Rejoice, all ye Jim Henson fans who didn’t feel enough of the puppet master’s presence in the new Muppets movie. For even though the children’s programming genius is no longer with us, we can still bask in his infinite wisdom.
Those hardcore Henson fans on your Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus list will surely delight in Archaia’s Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, a graphic novel based on the short-lived but well-loved show of the same name curated by onetime Marvel editor Nate Crosby.
Though the book lacks the gravelly auditory element of having the storyteller himself telling stories to his dog, the spirit of the show remains. The novel features modernizations of sometimes half-remembered fairy tales and morality lessons. Crosby pulled together such Marvel-affiliated big names for his book as Jeff Parker, Marjorie Liu, and Roger Langridge (who also had the benefit of having worked on Boom! Studios’ The Muppet Show) for the compilation.
Looking for something less in the “homage” category and more in the posthumous/Tupac Shakur-y model of previously unreleased material? Perhaps another Archaia offering is more up your alley: Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand is available as of today, but it will be a limited offering at comic book stores.
Tale of Sand started life as a screenplay. It was a collaboration between Henson and Jerry Juhl that never saw the lights of a film set. Now, thanks to the artistic endeavors of RamÃ³n PÃ©rez, this story of Mac, a man who wakes up in a completely unfamiliar setting and must make his way across a desert to get out, can finally reach the general public. While Mac’s encounters with strange beasts during his journey just won’t be the same without Henson’s puppetry, PÃ©rez’ fanciful artwork captures quite a bit of the imagination that fans relished in other Henson feature films such as Labyrinth.
Of course, both the reimagined and the never-before-seen Henson works command quite a price, and Santa might not have time to answer to your Henson needs. So, if you’re too tapped out from holiday spending to indulge yourself, there’s no need to panic. The Jim Henson Company has a whole YouTube channel devoted to preserving the great man’s artistic genius, and some of its uploaded videos include found footage of shorts that were previously unheard of. Like everything else on YouTube, it’s free to watch.
So if you can’t wait to get your fix, check out this amusing cut-paper animated short, “Alexander the Grape.” It’s as classically Henson as you can get; while it might not have Muppets, it’s got absurdism, clever nicknames, an upbeat message, and talking fruit.
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Written by Bree Kornblum Katz (@breekatz)
Bree writes when she is not skiing off cliffs, facing down funnel clouds, or plumbing the depths of the internet. She's published short stories with Dead Dog Press, Six Sentences, and BlazeVOX and currently blogs about her hair-raising experiences in the Rocky Mountains at extremetothemax.com. She's still waiting on her… More »
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