« ID10T with Chris Hardwick

Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola talks with Chris on creating the comic book Hellboy, the process of writing the storyline for comic books over time, working with Guillermo Del Toro and the 20th anniversary of the series! See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Global Milliners Buck s number five, zero. Three, so I started a new show, a nerd melt, let's nurse over mountain comics every couple weeks. Would you circle beta Testword me into other comics issuing twenty minutes each of Brandon. Cereal because, as a real pain in the ass to come up with new stuff, so figured ale start a workshop show so If you got a nerd MELT, Ella dot com every other week, you can see who's gonna be be on tonight. I'm doing show with Joan Array, and so our brothers and pass guests have included the folks, Matt Brung her and Braun functions and justification and lobby, will you see I am at night so with a free show wanted to be freeze of people to pay to watch comedians, we're gonna turn, but so far really fund the ticket. You should get snatched up pretty fast on the side of their.
Free, but there is a stand by line and the stand by line if you just show up usually gets aunt. So there you go beta tests. Lord Mount Ella Dotcom, like thank stamps dot com for sponsoring this episode of the nervous podcast. Now it's almost tax time, I'm so sorry to inform you that that's about a week away to the post office gonna be a giant crap sack of really of anxiety. So you stamps dotcom. Stanza comp will send you a free digital scale. So if you need a way stuff, all the crap, yet the mail and then you can put it exact postage! You need right at your desk, its convenience, easy to use, use your computer, your printer, and then you just heads of the male carrier and that's it no more waiting in the post office. The lines are about to be horrific, so go to stamp out. Come into the promo code, nervous, you're, gonna get a nervous trial, including a hundred ten dollar bonus offer in a digital scale, up to fifty five dollars, a pre postage so saved our Cobb clicking the microbes, atop, the homepage and type and noticed taking a stance
for continuing support than there is progress. This absurd is making your who created Hellboy, and it is that twenty Eightth anniversary of Hellboy, which was just as crazy to MIKE as it is to the rest of us twenty years of Hellboy, but really cool, really interesting guy. They did, I hope, one day at another comics and he did some signings and stuff, and so it came under the nervous by gas. So here it is its own number, five o three with MIKE Manila,
now I mean merely Stockholm com, me, Jim, There is no doubt that we offer the comfy chaired. Fidessa do generated, tomorrow? You will go to sleep, we're just sort of it. Let you fall asleep, and then it was just forty minutes see just interesting and then just just shook you awake and he were done nice. You get these startle needed us. Our response to answering the question that you were dreaming about with the sea.
Given that weird space between awaken sleep always sounded, she will decide that a positive thing. We're dealt horror stories that there must be. I will, zero you get on the black ass a few times and he's such a fucking, perfect guy, I mean he's exact. The guy. You want doing what it is that he does. Yes, he is so is now only suited frantic else. No, I don't know what else would gamble do if you weren't, if you weren't directing, I don't know, but I d like to see a director go into now, because I think a lot of people go well. I'm a director all do actually are John Romance Roma in all, but it's just like he's of this world than that's what he does and he does it beautifully. How did you
How did you guys get involved the first time he? He heard that somebody had the right through to help way. So he approached dark horse and said, I'm the guy to do this, because he was fond of the comic yeah, so he came to them. I met with them. I said that Great good luck and I want to make an eighty million dollar movie star Enron Perlman. I dont see. The problem in times now I am sure will be on a sit next week. How did it happen again because you ve, madam, I mean it If anybody can charm anybody into something, including parting, with money, to make a movie that nobody to make out he's the guy, so he he just. He went around till. We found this yo where somebody said I dont get it, but you seem to know it doing so. Here's sixty million instead of eighty million ok, anyone ok now was this was is being developed.
After pens, labyrinth came out around his long before the first. My movie was he hadn't done much me that he had done Kronos, Kronos and mimic. Yes come off mimic which nobody cared about actually know. A thing is when we first talked he would he'd come off mimic, but nothing happened for six years. In the meantime, he went and made blade too and part of why he did blade to calling him is, to show everybody. They can trust him with money to make a big action movie yeah has was a little monster movie, Russia. He wanted to make a big ballsy actions, we and position RON Perlman as something other than the guy from beauty in the beast rising. On. A prominent role in that so and you tell people what one problem they got, the guy from blade to night, but MECCA the beauty and the beast guy
yet, while also I mean this is when you're is now how boys of the twentyth twentyth anniversary so when you first making this do. Envision will some day this be anything that a comic book. I didn't think you re a comic re along the that you call them. I mean it just never occurred to me. I've never really thought that. Anything I came up with was ever gonna work, I've always assuming the worst. So when I came up with hell I thought well, ok, what's I've got some he's going to publish at once, but it still in it make any money there, certainly not going to want to do it again. So I was really looking beyond these first forces of a comic, and I think it would have taken the technology that we have they came later and then also some unlike our motor vehicles, because it with the style of the comic in the wrong hands, it could get really.
