Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Vol. 1

Edited by Nate Cosby
Edited by Nate Cosby. Archaia, $19.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-936393-24-4
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A cozy fire, a craggy-faced old gabber who likes nothing more than to spin yarns at his dog (who talks, with a mean streak of sarcasm), and a beautiful mélange of fabulist tales make this volume a glorious storehouse of fantasy. Inspired by the short-lived Jim Henson show of the late 1980s, which spun a kind of darkly cackling Grimmsian wonder rare for the time, this anthology presents some of the year’s richest, most textured graphic narratives. The sources are widely varied, as are the treatments. Jeff Parker’s high-stepping lark, “Old Fire Dragaman,” has fun with an Appalachian trickster fable, or Jack tale, enlivened by Tom Fowler’s vivid illustrations. A French story about Puss in Boots gets a beautifully ghostly rendering by Marjorie Liu and Jennifer L. Meyer. Katie Cook’s feathery and poetic take on the Japanese folk tale “The Crane Wife” is a treat, as well. Pride of place, though, is given to the final piece, the comically overwrought horror story “The Witch Baby,” based on an unproduced teleplay co-written by the late filmmaker Anthony Minghella with art by Ronan Cliquet. (Dec.)
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