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November 10, 2005


Seth Lombardi

Wow, Tad. I didn't expect an update this soon, or of this much detail. Very nice, informative post. I suppose the philosophy on the backgrounds kind of reflects Mike's idea that color art can still be thought of as black and white in certain respects?

jay d smith

wow! it's looking great, cant wait to see it!



Don't get spoiled by fast updates! Although I do want to add at least one a week.

I specifically wanted the background look out there to counteract the bg look of the Cheeks piece.

I think the next entry will emphasize how much of Mignola we're trying to get into the production.


I'm so, so glad you're doing this production diary, Tad... this look into the process is very much appreciated. Can't tell you how excited I am that the show is going to happen.

So, yeah, thanks!


yaay this is great tad. nice that you can identify yourself finally...and i appreciate the bakground stuff on you. have fun!


Holy Crap! This is amazing

dany boom

im REALLY trying, in my personal life, to be a more positive person. i try to excise negative energy when possible, to not gripe and complain...

BUT THIS IS AWFUL. really really too bad, what is happening here.

how cool is hellboy, the comic ? im sure most people dig its simplicity and graphic power. the mignola drawings are iconic and mysterious and graphically pure.

what the hell is this new disney looking thing ? why cant it be simple, like does anyone remember that show the maxx ? that was done so well. hellboy deserves a treatment like that.

im really dissapointed. i remember posting back and forth with shane glines on cartoon retro about how the movie didnt really capture the essence of the hellboy comic. with respect to mignolla, it seems like the red dude is getting worked over again.



I think it looks great. It is a bit disapointing that it's not Mignola's style, but it was Mike's choice to change the style, and Cheeks is crazy talented. I'm thrilled that Tad is in charge, too! I remember back in the Darkwing Duck days (big fan!), Tad saying in an interview that his dream project would be a Hellboy cartoon. When I heard a few days ago that it was finally happening, the first thing I thought was, "Tad Stones is gonna be pissed they did this without him!" Hee hee. I should have known he'd be there from the start. Good luck on this!

dany boom

there is no question that cheeks is talented. i even like the drawing.

theres only one problem - ITS NOT HELLBOY.

if mignola wanted to create a series that didnt look like his comic, it would have made sense to create a whole new character. this is not the hellboy i love. teh backgrounds look generic -any cartoon character could run through there. its not th ehellboy universe.

the third wish - are you familiar with that ? a two parter done right before production on teh film started ? its WONDERFUL. AWESOME storytelling. pure. simple, exhilerating art.

there is more wonder, suspense, and action in that mini story than in the whole live action film, and it goes without saying that these concept drawings dont come close, either.



"the third wish - are you familiar with that ? a two parter done right before production on teh film started ? its WONDERFUL. AWESOME storytelling. pure. simple, exhilerating art."

As much as I love Mignola, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree there. I think "The Third Wish" is one of the weaker Hellboy stories. It's essentially an extended revision of the confrontation with Hecate from "Wake the Devil."

I agree the art is beautiful, but you're treading into hyperbole with some of your other comments.

Again, I love Mike Mignola and believe his graphic storytelling is often incredible. His plotting can be a different matter, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'm dialogue and character development myself, but break out in cold sweats at the thought of writing physical descriptions.

I have to say, it bothers me a bit to see how rarely people are willing to offer Mignola even a little constructive criticism. I consider it a measure of my appreciation for his material that I offer the occasional nudge-nudge when I think something isn't working.

And I greatly disagree with your claims on the film (I don't think there's one suspenseful moment in the Third Wish, and there's maybe one action scene), but I'm not inclined to debate this further.

As for the cartoon--I think it's a brilliant idea, and clearly it's being handled by the right people. Best of luck to Cheeks, Tad and the entire animated Hellboy crew.

Seth Lombardi

Tad, I think one update a week is way above and beyond the call of duty alrady, seeing how far away from release the thing is and the restrictions on what you can talk about and the fact that you're busy MAKING the thing. So you know, it's like GDT on the old HB boards; anything you do here is gravy, no matter the volume.

And Dany, I suggest you write Mignola a letter. Not that you haven't been polite so far, but Tad and company are just doing thier darndest to execute what Mignola wants, and they're excited to do it. So giving them static on thier personal sites where they're going out of thier way to let us in on the process isn't going to be very productive.

David Server

Oh man, this looks great. I want to see animated Abe! I'm psyched we're getting as many updates as we are, I really thought we would be pretty much in the dark until a couple months before release, this blog is an extremely pleasant surprise. Kudos to Tad and the whole animated HB team! Keep up the good work, guys.

