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Preview: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3 TP

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3 TP

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers: Brian Froud, Matthew Dow Smith
Artists: Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John
Cover Artist: Brian Froud
Price: $14.99Now in softcover.

Now in softcover. Brian Froud, legendary conceptual designer of the beloved Jim Henson fantasy film The Dark Crystal, returns to the world he helped create in this stunning conclusion of the official prequel to the original movie. The world of Thra is shattered. As the aftermath of the Great Conjunction wreaks havoc upon the Gelfling tribes, the Geflings may have no choice but to rely upon the one race offering aid: the Skeksis. This volume features behind-the-scenes photos and concept sketches from the Jim Henson Company Archives documenting how creature and puppet designs that never made it into the film were adapted and brought to life on the page.

darkcrystal_creationmyths_v3_cover

Preview: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 2 TP

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 2 TP

Imprint: Archaia
Writer: Joshua Dysart
Artists: Alex Sheikman & Lizzy John

Now in paperback for the first time. The Great Conjunction is at hand in this dramatic second volume of a trilogy of prequel graphic novels that tell the origin of The Dark Crystal. Aughra, the beloved guardian of Thra, has gone into hiding, while her son, Raunip, leads a team of emissaries to the Crystal Castle. There they will bear witness as the visiting Urskeks attempt to use the Conjunction to power their voyage home. But pain and mistrust fostered by the group leads to events that will corrupt the world to its very core and transform the Urskeks into two distinct races: the gentle Urru and the terrifying Skeksis.

DarkCrystal_CreationMyths_v2_TP_cover

Preview: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3 HC

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3 HC

Imprint: Archaia
Writer: Matthew Dow Smith
Artist: Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John

Presenting the stunning conclusion of the official prequel to the original The Dark Crystal movie. Following the events of the Great Conjunction, the once-powerful Urskeks have been split into two separate beings: the Skeksis and the Mystics. As the aftermath of the Great Conjunction wreaks havoc upon the Gelfling tribes, the Gelfling may have no choice but to rely upon the one race offering aid: the Skeksis. This volume features behind-the-scenes photos and concept sketches from The Jim Henson Company Archives documenting how creature and puppet designs that never made it into the film were adapted and brought to life on the comic page.

DarkCrystal_CreationMyths_v3_Cover

Archaia Presents Final Installment of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths

Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, and The Jim Henson Company, an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years, are pleased to announce the third and final installment in the exciting prequel to The Dark Crystal film, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3, from writer Matthew Dow Smith and returning artist Alex Sheikman.

This beautiful hardcover also features behind-the-scenes photos and concept sketches from The Jim Henson Company Archives documenting how the puppet design of one creature that never made it into the film was adapted and brought to life on the comic page.

Following the events of the Great Conjunction, the once-powerful Urskeks have been split into two separate beings: the Skeksis and the Mystics. As the aftermath of the Great Conjunction wreaks havoc upon the Gelfling tribes, the Gelfling may have no choice but to rely upon the one race offering aid: the Skeksis.

Archaia’s Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 3 hardcover arrives in comic shops on September 2nd and in bookstores September 8th with a cover price of $24.99 under Diamond code JUL151086. The cover is illustrated by legendary conceptual artist Brian Froud.

The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is August 10th.

Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Creation Myths Vol. 3 Cover by Brian Froud

Review: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 1

The Dark Crystal Creation Myths CoverThe Dark Crystal is a movie I remember from my childhood, a movie that scared the crap out of me. But, other than the fact I was a bit terrified of the film and it’s amazing visuals, that’s about it. This graphic novel delves into the origin of this world devised by Jim Henson.

Part one of a three-part graphic novel prequel series delving into the origins of the Skeksis, Mystics, Gelflings, the world of Thra and the Dark Crystal itself. Spanning a time period from thousands of years ago to right up to the start of the original Jim Henson film, this graphic novel epic will tell the definitive origin of the Dark Crystal, under the supervision of The Jim Henson Company and The Dark Crystal concept designer Brian Froud.

The first volume is the “origin” story, taking us into the history of this world, something I don’t remember being covered in depth in the movie. It brought back little bit after little bit and got me to want to check out the film again.  The graphic novel is an absolute buy and read for fans of the movie and world.

It’s also a solid entry point for parents wanting to get their kids interested or something for them to check out after they see it for the first time. There was a nice jolt of nostalgia for me and this is just another great example of the excellent partnership between Archaia and The Jim Henson Company.

