As you may have heard through the grapevine, Hellboy experienced a mortality deficit last year and is currently stuck in his, ahem, "ancestral homeland." The upcoming comic series Hellboy in Hell will detail Hellboy's journey to the underworld, and his creator Mike Mignola will be along for the ride.
Mignola filled io9 in on such topics as Big Red's road trip down South and the Hellboy crossover comic that never was. Also, check out the very first episode of the Hellboy: The Fury motion comic, which debuted earlier this afternoon.
What role did you play in the development of The Fury motion comic?
They came to me about adapting The Fury, and I said, "Fine by me!" I did discuss the basic idea, but the motion aspect was left to other people. The input I had was on the overall tone of the story, characters' voices and accents, but I pretty much left it to the experts.
How's progress on Hellboy in Hell coming along?
It's never as fast as you'd like it to be. It's my primary focus these days. I just wrapped up issue #2. It doesn't come out until December. We bumped it back a bit, but I'm having the most fun I've had in ages.
What does your conception of Hell look like?
The fast and easy answer is that Hell is made of everything that I've wanted to draw, forever. It's certainly not all pits of fire — there is a big pit of fire — and there will be periodically other things on fire, I'm sure. But it's not a one-dimensional, cartoon, devils-poking-guys-with-pitchforks kind of Hell. I'm debating drawing a map of my Hell. It has specific locations and geography, but it's an open-ended enough world. It's designed to be a place where I can set all the stories I'd like to do from now on.
Hellboy's duked it out with supernatural characters from all over the globe — Baba Yaga, Japanese floating heads, Celtic monsters. Does your Hell incorporate these diverse corners of mythology?
The general structure is the Miltonian Hell. It's set up in a specific way, with the capital city of Pandemonium, which was mentioned a while ago. One of the things I want to do with Hellboy in Hell is eventually have him wander and drift through various parts of Hell, such as areas with Asian or Arab influences. The architecture and types of stories I tell will shift and relate to different geographies.
It's not like "Boom! Christian Hell!" or "Boom! Norse Hell!" There won't be a signpost (or maybe there will be?) that says, "Don't go this way! You'll drift into Tartarus!" There won't be a doorway that says, "Don't go in here! That's the Egyptian underworld!" I want it to have a dream-like quality. I may deal with different mythologies, but I won't draw a map that says, "If you cross this border, you're in Russian Hell!"
Is the aforementioned map something readers will see?
It might be a vague map, but a lot of geography is mentioned in the first couple of issues. I love the idea of someone attempting to draw a map of Hell because there are big areas where it just doesn't make any goddamn sense. But what I might do is introduce a character who's drawn a very vague map.
Besides this book, what else is up your sleeve?
I've written a Hellboy graphic novel with [illustrator] Duncan Fegredo. He's busy with other things, but hopefully he'll work on that one of these days. I'm co-writing and co-plotting some B.P.R.D. things with Scott Allie and John Arcudi, respectively. But the B.P.R.D. is mostly in John's hands. I am planning a couple other B.P.R.D. spin-offs for characters who may need their own books. It's an ever-expanding universe, but we don't want to saturate things.
Were there any strange Hellboy projects or crossovers that were shelved?
I did a couple crossovers early on, but it's a tricky thing. Will my character come out of his universe or visit someone else's? I really enjoyed Hellboy's crossovers with The Goon and Beasts of Burden. The only crossover that we talked about but never happened was Buffy. Joss Whedon and I talked about it for a very little bit, but I think he might be busy. I wouldn't hold your breath for that.
Speaking of Joss' pursuits, any updates with Hellboy 3?
I sure wish there was something to report, but there's nothing in the works. The colossal success of The Avengers didn't get anybody calling me and saying, "Let's get Hellboy going again!" I wish there was, but I think Guillermo del Toro has his hands full with a million other things. I don't know if he's particularly interested in doing it again. I kind of wish somebody would. I kind of wish it wasn't left it at a cliffhanger if there wasn't going to be a third one. I'm kind of hoping someone wants to come along and reboot that thing. But there's no talk right now of anybody doing anything.