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Artist Adam Hughes on ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club' and being scared

Comic Books

Artist Adam Hughes on ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club’ and being scared

An interview almost a year in the making.

This week, two of the greatest comic book creators in the business are joining forces again to get spooky with Hellboy. Adam Hughes and Mike Mignola have already won an Eisner for their one-shot, Hellboy: Krampusnacht. Now, they’re hoping to set fire with a follow-up, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club.

Originally slated for December 2019 (I interviewed Hughes about the series last year before it was delayed), the one-shot tale is now slated to be released in comic shops on November 11. Set in Savannah, Georgia, the book finds Hellboy aiding a young girl during a botched ghost hunt. From there, the tale winds its way into an abandoned medical school, where all sorts of horrors await our demonic hero.

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I recently had the chance to touch base with Hughes for a new round of questions. He lets us in on why the book was delayed, his favorite part of making comics is, and what a third Mignola/Hughes collaboration might look like, among other topics.

AIPT: Hi Adam, David Brooke here, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. I know the book was meant to come out last year, but delays had the project skip a year. With all that time between, did the book change at all?

Adam Hughes: I feel like HAL-9000, being interviewed via time-delay in 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Hello, Mr. Amer…” The only delays were me. Due to stuff going on in my life, I had a devil of a time getting the book done on time. So, they just kind of let me finish it at my own pace after I missed the 2019 deadline. I eventually got it done. Nothing really changed, apart from the fact that you can now see what it looks like when I nervously noodle the colors to death on a comic-book. Yay!

AIPT: Outside of the locale being Savannah, Georgia, are there any other influences in this work that inspired the horror elements?

AH: My favorite part of any assignment is the research. It’s the one part of my contribution that I really can’t screw up. Influences? Google ‘abandoned hospitals’. Holy jumping mother of God in a sidecar with a lobster bib and jimmies, it’s total nightmare fuel. I found images of abandoned hospitals that would make Stephen King poop his Pampers. My favorite photo shows an old operating theatre with a human skeleton hanging from an inverted L-shaped stand. Nothing crazy, right? The skeleton has a shiny metal drip-pan under it. WHY IS THERE A DRIP PAN UNDER THE SKELETON, GOOGLE?!?

Hellboy & the B.P.R.D.: The Seven Wives Club

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

AIPT: First we have Krampus, now ghosts, in the perfect world how would Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes close out a trilogy?

AH: Hellboy vs. The All-Night Vampire Bikini Car Wash is just money waiting on the table.

Wait. That was a joke, but I just thought it all up. Hellboy spends all night helping the El Paso, Texas Animal Control hunt down a werewolf. After they catch it, they stop to get gas/directions/Trail Mix at an all-night car wash that turns out to be run by sexy vampires. Crap. That would be a funny comic-book.

AIPT: Is there a link between Krampusnacht and Seven Wives Club (aside from the creators of course) that fans might look forward to?

AH: I love being a smart-ass and would probably say “Yes! Try to find the three Krampusnacht Easter eggs, if you can!” when there aren’t any at all…but it’s Day Four of Election Night 2020 as I type this, and no one needs any extra stress right now. The only link is that I still haven’t figured out how to draw Hellboy. Collect ’em all, kids.

AIPT: What is it about the horror/fantasy genre that is so timeless for you?

AH: Not everyone is enchanted by people leaping tall buildings in a single bound. I myself am bored with violent apathy by police procedurals. But one human experience, shared by all, is being scared. Everybody’s been scared by something at some point in their lives. And I think that is why. Horror stories are the one type of tale where the storyteller can cast the widest net, seek the largest audience. It’s also the last place where you can be unabashedly gory or sexy or whatever it is that succeeds on over-the-top thrills, and you don’t get too crucified when the sun comes up.

See you next Wednesday!

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