Mignola, Mike 1962-

views updated

MIGNOLA, Mike 1962-


Born 1962; married.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 Southeast Main St., Milwaukie, OR 97222.


Graphic artist. Creator of "Hellboy" series; consultant for films, including Blade 2 and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.



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.

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), 2000-2001.

(Illustrator) Christopher Golden, Hellboy: The Bones of Giants, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2001.

Conqueror Worm, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 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, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2004.

The Art of Hellboy, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2004.

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, directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and John Hurt, Sony Pictures, 2004.


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, saying 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.… 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 Hell-boy 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."



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.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1999, Katharine "Kat" Kan, review of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and Hellboy: Wake the Devil, pp. 109-110.


Hellboy Home Page,http://www.hellboy.com/ (November 9, 2003).

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."*