Mike Mignola talks setting and architecture

Geoff from BLDGBlog sez, "I just uploaded a long interview with Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Baltimore, and much else besides.

The conversation mostly sticks to questions of setting -- of architecture and landscape -- because of the nature of my blog, but this gives Mignola an opportunity to talk about the spaces and terrains in which his plots and stories take place. So we talk about landscapes of horror and mythology, as I describe it: from H.P. Lovecraft to old shipwrecks, giant octopi to abandoned houses, coastal marshes to mansions in the Alps.

And there are monkeys..."

If I'm doing Victorian London, I'm not trying to do that story for a scholar of Victorian London. In a way, I say that this is more like a 1940s film version of London--in other words, I want to do at least the level of research that you'd see in an old Hollywood film. So I've given myself a little distance from reality with that.

But, as I say, I do like history. If I'm doing something specific, I've got a ton of reference books here in the studio, and I'll try to make sure I get some of the names right and some of the dates right, if I'm referring to specific things. But, for the most part, I tend to shy away from plotting stories that are going to require a lot of very specific, historical research.

In Witchfinder, where I'm doing Whitechapel--well, I've been to Whitechapel. But I'm writing about 1880s, or maybe 1870s, Whitechapel, and I want it to seem like the real thing. So I did a little bit of homework on the East End. But the trouble with doing research for this stuff is that you start finding so much material that's interesting, after you've already plotted the story, and you think, oh, I want to use this, and I want to use this, and I want to use this--well, uh oh, too late.

Ruin, Space, and Shadow: An Interview with Mike Mignola

(Thanks, Geoff!)