Writer: Jorge Corona
Artist: Jorge Corona
Release Date: March 16th, 2016
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons #4 comes to an end, and I must say this has me pretty bummed. I loved the series; every issue told a story from a different part of the world that had to do with the ancient serpents, and the way Jorge Corona drew these mythological creatures was fantastic. I’m hoping this is not the end of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, and instead we’ll get another series based around another creature that is a staple of several different fables and fairy tales across various regions around the world, and I especially hope Jorge Corona brings his writing and art to the next project; he’s very spot on and he makes the book great and very faithful to the original television series.
With my praise for the series out of the way, I feel as if this issue is my second favorite out of the four; issue #3 is definitely the strongest in terms of story and art, but this is definitely a close second. The story tells the tale of a dragon called Yofune Nushi. Every single one of these issues was about a fairytale I’d never heard of before, and every single issue compelled me to do some light research into the origins of the story. This particular issue is based on Japanese folklore, and it’s really awesome we’re getting stories most people aren’t familiar with. I love drawing correlations between these stories and the classic Western fairy tales most of us have been accustomed to through the butchering, albeit mostly entertaining and classic, Disney films that have made dark and terrifying stories more accessible and friendly to younger audiences.
This particular story, entitled “Samurai’s Sacrifice”, started out very similar to Beowulf; both feature warriors wandering into a town and being tasked with saving a village by defeating a powerful and monstrous foe, but Beowulf’s motivations were far more selfish. The main character, Tokoyo, has her own reasons to challenge the monster, and I won’t give it away as it is a very focal part of the tale. Tokoyo learns about honor and respect in her journey, and by the end she is basically another person, one stronger and more appreciative of her path and legacy.
The art is gorgeous, and I have to give a mention to Jen Hickman for doing a beautiful job of coloring Jorge Corona’s work; the colors are vibrant and light. My only criticism to Jorge’s art style is sometimes his depiction of Asian characters seems a little bit…exaggerated in a Mickey Rooney type way. Despite that, however, his art for creatures, demons, and dragons is amazing and definitely makes up for his slight missteps. Jorge’s writing evokes the cadence and nuisances of the classic series; as I stated in an earlier review, you can hear John Hurt’s voice narrating the story in your head along with his trusty dog voiced by Brian Henson. The language makes it easy to imagine those voices in your head.
As I also stated before, I wish we could have seen this as an episode; the comic does a great service, but the Jim Henson Company would have done excellent and groundbreaking things with this story and a sizeable budget. I wish they’d bring back the series to television; John Hurt doesn’t even need prosthetics and makeup to play The Storyteller at this age. Ultimately, I will miss this series; it’s even more frustrating that this final issue ends on a bit of a cliffhanger as to what’s happening with the main character. I highly recommend this series to anyone with a passion for mythology and very old fairy tales, because the stories are interesting with a perfect blend of the foreign and the familiar, and the art is magnificent. Definitively give this series and read, and I hope we can see more in this genre from Jorge Corona.
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons #4