Events

Meet the Monster Artist Who Created the Hellboy Universe

On Friday, the Society of Illustrators hosts a talk with Mike Mignola, whose signature style includes careful compositions, large swaths of dark ink, and shadowy humanoid monsters.

Mike Mignola, The Goon issue #7, pages 1, 2, 3, and 26 (2004), pen and ink (all images courtesy the Society of Illustrators)

The most successful comic artists aren’t credited with creating books — they’re credited with creating universes. The work of Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, is sometimes described as the “Mignolaverse.” His signature style includes careful composition, large swaths of dark ink, and shadowy humanoid monsters. On Friday, Mignola will speak with comics scholar Karen Green at the Society of Illustrators, to coincide with a current exhibition of Mignola’s work at the Museum of Illustration.

Mignola started his comics career as a teenager in 1980s California, where he attended art school and illustrated for The Comics Reader. According to the Society of Illustrators website, Mignola moved to New York in 1982, “hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living.” Over the years, he’s worked for both Marvel and DC, and created his best-known series, Hellboy, for Dark Horse comics. The premise and art are both delightfully strange: Hellboy is an idiosyncratic demon originally summoned by the Nazis. (He was also the star of a 2004 movie, directed by Guillermo del Toro.)

Mignola’s talk this week will examine some of his favorite works from his almost four decades in comics. Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia University, will help guide the discussion. Tickets cost between $15 and $30, and a cocktail reception will follow.

Mike Mignola, cover of the Eisner Award-winning The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects (2010), pen and ink

When: Friday, April 13, 6:30–8pm (exhibition on view at the Museum of Illustration until April 28
Where: Society of Illustrators (128 East 63rd Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

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