Back in the day, legendary puppeteer Jim Henson wasn’t only known for the kid-friendly Muppets, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock, but also for venturing into the world of high fantasy, with movies like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. The Dark Crystal in particular was ahead of its time when it was released in 1982, featuring no non-puppet performances at all, and a more mature and complex sensibility than previous Henson offerings, despite its PG rating. And family friendly or not, the vulture-like race called the Skeksis gave many a decent nightmare to kids back in the day, I can assure you.
The storyline of The Dark Crystal revolved around the elf-like “Gelfling” named Jen, who undertakes a quest to restore balance to his alien world of Thra by returning a lost shard to a powerful but broken gem. Although sequels were talked about for the film over the years, Henson’s untimely death in 1990 ended any movement on official continuations of the Dark Crystal for a long time. It was only recently that the unproduced screenplay for the sequel was announced as being adapted into a 12-issue comic book series The Power Of The Dark Crystal from Archaia, which is an imprint of BOOM! Studios.
In addition to the sequel maxi-series, the world of The Dark Crystal will also continue on in graphic novel form with the upcoming Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal Tales. Writer and artist Cory Godbey, the acclaimed children’s book illustrator behind the best-selling Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales, now delves deep into the Skeksis-ruled land of Thra in this 8″ x 8″, 48 pages full color hardcover graphic novel. In one tale, when a little bird is hurt in a Skeksis net, Jen takes it to the Mystics for healing and learns how “every act of kindness grows like ripples in a lake.”
In our gallery below, you can see the undressed cover and a beautiful two-page, penciled spread from one of the short stories in the book, titled “Fizzgig’s Mighty Quest.” Both pieces are illustrated by Cory Godbey. Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal Tales will hit July 26 in comic shops, August 1 in bookstores.
Are you stoked to return to the world of Thra once again? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Archaia / BOOM! Studios / The Jim Henson Company