Laurence Campbell’s a big part of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Universe. He worked on key arcs during “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth,” including the ten-issue finale. He’s also the primary artist on the next cycle, “B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know,” so when it came time to collect “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth” into omnibus editions, Laurence Campbell was the obvious choice for the job of cover artist.
Today we’re taking a look at Campbell’s work on the five covers he made for the “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth” omnibus editions, including an exclusive first look at the cover for the fifth and final volume.
Laurence, your covers for the “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth” omnibus editions look fantastic. I have to say, I was very happy to finally see Kate on the cover of an omnibus.
Laurence Campbell: Cheers, Mark. It was great fun drawing the omnibus covers. I was offered the project, if I remember correctly, straight after finishing the final issue of “B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth.” I was blown away to be asked to do these covers as I love the omnibus collections of “Plague of Frogs.” Editors Scott Allie and Katii O’Brien told me the collection would span five volumes and gave me a list of the main characters they wanted on each book with some secondary imagery to be involved in some way. I enjoy working like this. I think it appeals to my graphic design background.
They certainly fit together as a set, and I don’t just mean the “Hell on Earth” volumes. You’ve maintained the composition style established by Mike Mignola for the “Plague of Frogs” omnibuses. Placed side by side, “Plague of Frogs” and “Hell on Earth” look like one big set. Did you find this restrictive or did it make it easier to nail down what each cover should be?
Laurence: I think the plan was continue the look over the whole set of volumes. I didn’t see this as restrictive, more of a challenge, which I enjoy. You are given the boundaries to work within and it’s your role as an artist/designer to make it work. I like working like this. Sometimes it’s about what you leave out rather than throw all the elements in. I found as I designed these the more simple designs were the ones which worked best.
As you can see they are all pretty much the same with a central figure and just a case of deciding which elements to use or not in the background. The whole thing was fun to do.
I spent time looking at what elements to use and what to lose, getting the right balance in the final image. Once all agreed, Dave Stewart finished the covers with colors, making it all come together in the way he does.