Hokey in a way that, like all that, doesn't look good in the minutes I remember various various. Conversely, over the years of different ways to do Hellboy. And a one point, Gamma wanted Dumas Puppet and I remember he said it was Jim Cameron who said: if it's gonna be a love story, you can have one of the two here. It is the public yeah. It is. It just never occur to me even when dark horse broached me about option it for film. I thought well. This is this is easy. Save money does not dangerous anyway, ever make it a movie and and option money which is here just let us have the rights and a couple years you get the rights back remotely do forever right, a couple grand extra every couple of years. That's that's easy money. No one's ever gonna make this thing
but he was more amazed me than when it got done. It was funny actually went blade too came out. I work with german blade too, and I kept saying he's never to make this vote is never to make Hellboy. Blade to opened and open number one for a few minutes and he called me up and said if they don't like hell, we now they never will, and it was a weird moment- are realised. Oh somewhere in those years. He convinced me that, even though I didn't consciously think it, I was thinking, oh they're gonna make the mobile so when he said, if they don't make it now, they never will. I, like my you, mean they might not make the movie When did I start thinking that they were going to make the movie? But he you know it was he was always very realistic, but it was very determined and he talked somebody into doing it You essentially just say well
you obviously have a vision for this. Do what you want to do, or were you really Yale? It was funny. When I first talk to him, I actually said here's what I never thought I'd make a movie. I said here's something I thought if we are ever to be made in a movie, you can make these changes to early pre radical changes, and he actually said no. I wonder why the comic always plenty said: good luck when you're writing the comic do. Are you on daring it to not be made in any other medium now I'm. Never. I've never really thought about any other medium. When I'm doing the comic, I just wonder in the comic I'm doing the comic and my which had separate me for ninety percent of the comical guys these days, every comic ass, yet there simply gets trying its a pit. A tv show or yogi. Well did the same. In turn happening comedy in the nineties when. No, every alot lot of comedians we're getting.
I'm deals, and so then there was a. There was a wave of comedians that just kind of wanted to develop. Five or ten minutes to then just become I'm that guy is I'm gonna go I'm gonna, do a set? That's gonna! Let you know what sitcom exactly and then you will give it a quick name and put my incorporate my name into it. Somehow and then that's your sick come right there. So you you're, saying that there is a very very similar thing happening in comics. What it does seem. So what the guides are doing, create our own staff and I shouldn T ninety percent, but I do see a lot of stuff where there clearly pitches for a show and ask a meaning comics. That's generally considered these days, like young women, artery which I understand, because also I mean Heaven forbid I'd love to think I'd still be doing Hellboy it. There was no movie, but you don't know, I mean there's so much product out there. A movie does help you know her character. Recognition
and you do you you, you write any illustrate yet, which is, I think, a great coming, asian I'm reading. So we too right now a joyful Myers book and why I just I love the idea I feel like I can really tell the difference between when someone is just riding a script and enhancing off the art to someone else, verses watching the way the the creator actually expresses visually cause. There's no one they can get in your head and know exactly what it is you're trying to express their reading. I remember he exile been drawing comics for ten years faded, Hellboy and when I started writing it myself I realized there so much you can do but also it means you make up stories that you want to draw you'd. You cut out all this stuff. I have written for other people and when I'm rain for other people hell, we gotta girlfriend and you can have him fight, sixty thousand skeletons all ships,
you want to do. If you know at some point you got a dry draws. You come up with Betsy. I do I draw that or I don't know how to drive answer you kind of tailor it to what you do. So you get that Canada, you don't you get the the artist's head on paper at without You know fighting with scenes, you don't know how to do in their some laziness, they can go on there because you know we don't have a lot of cars. Make a blunder on it? We don't have like girls in the car, and you just get this weird out. This is really did what the artists can do that's it that's what it is, uniquely one person and- and if you get more than that involved, I mean I've seen man operations that really work, but a lot time. It just becomes a job. It becomes a guy doing the script that he got in the mail and and its different. Will you also
then, the essence of the story, the essence of the character- and there are probably ways that you can express that visually- that no one else would really quite understand yeah. I know also when I'm doing staff, even though I have written it for myself I'm doing it. I am constantly changing your refining it. You know what you can't do a few you're working the script. Somebody else got seal draw, stop either earlier. I like that, drawing but changes the line from this to this or whatever it is it's much more fluid and more malleable were in your mind. How does protein Hellboy evolve into current Hellboy like what Are there other things that you immediately could go? Oh yeah, but this is different. That's different, nigh approach it. This way now the girl skinnier in his hand, bigger its I want to start. I had no idea what it is doing. I knew the kinds of stories I want to tell, but I had no idea who the character was in
and having never written before. I found myself in a strange position where I would do a scene of two carriages having a conversation or to care this fighting, and I had no idea what they are talking about. So I d make up dialogue, because I had a four page sequence of guys fighting and they had to be saying something. So that's how Hellboy became the beasts of the apocalypse, because the other character said: hey your bid, the beast. Och lips. I didn't know what else to right. I just emulate. If I even had been spent, man. Dialogue would be more. You know Gaucho get me a kind of dialogue carpet inside I do that stuff. I can only right big speech, e kind of ominous things and so Hell boys, What have they was changed when I found a headache, these scenes and suddenly I'm gone. Oh really, that's what he is. Oh, ok! So it's it's called the snowball rolling down hill pick it up. Speed you gonna, go I didn't mean to start an avalanche, but as
These things go along and they kind take on for their own it's a very weird process for me. Where I sit back and I go, I didn't see that common, even though I did it short because once you sort of start the process of something it's, I think some people look at the greater process. Like a wall. You, you just put everything perfectly for arms in one moment and that's it and not this process of how it that whenever the in your creating begins to take on a life of its own and then starts to inform you what it needs or where it wants to go. I mean that I think this is new energy. It's just part of the creative process. You just don't know until you started. It really is strange. It really. I found that to be the most fascinating about. Writing is that this step does go off in directions. Kind of steer a little bit. But at some point you gonna go. It really want, to veer this
so I'm no leaded guided, even if even if you think I don't I'd rather see him do this, but can we really wants to do this year and that's one thing for tonight: did early on. Is I wrote it real bag, so people would come up and say cryptic things Braden Right, self into a corner, so as thing went along. There are still lines from books. I did ten years ago. Right now, I think I'm starting to know what TAT meant further through interesting by either the trick is to make it always look like. Oh you have this stuff plan from day. One appears you haven't tripped over yourself. You have ned, do in those never mind we're going reboot everything, because I've written myself into a wall have you had a sort of have you had an epiphany? the process where you got to a certain point, the series and you went oh, I can connect this amiss in this and then this is happening. I think all these could like
have the same epiphany that the audience would have reading it, yeah, which I think is good, because if I didn't common chances. Are they didn't see it coming right? So I can surprise myself. I figure I got a leg up on. The guys are trying to he's together. The clues it happened recently when we got close to when I get closer to killing off boy and I realized yeah it was, it was. The biggest story had ever come up with and going into it. Don't remember now, if I knew I was gonna kill him off at the end, there is, you I'm gonna, kill him off and a kind of What beats were needed to get there and it was like We know that story so myself, oh all the peace, they're, starting to line up- and I knew I would be characters to do particular things. But didn't you really know what characters we're going to sharpen?
