Monday, August 12, 2013

Book Review: The Dark Crystal : Creation Myths Vols. 1 & 2 by Joshua Dysart (writer), Alex Sheikman (Illustrator), Lizzy John (Illustrator) and Brian Fround (Illustrator)

Creation Myths are, as one might suspect, the prequel to the movie The Dark Crystal. I was skeptical about the idea at first: I'm not terribly fond of tie-ins as a general rule, but it turns out that these fit the movie very well, both in tone and content. The world is created, a great mother watches over everyone, and then outsiders come and are welcomed. Do they deserve the welcome? Or does the suspicion of one person doom them? How did the Crystal come to break? And how did the Skeksis and Mystics get separated in the first place? Creation Myths gives the backstory to the movie, and they fit the tone, mood, and look very well.

There were were a couple of points I thought the myth lapsed; early Thra appears to have been a near-paradise, but there are also hero tales of people freeing others from evil dictators, so it clearly wasn't perfect. The distant, mythic feel to everything also means I never truly got attached to any of the individuals, not even the singer, Gyr, who travels through most of the second book, but then, fairy tales as such aren't about getting attached to the individual. They're more about the world they portray, and Creation Myths understands that very well.

The tales are lovely little fairy stories, but the real beauty here is the illustrations. They are lavish, beautiful chances to revisit the splendors of The Dark Crystal world and to see things that the filmmakers couldn't afford to show us, things like Aughra's full orrery. There are villages and seas and strange animals, and it is a wonder to behold.

Recommended for anyone who loved The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth or any of Henson's more mythic work.

Creation Myths Vol. 1 on Goodreads
Creation Myths Vol. 2 on Goodreads

Did I miss a review I should include? Drop me a line and let me know!

Links of Interest
Remember when I mentioned I'd started watching publishers? I haven't quite made up my mind yet, but I think Archaia Entertainment is going to turn out to be one of them. They do publish such a variety of interesting stuff, and their books are also beautiful physically. They have lovely, smooth covers and are easy to hold, and great illustrations.

Dark Crystal: Creation Myths vol. 1 on Amazon
Dark Crystal: Creation Myths vol 2 on Amazon

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