Patrick "petriacce"

Hey Tad! I should start off with a congratulations. I hadn't heard the good news. Have you slept since you got the job? I will definitely keep an eye on the blog. Thank you for sharing the process. I look forward to seeing the progression to the end result. Hopefully you'll sign a DVD for me! I certainly hope people keep the criticism down to a modest level until the completed product is available. So far I think it looks great and the scene layering with color options sure will lend itself to the use of color to relay part of the story just like the comics do. Just swell and Cheers to you!


I don't mind criticism and my goal is to capture the mood and mystery of Mike's comics if not the look.

The decision to not use Mike's style was part of the deal. Without the change, there probably would be no Hellboy animation. Mike likes to have other variations of Hellboy and he was really excited about Cheeks' style. The challenge now is to build a world that communicates a Mignola-type story. And we definitely have a couple of those.

Sandra Khoo

WOOHHOOO!!! Go Sean,GO!!!

Sean Galloway's art has really been an inspiration to me! I can't wait to see what his style will look like when it's finally turned into animation!


This Looks great. I´have just finished on the latest gorillaz videos and it was an awesome experience.When are you crewing up for this? How do I contact you? Great to hear the big guys going to be drawn thats really good news. HK


It looks wonderful! I hope this animated movies arrives everywhere, I'm spanish and a big Mignola's fan. Great work for Sean Galloway.

Tad Stones

I'm getting lots of inquiries about getting on the Hellcrew. The publicity release lagged the reality of production by a couple of months. We're actually well underway. The onsite crew is full other than color and we have those people, they're just waitiing for their start date.

And working on the Gorillaz stuff must have been suh-weet!!


Marvellous!, The backgrounds are delicious, and the new graphic interpretation is simply genial.
Visit my web,please,your oppinions about my illustrations are very important for me.
Thank you! and go ahead boys!


I put myself in the "worried persons" team : these paintings are too far from the hellboy I like... Without the great spaces of shadow, the great planes of color that fight in Mignola images, what Hellboy can become ? I was very enthusiastic about the very short film with a cell-shade hellboy that had been shown on the web for a while now...


I understand that Mignola wanted the style changed for the cartoon. And the style is starting to grow on me a little, but Hellboy's head just looks wrong. There is still an angular quality to the rest of his body, but the head is composed of curves. He is missing his cheekbones, his sideburns are just too damn soft and poofy looking, and the thing that bugs me the most is that you gave him eyebrows, Hellboy should not have eyebrows!

Tad Stones

This will probably be the last post from me about the style. I don't see the "I want it to look more like Mignola" posts as really negative. I understand the enthusiasm for Mike's artwork because I share it. But the fact is, making Hellboy look different from the comic was one of the ground rules for the project.

And so, quite intentionally, the biggest difference was the head. But the sideburns will help define the cheekbones. Plus, you're forgetting a little thing called SHADOWS! Cheeks lit his Hellboy from below which was great in that it separated the design even more from Mike's (Remember, ground rules). But we will be using shadows to help define the shape of his face.

As to eyebrows, it's one of the biggest blessings of the design. Ron Perlman pleaded for pupils in the movie. He was trying to act under pounds of make-up and he felt his eyes would be vital to communicating emotion.
Animation doesnt' allow for subtle expression. We use color, music and of course the actor's voice to get as much as we can. In the comics, Hellboy generally carries one expression. If we did that in animation, he'd look like he was wearing a mask. The eyebrows not only help create a new character design but will help the animator communicate what HB is thinking.

So that it. I'm not locking the thread or anything but I think everything's been said. That goes for the defender's too. I won't be posting anything new this weekend but I'll get something new up before Thanksgiving.


this is it's own thing people. Much like the movie.
It's toying with the hellboy universe, not changing it...
try and understand that...
I love the style of everything...the only thing I'm worried about is how the shows set up.....Please make it cinematic in terms of camera movement ( I.e clone wars )It has a much nicer flow if you do it that way
awesome job and can't wait

Please oh please make it look like this.



This is a big piece of shit. The story telling will have to be exelent to make up for this art style, but its airing on cartoon network. The cut all the blood and profane laungage not sutable for the kities (unless it airs on adult swim). Mike Migola is my favorite comic book artist and writer. He inspired me to write some off my own stories, but I think he is going to be recieving a lot of hate mail.

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