things and then start. This story went away to make this guy's here then he's the guy who's gonna do this, which is to make this guy do this. If I got old master yeah. You know you don't realize till it starts going. We're gonna! Kick that the guy on the thing is it so when that stuff started coming together, it was really exciting because at some point your brain on some level at least my brain is working much faster than I can keep up with, and suddenly it's like you ve got all the peace, is there and they start rattling together and you gonna go. Oh really, oh, oh, oh and you hold your breath to see if it it'll actually play out to the end and that that happened. You no words that's gonna happen after means. Oh he's dead, This is the guy who comes in, and this is the guy here yeah now really really smoothly really internet, I mean there are plenty these things there. Our struggle, but
I was one- and I bet a few case- light over the years ouida I feel, like I made up that story. That story just kind of felt like I started it and then it just gonna made it you'd put no peace. Is there and it just gonna pull itself together because I think it's very hard to engineer a results like it's a very difficult, I mean in some cases I think you can. You can probably do it. You know if you have a very clear idea of well there's a story and I know all sorts and I know where it ends and then the discoveries is gonna, be the process, but it definitely ends here, but you kind of final miss along the way. I think I think readers probably do feel like they're, taking the journey with you. At the same time, here I mean every other gave me. Writer has got out that ability to manufacture story. They need You know you. This puts this. This will end up with this and that's fine and you When I make an up something, I know what kind of story I want or an thinking of a certain kind of story, and I said
work on the ending and if I can find it all and appropriate ending, then I can with the middle. But I don't want you wanna stories. It just doesn't have an ending sure. So, there's that kind of mechanical thing I've got some, maybe a two or three points I need to hit. But then the magic step to me is happens in the middle, the wandering around through the middle of a story, which I think makes a step. Interesting as I do. I have seen things. I've read things were there so by the numbers are so by the book. There's no, you know I'd sidesteps along the way more and more thing my stuff is made out of the odd. I didn't say that What does that mean? How does that relate to this? Its throwing all that stuff in there that only I would come up with the that's. What makes me cited like reading comic or even in films is seeing,
We go. Nobody asked what had done that the only this guy would have thought of that. We talk about, guy, doing the whole thing right again, drawing that's what you can really seen comics it's a one man operation is nobody else would have brought that set of. Cystic things or weird quirky things and that's really where your voice comes out, really where people can do. You feel like feel like Hellboy, is you or do you feel he is a an aspirational character for yours. He just some completely other entity. That is now he's To be me to some extent he's little bit my father, but mostly me, because having never written anything before the only way. I knew how to write the character was what what I say it's weird when his set of problems are right, the different in yours, but still you can always
and go in and say what what I say here we'll yeah, I mean problems that were just basically like a camera filter like problems or its Problem solving, though, is that's pretty fixed a handful of ways, people can really solve problems yet so it doesn't really matter if his, whether it is figures out his arm is a key or or a figure that doesn't really matter like it's. It's really the problem. Solving that sort of the human element and one year when you're drunk so much on your own way of solving problems that winning it's a little spooky, because if you start taking a look at what you're doing you can start going in see it going warrior. I would do this, but you know that's not gonna make me look or the second the care to look at what I found really interesting to do it
the book and it happened relatively early is saying: oh I dont know why came up with this particular bit and I dont want to analyze it too much. That's the bit. I came up with that's what the care to did Leave it for the shrink disorder. Somebody because I mean Hellboy, he is not big. On accepting his place in the world. He ll do anything to dodge his place in the world. He tens a retreat alot. He tens do he's gone two periods where he just sits in a hostile, a ghost and drinks for months at a stretch, annex gargoyle onawandah over analyze that, but you know if I was the Beazley Apocalypse and I became a of that and and start worrying about that. What would I do? You know he's an I cant do those I don't know Does this isn't what a hero would do? I can only do this is what this guy will, if you if you wrote this is what a hero would do than its. Then it becomes like that paint by then,
sort of a thing all and then he's gotta do this and rescue renaming. I think some people rate writing comics and gray. I don't read a lot of comics anymore site, don't you know I may be way off, but it it occurred to me when I did read comics some people right comics, the way they think comics should be written, and I never approached Hellboy as this is my comic I'm going to write it. The way contacts have Ben another was time doing radically different. I just didn't have anything in my mind. That said, oh, it's a comic. So it's supposed to sound like this. I just said: I'm just going to trot out whatever I what whatever comes out This is also why didn't think I'd be doing it for twenty years. Well, it's just that. It's the idea of taking a character like this and essentially for lack of a better term humanizing him in the set of certain dances that again really could be anything. It could be. He, as you know, he's forced into an office job that he hates, but then he's got to deal with it
it happens that he's the beast of the apocalypse. This almost incidental, all about things that it really is just about. A guy who its has sort of a wish, crisis and is misplaced and is just right. The figure shit out at the same time of everyday, this trend of I had a move forward, yeah it it. I mean it, you get espresso, be supplied the plane was, was one tat you had kind of say. Well, maybe I just like, I think about it. Won't you killed the guy off continue writing about him. Then it's really. You find yourself in a place where you got it, getting more and more difficult to write about this guy's problem and also more more difficult, to deny that there is a problem if he's actually dead and in Hell, but I did have my therapist years ago in New York. Say this wonderful thing to me. It was actually quite chilling at the time, but I ain't using in Hellboy and it's like for how to deal with stuff. I have no idea
no idea what it must have said. A therapist did her response. Was people are like houses? and the more you live. The more experience you have. The more rooms knows house in the house and with some p I say we should go in and open these doors explore these rooms and with other people I say, keep that room law, I have no idea what I said, but that became I had this little thing. Possession for Hellboy in inhale. Somebody gave him that piece of advice because heats hell. We're done some particularly heinous thing in hell and said I we know what this means and their their great advice was. Don't ever think about that again, you'll be. Find the difference that don't ever open that door retarded therapist of other afterwards. Now I've I haven't, talked to her.
