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Meof50days

Meof50days

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Don Calame
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Jim Henson's Tale of Sand - Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl, Ramón Pérez, Chris Robinson, Stephen Christy Tale of Sand is the graphic novel adaptation of a screenplay by Muppet-creator, Jim Henson. It's mostly billed as an homage to the late, great visionary and it shows the mark of Henson's dreamy and surrealist conceits.

The strongest thing about the graphic novel is the artistry brought by Ramón Pérez. His character designs are a perfect blend of almost Warner Brothers extension cartoony with some grounded realistic anatomy and sense of balance. The expressions and scenes carry this largely wordless journey and, although there are scenes you can tell were always meant for film, he adapts them in a way that feels organic to this adaptation. For example, the prospector-like person who never stops talking having his background chatter spill out of the word balloon, or the juxtaposition of some unrelated scenes to represent the chaotic pellmell of the chase scenes.

Henson, when at his best, would have delivered a rich and memorable world surrounding this story, but the script is not his strongest work. It delivers the visuals but lacks a certain heart in his characters' reasons (or even a concrete lack of reasons), and while you are interested in seeing how the journey progresses, you are not invested in discovering the hows and whys of what's going on. And when all the goings on end, you're not quite sure what happened. It's still engaging, but if the art wasn't a gorgeous as Ramón Pérez's, the readability would be severely hampered.

Definitely a read for Henson fans and those who enjoy trippy post-modern concepts. Definitely read for Ramón Pérez's beautiful artwork. But I think most readers who are looking for a dreamlike story with surrealist elements might be disappointed in Tale of Sand's unsustainable influence, which delights while you're in the middle of it, but seems to slip through your mind once you put it down.