Mignola, Mike 1962–
Mignola, Mike 1962–
Born September 16, 1962, in Berkeley, CA; married.
Graphic artist and writer. Creator of "Hellboy" series; consultant for films, including Blade 2 and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Also producer of Hellboy Animated television shows.
Eisner Awards for best writer/artist and for best graphic album—reprint, 1995, both for Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, 1997, for Hellboy: Wake the Devil, 1998, for Hellboy: Almost Colossus, Hellboy Christmas Special, and Hellboy Junior Halloween Special, for best limited series, 2002, for Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, for best humor publication, 2003, for The Amazing Screw-on Head, for best short story, 2003, for "The Magician and the Snake," for best comics-related book, for The Art of Hellboy; Harvey Award for best artist, 1995 and 1996, both for Hellboy, best artist award, 2000, for Hellboy: Box Full of Evil. UK Comics Art Award for best writer/artist, 1997; International Horror Guild Award for best graphic story/illustrative narrative, 1996, for Hellboy: Wake the Devil; Eagle Award for favorite comics writer/artist, 2004 and 2006; Emmy Award nomination, 2007, for Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms.
SELECTED GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COLLECTIONS
(Pencil artist) Roger Stern, Stan Lee Presents Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment, Marvel Comics (New York, NY), 1989.
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1994, limited edition hardcover, 1995.
Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1997.
Hellboy: The Lost Army, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1997.
(With others) Zombie World: Champion of the Worms, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1998.
Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1998.
Hellboy: Odd Jobs, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1999.
(With Troy Nixey) Jenny Finn, Oni Press (Portland, OR), 1999.
Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2000.
(With others) Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (three volumes), DC Comics (New York, NY), 2000-01.
(Illustrator) Christopher Golden, Hellboy: The Bones of Giants, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2001.
Conqueror Worm, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2002.
(Contributor, with Alex Ross and Neil Gaiman) Clive Barker's Collected Best Hellraiser, Checker Book Pub. Group (Centerville, OH), 2002.
(With others) Weird Tales, Volume 1, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2003.
(With others) Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2003.
Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth and Other Stories, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2003.
(With others) Hellboy Junior, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2004.
(With others) Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft (anthology), Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2004.
The Art of Hellboy, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2004.
(Contributor) B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice & Other Stories, edited by Scott Allie, 2004.
(Illustrator) McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, edited by Michael Chabon, Vintage Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Evan Dorkin, Eric Powell, Kelley Jones, Jamie S. Rich, and Guy Davis) The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2005.
(With John Arcudi and others) The Dead: B.P.R.D., Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2005.
Hellboy 6: Strange Places, Topeka Bindery, 2006.
(With John Arcudi and others) The Black Flame: B.P.R.D., Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2006.
Hellboy 7: The Troll Witch and Other Stories, illustrated by P. Craig Russell and Richard Corben, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2007.
(With Howard Chaykin) Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2007.
(With John Arcudi and Guy Davis), B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2007.
(With others) The Universal Machine: B.P.R.D. 6, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2007.
(With Christopher Golden) Baltimore; or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2007.
(Creator) Tom Piccirilli, Hellboy: Emerald Hell, Dark Horse Books (Milwaukie, OR), 2008.
Also writer or cowriter of screenplays or stories for animated Hellboy films, including Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, 2006; Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron, 2007; Hellboy Animated: Iron Shoes, 2007; and Hellboy: The Science of Evil, 2008. Contributor to works by others and to anthologies; comic book series include "Rocket Raccoon," 1985, and "Hellboy," 1993—.
The "Hellboy" comic-book series was adapted for film by Sony Pictures, 2004, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and John Hurt. "Hellboy II" was released in 2008 by Universal Pictures Distribution, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, and Luke Goss.
Mike Mignola, the creator of the popular "Hellboy" comics, worked as a freelance illustrator for more than a dozen years before launching his own series, which is now published in many languages, and the fan base of which continues to grow worldwide. At the age of nineteen, Mignola was contributing to the fanzine Comic Reader, and two years later he was freelancing for Marvel Comics and then DC Comics as an inker and illustrator. When he launched his own series, Mignola moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to Dark Horse Comics, the publisher of "Hellboy" and many other comics, which has attracted a large number of comic creators to the Portland area. After reaching a comfortable level of success, Mignola returned to New York so that his wife could continue working in the fashion industry.
