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Jim Henson's Tale of Sand

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  2,149 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
Join us as we explore this missing piece of Jim Henson's career in a celebration of his creative process. Discovered in the Archives of the The Jim Henson Company, A Tale of Sand is an original graphic novel adaptation of an unproduced, feature-length screenplay written by Jim Henson and his frequent writing partner, Jerry Juhl. A Tale of Sand follows scruffy everyman, Mac ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published December 14th 2011 by Archaia Entertainment, LLC
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Sep 07, 2015 Patrick rated it really liked it
I bought this a couple years ago when it came out, and only now have managed to get around to reading it.

It's a comic adaptation of a screenplay that Jim Henson worked on in the late 60's and early seventies. A project that he left behind as Sesame Street and the Muppet Show took more and more of his time.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. But I should mention that I enjoyed it primarily as a heretofore lost piece of Jim Henson's storytelling. If I had read this as a straight-up indie comic... I probably woul
Jan 13, 2017 Andrew rated it really liked it
This was a truly strange book - I had never heard of it, in fact it was a total surprise when I read about it in the back of the Archaia press printing of Labyrinth.

That said what I read about it totally gripped me - a lost manuscript of a project abandoned by Jim Henson in his early days in favour of following the path that led to his famous (and I assume fortune he amassed in his career before his untimely death) films and shows

Not only that but the manuscript has been revitalised and illustr
Sam Quixote
Jul 10, 2015 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Prior to reading A Tale of Sand, my knowledge of Jim Henson began and ended with The Muppets. It turns out that before he made his name with that show he was an avant-garde filmmaker who produced a couple of award-winning short films, Time Piece and The Cube, before writing the script for a feature, A Tale of Sand, with his collaborator Jerry Juhl.

The screenplay was never produced despite numerous revisions and the script lay hidden in Henson’s many belongings for years after his death. Then it
Jean-Paul Bass
Apr 14, 2012 Jean-Paul Bass rated it really liked it
I’ve heard great things about Jim Henson’s lost story, Tale of Sand. I read a few rave reviews and couldn’t wait to check it out for myself.

I came to the story expecting something akin to Jim Henson classics like Dark Crystal or Labyrinth, but for an adult audience. Well, was I in for a surprise.

I’m not even sure where to begin. For one, the story is actually a collaboration between Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl. It’s based off of a script they wrote years before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show ma
Nick Kives
Feb 24, 2012 Nick Kives rated it it was ok
What do the desert, a football team, a group of Arabians, a hippopotamus, and a truck full of nitroglycerine have in common? NOTHING AT FRIGGIN ALL.

So, this book was originally a screen play written by Jim Henson before he started creating the Muppets show, and has been lost in the Henson archives for years until it was recently found. Random things just happen, for not particular reason, and nothing serves a purpose. Why is there a light switch in the desert, and then why do people get angry wh
Jul 11, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by: Comix - Japana
Shelves: c-comics-alt
This is like The Wizard of Oz but with no characters. A man is given a map and told to 'run'. He's chased by a guy and a lot of zany stuff happens on the journey. Things like finding a small, dirty outhouse that has a huge fancy restaurant on the inside (reminded me of the Doctor Who police box).

After a while he starts to get chased by a few arab guys straight out of an Aladdin movie and a team of american football players.

It's strange that this book is supposed to be about Jim Henson's script
Nov 21, 2012 M.H. rated it it was ok
An inaccessible Everyman gets caught in a surreal causality loop for no explicable reason. Is it commentary on the banality of Hollywood or popular culture in general? Or just a stream of consciousness play? Pilgrim's Progress without the morality? My problem is that there are no characters in this book. The figures react, but do not act. There is little redeeming about any of them to identify with. The villain (consumerism? the devil?) makes no demands but simply chases, and the blank hero runs ...more
Words cannot describe the marvel that is this story, the story of that story (it being a long buried script) and the accompanying art. Tale of Sand is something that must be experienced on one's own, all in one go.

I especially liked how the original script was used as a background for some of the panels and the introduction and postscript (the latter by his daughter, who has a Harvard degree in Mythology and Folklore!!!), which were a lovely tribute to Henson. I was not aware of Henson's early w
May 29, 2014 Unai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
No tenia yo para nada localizada esta obra, ni la historia que arrastra y tengo que decir que me he quedado encantado de experimentarla. Porque es mas una experiencia que una lectura, ya que nos movemos en los terrenos del surrealismo, trasladando ademas un guion cinematográfico a novela gráfica.