Diana probably do for a refresh area. It's that would arise. We have a line from mad men, something really awful happens in its it's done, Draper in Peggy. With MOSS Character, and he says something to her lips. She she does something really horrible and he says it will shock you how easy It will be to forget this and put it behind you. It will shock you That was always kind of that to me. What sort of Chile like oh shit, it is, I mean what is known as great kind of oh, my god, really that's yeah, but that's that's kind of so you say you dont receded, you start you sort of separating comics was. Was there are particular reason? Are you just got interested in other forms of media yeah? You now. I guess you know my. My real comic book fan period was relatively short when I was like end of high school through probably junior college
yeah I mean look at a lot of stuff, but I just it's it's nothing against the material. It's just. I've got sixty trip books at home, so I'm gonna to work my way through my bookcases and others the comic serene tender red. Why these days but yeah, just for whatever reason it's just rear every once in a while I'll I'll grab something and I will be able put it down, but it just doesn't happen very often, I don't know maybe because I work in comics. It isn't the the show in escape. Well that's the thing is that you know for some people who the sort of the of dangers, the right word, but something that can happen when you pursue something you love in that and another suddenly you're happy becomes your career Dan. Is that anything that gets close to, that's, not your immediate work can feel like other work, because you you're, probably reading it just you're not reading it is as a regular fan.
I go your analyzing all. They did this in this panel. Another taken at the story. I see what they did. They like it, takes you out of it for the scientific filmmaker deal. Can you really? pray. She had a movie without going what lenses off it, but it's it's. Weird yeah. I mean certain lead I wouldn't worry. They comics, probably around the same kind subject matter they did. I read that kind of fiction, all the time, books and stuff like that. There are even that's gettin riskier or are weirder, because I know so many people who write that kind of stuff. Now, a generally just read step that that's by people been dead for a hundred years now that that means that it on its I dont get in trouble on Facebook. If I should say that I didn't like the guy's new book, because he's been dead a hundred years, we are back to us. Oh yeah yeah, I'm not a crime fiction guy and it grew Baker gave me all his criminal graphic novels, and I you know,
I knew I should read them and Airbus loved them, but I'm not a crime guy, but one day I just start leafing through one and start reading it, and I read them all. I couldn't put him down. There was the ill and not to say that there is a great step in comics since then, but that's one of those rare cases because it was so much outside my normal type of subject matter that I feel I just love them. So what simply to did you bore the film is now I get my position. Blade was really odd it was really almost like just Del Toro keeping me around to see if he could put up with me if we actually make up because I like this, I'm not really cut out to be a production designer, but he brought me in. It was a really small, I mean really small production, they went really fast and he brought me. One of the three or four in our production d, guys. So we scattered let
Asian together, which was also very mean to be to spend three or four days in problem Del Toro, his first, the Eastern Europe? That was, that was a pretty wild experience. He gave to my office, I was living Portland. The time came out here. Had this crap, you open, office comes in my office. If I've been there about a week- and he came innocent Magnus Monday we're going to Prague, but they have a Kafka puppet we're going to scale location, but we're going to find Kafka puppet. So that we do we we scattered locations of my work in a around the woods, looking for some place that didn't really exist in our we were hunting puppet shops lookin for a really good Kafka puppet. I wonder if you said it, essentially in Eastern Europe just so that you could do that now. It's because it is cheap, In fact, in fact, I am sure I am not privy television,
and out so that stuff, but the movie was supposed to take a ridge the place originally ethical. This must take place in Vegas so we were trying to fight locations in Prague. They could double for Eric and City- and you really found you often these weird place. As we say in our marriage. Specifically one night, there was a gas station seen that didn't make into the film, but finding a gas station they could come of Passport american Gas Station, but you would literally have to put up I'm kind of sign over here to block a castle. All old monastery or something you went on my guard. The production value for a movie about vampires so grave here, except that you're, not you. I mean there are neither the scouting guys came in to sell you make your vampire movie, here's a ton of pictures of old monastery.