The title character of "Hellboy" is a demon called up from hell by the Nazis during World War II. He is discovered by members of the British Paranormal Society and a group of U.S. Army Rangers in an English village, and raised by Professor Bruttenholm of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense for nearly fifty years, at the end of which Hellboy, a creature with red skin, a long tail, and a bionic arm, becomes an agent of the bureau. Mignola's creation is featured in strips, collections, and stand-alone adventures.
Katharine "Kat" Kan reviewed Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and Hellboy: Wake the Devil in Voice of Youth Advocates, writings that, while there is some violence and blood, "Mignola brings back horror as it used to be written by H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, not with mere shock after shock, but more literate and with a strong story line." Kan went on to write that "Wake the Devil also mixes in Russian folklore and Greek myth. It's unusual for me to say that horror is so much fun to read. Hellboy is a smart-mouthed, sassy, big red hunk of an oddball hero."
Two of the characters who have appeared in the series since the beginning are Elizabeth Sherman, an investigator with pyrotechnic powers, and Abe Sapien, an amphibian humanoid. In Seed of Destruction, they and Hellboy travel to coastal New England, where the men of the Cavendish family have all died while on trips to the Arctic. Upon entering the watery depths of the house, Abe discovers the undead Elihu Cavendish, the first of generations of Cavendish men. Professor Bruttenholm is killed by a frog-like monster, and Hellboy is confronted by a man who claims to be the person who originally summoned him from the depths to help bring an evil serpent into the world.
In Wake the Devil, three Nazis and the spirit of Rasputin are intent on bringing back to life Vladimir Giurescu, who is perhaps the real-life model for Dracula. When Hellboy enters the castle of Giurescu, a female serpent casts him into hell, where he then makes his choice to serve good on Earth and returns to thwart the evil plan.
In an interview with a Westfield Company Web site contributor upon the release of Mignola's miniseries Conqueror Worm (taken from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe), he described his character as "theoretically the world's greatest occult detective" who "thinks of himself pretty much as a human, but he may actually be the Beast of the Apocalypse. Despite that, he's a good guy and he fights monsters. The book's full of other bizarre, inhuman monster kind of guys who are mostly good guys, a couple humans sprinkled here and there, Nazi mad scientists, and as many pulp clichés as I can possibly toss in there." Mignola said about his frequent use of Nazis that "they're so easy to use as villains because they don't require any explanation." He also noted that they are important because of their part in the creation of Hellboy, but felt that this might be the last time they make an appearance in the strip. This did not, however, prove to be the case.
In an article for OregonLive.com, Kristi Turnquist called Mignola's drawings "poetic, disturbing blends of precisely observed detail, minimally stylized characters, and landscapes marked by fields of rich, black darkness." Turnquist wrote that "Hellboy" "is technically about a hero, but its look and feel are personal. With stories drawn from myth, legend, Victorian ghost stories, and vintage pulp fiction, it's an ‘occult-detective-mystery-fantasy book about a monster,’ as Mignola puts it."
Mignola has been called in to consult on a number of films, including Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which Los Angeles Times contributor Kenneth Turan said "plays more like the best Disney animated film of 1981 than 2001. Story line and characterization are decidedly old-fashioned, and a curious decision about production design gives this wide-screen cartoon some of the look and feel of a Saturday morning TV cartoon series." Turan noted that, because codirectors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale are both fans of Mignola, they "not only asked him to help design the production but also decided to have the Atlantis characters drawn like the film was some kind of giant animated comic book."
Mignola has continued his prolific output as an illustrator and writer. For example, he is a contributor to Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, an anthology of illustrated horror tales. Christine C. Menefee, writing in the School Library Journal, noted "the range, depth, complexity, originality, and ambition of this remarkably [modern] … compendium."
Mignola returns to the character of Hellboy in Hellboy Junior and Hellboy 6: Strange Places. Hellboy Junior, written with others, features Hellboy during his baby days and youth. Hellboy 6 includes two tales, "The Third Wish," about an enormous talking fish who can grant wishes, and "The Island," which involves the secret history of the world. "Hellboy himself is a terrific contrast to his grim surroundings," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. Ray Olson wrote in Booklist that "both stories [are] simultaneously scary and funny." Hellboy 7: The Troll Witch and Other Stories, features six Hellboy stories. Booklist contributor Olson noted that "a handsome series looks even smarter."
