With Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1, artist Jesse Lonergan makes his first foray into drawing the Hellboy Universe.
And Lonergan — who you may know from breakout work on excellent comics like Hedra or Planet Paradise — recently made time to talk with The Beat about the new book, which is due out this week. Check out our conversation below!
INTERVIEW: Lonergan talks MISS TRUESDALE AND THE FALL OF HYPERBOREA
ZACK QUAINTANCE: What’s your relationship to the Hellboy comics, are you a long-time fan?
JESSE LONERGAN: I’ve always been aware of Hellboy since I got into comics in high school, but I don’t think I really became a big fan until about ten or fifteen years ago. I fell in love with Mike Mignola’s art first, and then got into the universe, but I’d say that my knowledge isn’t on the same level as a diehard fan’s. There are people who know a lot more than I do.
ZACK: How does it feel to have now introduced a new character to the Hellboy Universe, and, perhaps, a new corner of the bigger story to explore?
JESSE: There was a bit of intimidation going into it with the first drawings I sent to Mike, sort of along the lines of “does he really want me for this?” But he was supportive the whole way through, and it felt good working on the book. To some extent, it’s now out of my hands, and it’s up to the readers and how they receive the book. My hope is that people like it and we can do more stories with the character. It would be cool if Miss Truesdale became someone people knew at a glance.
ZACK: This one has a lot of elements — time-travel, supernatural horror, the deep continuity of the Hellboy Universe — how did you approach developing the aesthetics you needed to capture all of that?
JESSE: Fortunately, there has already been so much done in the Hellboy Universe that there was a lot of material that I could look at and extrapolate from. There hasn’t been a lot of Hyperborea seen previously, but the aesthetics of it are there in Hellboy: The Island and Frankenstein Underground (with art by Ben Stenbeck). And even within the stuff that was 100% new, it felt like there were parameters to work within.
ZACK: What was the collaborative process like between you and Mike Mignola?
JESSE: It was one of the best experiences I’ve had working with a writer. I was nervous going into it, and reading the script for the first issue, I came to page description which was just a sentence or two along the lines of “the fight continues.” That’s a lot of freedom to give an artist, which can feel like a lot of pressure, but at the same time it made me realize he just wanted me to do what I do and have fun with it. So that’s what I did, and I trusted that if he didn’t like something he’d tell me.
ZACK: Without spoiling anything, of course, how surprised will readers be at the places this story goes? And can you give us any hints about what’s to come in these four issues?
JESSE: I think readers are in for an exciting ride. When Mike was telling me what he had in mind, at one point he said, “and that’s where the first issue ends,” and I was surprised because I really had thought he had just explained the whole series. The story just keeps going and twisting and getting bigger and more layered. Some familiar but unexpected characters show up, a city is leveled, and by the end I think Miss Truesdale has become so much more than what she seemed at the start.
Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 is out Wednesday, May 17.