At the time of this posting, I would have just come back from the Toronto Fanexpo that I somehow managed to find time to visit, if only for a day. At the convention, I'm hoping that I got an autograph from an incredible comic artist, Ramon Perez. The book that I'm getting signed? Tale of Sand.
Tale of Sand is an adaptation of a feature length film script adapted by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl. The script was originally started when Jim Henson was beginning his career but he and Juhl worked on the film well past the birth of The Muppets and Sesame Street. The graphic novel published by Archaia follows the character, Mac, as he goes on a surreal journey in a desert setting. The mostly wordless adaptation of the script shows just how creative Henson was, and points forward to some of his future creations. With a delightfully random assortment of settings and characters, Tale of Sand strings together a wacky world where Mac runs into football players, a speakeasy and even a lion. Unfortunately, because the book was so out there and surreal, it's clear why the feature film was never actually made. In the graphic novel format, however, the zany concepts had me flipping page after page, never knowing what will come next.
This brings me back to the artist, Ramon Perez. I had never heard of him before this book, but his artwork is absolutely phenomenal. Even Lisa Henson says in the afterword, that no one could have brought the unparalleled vision that Perez brought to the book, and I am inclined to agree. His page layouts really capture the soul of the subject matter, and gives the book the same unrestrained feel while still being easy to follow. The use of contrasting colours and facial expression work injects a unique soul into the overall piece. It's no wonder why this book had one so many awards on its release in 2012.