The author has also participated in a series of spin off tales from the Hellboy comics featuring the "B.P.R.D.," which stands for the fictional Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. In Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth and Other Stories, the author presents four tales featuring the bureau's paranormal agents. "Mignola's witty, appealing characters dash off one-liners as they battle paranormal phenomena while retaining their remarkably human qualities," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly. Mignola is also a contributor to B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice & Other Stories, which features five tales featuring B.P.R.D. agents fighting the paranormal. "This compilation of five strong horror yarns brims with respect for readers' intelligence," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly. In The Dead: B.P.R.D., Mignola and coauthor John Arcudi feature agents investigating an abandoned weapons lab in the Colorado mountains and a New England cult. The volume is "just as good and betimes as piquantly subdued as superior X-Files episodes," wrote Olson in Booklist.
Mignola is also author, with John Arcudi and Guy Davis, of B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls. The story revolves around amphibious investigator Abe Sapien and his efforts to stop a group of people whose dabbling in the dark arts threatens to kill millions. "This latest spin off from Mignola's Hellboy franchise continues the high level of modern Weird Tales-influenced chills and adventure," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly. Another book, The Black Flame: B.P.R.D., features a tale by Mignola and others featuring frog monsters. Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, noted that "the series still entertains." The Universal Machine: B.P.R.D. 6 revolves around the search for an occult book that may have the key to bringing the stone man to life. Booklist contributor Olson referred to the story as a "dandy yarn."
In Baltimore; or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, Mignola and coauthor Christopher Golden tell the story of Lord Henry Baltimore, who awakens the wrath of a vampire on the battlefields of World War I. Following the war, a plague devouring the souls of humankind spreads across the planet, and Baltimore enlists the help of three old friends to put an end to the creature. In the process, the reader also learns of the past exploits of Baltimore's friends. "Stark monochrome illustrations from Mignola enhance this dramatic tale of war and fear," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Frieda Murray, writing in Booklist, commented: "Prolific dark fantasist Golden's popular style is impec- cable, and … Mignola's copious illustrations confirm the tale's dark atmosphere throughout."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of Hellboy Junior, p. 1148; October 15, 2005, Ray Olson, review of The Dead: B.P.R.D. (Volume 4), p. 39; April 15, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Hellboy 6: Strange Places, p. 35; August 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of The Black Flame: B.P.R.D., p. 61; January 1, 2007, Ray Olson, review of The Universal Machine: B.P.R.D. 6, p. 71; August, 2007, Frieda Murray, review of Baltimore; or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, p. 53; November 1, 2007, Ray Olson, review of Hellboy 7: The Troll Witch and Other Stories, p. 34.
Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2001, Kenneth Turan, review of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, p. F1.
Publishers Weekly, July 21, 2003, review of Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth and Other Stories, p. 176; March 15, 2004, review of Conqueror Worm, p. 57; September 13, 2004, review of B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice & Other Stories, p. 60; May 1, 2006, review of Hellboy 6, p. 44; July 30, 2007, review of Baltimore, p. 61; January 28, 2008, review of B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls, p. 48.
School Library Journal, March, 2005, Christine C. Menefee, review of Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, p. 239.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1999, Katharine "Kat" Kan, review of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and Hellboy: Wake the Devil, pp. 109-110.
Comics Journal,http://www.tcj.com/ (June 30, 2008), Christopher Brayshaw, "Breaking Away," interview with author.
IGN Web site,http://comics.ign.com/ (February 15, 2007), Richard George, "Interview: Hellboy's Mike Mignola."
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (June 30, 2008), biography of author and information on author's film work.
Mike Magnola Home Page,http://www.hellboy.com (June 30, 2008).
OregonLive.com,http://www.oregonlive.com/ (May 29, 2001), Kristi Turnquist, "Comics Central."
Westfield Company Web site,http://www.westfieldcompany.com/ (June, 2001), "Mike Mignola Interview."