Story: Brian Holguin and Brian Froud Art: Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John and Brian Froud
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Archaia and BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Preview: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 1

JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS VOL. 1

Page Count: 96 pages
Format: hardcover (paper over board), 7.25” x 11.25”, full color
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN-13: 978-1-936393-00-8
Written by Brian Holguin and Brian Froud
Illustrated by Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John and Brian Froud
Cover by Brian Froud

Part one of a three-part graphic novel prequel series delving into the origins of the Skeksis, Mystics, Gelflings, the world of Thra and the Dark Crystal itself. Spanning a time period from thousands of years ago to right up to the start of the original Jim Henson film, this graphic novel epic will tell the definitive origin of the Dark Crystal, under the supervision of The Jim Henson Company and The Dark Crystal concept designer Brian Froud.

Archaia Announces Moon Lake Volume 2 HC

Archaia Entertainment, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, and actor Dan Fogler have officially announced Moon Lake Volume 2, a hardcover graphic novel sequel to the 2010 original that meshes genres and stories into one insane anthology inspired by Tales from the Crypt and Heavy Metal. Once again narrated by the hilariously deranged Man in the Moon, Moon Lake Volume 2 features the talents of a who’s who of some of the top writers and artists in the business. The second volume was mentioned at the Archaia panel at San Diego Comic-Con which Fogler presented on.

Fogler described the series as:

Moon Lake is a crossroads of so many different brands of evil that it’s hilarious—unlimited haunted tales as told by the twisted and gregarious Man in the Moon. I really wanted to craft an eclectic Lovecraftian tale that linked the separate short stories together like the pieces of an elaborate puzzle.

Volume 2 is a meal that can’t be devoured in one simple reading and stays with you long after you’re done, like a delicious steak rotting in Alfred Hitchcock’s lower intestine. It’s a freakin’ labor of love to put a book like this together and manage all those different personalities, but the combined artistry in Moon Lake Volume 2 proved to be the perfect ingredients for our sick smorgasbord. Packaged spectacularly by Archaia for your delightful digestion. Bon appetit!

Moon Lake Volume 2 is created, edited, and written by Dan Fogler and features art by Nadir Balan (who also illustrated the cover), Kevin Colden, Dan Dougherty, Fernando Pinto, Darick Robertson, Alex Sheikman, Jeff Stokely, and Anna Wieszczyk. In addition, the book features a story co-written by Andrew Harrison and a story written by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson.

Moon Lake Volume 2 ($24.95, hardcover, 160 pages, full color, 7.25” x 11.25”) is available for pre-order now at your local comic book shop. To pre-order, provide your retailer with Diamond Order Code SEP13 0873.

moon lake vol 2 cover

Review: The Reason for Dragons, The Dark Crystal Creation Myths Vol. II, Cyborg 009, Rubicon

The Reason for Dragons

Front Cover-The Reason for DragonsWendell lives a lonely, suburban existence, losing himself in books in order to avoid his motorcycle-driving stepfather, Ted. When the school bullies convince Wendell to venture into the forest around their neighborhood and explore the long-abandoned Renaissance Fair grounds they all believe to be haunted, Wendell is surprised to find a man living in the barn—and even more surprised by the man himself. Believing himself to be a medieval knight named Sir Habaersham tasked with the duty of slaying the dragon he insists is wandering the woods, Wendell’s new acquaintance seems the definition of crackpot. But when Wendell starts hearing rumblings—and listening to Habaersham’s stories—he starts to wonder if perhaps it could all be true. In a heartfelt coming-of-age story, Wendell must defy logic in order to follow his heart…and face the dragon of the forest!

Released the same week of San Diego Comic-Con, The Reason for Dragons is an excellent graphic novel was drowned out by the noise from the convention. What people missed is an excellent coming of age story in a fantasy world.

The first thing to enjoy about this graphic novel is the main character Wendell and what he deals with. Bullies at school, a stepfather he can’t relate to, these are things many people experience every day. That makes Wendell’s reactions and struggles all the easier to relate to.

And the fantasy setting makes those issues fun to deal with in a way. The fantasy like setting is great, allowing us to escape into a world where knights and dragons might exist. Chris Northtrop‘s writing keeps us guessing in that department. It’s not until the last act do we have an idea of what is fantasy and what’s real.

In addition to Northrop’s solid writing is Stokely’s art which is a perfect fit. The style adds to the fantastical feel of it all and his style is a true find.

Overall, The Reasons for Dragons is an excellent graphic novel taking on issues many children face with. It’s a great read for the entire family.

