Jim Henson's Tale of Sand


Share this review

  • Button Delicious
  • Bttn Digg
  • Bttn Facebook
  • Bttn Ff
  • Bttn Myspace
  • Bttn Stumble
  • Bttn Twitter
  • Bttn Reddit


Jim Henson's Tale of Sand


  • Words: Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl
  • Art: Ramon K. Perez
  • Colors: Ian Herring with Ramon K. Perez
  • Publisher: Archaia Comics
  • Price: $29.95
  • Release Date: Dec 14, 2011

Archaia Comics adds another layer of depth and whimsy to the mythic imagination of Jim Henson, with Ramon K. Perez’s adaptation of this lost screenplay.

Arguably one of the greatest storytelling minds of the last century, Jim Henson and his creations have left an indelible stamp on the imaginations of children and adults the world over. Long after his death in 1990, he continues to reach into the hearts and homes of millions of fans through his movies, television shows, and cartoons. More than just the master puppeteer who brought us Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock, Mr. Henson was also an accomplished writer, artist, and filmmaker, who constantly pushed the boundaries of visual storytelling, no matter the medium. Billed as their most anticipated graphic novel release of the year, Archaia Comics’ adaptation of his lost screenplay Tale of Sand showcases yet another facet of his singular genius.

Conceived and refined over a period of seven years, from 1967 to 1974, with frequent writing partner and fellow puppeteer Jerry Juhl, Tale of Sand is as ephemeral as the title would suggest. Intended as a feature length film, Henson and Juhl were ultimately unsuccessful finding a studio to take a chance on the experimental screenplay, though many lauded its brilliance. A stream of consciousness comedic tour de force, the plot follows a drifter known only as Mac as he embarks on an absurd trek into the abstract vistas of the American desert frontier. So far removed from his later popular work with the Muppets and Sesame Street, many fans might be shocked (pleasantly so) with the multi-layered exploration of artistic expression and the frustrations of a young virtuoso just coming into the fullness of his creative powers.

Tale of Sand is, at times, a challenging read. This isn’t your typical comic book fare – but it works on so many different levels, coalescing into a breathtaking work of complete and utter imaginative abandon. Kaliedoscopic, surreal, and patently absurd, it probably works better as a graphic novel, than it ever would in celluloid. Unhampered by restrictive Hollywood economics and bottom-line conscious studio execs, veteran Canadian illustrator Ramon K. Perez is free to reach outside his comfort zone and embrace the manic spirit of his source material. In the process, he achieves a level of brilliance that far outstrips his mainstream work on Deadpool, JSA: Classified, and Star Wars.

If you don’t already know his name, then you soon will. Perez’s realization of Henson and Juhl’s screenplay is perhaps one of the most technically sound, beautifully rendered books in years. This isn’t an exaggeration. His understanding of the graphic narrative and his ability to corral Henson’s mad, mad expressionistic script into something tangible for the reader makes him a perfect match for such an experimental work. By the end of the book, you won’t be able to imagine any other artist crafting these pages.

More than just a loving tribute to the sheer creative power of Henson’s unbounded imagination, Tale of Sand challenges the status quo of graphic storytelling in ways the original authors would be proud to have inspired. One of the most genuinely satisfying reads of the year, Tale of Sand belongs on the shelves of all serious collectors and comes very highly recommended.

Available in limited quantities on December 14, 2011, Jim Henson's Tale of Sand will enjoy a wider release on January 17, 2011 from Archaia Comics.

Related content

Related Headlines

Related Lowdowns

Related Reviews


There are no comments yet.

In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!

Latest headlines


Latest comments
Comics Discussion
Broken Frontier on Facebook