SDCC is celebrating 25 years of Hellboy with a section in the show’s souvenir book and the cover of the program guide, so it was no surprise that when Mike Mignola entered the room the audience erupted into cheers and applause. Joined on the panel by Hellboy titles editor Katii O’Brien, Mignola immediately let the audience know that this panel was for them by opening it up to questions right away.
Mignola was asked first about what he could tell us about the new Hellboy movie. Mignola said he has been on the set — everything looks very cool and the cast is great. The movie will be much darker than Guillermo del Toro‘s versions. It will be dark, violent, and R-rated. Mignola shared that when he and his wife first watched Stranger Things, when she saw David Harbour she immediately said that he should be Hellboy. Two weeks later Mignola got a call asking what he would think of Harbour being Hellboy — and the rest is history.
Mignola was asked about his influences, and the first name he said was Frank Frazetta. He said that he was getting ulcers at 17 because he wasn’t as good as Frazettta. He said, “Then I discovered Bernie Wrightson and I spent two years trying desperately to be Bernie Wrightson.” He said in the last 15-20 years he figured out what his work was supposed to look like.
Mike talked about where Hellboy as a doomed hero came from, saying he thought he may have read too much Michael Moorcock when he was younger and that characters like Elric and Corum may have been the reason for Hellboy as doomed hero.
Lastly, it’s always nice at the panels when you are given a special little something just for attending. At the end of this panel they announced everyone would be getting the Funko Pop Conan O’Brien Hellboy vinyl toy. The crowd’s reaction to that was almost as loud as when Mignola walked into the room at the beginning of the panel.
For further musings from Joshua Stone, follow him on the Twitter @1NerdyOne.