Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens #1 / Writer: Bartosz Sztybor / Artist: Jakub Rebelka / Letterer: Jim Campbell / Publisher: Archaia Publishing Company / April 3, 2019
Storyteller and His Dog
Based on the 80’s British TV program of the same name, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller comic opens on the Storyteller and his talking dog discussing life. The dog wants more treats, so the storyteller launches into a tale of a man who always wanted more.
The man in the story lets his obsession lead him away from his family and to a singing mermaid. Once he captures her, things do not pan out the way he thought they would. He ends up destitute and alone.
Parable for Life
This book, meant for kids, is a great parable for life. Bartosz Sztybor uses the Storyteller to convey the result of neglecting those that love you for your ambition. The man in the story just wants happiness, but he misses that he already has it. The story ends tragically when he realizes that, all along, his daughter embodied what he made him happy.
As this is a fairy tale told before, the writer did a good job of reiterating the story in a way that engages the reader, especially the younger reader, who can enjoy the whimsy of the talking dog and the song of the siren. That being said, The Man character did seem to be one sided without much depth. Why was he obsessed with finding happiness? How did he miss it in front of him?
Art and Color
The art, by Jakub Rebelka, seemed more geared to children. He was able to get the Storyteller and The Dog from the TV show spot on in the book. The high point of Rebelka’s art was storytelling of the color. From the warm red and yellow tones of the comfy fireside talk of our narrators, to the bland coloring of the family’s interactions, to the cold blue and greens of The Man’s journey. The color was the beauty of this book.
Jim Campbell’s Lettering also added to Jim Henson’s The Storyteller’s adventure. Campbell’s use of music—actual sheet music—as word bubbles let the reader feel the music. They see the difference between the siren and then the daughter’s music. Any reader who can play music has to be curious what these lines sound like.
Overall, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens #1 was a good book, an adventure of warning and a message to appreciate the people in your life. Although the art was juvenile, the coloring is beautiful, and the lettering fun. I recommend reading this with your younger family members.
Verdict: 4 out of 5