Tale of Sand

I’m a huge Muppets fan.  My parents were too, so they started my brother and I young.  So I was shocked the other day when I was at the library browsing the graphic novels section when I ran across Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl’s Tale of Sand.  Before you get too excited, they actually didn’t create the graphic novel.  They created a screenplay way back in the day that never got made.  So the Henson company decided to release it in the graphic novel format.  After reading it, I think this was a wise choice.

TAleJust browsing through the art work, it appears that this is a mash-up between a Western and an Action/Adventure a la Indiana Jones type of plot.  Sadly, that’s only the icing on an oh so dry cake.  In fact, the plot is a surrealist, nihilistic adventure of a man, we never know his name, being told to run in the desert and trying to reach a specific landmark and comes across all sorts of weird situations that reveal there’s nothing real and you can’t trust anybody or anything.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Partly because I had set up high expectations, but secondly, but I’m not a fan of surrealism.  It’s just not choice for reading.

I’m still trying to decide what’s the point of the book.  I feel like my English Teacher side could come up with all sorts of analyses, we’re good at spinning gold you know, but honestly I don’t think there’s a real interpretation.  I think that the point of the work is that there is no point.  However, because I hate nihilistic literature, I kinda feel like Henson and Juhl were using the surrealism to backhandedly critique Hollywood.  If you take each vignette as a movie set, in fact one of them does end up being a movie set, you could read the entire work as an actor’s kunstlerroman and realizing that Hollywood is fake, reality is surreal, and you can’t really trust anybody.  So, would I recommend it? Yes.  The illustrations were amazing!  I was drawn in page after page without much effort.  But maybe don’t have too high an expectation for this one.

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