't be a continuation of a story from B.P.R.D. in Hellboy in Hell, but certain effects will be seen based on events in both books.
Mignola briefly explained his idea of Hell being a series of neighborhoods, each belonging to a different region of the planet. There would be a Chinese area, an Eastern European one, etc. This allowed him to be a bit more flexible in the art because he would want to set a story in Japan, but he doesn't know what a house looks like in Japan so it would look weird. "Hell is my playground."
Finally, when asked if there were any other supernatural creatures he'd like to use, Mignola said that he wants to use all of them. Then he backtracked a bit, saying "I don't want to do unicorns."
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