cover image The Shadow Glass

The Shadow Glass

Josh Winning. Titan, $15.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-78909-861-7

Paying homage to 1980s fantasy movies, especially The Dark Crystal, journalist Winning’s romp of a debut skillfully evokes both favorite tropes and groan-worthy clichés of the era’s style of storytelling. Jack Corman grew up in the shadow of his crackpot director father’s 1986 debut film, Shadow Glass, a puppet-populated cult classic fantasy. As a disillusioned adult coping with the recent death of his estranged father, he just wants to settle his debts and move on with his life, not deal with teen Shadow Glass fanboy Toby or his film executive cousin, Amelia, who’s spearheading a Shadow Glass sequel. Things take a surreal turn when the movie’s old puppets come to life to seek out the scattered pieces of the Shadow Glass, an artifact capable of destroying the world. By filtering the plot’s campy puppet mayhem through Jack’s jaded perspective, Winning explores how maturity and changing cultural sensibilities cast new light on older material and probes both the good and the bad of fandom. There’s a stirring sense of adventure, excitement, and terror running throughout as well. While many of the references may be lost on casual readers, this is a treat for fans of the movies that inspired it. Agent: Kristina Pérez, Zeno Agency. (Mar.)