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‘Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons #1’ – Comic Book Review

When Archaia merged with BOOM! Studios, I was concerned that the quality of the publications released by the independent publisher would suffer; however, the partnership has consistently continued to impress me, especially where it concerns The Jim Henson Company stories. Dragons is the second group of stories from Jim Henson’s The Storyteller series. Like The Storyteller: Witches mini-series, the Dragons series will feature a story based on a central theme, written and illustrated by a variety of writers and artists in the industry.

Scripted by Fabian Rangel Jr. (Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard) and with Daniel Bayliss (Translucid) providing the story and art, “Son of the Serpent” is the first issue from this four-issue series based on the theme of dragons. Inspired by the Pacific Northwest Native American mythologies, the storyteller, along with his faithful talking dog, are back, and in the opening pages, the old man spins a yarn about a father and his son who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They become separated when they find themselves in the middle of a battle between the Horned Snake and the Thunderbird.

Rangel’s script lays out a straightforward story that is concise and efficient, peeling back and discarding any extraneous verbiage that would cloud and detract from the central concept: the love and sacrifice of the father for his son. Bayless mirrors the same control over the panel layout of each page. He knows when to show constraint and when he can break loose and have fun with his characters and the environment. There are several instances within the comic, as well as his cover, in which I am wowed by his compositions; many choices are subtle and show his attention to detail. And, Bayless handles his colors brilliantly; he obviously gives serious consideration to his palette selection, often selecting two colors very close to each on the color wheel and then matching up opposing colors, so each panel pops with vibrance.

Letterer Warren Montgomery (Over the Garden Wall, Toil and Trouble) provides lettering that is clean and easy to read. The placement of the text does not interfere with the action of the panel, nor does it obscure important detail. I particularly liked his use of parchment-looking narration bubbles that portray an agelessness of the story being told. Like the action on the page, he places the text along the path that the reader’s eyes will take, lending to the overall reading experience.

Archaia and BOOM! Studios have once again honored Jim Henson’s legacy with The Storyteller: Dragons series; “Son of the Serpent” is an excellent start to this four-part series. I’m already anxious to read issue #2, “The Worm of Lambton” by Nathan Pride.

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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