After graduating from the California College of the Arts in 1982, Mike Mignola moved to New York City and started work at Marvel Comics as an inker. He would later do work for DC Comics and Topps Comics before moving to Dark Horse Comics in 1993.
In 1993, Mike Mignola created the character Hellboy: A tough as nails working stiff adopted demon with a stone right arm who investigates supernatural events for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Mignola writes the series himself, combining pulp fiction, horror, and folklore. Hellboy has continued to appear in comics for over twenty years, has spawned numerous spin-offs and adaptations, and has garnered many awards.
Mike Mignola has done concept art for several films and productions. He designed the appearance of super-villain Mr. Freeze for Batman: The Animated Series. The first appearance of the character in the animated series was in the 1992 episode Heart of Ice. Mignola was a visual consultant on Blade II and the Hellboy movies.
Some of Mike Mignola's comic creations have been made into films. Sci-Fi Channel released a pilot episode for an animated The Amazing Screw-On Head series in 2006. Hellboy: Sword of Storms, a direct-to-video animated film, was released in 2006. A second animated film, Hellboy: Blood and Iron was released in 2007. The visual style of the animated films was based on artist Sean Galloway.
In 2016, Mike Mignola received the Grand Master Award at Spectrum 23.