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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Entertainment Weekly's Exclusive Preview of Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Comics


This June marks the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth, Jim Henson’s fantasy film featuring young Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) pursuing her stolen infant brother into the magical realm of Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie).

Although a critical and commercial disappointment at the time of release, Labyrinth has accumulated a significant cult following in the years since. So to commemorate the anniversary, BOOM! Studios’ Archaia imprint, in collaboration with The Jim Henson Company, is releasing three comic book tributes this year: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Special in August, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Tales in September, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Artist Tribute in November. The Henson Company will also be celebrating the anniversary with a limited run theatrical re-release in September, followed by a souped-up Blu-Ray.

EW spoke with BOOM! editor Sierra Hahn about organizing the project and reflecting on Labyrinth’s legacy. Check that out below, along with pages from the 30th Anniversary Special by Cory Godbey and an exclusive promotional image from illustrator Ben Morris above.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you run through the differences between these three Labyrinth comic specials?

SIERRA HAHN: In August we’ll be releasing the Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special, which will be 48-page comic book comprised of some short stories based on some of the ancillary characters of the world: Sir Didymus, Ludo, Ambrosius, Hoggle, some of the iconic figures that Sarah came across in her journey through the labyrinth. Sarah and Jareth are not part of those stories. Those were done by a mix of artists who had done them for Free Comic Book Day issues we’ve been publishing for the past several years. We had wanted to take those issues, put them under one cover, and allow fans who maybe hadn’t gotten them before, who had missed out on the opportunity during Free Comic Book Day, to have one definitive collection of that material. Most of it is previously published, and then we’ll have two brand new short stories: one by Jonathan Case and one by Gustavo Duarte, who’s done silent cartoons and comics previously. He’s a big fan of the Henson world and I’m hoping he’ll do a really cool silent comic for us. Those are gonna be packaged in more of a deluxe comic book format — heavy card stock paper, some spot gloss, and foil — to dress them up and make them a very special, collectible item for comic readers.

The one that will come out next is called Labyrinth: Tales. It’s sort of a children’s book format, square-bound picture book style featuring short stories by fantasy and children’s book illustrator Cory Godbey. Some of those stories are also featured in the 30th Anniversary Special, and some of it’s just different material, reformatted. We wanted to created something that was a little more kid-friendly, that had placement out in the book market so you could find at Barnes & Noble and things like that, whereas the other one will only be at comic book stores.

The artist tribute will come out in November, and that’s gonna be an oversized art book. So, it will have single gallery images from different artists in the industry paying homage to the film that inspired their work. That’s gonna be a big book for us, and will have artwork from comic book luminaries like Mike Allred, Dave McKean, Eric Powell, Jill Thompson, David Mack, Faith Erin Hicks. It’ll be a really good mix of different styles and approaches to the world, from cartoony to more painterly fine art, which will be really fun. We felt really cool too because Henson allowed us to reach out to people who created fan art based off the Labyrinth world. I kind of got to play around online, finding some of my favorite pieces that people have done and tracking down those artists who had just created pinups or posters because they’re fans of the material. We’ve given them a new opportunity to showcase their work and fandom as well.

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