Story: Chris Northrop Art: Jeff Stokely
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Dark Crystal Creation Myths Vol. II

Dark Crystal Creation Myths v2 GN CoverThe Great Conjunction is at hand in this dramatic second volume of Archaia and The Jim Henson Company’s prequel graphic novels that tell the origin of the Dark Crystal. Aughra, the beloved guardian of Thra, has gone into hiding, while her son, Raunip, leads a team of emissaries to the Crystal Castle. There they will bear witness as the visiting Urskeks attempt to use the Conjunction to power their voyage home. But pain and mistrust fostered by the group leads to events that will corrupt the world to its very core and transform the Urskeks into two distinct races: the gentle urRu and the terrifying Skeksis. Brian Froud, legendary fantasy artist and conceptual designer of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal film, returns to oversee this crucial chapter that reveals the tragic events that caused the Bright Crystal to darken and shatter. This book also includes an Afterword written by David Odell, never-before-seen production stills from the film, and a Brian Froud concept sketch gallery!

The Dark Crystal is a movie I remember from my childhood, a movie that scared the crap out of me. But, other than the fact I was a bit terrified of the film and it’s amazing visuals, that’s about it.

This second volume continues the “origin” story continuing to introduce us to this world and the events that lead up to the world of the film. It again made me want to re-watch the film.

If you’re a fan of the film and world, this is an absolute buy like the first volume. It’s a great point to get kids interested in the world and reading and has a nice factor of nostalgia for those of us who remember this from our childhoods.

Story: Joshua Dysart Art: Alex Sheikman and Lizzy John
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Cyborg 009

Cyborg_009_GN_CoverAwakening in a futurist military installation with no memory of who he is or how he got there, a young man known only as Cyborg 009 has been stripped by his captors of not only his freedom but also his humanity. His body augmented by cybernetic technology, Cyborg 009 joins forces with 8 other men and women, Cyborg 001-008, and sets off on a journey to learn the truth of why they were turned into weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent a conflict that could very well be the start of World War III.

I didn’t know a whole lot about the series until recently. After reading this graphic novel, I want to go back and find out what I missed! This graphic novel continues on from the zero issues Archaia teased us with in may.

The story is solid full of excitement, never a dull moment at all. This is going full throttle with an interesting mix of characters and moments that is beyond entertaining. It’s everything I want in a story and more!

Then there’s the art, which is amazing. There’s an updated look to these classic characters, an East meets West manga style that’s just beautiful to look at. The use of panels, the flow, everything is spot on and had me lingering checking out each page.

That art is enhanced with a beautiful presentation. Archaia is known for that but the cover has an acetate dust jacket and layered cover art revealing the inner workings of the cyborg in peel-away layers! That alone will catch folks’ eyes and become a topic of conversation.

I’m hoping this is just the first of a long line of releases. The first volume has me hooked and wanting more…. now!

Story: F.J. Desanto and Bradley Cramp Art: Marcus To
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Rubicon

Rubicon-GN-CoverFive paramilitary Navy SEAL operators defend the residents of a remote mountain farming village in Afghanistan from attacks by marauding Taliban. Led by the war-weary Hector, the operators and villagers form mutual bonds of honor and respect leading up to a climactic battle where the “Lions of Panjshir” are desperately outnumbered.

Written by Mark Long from an idea by Christopher McQuarrie and story by Dan Capel, Rubicon is basically Seven Samurai set in Afghanistan.

The story is straightforward and not all that complicated. The characters are cookie cutter and what I’d expect from this type of tale. What really drew me in was the interaction between all of those characters. It gives a bit of an insight into the mindset of them all and a glimpse of what mentally goes into being a Navy SEAL.

This tale is about brotherhood and honor and doing what’s right no matter the odds. It doesn’t go into the political hotbed that is the war in Afghanistan and how it’s being fought, instead it’s focus is the men that are fighting it.

There’s also an interesting twist in that it brings us into the tactics that might be deployed in this sort of battle. It’s fascinating to me to see what might be done and how things would be handled. The fact this was put together by military men makes it even more interesting.

The art by Mario Stilla is solid and fits the grizzled feel of the story. It’s a cool look that almost has a bit of an anime vibe about it.

The graphic novel also Includes an envelope of printed artifacts from inside the story world, expanding the narrative experience, again showing off the excellence in packaging Archaia is known for.

Rubicon is a fantastic read for anyone that enjoys a good war story or fans of the classic movie Seven Samurai.

