Mike Mignola Ending ‘Hellboy’ So He Can Paint Watercolors
Mike Mignola has spent an amazing 22 years working on his creation, ‘Hellboy,’ and has won just about any award in comics that one can think of. With not much left to accomplish for himself or his character, the artist has decided now is the time to wrap up the series for good so that he can pursue something else – painting watercolors.
Mignola explained his reasons in an interview with The Guardian:
Hellboy in Hell, as originally conceived, was radically different than what I ended up doing. My thing of getting him off the world into hell was just so I could do these stories where he rambles around. But even by the end of issue five, I started realizing: “There’s this one big story we’re telling.” I tried to do standalone stories, but I’d had him kill off Satan, which I somehow thought wasn’t going to be a big deal, but the weight of that thing took over the book. So originally it was going to go on forever, and then it was going to be four books, and then I replotted it so it was three … And I guess by the end of issue eight, which is out, he’s sitting under a tree and it just suddenly felt like, “Oh. This is the end of the series.” There’s one big thing he has left to do, or maybe two.
My version of the real world isn’t all that realistic – there aren’t all that many cars – but I wanted to throw Hellboy into a world that was entirely made of all the things I would draw if I had no job and could just draw whatever I wanted. Those cities, those people, those semi-transparent giant insects, all those sorts of things.
So taking the year to do these paintings is a pretty natural transition. It’s kind of like stripping Hellboy out of it, stripping the storytelling out. That’s one of the things I’m really kind of looking forward to, just saying, “No, it’s a picture of a guy. We don’t have to know who that guy is. It’s a picture of a building. We don’t have to figure out what’s going on in that building.” Really, I’ve never done it.
Yeah, I’m painting and drawing. I think the drawing in the comic is fine, but none of the drawings get the kind of focus you would be doing if you were just doing a painting or a standalone drawing. Some part of me started saying, “You know, it’s been good that you’ve been able to do some stuff as a cartoonist writing and drawing your own stuff, but you always kind of wanted to be an artist.” And I just don’t think I’ve been doing artwork that’s up to what I could do if I focused all my energies on it.
Mignola has been working with watercolors for the past year, mainly for commercial purposes, but now wants to experiment with them some more and looks forward to having that freedom.
Most of the colored art that Mignola has produced for Hellboy has been a combination of watercolor and gouache. With this new undertaking, Mignola plans to lay low, with no intents to exhibit his works in the public other than an occasional post on social media.
The final issue of Hellboy hits stores on June 1, 2016.