Old churches. Even Mcdonough. Rarely has a higher level like now we're looking for gas stations in an old factory in yeah. It was weird It is a big problem. I mean the idea of of a race vampires that consumes vampires. Was that twisted my brain when I saw that the first summit so that their I've never seen where he goes into the let go hope you and then it's fucking face opens up. I was in love, I love the original blade too. I find love the original blade, but this when just you know it's it again it, You know dear MO, watching a step that he does. Like what you were saying before it's no one else could do it that way so, the year- I never read they'll glares originals. Ripped, but I know there had to be a lot of Dell Toro added to what we're Goin had had originally come up with. I be willing to bet. Go, I didn't have an autopsy scene, I dont care delta.
The hobbit, I'm sure he would have ended up finding a way to put an autopsy and he love internal organs, but It was a moment of great. It was a great experience you now just we had so much fun. Can I wasn't really suited to be their idea? I did some design stuff on the found that made it into the film but near it was, but you know we had a good time how involved with you we're how they involve. With the animated films, but you enemy not nearly as much. I co wrote the stories with a friend of mine who get him TAT stone when they when they talk about animation. I said: there's a guy who's in Anna? Jason or has been an animation. He was at the Disney TV for ages
huge hallway fan, and I think he must have been between jobs, but he had wandered. He had actually pitched I'll wait Disney, which I would have loved to ban the room for that. I know He knew the material, and I knew and- and I thought if need somebody to run. These animated shows get this guy rather than me. Trying to go in and explained as somebody who is not familiar with the material, what it's supposed to be: here's a guy who knows how way backwards and forwards and will speak the same language. So he went in, he ran those shows and a weekend I wrote the stories together, but you know my feeling what these things generally is? I'm not an animal animation guy, so leave it to the animation guys to to do that. I I don't think they wanted the films to look like my work, which is great because then you than I
then I can actually watch them. If you try to make a shout, looks like my work on the sea as what it what you got wrong and that then I would have been involved. Unfortunately, a lot saying now. It should be like this issue be like that. But if you get us I was completely different, then, somebody else's job, to keep that style consistent. So the only the story, I think, was my involvement in that and how do you find storytelling in you know between like what what important things. You learn about telling a story in a comic verses in an animated series, verses in a film. Well, definitely you need you know it's it's a short story. I don't know who they are
like the same thing now, because the comic day is at this point. Certainly I know the common comic is gonna ramble on, so you know with film. I think he definitely need to tie up the loose ends. Didn't lease what the first one he tied it up in a pre neat bow. So that's! I think that the major dear It's gotta! It's got it explain what it is it and words going and there's gotta get there. It can't just be oh, this is the first of thirty two In short, there is one main question now aside: quests yeah, so yeah the net it's funny, because a lot of filmmakers find these days are can a movie that feels like it meant to be an eight hour movie there. So much extra shit in that movie. That. I mean, maybe more old fashion, but I would like a much
simpler story and then, if we ve got add step, we can add staff but dont. Start with the thing that so damn complicated at some point you gotta edit this thing and if you- and if you put in we gotta, get this to open this, do this to do this. To do this, then there's a lot of mood stuff in character, stuff that you're gonna have to cut, because you created this elaborate. Hustle and enter the movie to make any sense. All those puzzle pieces still need to be there so delta. Complicated, my stuff a lot more than I didn't comic, and maybe it's just modern thinking with the way films are it's it's to me. It's almost seemed like computer game things that we got to jump through this hope to get into this room. To do this. To do this. To do To do this, and I would have found much simpler ways to do that stuff. Running in the complex yeah yeah swede?
a comic rambles on forever. If I've got this complicated, we gotta get from this place to this place, where we, find out where this is well, then a ghost walks into the room and says it's their wares. So when we got to get this peace paper, we're gonna fly to Russia and open this thing up to get to this, I would have just gone out, there's a ghost that will help. Will also but also unfair, live action. Film is just really fund a watch, Hellboy puncher, car or something you know like you. So there's there those elements the storytelling to where they do we with this in Kazanovitch, look really awesome. Yeah me, there was one of the I don't live with. A major problem one thing, but solely with the first, how a movie, I'm assuming Del Toro, never thought. There'd, be a second so he was taking so many bits that Natalie bits that he loved them comic and trying to squeeze them in their like hell will hauling the corpse round eyes back. He etiquette that in their find a way to get that in there, but he also had said
many of his own scenes from other movies that he had made. The Hellboy on one hand he loved what I had done. He was clearly a real affection for for the comic, but he also sought as a vehicle for other moments that he will heed wanting to put on film. So the if I remember correctly that there's a scene rooftop with a little kid, whether watching LISA Sherman I'd date and help in this key area watching that scene. I believe that was in one other screenplay is now I was a seed. He always wanted to do so. Yet that's where they got lucky he saw it not only what he liked about Hellboy, but he saw it is a place for him bring all his other stuff, which I think also Why Hellboy in the film is that kind of Word, adolescent love, sick, puppy thing, which I think is much more adult
the thing that than a meeting so give my hair. Is older, but immediately he shifted the character Hellboy to being this much more kind of innocent child like or adolescent a kind of which sort of which, which you totally by into because of the way that he was raised right essentially isolated from the world. Yet I was one of the them, I think, maybe even the first time we met. He said When he said, I want to make it more. Let the comic that probably late into the conversation of in the comic everyone knows we is. Is that can be just too weird for a movie audience so yeah? He wanted to change that probably almost day one making him like a big secret thing
Do you? Are there still things after twenty years that you feel like you haven't, figured out about him yet or do you feel like? Oh? I know you know, you know every square inch of him at this point. Well, its interests, I do think I non pretty well, but that structure Comic has always strange because he shows up on earth in eighteen, forty, four and then the first linked story about him took place in ninety four and over the years. Dropped a bunch of short stories in this big gap where he's just kind wandered around doing stuff, and we're doing more and more stories, while I'm I've killed him off. Continuing this thing with him in hell at the same time, We are talking about more more stories that take place in his early years, so I could just did a graphic novel.
