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Jim Demonakos & Kevin Hanna Talk Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Creator Mike Mignola is the subject of Drawing Monsters, a new documentary by Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna, currently on Kickstarter. The film looks at Mignola's storied career in comics with the creation of Hellboy and much more which has led to tons of comics, novels, role playing games, video games, and several feature films. It speaks to a number of colleagues in the space like Christopher Golden, Chris Roberson, Tom Sniegoski, and Dave Stewart, plus others in the entertainment world like Neil Gaiman, Victor LaValle, and Vita Ayala. I had a chance to speak with Demonakos and Hanna about the project.

James Ferguson: What drew you to Mike Mignola as the subject of your documentary?

Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna: In a world populated by chiseled flawless superheroes, Mike Mignola went his own way, and created a successful comic book universe filled with flawed misfits and monsters.  We have been fans of his for a couple of decades, and to be honest, when we decided that we wanted to start telling stories through film about comic creators, he was the top of the list. He is a creator who not only already has an amazing and influential body of work, but he himself continues to be the driving voice behind his independent comic book universe.

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JF: How did you decide who to interview for this documentary?

JD & KH: We had our initial plan, but much of that grew greatly with our first interview with Mike. Once he told us stories he had never shared before, it helped us create a bit of a ‘roadmap’ of where we wanted to take the film. With that as our touchstone, we started looking at who would make for not only a compelling interview, but who could shine the light on various points of Mike’s career, and that’s where we started our planning. For example, a big part of his story is obviously the creation and publication of Hellboy, so who better to talk about publishing Hellboy than the publisher of Dark Horse Comics himself, Mike Richardson? It’s those kinds of connections we are looking to make and that’s what has informed our list of interviewees.

JF: I understand you've been working on this for the past year and a half. How has that worked out during the pandemic?

JD & KH: We did a lot of filming in the last half of 2019 and in to 2020. Once the pandemic hit, we put a pause on filming itself, but we took that time to edit a lot of footage, figure out where we were in the process, what else we needed to do and, finally, how we were going to finish the film, which led to this Kickstarter campaign.

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JF: The Kickstarter campaign is intended to finance additional interviews and finish up the film. How did you approach the campaign’s creation and its reward tiers?

JD & KH: We have backed hundreds of Kickstarters ourselves and we feel it is an important outlet for creators to be able to go directly to the fans. That said, as fans ourselves, we really wanted to make everything for the Kickstarter exclusive. We are incredibly fortunate that Mike Mignola agreed to do 3 all-new pieces of artwork that helped us build the campaign tiers, and then we also reached out to various artists who have done interior work on the Mignolaverse in the past to help create our Hellboy Print Portfolio Set, featuring new art from amazing creators such as Tim Sale, Fabio Moon, Paolo Rivera, Duncan Fegredo, Ben Stenbeck, Alex Maleev, Mike Norton, Laurence Campbell and, of course, Mignola himself.

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Horror DNA would like to thank Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna for taking the time to speak with us. Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is currently on Kickstarter.

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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