Tell me about the Hellboy of it all. You've said over the years that when characters die, they don't go away, they get more interesting. What is interesting about having him back on Earth and with the team after his time in Hell?
Well without giving too much away or getting too Catholic about it, there had to be the living Hellboy, the dead Hellboy and then... whatever this is. Not only was I raised Catholic, but I read so much Michael Moorcock in high school that it made a magic combination because Hellboy is the doomed hero who doesn't get to rest in peace. So even at the end of Hellboy in Hell, you have Ed Grey saying, "Now you can go have your own life." But this ghost that's haunting Ed Grey's place is saying, "You're lying to the guy. You know he has other things left to do." So I always knew there was a list of things Hellboy still had to do, and it was going to suck when he had to do them. I gave him a little bit of a vacation in that house in Hell.
Originally, the final arc of B.P.R.D. was going to be longer, and so he would have had more time to rest in that house and do whatever he was going to do there. But when we cinched the series a little tighter, we realized we had to bring him back at this point to give him the time he needs to do what he's got to do on Earth.
There's always a sadness – and I hope it came across in those three pages I drew – to this guy who kind of always knew his real, "final" rest would be temporary. He had shit he had to do. At the very beginning of Hellboy In Hell, there's a conversation between Ed Grey and Baba Yaga and it's established there that he has things he still has to do. I've always had that list of things, and now, Hellboy's going to do them.
As soon as we started plotting the series, I knew at this point I'd have to step in and draw those couple of pages just so we could make that bridge between Hellboy In Hell and the B.P.R.D. It's not that Laurence couldn't have done it, but for me, it connected the series.