Last year that takes place when he's like three years old. So as I do more step in his past, I start piecing together his asked more so there's a lot of still kind of blurry have a vague idea of his growing up here. And his early years. You know BP hardy agent, but I'm starting to play more with doing these. Your flesh in these things out, but it so it's very strange have a full grown character over here and now really having. Not all with his adolescents in his childhood yeah. I can you cause you still in filling the gap you sort of no worry up and ninety nine before so. Ultimately, you have to kind of figure out how to do stuff. That makes sense that gets him to that place here and
you'll have to kind of say when he can't do this cuz. He would have mentioned that before he can't do this and I can't do this. You can't really eat out. You can't have Galactus show up and eat. Because people have gone, oh yeah, I remember that thing. They people instead of talking about so those are the harder to write. Actually not almost. It sounds a harder to write that way. It is hard, but is also interesting that does, give you some real parameters to work with, and I ve come up with a couple of ways to do things that I'm I'm actually pretty happy with its family. All the help of stuff in the expansion of the help they stopped the way all this stuff is gone. There's never been anybody saying we want more help. Comics, I mean Owen fans young on publishing nobody's ever so we want more help comics. So it's always been well, that's every kind of funny to do something with it.
And then the more you think about it? You go oh yeah. That would be good and oh yeah. Oh crap, that started stories are right. Nets, so now I gotta call the editor and say: do we room in the schedule for this many more books, and can you find many artists to do this this and this? So thing has as swelled up over twenty years, just because these things that I thought were self contained kind, keep spinning off in other things. Has there been any thing that you ve been here. Against the wall to try to make work and that you love the idea- and you just couldn't make it work- probably More often, I'm sure there is that intercept, I'm just a prey to tackle, because I'm I'm ok, as a writer for what I do, but there are certain things I go it'd be great to do this well shit. I know how to do. I just went away
leave me being me, but there's a lot of stuff. I I've come up who the history and that the back story to a lot of these other characters and the way this whole world I've got going on and there alone things like oh yeah. I want tell that story, but it doesn't relate it's a token with the silmarillion. Just like yeah you'd, you have the history very hilltop and river and peace of wall in your world, but who the fuck wants to read about up. You know that's enough I have all these great little bits, but they are not a story era. There a dry shit history lesson, but if I can find a story or a thing created story where I can a reference those bids, so this law that is, law that rattler at low that that backstory information regular rattling.
My head and looking for a place where that step will naturally just kind of bullying spun off and Bp R D. Like they ve, been separate. You ve spun those off, so point. What point do you feel like this sort of ancillary thing? Maybe it's time to explore it more as its own thing. Yet whites, you know when I, when I started the series, It was called Hell wake. I couldn't come up with an apron team. You know I an email boy then sell boys. Crossed my mind. Well, we should have been friends back there. I now, if only God knows, I'd be now, probably a giant. Our money and the two of us to each other over who gets it Betty, though, with the problem of collaborating gives its true butter.
I had in mind those a marble comics guy. I had in mind some kind of a team book, and I could mode name for a team anywhere near might ever come up with a light was Hellboy so that well k we get the we'll just name, we'll just name the bull cowboy and then what this team and deny construe initials on the team. So it does because it did not to be the banner jack- and I didn't know who obey was, I just thought he's gonna be the big eyes could be. The muscle who has a super your background that I'm never going to go into and then once I start beginning to that guy. What and he became really interesting, I had all these other characters are created for this team that I had, I will said, no interest. In them, but he knew they were never can fit into the book. There was just I didn't know. I had so much of this guy story. To tell I didn't see, I was ever got room for those guys, so he's gone up to be Pierre De Book
experiment and then brought in John Cootie, whose a brilliant right who have known for a long time- and he made those characters, I gave them what him, what I knew of those characters, but he really turn those care just a human beings. So I'm you know, allow! This expansion is because I know, there's another writer who can make something out of this stuff. That's interesting, it's also as a creator being comfortable enough. I think it's very important. You know understands what your own interests or limitations might be and to say I want to this effort is someone else, because I feel it gets better for that story is supposed to saying I have to do everything myself. That's a very was very two distinct personality. I mean there's, you know, there's the practical thing of time. You know there's just not enough time to do everything else, but also yeah. John, is a much better,
people person, doesn't as they apply them in real life, but writer is. He is certainly the humanist of the group so more and more. My role with all the all the staff has been the big picture and the big apocalyptic e kind of things and the history in the back story and add the broad strokes of of who these characters are almost like on a symbolic level and John then takes what I've given him and deals with them as actual human beings. And that if there's any secret to the success of that line of books, it's because Queen John, and I especially on the BP stuff, he's made these guys and human beings. I mean helpful is me good, bad or otherwise, but the other characters that personal do other characters: justice, sketch idea of em
