‘Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Volume 3’ - Hardcover Review

A story ends, a story begins, a story ends . . .

The Dark Crystal was something very different for those of us who grew up with the Muppets; it was a dark, mature story that saw no Cookie Monsters or Sam Eagles.  This was a new world, separate from ours, and saw some of the most innovative designs from Brian Froud, who now stands as a paragon of the faerie and fantasy world.  His designs breathed life into a hero's journey helmed by Henson and created a world unlike most we had seen before.  It paved the way for the more lighthearted, but equally epic, Labyrinth but would occupy a space all its own for its depth and connection to its audience.

Matthew Dow Smith continues the tale begun back in 2011 with the birth of Thra and all her wondrous life forms.  The last we left off, the Urskeks had split themselves into the uRrus and Skeksies, setting up the world as it exists at the beginning of the film with a few exceptions; Gelflings are still prosperous and plentiful in the land.  This volume feels more like the second movie in the trilogy, where we know that a lot of the people we've met won't make it to the finale, and there's usually a tragic reason for it.  This book has the mature feel that resonates with the source material, and the final page could blend seamlessly into the beginning of the movie.

Alex Sheikman and Lizzy John had the task of bringing the incredible world Froud built to life on the page, and they did an exquisite job of it.  Every scene seems lifted from the movie, even in places we'd never seen. Seeing a whole village of Gelflings was akin to seeing the previews for Episode II when thirty lightsabers ignited in the arena (but just that feeling, before we found out what every other second of that movie was).  The panels do well to convey the very busy and verdant life from the film, where each moment is almost too full with detail that you could spend a long time admiring.  This team has done an incredible job at creating a beautiful artistic tribute to the land of Thra.

Every page of this gorgeous edition is perfect and is a must own for any fans of the film.  If you're just catching on to this series now, it’s a good time to collect the whole set and revel in the beauty and majesty of this little slice of Jim Henson's incredible imagination.


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