|The Tale of the Dark Crystal|
Written by Donna Base
Illustrated by Bruce McNally
The Tale of the Dark Crystal is based on the movie The DarkCrystal (1982) directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
The story takes place in a far away time on the Planet of Thra, home to urSkeks, Gelflings and Pod People. (Stay with me, I know it seems a bit confusing) Pretty much there were three races living in harmony, basking in the glow of the Crystal. Every thousand years Thra’s three suns aligned with one another, known as the Great Conjunction.
|First page- Chapter One|
During one of these Conjuctions, the UrSkeks split into two separate beings: The good and wise urRu and the evil Skeksis. It was the Skeksis who gained control of the Crystal and everything went dark. The Crystal cracked and darkness prevailed for the next 1,000 years.
As legend would have it, a gelfling would fix the Crystal by replacing the one missing shard during the next Great Conjunction, thus defeating the evil Skeksis.
That is when we are introduced to Gelflings Jen and Kira, the hero and heroine of the story.
The illustrated version is no substitute for the film, however, Bruce McNally, who was incidentally the VP of Art and Design for the Jim Henson Company, does the film justice. It is a very general adaptation of the The Dark Crystal film but a very enticing one at that.
Leonard Lubin's illustration
Henson’s inspiration for the visual portrayal of his characters emerged from an illustration by Loenard B. Lubin’s 1975 picture book, which was based on Lewis Carroll’s poem The Pig-Tale. One illustration in particular shows a crocodile bathing in a Victorian era bathroom. This image would move on to become Henson’s inspiration behind the villainous Skeksis in The Dark Crystal.