My favorite comic book of all time in the history of the world ever is The Amazing Screw-On Head by Mike Mignola. It’s just brilliant; the art is Mignola’s usual Hellboy style, which is to say awesome, and then the concept and the writing is dead-on perfect absurd humor.
It’s all old news at this point, but to keep up the hype and because I’m excited: An animated series based on the comic for the Sci Fi channel is in production and scheduled to air in 2006. Mignola was described as “art director” in one of the previews for the series.
The show’s going to be directed by Bryan Fuller of “Wonderfalls,” which I haven’t seen but is another one of the series that geeks are yelling at Fox for cancelling. This old article from SciFi.com has an interview with Fuller where he describes the concept:
“We took [the] concept of the comic book — which is a robot head that screws into a variety of robot bodies and fights crime with President Lincoln in the late 1800s — and decided to tell the ‘real’ story of the history that we read in books, like what would be between the pages of the history books.”
Fuller, who discussed Amazing Screw-On Head while promoting the DVD release of his acclaimed but short-lived Fox TV series Wonderfalls, added: “That gives you the opportunity to tell these outlandish stories that are grounded in historical fact. For instance, President Harrison died of pneumonia after 30 days in office. But you discover it wasn’t pneumonia, and it wasn’t fluid in his lungs, but some sort of agent that he was using to get everlasting life because he wanted to be the president of the United States forever. But what it did was turn him into a frog-man, and now he lives at the bottom of the Mississippi, and he’s about to launch an attack on the Capitol. So it’s those kinds of stories.”
I hadn’t heard about the casting, so that was a nice surprise. Paul Giamatti as Screw-On Head, David Hyde-Pierce as Emperor Zombie, Molly Shannon as Patience the Vampire, and Patton Oswalt as Mr. Groin. The only way it could be any better would be to cast Patrick Warburton and Gary Cole.
So far, it sounds like everybody involved gets it and understands what makes it cool. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. One of the things that was neat about the comic was that it was a total one-shot: it came out of nowhere (for me, anyway), and stood on its own as just 20 pages of concentrated genius. I’m wondering if it’ll work as well extended into a full series, but I remain cautiously optimistic.
And in other somewhat belated news: the trailer for the third X-Men movie is up on Apple’s trailers site. Looks great. Fans are bitching (no, really — comic book fans are actually complaining about something on the internet) that it’s directed by Brett Ratner instead of Bryan Singer, but I remain optimistic. The series is in full-on franchise mode at this point, so you’d have to be colossally incompetent to break the momentum now. And I actually kind of liked Rush Hour, which considering it had Chris Tucker in it, is saying a lot.
I’m not sure what gut level these X-Men movies are working on, though. I never a fan of the comics, and my exposure to it was limited to reading (and not liking) one or two issues, and seeing the old animated series and the more recent “X-Men Generations” series. But I loved the first two movies, and even just watching that trailer I kept having moments like, “Is that Kitty Pride?” and “Whoa, that’s Angel!” and “Beast looks bad-ass” and then wondering where the hell that all came from.