AS: Absolutely, who wouldn’t be afraid to be invited into the Hellboy universe? It’s my first time writing a comic, and it was like the golden ticket. I’m an experienced short-story writer and novelist, but comics are something new to me – a whole new skill set, really.
Luckily, the background I have in short stories (and as an editor) really helped me tell a succinct story in twenty pages, and my huge cheesy reads and re-reads of comics (Mike’s, obviously; 2000AD, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly, Cullen Bunn’s Harrow County, and Marjorie Liu’s Monstress, among others) taught me how to use art to tell the story as well. Usually with my novels and collections, the illustration is just for the cover, and the occasional internal illustration or endpapers – it’s not part of the storytelling itself. I had to learn to use art to help convey the story to the reader.
Mike and I had a few Zoom calls about his initial ideas and then lots of emails about the details. He was super patient with my questions, and my weird questions about demons and how magic works in the Hellboy universe became fewer, but generally the training wheels died off pretty quickly. Mike simply said, “You know how to tell stories!” The Dark Horse editorial team (Katii O’Brien, Jenny Blenk and Misha Gehr) were fantastic and absolutely encyclopedic in their knowledge of Hellboy’s past adventures, demonology, etc., and were really open to any ideas I had there. have launched. And obviously, in addition to Valeria, they found some amazing artists for the various covers, including Wylie Beckert and Marianna Strychowska.
So, I have to say that I am really grateful for the trust that was given to me and the support that I received. It was a dream experience and I’m so proud of what we created.