In 1982 directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz, in collaboration with acclaimed artist Brian Froud, introduced us to the vivid world of Thra via their high fantasy film classic The Dark Crystal. Like many great fantasy epics a key reason for the success of Crystal lies in the believability of the setting in which it takes place. The setting of Henson, Oz, and Froud’s grand effort is rife with suggested histories and mythologies, a place teeming with a vast array of arcana seen everywhere: on clothing, jewelry, amulets, weapons, carved into ancient architecture, and scrawled across ancient crumbling parchments.
As almost everyone reading this knows, Saturday, May 7, is Free Comic Book Day at participating shops across North America. With over 35 free titles vying for the attention of avid comic fans, I’d like to make a special note of the exemplary offering from publisher Archaia — Mouse Guard, The Dark Crystal, and Season of the Dapper Men, plus a sneak peek at the highly anticipated graphic novel A Tale of Sand all under the cover of one flip book. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this release and my already high expectations in terms of art and storytelling were completely surpassed.