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INTERVIEW: Mike Mignola On Hellboy's Future After Ending The B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know

Though necessity has called you back into this Devil You Know series of late. When John Arcudi left the book, he had said his piece, but there were plenty of stories unresolved still out there. Has it been a matter of that boulder rolling down the hill this whole time, or did you have to sit down at some point and actually plot out what will happen in the end?

At various points with John, we did discuss where the series was ending. But John was always a little cagey. I'd say, "Are we going to do this or this?" and he'd say, "I'll take care of it." John and I never had the relationship, except at the very beginning, where we'd really button down scene-by-scene where the book was going. Once he really made the book his, as long as things were going in the direction we'd agreed on, I was happy to give John as much room as he wanted to develop things as he wanted. And I did think – maybe John thought too, I don't know – that he would carry that book on to the very end.

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When John got to the point where he said, "I've done everything I can here," that was fine. You don't want a guy staying longer than he has anything to say. So when it came time to decide on who was going to write this thing, of course it was going to be Scott because he's the only person who's been there from almost day one, developing this world with me and John. So he was really the only choice for a guy to finish the series. At that point, Scott and I did sit down and really discuss where everything was – where John had left things, what had been done that needed to be wrapped up and that. John really did a pretty good job wrapping most stories up. It's not like he left us in a lurch. It was just a matter of what was left to do to get us where were were going.

Dark Horse is currently releasing a definitive six-volume series of Mignola's Hellboy work

And at that point, my thing was "If John is gone, let's just wrap it up in like six issues." [Laughs] I just wanted to bang it out and put this thing to rest. And it was Scott who was going, "Well...there's a lot of stuff we still wanted to do." And we agreed that we didn't want to get the book going for another ten years. We just trotted out a list of things we needed to do, stories that had to get resolved and characters that needed to be moved to certain places. And that list informed how many issues the last arc would be. Scott and I spent about two and half days with me holed up in a Portland hotel room, pacing back and forth and plotting the whole thing out. It was a lot of fun to do. And thank God for Scott who had not only been listening to my ideas and remembering all of them for 20 years, but he'd also been working so closely with John. So he was more knowledgable than I was about what John had done. It worked perfectly.

The idea of bringing a different writer in other than Scott never would have worked because you would basically be bringing in another writer and just telling them what to do. Or yu'd be bringing someone in to say, "Now the book is yours. Let's start it up again." But like I said, we'd gone so far down the road that it was time to find a way to pull all the strings together.

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