Este cómic existe porque Jim Henson, hace bastantes años y antes de los teleñecos, exploraba las artes audiovisuales desde un punto de vista muy particular. Tras un par de cortos, decidió a escribir junt
Nov 01, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Dream? Hallucination? Hell? Twisted Twilight Zone?
We're never actually told what or where we actually are in this far out there story. Who the haiche-ee-double-hockey-sticks are all theses people?

I liked that there was so little dialog, even when there seemed to be too much. Henson and the artist manage to do in a Graphic Novel what should only be able to be accomplished in a movie, add background noise which you aren't really supposed to hear, or better yet, that you do hear but just tend to co
Seth T.
Nov 04, 2015 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Tale of Sand by Rómon K. Pérez and Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl

Sometimes the legacy of a creator is too great. Sometimes the lifetime of achievements by a single imaginative voice is so overbearing that it will forever eclipse that creator’s exterior works, making it impossible to view those works for what they are. But maybe that’s okay and maybe that’s how it ought to be. After all, a painter’s landscape cannot simply be a landscape on its own; it will always be a part of the painter, an extension of that artist’s life. The fourth book of an author exists
Cameron Crawford
Jul 31, 2012 Cameron Crawford rated it it was amazing
I think this is actually a 4-star story but the fact that it's Juhl and Henson's work and I'm so starved for their sense of humor and outlook on life, that the fifth star showed up for relief's sake. For those that are familiar with Henson's Timework and Cube, and have watched enough classic material to recognize Jerry's humor, this work will feel like a warm fluffy blanket. The art and interpretation of the material lends itself well to what could have been another Henson film. The motion is th ...more
Cody Melcher
Mar 11, 2012 Cody Melcher rated it it was amazing
After I finished this story (and granted, I went over it twice), I sat back and thought long and hard about what I'd just gone through. I'm trying not to use the word "read" for several reasons. One: Because this book has very little words. Very little at all. Two: Because the visuals are the strongest part of the book, and must be pored over. Three: Because the words, the few there are, are really not the most important part of this book. It's a story that surrounds and invades your mind. It's ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Raina rated it liked it
Shelves: graphicnovel, adult
I love Jim Henson, as a rule. I totally respect his work as an artist, and I grew up adoring his creatures and his soul.

And this is really beautifully executed. Perez's illustrations are gorgeous, the color work by Ian Herring is great.

But, for me, this is a classic example of the difference between a good screenplay and a good graphic novel.

I mean, the plot of this is pretty wacky in the first place. It feels like a surreal fever dream. An unbelievable adventure with no context or background.
Jun 03, 2014 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-14
First, Archaia is putting out some freaking gorgeous books. Five stars to whomever is running that outfit, even if the editorial department clearly values art over narrative.

I thought this one might be an exception. I mean, Jim Henson. Show me someone in my age group who doesn't adore that man, and I will show you a human being without a soul. Tale of Sand is based on an unproduced screenplay from the early 60's, and... ok, it's not terrible, but it is very much meant as a showcase for the sort
Nov 15, 2014 M. rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, bizarre, hypnotic, creative nightmare dreamscape. Jim Henson was a genius.
Visually stunning, a unique story, beautifully told, but the high action sequences were difficult to follow, and the style for me was not a good fit. Left me wanting a lot more.
Nov 04, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Jim Henson's brilliance shines through in this beautifully conceived imagining of his script, in a way that is both anticipated and also somewhat unexpected. Every page blows you away as you "read," experience, immerse yourself in Mac's journey. I know only a small portion of Henson's vast work (some of my greatest memories involve watching The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock as a kid--I identified with the quirkiness and appreciated the unique vibes of the shows; they were unlike any others I had ...more
Susan Rose
A Tale of Sand follows scruffy everyman, Mac, who wakes up in an unfamiliar town, and is chased across the desert of the American Southwest by all manners of man and beast of unimaginable proportions.

