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Mike Mignola's career as a comic-book writer and artist has mostly centered on his creation of the character Hellboy. The comics were adapted into visually dazzling films by Guillermo del Toro in the 2000s, and the series spawned an Emmy-nominated animated show. Mignola began his career at 20 years old in 1980 as an illustrator for Comic Reader, and three years later he was tapped by Marvel Comics to ink "Daredevil" and "The Incredible Hulk." This led to higher profile work at DC Comics, including cover work on the "Batman" serials. He soon segued into film, working as a production designer on the Disney movie "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" and on the vampire flick "Blade II." In 1994 he began work on his own creation, that of demon and paranormal detective Hellboy. The comics drew on a variety of influences, from B-movies to Lovecraft-style horror, and became a huge hit. Mignola has stated that the character is largely based on his own father. The comic's success led del Toro to write and direct a feature film in 2004; Mignola worked closely with him on the film and received a co-executive producer credit. The film led to two animated direct-to-DVD films, "Sword of Storms" and "Blood and Iron." Mignola worked closely with del Toro again on the 2008 sequel "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."
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