Posts Tagged ‘Jim Henson’

Return to the Labyrinth volumes 1 through 3

September 17th, 2009 by Susie

return-to-labyrinth-2-cover

I have known about and avoiding this manga sequel from TokyoPop to the classic Jim Henson movie the Labyrinth, for a few years now.  The Labyrinth is one of those special movies that I have watched many times since I was a child, and treasure as much now as then.  So when, around  five years ago I stumbled across the listing on Amazon for the first volume, I was taken aback.  I could not help but be worried that the people producing this series would miss the charm and wonder of the original.  I did not even want to take the chance that it would disappoint, so I left it alone.  I am not sure what made me check if the library had them now, but I am glad I did.  No, author Jake T. Forbes has not quite created a story as brilliant as the movie.  He has crafted a narrative that pays homage to the original, while cutting it’s own path through the Labyrinth. This time it is Toby, whom you may remember as the baby that heroine Sarah had to rescue from the Goblin King, who is the teenage hero. He finds himself pulled into the Labyrinth and makes friends both new to the audience as well as familiar ones.  His adventures in the first volume while not boring, do feel a little like a retread. However  it is as the story progresses and we learn of King Jareth’s designs for Toby and his motives and also as we get a broader view of the world he inhabits that I found my self truly invested in the story.  Volume 3 took the plot in a direction I was not expecting, and of course left us with quite the cliffhanger.  There is one more volume  in the works however it looks like the books have been released at least two years apart and number three  just came out last May, so I will be waiting for the conclusion for a while.  I especially appreciated that the author planted references to other Jim Henson fantasy works, such as the Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock and the Story Teller.  Jim Henson’s work from the Muppets and beyond, was my very first fandom and it is still my most favorite.  Sorry Joss, I love you too!  I am really glad my fears for this project were completely unfounded.  If I have a small complaint, it is that the creatures that were created just for the manga don’t look like they were created by the same person who created the creatures for the film.  And of course they weren’t, Brian Froud designed the firies, Ludo, and Hoggle for the film, while Chris Lie is the artist on the manga.  It also would be nice if the series was in color, but then it would take even longer to be published.  The series has it’s own website and forums at goblin.net.