The Storyteller series was one of my favorite Jim Henson creations, doing what he did best: telling amazing stories in interesting ways. Blending live action with creatures from the shop, the Storyteller featured John Hurt’s incredible presence weaving tales of the old world, with very little in the way of censoring the unfortunate or scary events, but leaving the tales complete with the bits usually removed for children.
Archaia has always done great justice with their Henson properties, and this series is no different. With four tales whose events turn on the presence of a witch, each is given a loving touch by an individual creator, and the capstone to this series of one-offs is an unproduced teleplay from the series itself in the fourth issue.
This issue, lovingly crafted by industry veteran Matthew Dow Smith, takes on a tale that fits perfectly into the ideas and themes of both the Witches series and the Storyteller franchise as a whole. Taking a meta look at what a story can be, Smith takes us to a mystical land with the requisite beings of power who need a little help from a mortal with a singular talent: a young man who is valued for keeping his shipmates entertained on long journeys with the power of his stories.
The artwork in this issue keeps a simple, yet provocative, palette, letting the power of the story itself take precedence. That’s not to say that it’s not impressive, but it has a wonderful, understated quality to allow the imagination to soar along with the words.
I think this is a fantastic book and a stellar series for any fans of Henson or old tales brought to a wonderful life. I know I’ve been following it closely and can’t wait to see the final chapter.
Read on, y’all.