personalities have really been defined by John and now Scott Alley. Who's been editing the book almost since the very beginning, he's taken over right in the ape sapient stuff. So again, the beauty of this line of books is. There are just three guys they have been working together. John probably been out for fish In sixteen years scotsmen there almost from the beginning, I've been there from the beginning, so we have three guys who have been able to steer this whole thing as oppose, two year, yoga mainstream comics every couple of months. This guy takes over they. He wants to do is say that other guy stuff didn't happen. That was a dream or whatever it is. Don't you guys constantly kind of coming in and undoing red doing, what the other guys done and we ve been able to keep it a consistent thing for twenty years. A similar thing in nature. Where you hear these horrible horrible colds truth You know. Oh yes, if they knew
for a lion male comes in. It will discuss all the cubs that were there before and then immediately impregnate everyone so that it can have its own DNA Yedo carry on in the same thing and I you know in sums in some sense. I think that you know ink in in comics are film or television that this happens, we'll television series where new show runner comes on or new shows change direction, and it can be good because you get variety, you get different, It's a view, but also our long. What happened? They shall I like the way. I know no consistency like like a show just lose its consistency and you go all that stuff. They were sitting before they just dropped and then what does others if I was invested in that, so it really. I think it really probably does help a lot that you
can grow you, your and your team can grow with the thing you know over the last two decades yeah it's I mean there are things that I set up in the very beginning that are still playing out the fact that again, they said Written babe bag beg the beginning so right myself, no corner early on. So when John and I parking are scattered, nigher talking there. If it's a good conversation is usually appoint were where one of us all blurred out and that look like we plan to from the beginning it's always at all is coming up with something where you go, their kids get think we planned that ninety four stipulated liberal they will manage to pull them again. Something I love to ask writers is when you know when you, when you're, faced with
headline and you're. Essentially you ve hit the wall of. I don't know what the fuck to do next, I dont know what he's got the Santer Nourishment Simcoe. How do you get through that door? Step away, you pushed through What are you? What do you do? I call editor and beg him to tell me what the character should do. Please generally, he won't tell me he'll, give me that kind of that- kind of well think about he'll. Do a therapy thing. You know I think about this or what about this? Or have you thought about this, but he's never Let me the answer. I just want the answer. I want the fast solution, Don't go right, yeah! I do what I really did hit a wall. One time where I realized the story had escalated beyond what it was supposed to be, and I realize As I get closer to the ending like is meant. I come up the ending early
but the story in the middle had swelled up so big that the ending wasn't gonna work and I was getting pretty close to where the ending was, and I just that I don't want to do, and he said Take this very rare advice for an editor, and the book was late. He said, take the weekend off and just think about it. You know it's. You re read what you did Bob ask yourself questions. I just want you to tell me: I know no wearily ending should be, but that was pretty good. He he's he's very good at making me examine what I've done an and look at what what things need to be. Also, I mean Scott and John will probably the first guys admit that they have no idea most and what the hell I'm doing so like. Why asking us the entire future,
a whole series of some weird mystery that only I I know you're the only guy knows what is supposed to be. Do you ever in in a time- or you would just let someone else take it over. Do you feel like when you decide your done? That's it and it's done here I mean you know it's been easy to turn over to some extent hell Keep your dna sapient these other guys, even though we I'm and there is co writer. I M kind of helping steered the book, but it really means here's where these things are going. Eventually, you your job is the right one step the writers toes. We agree on everything's going, and it's up to you, the writer, to get him there I don't want to micromanage, we go along, should he be using a car, he'll be using a bus baby should take the train. That's you guys figure that step out. So
easy to hand those characters over to these guys. As long as I know, they're going where they're supposed to go, but also the whole series is meant to be a finite series. So It is not designed to go on forever and if you look at the state of the law old in the BP hardy universe. It's getting so bad so fast. It can't go on forever. There's no way to fix the damn it. Oh yeah, that's what it's, how you know if you watch any end of Sci Supernatural show its Turkey and tv anyway you get. It is certain It's like this is the worst thing has ever happened, and then they saw and the next thing is like were: how do we tap the worst thing that ever I guess we have to come up with a new, worse thing and then, after, like five six, seven seasons like I dont the world the world, Fuckin blown up by now. I don't know I don't know. I said to John recently. I said we should do a story. John, you should do a story set in a coffee shop. That's just
guys, dealing with the realities of gigantic chunks of the country have disappeared or we still gonna be getting a shipment of coffee. You know how does this effect guys on the street level and in its work at nice? It is to be parity videos with big stories that aid Sapien is on the ground, traveling around America. Just seeing how fucked up everything is. You know on the ground, so, yes, the plan has always been we're just going to keep getting it worse and worse and worse, they'll be certain things that happened it make it not Walking dead, it's not gonna, be that Karim and miserable in and kind of hopeless, all the way along, but we're dead. Lee going someplace and at no point is it away. There's another we're all going to flee to phthalates.
