Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: While Mike Mignola’s name has become synonymous with his Hellboy character - which has spanned comics, movies, games, and more, what made this the perfect time to celebrate the legacy of such an incredible creator?
Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna: In a world where more and more of our favorite worlds and characters are being collected by giant corporations, Mike is still the driving creative voice behind his comic book universe. His voice is what makes his work unique and worth celebrating.
BD: The film contains interviews with top-notch creators and performers, including Neil Gaiman, Doug Jones, Vita Ayala, and more. What can you tell us about the unifying thread that each of these individuals shared with you in discussing Mignola and his work?
JD & KH: We had our initial plan, but much of that evolved with our first interview with Mike. Now that we had stories he had never shared before, it gave us a roadmap of his life, which led us to sit down and figure out which specific people we wanted to talk to about various points in his career. This way, we could find people who could speak to his story from a variety of perspectives so we could get a complete picture of his life. One of the reasons we’re on Kickstarter is to get funding so we can travel to places like New York to be able to sit down with creators like Vita Ayala, Victor LaValle, Tara McPherson, and other writers and artists who are based there, plus a number of other locations, as well, to get us the interviews we need to finish off the documentary.
BD: In addition to interviews, the documentary also includes art demonstrations with various creators, including Mike Mignola himself. How would you describe your directorial process in weaving together the informative and more hands-on aspects of this project?
JD & KH: Comics are a visual medium and watching them come to life in the hands of master artists can look amazing. We wanted to make sure the viewer felt really up close and intimate while the illustrations were happening. There is a lot of technique and passion that goes into drawing, so we used a couple of different cameras to get various angles on the drawing as it was happening to make the viewer feel like part of the process.
BD: Why do you feel that Mignola’s work has connected so strongly with audiences across all entertainment mediums, and what do you hope that viewers will take away from this documentary?
JD & KH: It's like Rebecca Sugar said, "Hellboy at its core is about someone who was really afraid of who they are, and we all feel like monsters sometimes."
Even though Mignola's work is fantastical from the point of view that it deals with fantasy subjects, like monsters, fairies, demons, etc., Hellboy himself is very grounded. He's such an everyperson that as you follow his adventures, he is extremely relatable as someone who does the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because of any outside force or need for glory, and I think that resonates.
There is a place for unique visions, for flawed misfits. As for the takeaway, we want people to see that Mike Mignola is a truly astounding creator, who has made an entire universe outside of the mainstream that has thrived, and that you can experience his world while he's still creating and growing it, which can't be said of many creators.
BD: In light of the Kickstarter campaign, are there any particular backer rewards that you would like to highlight for our readers?
JD & KH: We wanted to make everything we did for the Kickstarter unique so outside of the Blu-ray, none of our rewards will be available for purchase after the campaign. We're especially excited for the Hellboy Portfolio Print Set, which includes artwork by various artists who have done interior work on the Mignolaverse in the past, such as Tim Sale, Fabio Moon, Paolo Rivera, Duncan Fegredo, Ben Stenbeck, Alex Maleev, Mike Norton, Laurence Campbell, and, of course, Mignola himself.