“The Dark Crystal” is one of those movies I can watch over and over. It’s just so beautifully done, it feels breathtaking every time I watch it.
I vaguely remember reading the novelization of the movie and being fascinated with the background the novel provided. Tokyopop’s manga-fication several years ago was interesting but not the same.
So it’s nice to see Archaia treating it with such care in its series of prequel graphic novels. The second volume of “Creation Myths” is out this week, along with a couple other all-ages books.
Artists Alex Sheikman and Lizzy John again do a stunning job of bringing designer Brian Froud’s work to the page. So many pages are frameable, with lovely two-age spreads and other great work. The creatures and backgrounds would make Jim Henson proud.
The narrator starts the story with Gyr, the Gelfling who heard an Urskek song in the previous volume. It was so sad, he’s given up on music. But he’s drawn on a journey to the Crystal Palace by Raunip, the son of Aughra, and Kel, a young, noble (and pretty, of course) Gelfling.
They have been invited to witness the Urskeks’ journey home during the rare Great Convergence (“When single shines the triple sun” — remember that?), but Raunip’s incessant negativity causes trouble that reshapes the destiny of the world of Thra.
Writer Joshua Dysart moves the story along, revealing a critical bit of history that informs the film. He also sets up a nice little romance for Gyr and Kel. Their dreamfasting scene, with its words and art, feels like the cinematic version.
He also sets us up for the third volume. I hope we don’t have to wait as long this time.
Interesting fact I learned reading the interview with Froud at the end: The first cut of “The Dark Crystal” movie was tested in Detroit.
Also out this week is “Pantalones, TX,” a fun bit of fluff by Yehudi Mercado.
It sets the bar pretty low with an extended pee joke on the first page, so whenever it rises above that level, it’s good for a chuckle.
It’s the story of Chico Bustamante, and his adventures angering the Sheriff Cornwallis who would like nothing better that to see him gone (or, at the very least, in jail).
Chico’s just a kid, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Cornwallis is also the teacher and principal at their small school. And he runs a chicken food truck.
Chico’s friends are Pig Boy, who’s not too bright, and Bucky, a transplant from the “foreign land” of New York. Chico has even named his car, Ol’ Smokey. How Chico got a car at his young age is unexplained.
The main thrust of the story is a bet between Chico and the sheriff. If Chico can ride Cornwallis’ giant chicken for nine seconds, he gets to eat the chicken. If not, the chicken gets to eat him.
Throw in some side stories, one involving Chico getting a bar mitzvah, and you’ve got a breezy, light-hearted story that’s worth a quick read. Mercado’s art is a fun cartoon style, and he does a find job setting mood with a bright palette of colors.
The best part is the fake ads. Favorites include Chico Pops (jalepeno cereal) and Chones underwear (“wedgie proof since 1884″).
It’s nothing special, but it is enjoyable.
Also out this week is volume two of “Spera.” I never read the first volume, though, so I don’t have anything to add on that one.