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“The Magician and the Snake,” by Katie Mignola and Mike Mignola, appeared in the Dark Horse Maverick: Happy Endings anthology back in 2003, and the daughter/father duo took home an Eisner award that year for it. Katie was seven when she wrote it, and now it’s seeing print again in The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects hardcover, which arrives in stores next week.
The young author shares her thoughts on the story on the Dark Horse blog:
I don’t remember much about how I came up with the story other than that I painted a picture of a snake yelling at a bunch of shapes. I didn’t put any more thought into it until my dad asked me what I did at school that day and I told him about the picture. I made up the entire story on the spot and my dad said that he would like to use it in a comic. Over the course of a few months my dad drew the story, changing small details as he went such as the monkey king, which wasn’t in my original story. There were a few things that I wouldn’t let him change such as the magician’s style (he wanted him to be a parlor magician and I wanted a classic stars and moons magician) and the death of the magician. My dad suggested that the magician turn the snake into a lion so that he could eat the shapes and save the magician but I, for some reason, said that the magician had to die at the end.
She goes on to say that she was excited to tell her friends about the win, but “none of them had any idea what an Eisner was so it didn’t really mean anything to them.”