Exclusive: Artist Gary Gianni Talks Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea

Artist Gary Gianni Talks Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea

Artist Gary Gianni Talks Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea

Though Hellboy already went to hell last year, this Wednesday sees the release of an all-new graphic novel in the Hellboy universe which tells an untold story from Big Red’s past. Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea comes from series co-creator Mike Mignola and Gary Gianni, who co-wrote the standalone adventure, which Gianni penciled.

“The way we worked on it was bit of the way Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would have worked where they kind of went back and forth,” Gianni said of he and Mignola’s process. “I do know that Mike at one point said ‘I’m glad you’re doing this story because I sure would have hated to put in all that rigging.’”

The pair have been friends for over 20 years, going back to when Mignola began working on the character, and over the years had spoken about working together when a sea-faring story happened to come ashore.

“As Mike over the years worked on Hellboy, he has this time that Hellboy got lost out at sea and he sort of put a bookmark there. There were several occasions where he asked me if I ever wanted to do a Hellboy… So we just started talking about it further and after a while Mike came back with an outline and I thought it was great. When he first told me the idea, I got excited about it and so it just grew from there. It was a very organic thing, he was open to my input as well, which made the whole collaboration a lot easier for me, because there were actually a lot of things that I do that he wanted to see in this story. After a while I was more nervous about doing it than he was, he seemed to think it was going to fall right in place and I’d be very sympathetic and match the material well, and as I said I was a little nervous. I even told him, ‘I don’t want to be the guy the screws up Hellboy,’ and he said ‘No, don’t worry ab out that, leave that to me.’ His sense of humor helped put me at ease.”


Into the Silent Sea finds Hellboy taken captive by a phantom crew aboard an old ghost ship, which Gianni was able to recreate in his art with some unexpected help.

“I found a club of model builders and these guys are amazing… They construct these things from scratch and some of these ships are five feet long and they’re made to scale and every last thread of rigging and marlin spike and chain and anchor is all there. Just beautiful works of art. And I went to one of these meetings and I explained what I was looking for, and lo and behold one of these guys did have a model of a whaler that he had spent three years building.”

It’s not too much of a spoiler to reveal that the story will also contain some monsters, which Gianni said was inspired by drawings of sea beasts from the 18th century when artists mostly used their imagination. In addition, Gianni spoke of other inspirations for the story, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (which is featured in the text) and others.

“Of course Melville figures into this, but Melville filtered through Ray Bradbury, because Mike and I have always loved the John Huston, Gregory Peck film which was written by Ray Bradbury. A lot of the dialogue in that film, years later when I read the book I realized ‘This isn’t Melville, the dialogue in this film is Bradbury.’ Some of my favorite passages are only in the film.”


“William Hope Hodgeson, another writer that was working in about 1910, and he wrote all these great seafaring novels that had Sargasso Sea, Fungus Men, and Ghost pirates, all this wonderful stuff that within his stories are only half seen and obscured a lot. You might smell them or feel their cold touch or something, but you never really see them and they give this otherworldly-ness and ghostly quality to Hodgeson’s stories that we tried to get across as well. Sprinkled also I think there’s a little bit of H.P. Lovecraft as well.”

As Gianni puts it, the story tells a bookmark in the giant book of Hellboy, and though he hit a homerun with it, he won’t be bringing Bid Red to life again.

“This was my once in a lifetime opportunity to do something with Hellboy. Having said that, that’s not to say I wouldn’t want to work with Mike again on another project, and that very well might be in the cards, but this is my take on Hellboy and I rest my case.”

Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea goes on sale in comic shops on Wednesday, April 19 and in bookstores on May 2. You can check out a preview of the graphic novel in the gallery below!

The post Exclusive: Artist Gary Gianni Talks Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


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