Everyone is reminiscent of everything. Does maybe maybe they don't ask back it up at night? It there's no there's no magic button, it's gonna fix everything and it always like in marble, comics galactic could come down and eat a city and somehow next week the city got put back together grew up to that this figure. Now they drew up the city that threat Europe has a gag I can't use. Now, God did I weep. We got the eight New York and threw it up in Michigan into became Detroit. What the command over that there are other cities are kind of saints the editor does have a big map in his office with pins in it to show what parts of the country we ve completely destroyed. If I've got from this place to their place, you got a void in these two states, because no nothing can live there anymore, that's right Yet it is the more the longer you're, essentially just creating steeple chase for you
to ultimately each time. Every time he set up a new rule is just your world. You know, you're possibilities, shrink light is why things raises Canada waiting. We are planning on doing this for a certain period of time, but are we destroying so fast that there's mecca be any place for years may be a solid ground for anybody stand on. You know two years from now, so you do have the kind of watch, how the series is escalating and maybe let's not destroy that entire continent this week, because we might need per cent but but it's definitely going someplace and it's very odd is at least so far. Will we see a hell, looks like a much friend this place to hang out. Nobody is on vacation, combat air that what's goin on earth, so yeah still as resort ravenous Upper EAST, do you still feel excited about it. Patty find, excitement and urges that just you just feel it here on that point
around the time of second movie I'd stopped drawing it. I and so on, on my own. You know, being too much or perfectionist and and and drawings and I was now- you think I did- and I I stepped away- and I was just writing for a few years, but I miss drawing and once killed off Hellboy. I knew that you put him in how it could be a lot of fun. For me as an artist and right now. Last couple weeks I've been working on something that isn't Hellboy Dian, I'm dying to get back on Hellboy, so that's pretty work- has been appointed. Hell I'd, never done ethnic character for more than few months or maybe maybe a year at most and twenty years drawn help really have one to do anything else. That's pretty good, that's nice to hear Well, I am really fantastic chat and I hope you had fun
and is there and do what you want to plug anything at all. You do is you can doing assigning meltdown? I am which I didn't think it was who in store for me too, shall I mean I didn't think I was cool and at the shop in that store of also when the when they agreed to do this big help way. They thing I was thrilled that they invited me what's today. What is the dates? May twenty six Mark TWAIN, it's one of the eight months March. Twenty second, I think I'll probably have the details right here, Yes, Martin, twenty March twenty March, twenty second yeah Hellboy day yeah. And we got theirs out there. Putting out a comp dark was put on a comic. That's like a sampler. It's got some of the older stories and one news story for which I believe is four hundred, and eighty four people who may have not ever actually read the staff and we ve got new art book coming out. That's so my favorite pieces from the last twenty years, the kind of show the evolution from justice. One little headway comic up through this big expanded.
Universe, so is it just or that you Drew him on a whim at a common convention, or I it it's it's look a little bit more to it, but for the most part a people got to the point where they had they have. That man, drawings or whatever by me and they start asking me- would destroy Sunday for fun, draw railway you want draw and it was no conscious thought of design a character, but aid through this lanky monster a kind of guy a couple times, and then I did a piece I was doing a convention and they said give us piece of our for the convention book and I drew this lucky monster. And there was a spot here like a belt, and there was this blank spot in the bell and eroding Hellboy. And it's not it's funny. You know it in, and you know that
Years later, a couple years later, I started thinking about doing my own comic of the well. I've only made up one name, I thought was kind of funny and it was funny. It was important for me that it was a funny named by then I was in my mid thirties. So I Do some deadly serious demon Slayer blah blah blah, but the name hell. We was funny, and I thought as a thirty some year, thirty some odd year old person. I could tell a guy draw Hellboy, I couldn't say Axel Lord demons layer in itself. I said but the funny name so yeah. I really did start as as just me drawn some for fund, which is probably why still like it. Twenty years later, because I didn't say Gonna make up a character tat, I think we'll sell or I'm gonna make up a character that I think so
you make a movie out of I'm gonna make up character. That is, made entirely out of all this shit that I like, which is the best way and for anyone creating anything it just it doesn't not that's one for it. Minutes gonna work, but it does mean if you do that, and it does work, you're stuck I bought the you actually wanted. It will not only that, but if you do it and it doesn't work, but it's still fun for you, then a lot of times that still enough, that's what I thought, That's what I thought they do. This thing only get a chance to do once they crawled back and Batman or whatever the hell, I get my hands on, but I'll be able to look back and said at least once I put something out there, that kind of reflects. You know What I do is the other side sucks either way. If you Do something that you know you don't like what you do it, because your pandering you're trying to chase something and it doesn't work, then you get matting yourself like fuck anymore, like that thing. In with, and that, if it does work, then you're stuck with it. Well, I mean image: comics had come,
Couple years before- and I got I heard through channels- if I want to do a book for them- I could do it and I start making up something- and I thought well The time has drawn Batman and people like the way do Batman. I could make up some kind of dark Batman kind of thing, and I thought I'd take me here to do it. Chances are hate minute of doing it. And my luck, it will be the first one. These books, it doesn't sell, I will have wasted a year doing something for no money, and I didn't enjoy doing it self, I'm gonna do this. Let me just do something that would be fun. Listen up, people take aid. This is good, If I can do it, I'm not saying aid, they can do it, but certainly theirs. Special about me. I just it's it's. It's certainly evidence that its possible for this shit to work, excellent good to see you and made about another day, and I probably privacy you opera, gotta, help ankle
We have our space there's lots of. That would be a good day to go, because I can totally just park right in the back. Which makes it very easy that is united? I'm excited because it says the meltdown promo says Adobe special guests so I may be the opening act for clowns in and a puppet show hoping for a puppet. Shall I don't know why? Papa Joe, maybe now I may get out of here. I just figures could be some circus thing if if a clown comes out, and certainly a bunch of ridicule stuff in the cloud ripped off the make up in the weird European Clam costume got in Prague and we find it it's gamma, then I will be so data be finding delighted, maybe funny yeah. You hear about three filming in Toronto, Sufi shows up it'll, be a surprise to us all good to see you MIKE Engraver, everyone now leading noticed com-
This episode of the Nerdist Podcast is brought to you by stamps dot com go to stamps, dot, com click on the radio microphone at the top of the homepage and type in nervous for one hundred and ten dollars bonus offer, including a digital scale and fifty five dollars of free postage. That's stamps dot com enter the promo code, Nerdist.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-11.