The Dark Crystal, Vol. 1: Creation Myths Written by Brian Holguin
Illustrated by Alex Sheikman & Lizzy John
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Prose Stories by Barbara Randall Kesel
Pinup by David Petersen
Additional Lettering by Dave Lanphear
Designer Fawn Lau
Concept, Character Designs, and Cover by Brian Froud Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: December 28, 2011
Cover Price: $19.95
What I took away from The Dark Crystal Volume 1: Creation Myths was WAY different than what I thought I would, but it’s my own fault. I have fantastic memories of my mom and dad taking me to see that movie and I remember reading the comic adaptation until the cover fell off. While I was expecting to revisit that world and thoroughly enjoy it, which I did, but on a totally different level. The only problem — I haven’t seen The Dark Crystal film since 1982.
I’m guessing that writer Brian Holguin has NOT waited 30 years between viewings. In fact, I’d bet my life on it. As I was reading this, it quickly dawned on me how little I retained from the movie, but hey, it’s been 30 years. What impressed me most was that Holguin has taken something that I barely remember and made it both familiar and both fresh and new.
The biggest problem with this series, I think, lies in getting people who have never seen the movie to pick up the book. On that front, I’m not sure that this book is for them. If I had nothing invested in these characters, I’m not sure that I would enjoy the book. It’s pretty far removed from what is selling to younger audiences today, and it’s very hard to convey the charm and awe of puppets come to life through the printed page. Just ask Boom!. What I did love was Holguin’s great storytelling and exploration of this world. It slowly brought the world of Thra back into the forefront of my mind, and that made this volume very enjoyable.
Artists Alex Sjeikman and Lizzy John both deserve standing ovations are far as the art goes. Simply put, it’s gorgeous. While it’s hard to capture the puppet look on paper, they do a fantastic job of it, and both really bring the world of Thra to life at the same time. By the end of the second page, you’re totally sucked in and this world looks just as real as the one outside your window. Job well done by both of them.
All in all, if your a fan of The Dark Cyrstal, pick this one up, you’ll really enjoy it. I think the biggest problem I have with this is that you don’t get a complete story for the $20 price tag. You get a few stories woven together to make a bigger story, but the huge epic story that you’re really interested in is left unresolved by the classic comic book “to be continued” ending. While this is fine for a monthly book with a $3 or $4 price tag, I think it’s a little disappointing for a $20 trade.