Review: The Amazing Screw-On Head

Published on September 7th, 2010

It’s time for another Trade Tuesday and this week we’re going to be looking at The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects. For those of you who don’t know The Amazing Screw-On Head was a one-shot comic book that Mike Mignola made about eight years ago, and if you missed it then you are in luck because Dark Horse and Mr. Mignola have reprinted it in this new Hard Cover edition.

amazingscrew-onheadIf you haven’t seen the pilot for the Sci-Fi Channel or didn’t read the original book Screw-On Head is about a robotic head who is threaded like a light bulb so he can be attached to any number of robot bodies. He works for President Abraham Lincoln as a secret agent to protect The United States from his arch enemy, Emperor Zombie who is bent on destroying Democracy and taking over the world by unleashing an ancient monster that has been trapped inside a turnip for centuries. I think Screw-On Head is one of the best things Mignola has ever come up with and if you read his notes at the end of the book he says that Screw-On Head was originally his idea for a toy and it was intended to be something he could have marketed for Nickelodeon, but as he developed the concept it just got further away from his original idea. I’ve always been disappointed that all he ever did was the one comic, I would have loved to have this be a continuing series. It’s such a crazy and funny idea I think one book just doesn’t do the character justice even though Mignola has stated he said everything he wanted to with the single issue.

Part II of the book is a collection of short stories that Mignola has made over the years and also a few new stories that were done specifically for this book. A couple of the stories are only a few pages long, but all of them are really good. One of the stories entitled: The Magician and the Snake was written by Mignola and his daughter who was seven years old when the story was originally made. My favorite story though is The Prisoner of Mars which features Dr. Snap from The Amazing Screw-On Head, it’s a really great story involving murder, body-switching, and a Martian plot to take over the Earth. What I really enjoy about the extra stories is how they read like old fairy-tales a crazy grandmother might read to a child. The collection is pretty much an excuse for Mike Mignola to indulge himself and I think he should do it more often.

The last few pages include a Notes page where the author says a little something about all the stories, and then there is a section of Mignola’s sketches as he was developing his ideas. One page is dedicated to various puppet concepts that was used in one of his stories, and there’s about four pages of his Martian sketches. I don’t think this trade is for everyone, this is for people who truly enjoy Mike Mignola’s unique style of storytelling and artwork. If you are a fan though you should get this book, and it’s a pretty good deal. Most hardcovers go for at least twenty-five or thirty bucks, but this retails for only $17.99. If  you think that’s too high a price you can head on over to Amazon who are practically giving this book away for a measly $12.14. So what are you waiting for?! Go buy it!

Ken Zeider