This week marks the release of the newest entry in the Hellboy Universe, Young Hellboy, from co-writers Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski, artist Craig Rousseau, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Clem Robins.
Young Hellboy — which is as it sounds Hellboy but young — has long been a sporadically-seen character, yet one I’ve always personally wanted more of. With the main Hellboy narrative now complete, I’m hoping this new four-part miniseries is the start of more Young Hellboy adventures. The first issue is out tomorrow, and in advance, I was able to send some questions to co-writer Tom Sniegoski…enjoy!
ZACK QUAINTANCE: Aside from the age of the main character, what were some of the differences the team brought to this story as compared to adult Hellboy stories? Obviously, he struck me as a bit more chatty…
TOM SNIEGOSKI: We were very focused on this particular miniseries being fun. We wanted a real sense of adventure with this one –– like something from the 1930s pulps ––and wanted it to reflect that wide-eyed wonder of our young protagonist. And he’s definitely way more chatty, like an overly excited ten-year-old often is.
ZACK: This comic felt totally fun and free to me. Was that part of the idea? Not to spoil things, but between apes and dinosaurs, you checked a lot of my favorite action comic boxes.
TOM: That was totally our intention. Mike and I were pretty specific in the kinds of crazy things we wanted to see in this story. The more we talked, the more we just knew that it had to have ape men, dinosaurs, giant crabs. . . . And that’s pretty much how it went. We really wanted it to be fun.
ZACK: I liked how it was also undeniably a Hellboy comic, between the use of lore and the ominousness of the fanatic. How cognizant were you in balancing the sort of youth appeal with the more complex elements of the franchise?
TOM: We most certainly wanted things to be fun, but we also wanted the miniseries to keep its identity as a Hellboy comic. All the things that make a Hellboy story a Hellboy story are most definitely there. It fits into the very specific timeline that Mike has laid out there for the character, and his universe.
ZACK: Craig Rousseau’s work here is really fantastic. How instructive were you with the scripting, especially with panel layouts and character designs?
TOM SNIEGOSKI: Mike and I worked full script, so there are very specific instructions on how things should look, and what’s going on in each particular scene. But there was also quite a bit of freedom for Craig to interpret things. Craig’s stuff was so amazing that most of the time his interpretation of things was actually better than what was seen inside our heads. He really nailed this story.
ZACK: Finally, as someone who’s been hoping for more Young Hellboy adventures for years, I’m hoping this is a start for more series with the character. Anything you can tell us about whether that’s the case?
TOM: Let’s just say, everybody involved with this series had a blast, and would LOVE to come back for more. Let’s just hope that the Hellboy fans out there feel the same. Fingers crossed!
Published by Dark Horse Comics, Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land #1 arrives in stores and digitally tomorrow, February 17th.