Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea continues to expand on Dark Horse Comics and Mike Mignola’s expansive Hellboy universe in a new and exciting way this May with a supernatural time-traveling adventure that should appeal to fans old and new.
We got to speak with the artist of Miss Truesdale, Jesse Lonergan, and asked him about his approach to the varied locales and time periods and what it was like to add to the mythos in this exclusive interview.
How did you become involved in Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea?
Jesse Lonergan: Mike Mignola sent me a Facebook message asking if I was interested in doing something in the Hellboy Universe, which was an easy question for me to answer. I thought it would be something small like an eight-page story for an annual or something like that, l but then Mike had this story with multiple past lives, Victorian spiritualists in Paris and London, Hyperborean gladiators, forest gods, and reincarnation, and I realized it was going to be a bit bigger.
The new series travels in time to many unique and mysterious locales. Is there one that you enjoyed drawing the most?
Lonergan: The forest sequences in Hyperborea were a lot of fun to draw, but I think my favorite section was a few pages in the last issue where I got to jump from place to place, and I got to revisit sequences from various Hellboy comics that had been drawn by Richard Corben, Duncan Fegredo, Matt Smith, and of course Mike Mignola, and it really felt like I was immersed in the universe.
What is it about the Hellboy Universe that allows it to continue to grow?
Lonergan: I remember reading something about Mignola thinking first about the kind of stories he wanted to tell first, and then coming up with the characters, and I think with his imagination and interest in folklore, mythology, and pulps, there’s just a lot to work with. One story leads to another.
Mignola has praised your style from Joe and Azat, All Star, and Hedra. Did you have to adjust any aspects of your sequential art and story telling for Miss Truesdale?
Lonergan: Not really. In terms of working with a writer, this is the most freedom I’ve had. Some pages in the script would just be a sentence or two of description with no mention of panels or composition, which left a lot of the decision making up to me. It was a little intimidating because I think Mignola in his own work has established such a high standard, and as an artist, I want to live up to that. On the other side of that, he’s showing a lot of trust in me, and it’s clear he just wants me to do what I do, which is a confidence boost.
Mignola also describes the new series as one of the more unique extensions of his universe. What is it about this series that makes it so unique after so many previous entries?
Lonergan: I’m sure Mignola would be able to answer this better than I will, but I think with this story we’re really getting into Hyperborea, which has been referenced a number of times in other books, but this is the first time a series has been set there. This series takes place thousands of years before any of the previous stories, and because of that there is a lot to explore.
Lonergan: I’d love to continue with the characters in Miss Truesdale, but I think that will depend on how people respond to it. Outside of the Hellboy Universe, there’s a graphic novel, Arca, that I did with Van Jensen coming out from IDW this July. I also have a solo series, Drome, which is currently available on Patreon, that hopefully will see print sometime in 2024.
Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 will be available at your favorite local comic shop on May 17, 2023. Check out Lonergan’s cover, and Mignola’s variant cover, below.