Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters (The Secret Origin of Hellboy) looks at the creator of Hellboy and the vast universe he has created. Filled with interviews, the film is a look at Mignola’s career. More than that, it looks at the long lasting impact. The documentary is surprisingly heartwarming. As expected, there is the story of Mignola’s rise, but it is the many testimonials that really give Drawing Monsters its emotional weight. It is filled with interviews that range from actors Ron Perlman and Patton Oswalt to creators such as Guillermo Del Toro and Rebecca Sugar. Unsurprisingly, they all speak highly of the artist.
It is not the praise that will make some teary eyed, however. Listening to Sugar talk about how comfortable it made her feel or seeing Del Toro accept the Oscar for The Shape of Water are just two of the powerful moments in Drawing Monsters. There is the normal talk about the work speaking to outsiders, but it all rings much truer here. The interviews have a genuine feel that goes beyond simply talking up Mignola.
Adding to the genuine feel of Drawing Monsters is Mignola himself. He is very open and comes off as a charming person. His stories about his time in New York are hilarious and it is interesting to hear the role his family played in his career. Mignola is also willing to talk about the not so flattering moments, such as his weaknesses as an artist.
Of course, the documentary is overflowing with examples of Mignola’s work. Obviously, there is a lot of Hellboy, but many of his other creations are included. His early works on The Defenders is shown, as is his career changing Legends of Batman story. You do not have to be a fan of comics or Mignola to enjoy the many stills shown.
Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters (The Secret Origin of Hellboy) is more than just a look back on a career. It is filled with great interviews, but does not limit itself to people talking about how amazing Mignola’s work has been. It looks at his legacy, but the most memorable parts are the impact he has had. Anyone who is not a fan will leave wanting to read Mignola’s stuff.
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