Mike Mignola on why it's finally time to call it quits on Hellboy

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Jun 2, 2016, 11:17 AM EDT

It’s easy to forget, but comic guru Mike Mignola has been cranking out Hellboy books for more than two decades — and now it’s all coming to an end.

As he hangs up the comic reins, Mignola is turning his attention to a full-time career as a painter. With the final issue of Hellboy in Hell hitting shelves, Mignola told The Guardian the arc never really turned into what he conceived from the beginning. But that turned out to be a good thing, and it eventually led to the revelation that the series had managed to reach its natural conclusion.

Check out an excerpt from his comments below:

“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.”

Mignola also touched on the movie-sized elephant in the room, saying he’d love to see a third Hellboy film, though there’s still no real momentum to make it happen — and, if anything, we should just be proud the first two movies ever actually made it to the big screen. He also reiterated his stance that crowdfunding could never come up with enough cash for a $100+ million genre epic. Which, yeah, fair point.

What are your thoughts on Hellboy coming to an end? Have you followed along all these years?

(Via The Guardian)