Story: Mark Long Art: Mario Stilla
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Archaia provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Preview – Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Volume 2

JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS VOLUME 2

Original Graphic Novel Hardcover
Retail Price: $19.95 U.S.
Page Count: 104 pages
Format: hardcover, 7.25” x 11.25”, full color
Genre: Fantasy
On-Sale Date: February 27 in comic shops, March 12 in bookstores
Rating: T – TEEN (12 and up, may contain mild violence or mild profanity)
Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Alex Sheikman and Lizzy John
Concept, Character Designs, and Cover by Brian Froud

The Great Conjunction is at hand in this dramatic second volume of Archaia and The Jim Henson Company’s prequel graphic novels that tell the origin of the Dark Crystal. Aughra, the beloved guardian of Thra, has gone into hiding, while her son, Raunip, leads a team of emissaries to the Crystal Castle. There they will bear witness as the visiting Urskeks attempt to use the Conjunction to power their voyage home. But pain and mistrust fostered by the group leads to events that will corrupt the world to its very core and transform the Urskeks into two distinct races: the gentle urRu and the terrifying Skeksis. Brian Froud, legendary fantasy artist and conceptual designer of Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal” film, returns to oversee this crucial chapter that reveals the tragic events that caused the Bright Crystal to darken and shatter. This book also includes an Afterword written by David Odell (screenwriter for “The Dark Crystal”), never-before-seen production stills from the film, and a Brian Froud concept sketch gallery!

Dark Crystal Creation Myths v2 GN Cover

Review – The Dark Crystal Vol. 1: Creation Myths, I’m Not a Plastic Bag and Where’s My Shoggoth?

The Dark Crystal Vol. 1: Creation Myths

The Dark Crystal is a movie I remember from my childhood, a movie that scared the crap out of me. But, other than the fact I was a bit terrified of the film and it’s amazing visuals, that’s about it. This graphic novel delves into the origin of this world devised by Jim Henson.

Part one of a three-part graphic novel prequel series delving into the origins of the Skeksis, Mystics, Gelflings, the world of Thra and the Dark Crystal itself. Spanning a time period from thousands of years ago to right up to the start of the original Jim Henson film, this graphic novel epic will tell the definitive origin of the Dark Crystal, under the supervision of The Jim Henson Company and The Dark Crystal concept designer Brian Froud.

The first volume is the “origin” story, taking us into the history of this world, something I don’t remember being covered in depth in the movie. It brought back little bit after little bit and got me to want to check out the film again.  The graphic novel is an absolute buy and read for fans of the movie and world.

It’s also a solid entry point for parents wanting to get their kids interested or something for them to check out after they see it for the first time. There was a nice jolt of nostalgia for me and this is just another great example of the excellent partnership between Archaia and The Jim Henson Company.

Story: Brian Holguin and Brian Froud Art: Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John and Brian Froud Cover: Brian Froud

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

I’m Not a Plastic Bag

Based on the real-life occurrence of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island of floating trash in a remote area of the Northern Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas, I’m Not a Plastic Bag tells a moving story about loneliness, beauty and humankind’s connection to our planet. Produced in conjunction with American Forests© and the Global ReLeaf© programs, Archaia will plant two trees for each tree used in the manufacturing of this book. Presented in partnership with JeffCorwinConnect, a global, ecological, educational and entertainment multimedia company launched by Jeff Corwin, the popular wildlife expert and nature conservationist.

This silent graphic novel looks at the ecological disaster in the making. Rachel Hope Allison’s story and art shed a light on something we all should be taking a greater look at. This is an awareness campaign in book form, it also helps a good cause.

It’s a quick read, though you linger on each page thinking about what this book has to say about or impact on the environment and how that affects the world. If you’re into environmental issues, this is an absolute buy.

Story: Rachel Hope Allison Art: Rachel Hope Allison

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Where’s My Shoggoth?

Not quite a comic book, this illustrated prose book is one of my favorite reads of the year. Leaving me with a massive smile throughout and getting me to laugh, a lot.

A young boy wants to take his pet shoggoth for a walk—but oh, no! The shoggoth has escaped! Fearing for the safety of the poor thing, the boy sets out to find it, accompanied only by a small black cat. On the way they explore the rambling mansion and its grounds and encounter a number of creatures and demigods. Unfortunately, none are the shoggoth! Where, oh where, could his poor shoggoth be? Where’s My Shoggoth? is a mishmash of H.P. Lovecraft, Dr. Seuss and Roman Dirge’s The Monsters in my Tummy, with a little Winnie the Pooh thrown in. Featuring endpapers that double as a Chutes and Ladders-type game (tokens and die not included) and a cover that glows in the dark!

A story meant for children, it’s twisted, beyond twisted. At the same time, I can’t wait to have a kid to read this to. It’s cute, fun, funny and enjoyable for all. Hopefully it doesn’t cause nightmares in your children. For folks who like twisted tales and want something a bit different than the normal children’s books to read, this is a must buy.

Story: Ian Thomas Art: Adam Bolton

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Archaia provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

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