This was a very good week for me, comics-wise. New Tick, new King City, new Astro City… Stumptown, Secret Six and I, Zombie, Strange Science Fantasy and Gorilla-Man. Any one of these is enough to make me happy and a week that includes all of them makes me feel like I might have done an especially excellent good deed while I wasn’t looking and this is my reward. I’d better find an old lady to conspicuously help across the street, just in case.
Despite this bounty of riches, though, the thing that [really] got me going yesterday was the fact that The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects was there, just waiting for me to shell out some dough and take it home.
If you’ve never read Mike Mignola because you weren’t that into horror comics, or because you’re daunted by the volume of material in the Hellboy library, or for no good reason at all, you should check this out. First of all, while it’s not exactly light and fluffy, it’s lighter and fluffier than Mignola’s other books, and it’s damn funny as well. It's his atmospheric, portentious horror done as an absurdist farce (and I guess that's the reason to read it if you do already read Hellboy), complete with zombie Prussians, Victorian pseudoscience and TNT-powered rocket transports.
Secondly, this is it. There are no other Screw-On Head stories, and tragic as that may be it makes it very easy to catch up. And fourthly, the “other curiosities” of the title are similarly absurd and irreverent and include both a new tale featuring Emperor Zombie's unfortunate companion Dr Snap and "The Magician and the Snake", a comic co-written by Mignola's then-7-year old daughter Katie.
I’ve been carting my floppy version of the Screw-On Head comic around for years. It’s been from one end of this country to the other with me. It may be the first thing that Dave ever convinced me to buy. And the reason that I have never left it behind or shoved it up in my parents' attic or failed to retrieve it from a friend's grubby mitts is because it is delightful. I own a lot of comics and I love a lot of those comics but for sheer every-damn-time joy it's basically The Amazing Screw-On Head and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen No. 72.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must go and read it again.