HELLBOY Creator Mike Mignola Tackles PINOCCHIO: An Illuminated Edition

Lemony Snicket gets in on the fun to bring us the classic story as we've never seen.

By Angel Melanson · @HorrorGirlProbs · March 16, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT
BB_IE_PINOCCHIO_Photography_LE_OuterCase_StandingUp_open_Horiz_7897_230212_xs

Mike Mignola (Hellboy) tackles Pinocchio, closer to its original (horrifying) form. Mignola tells FANGORIA “I was probably in my early teens when I first read Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. I was blown away by just how different it was than the Disney film—It was just such a crazy thing. I’d never read anything like it. It was love at first read and that hasn’t changed a bit over the years.” Mignola joins forces with award-winning colorist Dave Stewart, and celebrated novelist Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) for Beehive Books to bring an illustrated and annotated edition of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel Pinocchio to life. The all-new, deluxe hardcover edition includes original illustrations from Mignola, breathing new life to the charm, gloom, and chaos of the seminal novel, alongside over 100 full-text annotations by Snicket, in the form of slipped-in typewritten sheets produced by Snicket during his Pinocchio-induced descent into madness.

The project is part of Beehive Books' Illuminated Editions imprint, a project that combines distinctive book art to reimagine literary masterworks with all-new covers and illustrations from the world's greatest graphic artists. Past collaborators include the Balbusso Twins, Rebekka Dunlap, Brecht Evens, Dave McKean, Paul Pope, Yuko Shimizu, Bill Sienkiewicz, Kent Williams, and Jim Woodring, alongside original essays from the likes of Academy Award-winning filmmakers Guillermo Del Toro and Darren Aronofsky and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham.

Mignola calls the original story of Pinocchio "So brilliantly strange—very very funny and also heartbreakingly sad. It’s one of the two books (along with DRACULA) that I think sort of make me do what I do the way I do them.When Beehive Books approached me about doing a book… Well, at the time, the last thing I wanted to do was take on another project, but once I started thinking about doing Pinocchio I just couldn’t say no. The challenge was to come up with MY version of Pinocchio—much harder than I thought that was going to be but in the end I think I got there.” The Illuminated Edition includes 10 original illustrations from Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, as well as 40 additional black-and-white spot illustrations from Mignola.

New York’s Society of Illustrators is hosting an exhibit of Mignola’s full portfolio of yet-to-be-published Pinocchio illustrations, including all the drawings done for the book, as well as additional art not included in the book, including paintings, process work for the project, and an original puppet from Red Nose Studios. The exhibit will be open to the public from March 22nd to July 8.

Let's take a peek inside at a couple of exclusive pages.

Pinocchio-Spot-2

Pinocchio-Spot-7

“I’m happy with what I did and thrilled with how the book is turning out, “ said Mignola. “My thanks to Josh O’Neil for giving me the opportunity and to Maelle Doliveux for her brilliant design work. And, of course, thanks to the great Dave Stewart for stepping in to color the illustrations.” Here's a look at some of that color work in action.

PINOCCHIO_Fox

PINOCCHIOCover

BB_IE_PINOCCHIO_Photography_SE_GroupShot_detail_Horiz_7422_230212_xs

You can read more details from the official press release below, and visit Beehive Books for more information and to pre-order your copy.

Beehive Book’s PINOCCHIO: The Illuminated Edition provides commentary by Lemony Snicket, which takes both the reader and the acclaimed writer on a first experience of the iconic novel, chock full of surreal symbolism and commentary. “For many years I have been curious to see if I, too, will join the tradition of readers completely transformed into lunatics from a reading of PINOCCHIO, and although Carlo Collodi died long ago, I like to think that somewhere, somehow, he is interested in seeing what I might have to say as I read this book and likely lose my mind,” writes Snicket. “Perhaps you are too.”

“Collodi’s PINOCCHIO is one of the most popular tales in the Western world, but perhaps also one of the most misremembered,” said Beehive Book’s Publisher Josh O’Neill. “Best known among English-speakers for its sanitized Disney adaptation, PINOCCHIO is in fact a bizarre, fantastical tale in which the series of strange and horrific events that befall a foolhardy wooden puppet-child shed light on the cruelties of society, the redemptions of family, and what it means to be human. The story of Pinocchio, as Collodi told it, is full of betrayals, poisonings and assassins, among other various and sundry bedevilments to go along with all its magic, musicality, humor and warmth. In this edition, Beehive Books spotlights the glorious, troubling strangeness of this text, which truly has no parallel in children’s fiction – or maybe in fiction of any kind.”

PINOCCHIO: An Illuminated Edition comes in three print editions: a slipcase hardcover, a signed and numbered edition, and a sketched and lettered edition. All ten titles in the Beehive Books’ Illuminated Editions series are available through the campaign, and Beehive will offer certain discounts on bulk orders. Each title also comes as a DRM-free digital PDF, which is included along with every print edition. The standard edition is an oversize 9x12" hardcover, bound in sewn signatures, and housed in an elaborately embossed and debossed die-cut slipcase, silk-screened or foil-stamped with artwork. The interior is printed on creamy, acid-free heavy-weight 140gsm uncoated paper with a fine tooth, and includes dozens of full color illustrations, illuminated letters, and special design pieces. The entire package is designed by Maëlle Doliveux with a restrained graphic boldness, and an unparalleled eye for beauty, clarity and readability. There will also be a signed & numbered edition limited to 250 backers which comes in a foil-stamped slipcase wrapped in natural-fiber binding cloth. The editions have dyed edges, bound-in silk ribbon markers, and specialty bookplates, signed and numbered by Mike Mignola and Lemony Snicket. This edition also comes with a Kickstarter-exclusive foil-blocked 8x11" print by Mike Mignola. The lettered edition comes in a clamshell housing with enamel plates re-creating Mignola’s artwork mounted onto its French door enclosures, and includes an original Pinocchio drawing from Mignola. All editions include dozens of slipped-in typesheet pages authored by Snicket on a mid-century Smith Corona typewriter.

“Our goal with Illuminated Editions has always been to offer something more than a beautiful edition of a classic text: we want to do something transformative,” said Josh O’Neill. “We frankly cannot believe that these two titans have entered the Beehive to create this unutterably splendid new publication. To have the opportunity to set minds like Mignola and Snicket loose in the untamed wilds of one of the best-beloved yet most mis-remembered texts of all time is not just a pleasure, it’s a profound privilege.”

For updates on Beehive Books, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.