As far as frogs and other amphibian stuff—that, again, is a reference to this kind of H.P. Lovecraft worldview where anything from the ocean is scary. Frogs, in a Lovecraft sense, are associated with some kind of unknowable world. They’re not from the ocean, but they’re also not from, you know, the woods. Where do they come from? And why are they always out there… chirping, or whatever the hell it is that frogs do? Lovecraft also uses birds that way—and birds are great—but I have a harder time drawing birds than frogs.
In the very first issue of Hellboy, I did a sequence with frogs in it, and it just sort of stuck. I established it early. Frogs will be my kind of icon characters; when frogs show up, you know something bad’s going to happen. They become symbolic of this kind of evil that’s always running around in the background.
And then things just tend to snowball. You know, you hear about something like a “rain of frogs,” which happens periodically for whatever reason—it’s one of those weird phenomena that gets written about—and, I thought, well, let me have a little bit of that kind of action. I mean, that’s a weird thing and it’s got a kind of authenticity to it: there’s something about it that’s unnatural, yet supposedly it does really happen. And I like that.
I like to believe that after some missions far abroad, when they didn’t necessarily have to get back to HQ right away, Hellboy and Abe took care of their mission and took a few days off to hang out and see the sights and always invariably ended up in a pub drinking until the small hours of the night and after closing time they would wander around the strange town confusedly, knocking things over and laughing too loud and frightening the locals and being idiots together
Hellboy and Abe are friendly drunks. They get very chatty and giggly and like to tell stories when they’re tipsy.
Kate is a loud drunk. If she corners you, you will hear absolutely everything about her favorite Obscure European Mythological Figure of the week, whether you like it or not. Be sure to dodge her hands as she gesticulates wildly.
Johann is a massive flirt and a very handsy drunk. Watch out, folks, he is far past middle-aged and still thinks he’s quite hip.
Ben and Liz are usually mopey drunks, but if they’re around those other guys they eventually lighten up. If you get him tipsy enough, Ben will viciously tease everyone at the table, all while laughing far too loudly. Liz lightly punches people to get her point across in discussions.
Roger can’t metabolize alcohol or get drunk, but seeing everyone else all happy and together makes him happy too.
Thinking thoughts about how Christmas is so close to Hellboy’s birthday that they probably just celebrated both at the same time and ever since he was a kid Hellboy was always super into Christmas and probably played “Santa” for the field agents’ kids even though they could tell who he was and Liz and Kate were his elves and and and