This is a graphic adaptation of a surreal screenplay a young Avante-garde/ pre-muppets Jim Henson and his writing partner Jerry Juhl which has been lovingly illustated by Ramon K. Perez. (It should be noted that this adaptation has been fully authorised by both, Jerry Juhl and Lisa Henson so that is
Charles Hatfield
Dec 08, 2012 Charles Hatfield rated it liked it
Based on a curio from the Jim Henson vaults—an unproduced screenplay drafted by Henson and Jerry Juhl between 1967 and 1974—Tale of Sand shows its age: there's a definite whiff of trippy surrealism and late-60s indulgence about the project. As I read it, I was reminded of the final episode of Patrick McGoohan & Co.'s The Prisoner (1968), in which real-world logic goes out the window and the tightly wound premise of the series gives way to gleeful absurdism, so that what one remembers afterwa ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
Reading this was a roller coster of analysis. The first glance grabbed my attention because it was Jim Henson and I freaking love that guy. The art was the clincher and as soon as I read the forward and the word "surreal" popped up, well, I couldn't help but neglect my 3 year old child for an hour as I poured through this journey. The opening scene of music and celebration tickled my curiosity like the first sweating minutes of a mushroom trip and the world of the public library melted away into ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok
I was raised on Sesame Street. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Dark Crystal. I can still quote jokes from the short-lived and under-appreciated "Muppets Tonight." Which is as much to say that I was very excited when this book came to my attention.

It's a graphic novel interpretation of an unproduced screenplay, but here's the rub: there's a reason no one ever bought the script. It wouldn't have made a very good movie. The story is a surrealist chase across a mythical southwestern des
Nov 23, 2012 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE the art of Ramon Perez. Kukuburi has fascinated me for ages and his steamier stuff is still classy! He has a great way of creating movement and emotion with minimal lines, his understanding of human anatomy comes across in every page, the use of negative space, dialogue box placement and colors are par excellence...


This book is awful.

Jim Henson created a juvenile story and had the presence of mind (or luck) to not waste anyone's time by sharing it with the world. Simply bec
Jul 29, 2012 Matthew rated it liked it
I never knew that Jim Henson wrote screenplays, let alone made movies, so this was a bit of a stunner to find out about. According to the back, it was a shelved project when the Muppet really took off and... Kinda glad for that. It works very well, if very weird, as a graphic novel and I worry how it would look on the screen if it had been filmed as seen here. /counterfactual

Although it shows touches of the whimsy that Henson is well remembered for, it is an artistic, cerebral (if mental) dreams
Mariah Drakoulis
Jan 16, 2012 Mariah Drakoulis rated it it was amazing
One of the few comics left these days that relies purely on image to get the story across. It was beautiful and satisfying to read, nonetheless, the images reading as easily as a script - and holy crap, what talent from ramon perez. he breathes life into every single character, brief as their appearance may be, and manages to inspire the beauty of the desert in every landscape. extremely clever and one I could read over and over again - catapulted straight onto the favourites list.
Erik Erickson
Jan 29, 2012 Erik Erickson rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fiction, surreal
Fun little story. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars. Ramon Perez's art is fantastic and probably the perfect compliment to the story. I love a lot of Jim Henson stuff and this was completely enjoyable. It just felt a little slight. There's obviously layers of meaning and readers can ascribe a lot of depth to it, but for me it was just a pleasant excursion. It didn't resonate with me in any particular way. It's great this finally got some sort of wide release though.
Aug 15, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok
This a surrealistic tale that was a completed live action script written by Jim Henson of "Muppet" fame. It was alright, but it would have been better with the visual of the movie and all the sound effects that were intended. I think a lot gets lost in translation to graphic novel and with little dialog, it can and does get confusing. A little nudity surprised me since it was Henson, but that could have been the artist's choice.
It was very beautiful and very bizarre. This is the Henson of his surreal early work, as described in the forward, such as Time Piece and The Cube, or maybe Labyrinth, not Sesame Street or the Muppets. The book is stunning, from the production to the art. And the story is...odd. Interesting, but not something I'd want to read again. Definitely well suited to the graphic novel format, this was a great way to present this lost screen play.
Melissa Forget
Feb 23, 2016 Melissa Forget rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
The illustrations are mesmerizing. I loved how abstract the story was, yet so enjoyable to follow. The original sketches by the illustrator paired with quotes from the original script made the plot more approachable. "Tired, been lost in this cycle."
Aug 16, 2012 Dani rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, graphic-novel
I love Jim Henson but this is just weird. The illustrations are lovely, but don't always make sense. The story has little dialogue and nothing else (think text boxes) guides the story along. Still, it's nice to know that more of Jim Henson's work is out there...
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James Maury "Jim" Henson was the most widely known puppeteer in American television history. He was the creator of The Muppets and the leading force behind their long creative run in the television series Sesame Street and The Muppet Show and films such as The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Dark Crystal (1982). He was also an Oscar-nominated film director, Emmy Award-winning television producer, and ...more
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