Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tradio #35 - Jim Henson's Tale of Sand

Welcome back to Tradio - your weekly dose of graphic novel goodness!  This week we take a look see at a comic book adaptation of an unproduced screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl entitled Jim Henson's Tale of Sand "as realized by" Ramon K. Perez and produced by Archaia Entertainment.

Tale of Sand was written by Jim Henson with his long time collaborator Jerry Juhl way back in 1967.  A fully realized screenplay they farmed it around Hollywood multiple times and though they got a lot of praise for the work, they never found anyone that was willing to produce it.  Eventually it got filed away as a "lost work" of Jim Henson as his focus turned things like Sesame Street and the Muppets.  The book tells the tale of Mac and his race across the desert that he doesn't quite understand.  Told with very little dialog, it shows the many dangers he has to face as he tries to escape the mysterious Patch.  Told with the amazing art of Ramon Perez, we see him barely escaping death over and over again until his journey comes to thunderous, maddening end. It is honestly unlike anything you may associate with Jim Henson and that is not a bad thing at all.

Tale of Sand is really a masterpiece on many levels.  It is honestly hard to imagine the visuals of the book represented adequately on film as originally intended.  The book is lush and beautiful use of color is amazing.  Honestly, if this was made by Hollywood today, it would be watered down and made into a animated, 3D, kid-friendly disaster voiced by George Lopez and some sort of animal companion thrown in for comic relief.  As it is, I am very happy with it.  A rare book that lets the art tell the story and what a story it tells.  Do yourself a favor and go pick it up, you can't go wrong.

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