The Amazing Screw-On Head

Dark Horse. Jan. 2022. 104p. ISBN 9781506728759. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
This volume collects six short comics by Mignola (Hellboy), of which two are reprints, one (“Abu Gung and the Beanstalk”) was redrawn and expanded from an earlier version, and three are original to the collection. The reprinted works—the title tale and “The Magician and the Snake,” for which Mignola shares a writing credit with his seven-year-old daughter Katie—are both award-winners and are the most substantial stories. The others, though varying in length, are not disappointing but not entirely satisfying either, and the collection as a whole doesn’t add up to much; elements and characters sometimes get carried from one story to another, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. Mignola’s art (with colors by Eisner Award winner Dave Stewart) is up to its usual quality—he remains a powerful, visually interesting storyteller—and the stories fit his usual blend of fairy tales, steampunk, and Victoriana.
VERDICT Nothing that will disappoint Mignola fans, but nothing to overly excite them either. Not recommended, except for serious Mignola completists.
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