The Vanishing Point In View Of The Visitor

by Vince Brusio

Hellboy readers: an old adage is about to hit you square between the eyes. It goes something like this: when one door closes, another door opens. In the case of a long dormant piece of history for Hellboy, we’ve been hard-pressed for details about a certain anomoly in the paranormal investigator’s origin. Now with the arrival of The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed TP (JUN170030), Dark Horse Comics pulls back the curtain on a long-lost piece of the puzzle which asks "why did aliens have a part in the original Hellboy mini-series"? Finally, the story can be told, and writer Chris Roberson gives us the dirt in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview!

The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed TP (JUN170030) is in comic shops October 4.

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Vince Brusio: Will new readers to the Hellboy mythos first need a refresher course before they get into The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed TP? Or does this story actually become the primer for the next generation of fans?

Chris Roberson: Longtime readers of Hellboy will encounter a lot of familiar characters and moments as the story unfolds, but the series is designed to be enjoyed by those who are completely unfamiliar with Hellboy and his world, as well. Everything that a reader needs to know is on the page.

Vince Brusio: How did you get involved in this project? What sold you on the idea?

Chris Roberson: The idea originally came out of a long lunch conversation I had with Mike Mignola and Scott Allie last year. I’d always been intrigued by the aliens that were glimpsed in the original Hellboy mini-series, and in particular the one who appeared briefly in Conqueror Worm, and I suggested that it would be interesting to explore his story, and see what he had been up to on Earth all that time.

Vince Brusio: How did you go about working with Mike as a co-writer? Did he plot the story, and you were given the charge of writing dialogue? Or did you share writing chores equally?

Chris Roberson: It’s a lot of back and forth. I originally pitched the idea for the series, and then incorporated feedback from Mike and Scott about how the story might unfold, and then collaborated with both of them on the outline, which went through a number of revisions. But from the beginning it was clear that Mike and I had very similar visions for how the story should progress, and those revisions were really just fine-tuning. And as we started working on the scripts for the individual issues we’d go through much the same process. So really it’s the three of us collaborating on each stage of the process.

Vince Brusio: Why was Paul Grist recruited for this project? What does he bring to the table? Why is he the right fit for conveying the atmosphere of this story?

Chris Roberson: Paul is one of my favorite cartoonists working today, and I’ve long been a very vocal proponent of his comics like Jack Staff and Kane. I’d been nursing ambitions to recruit him for something Hellboy related for a while, and when this project came along I realized that he’d be a perfect fit for it. Mike is as big of fan of Paul’s as I am, and didn’t need any convincing when I suggested the idea. As for what he brings to the series, Paul’s visual storytelling is some of the absolute best in the history of the medium, bar none.

Vince Brusio: How will The Visitor: How And Why He Stayed endear itself to Hellboy fans? How does it raise the bar as “the most mysterious Hellboy spinoff”?

Chris Roberson: This series will answer questions that longtime readers have been asking since the first Hellboy mini-series came out, while at the same time introducing new mysteries that we’ll be exploring in the years to come.

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Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.

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