Mike Mignola : drawing monsters

Mike Mignola : drawing monsters
Original title:Mike Mignola : drawing monsters
Director:Jim Demonakos, Kevin Konrad Hanna
Running time:98 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Hellboy has appeared in countless graphic novels and comics, prose novels and short story collections, acclaimed role-playing games and video games, three live-action films and two animated films, and inspired countless toys and collectibles. Now it's the turn of award-winning Hellboy creator Mike Mignola to be in the spotlight in the brand new documentary Mike Mignola: drawing monsters , the definitive story of one of the most influential and important comic book creators of all time.

Mulder's Review

The documentary film Mike Mignola: drawing monsters was definitely one of the highlights of the Fantastic Fest festival held in Austin, Texas, which we were able to cover virtually. Not only does this document allow us to learn more about the writer and artist Mike Mignola, but it also allows us to understand his importance in the world of comics and especially how the character Hellboy and his universe were created and met, after a timid beginning, a very large audience to the point of being adapted to the cinema but also in the form of animated films, video games and numerous derivative products.

Hellboy is a comic book character created by the writer and artist Mike Mignola.  He first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (August 1993), and subsequently in numerous eponymous miniseries, one-shots and inter-company crossovers. After a timid start and the public is not completely conquered, the universe of Hellboy managed to impose itself and be appreciated by a very large audience to the point of being adapted to the cinema in three films Hellboy (2014) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) (these two films are directed by Guillermo del Toro with Ron Perlman in the title role) and Hellboy (2019) directed by Neil Marshall with David Harbour who takes the role of Hellboy. 

This perfectly documented feature film allows to put in parallel the emergence and the growing popularity of Mike Mignola but also the evolution of his character Hellboy through the years and to better understand the impact of the films on the Hellboy comics. Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is composed of several carefully selected archival documents but above all of numerous unpublished interviews with Mike Mignola and numerous artists, from his childhood friends to his various professional meetings. Among the most interesting scenes, we discover this genius author in his studio when he is in full artistic creation. The directors Jim Demonakos and Kevin Konrad Hanna offer us a fascinating documentary on how an independent author who, after having worked within the Marvel and DC Comics editions, preferred to develop his own universe within the Dark Horse comics editions while keeping his own independence. 

Another aspect of this excellent documentary film is to put the universe of Hellboy in our current context and see how the real story has often served as a basis to build a realistic environment with fantastic elements, a world in which the monster often looks human and the fact that some creatures like Hellboy fight many personalities to make the society depicted a fairer world and especially more human. While many documentaries do not manage to hold our attention over time, Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is a model of the genre in terms of the impact of comics on our society and it is no coincidence that the importance of the San Diego Con is also discussed in this film, as it is an international event that cannot be ignored

Mike Mignola: Drawing monsters
Directed and produced by Jim Demonakos, Kevin Konrad Hanna 
Starring Guillermo del Toro, Duncan Fegredo, Neil Gaiman, Jorge R. Gutiérrez, Doug Jones, Victor LaValle, Mike Mignola, Patton Oswalt, Ron Perlman, Chris Prynoski, Mike Richardson, Chris Roberson, Adam Savage, Tom Sniegoski, Rebecca Sugar 
Music by Kyle Scott Wilson
Cinematography: Ryan Purcell
Edited by Ben Cortes
Running time : 98 minutes

Seen on October 2nd 2022 (Fantastic Fest)

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