Muppet creator Jim Henson’s first screenplay – reconfigured as a graphic novel – is being released today for the first time.
Titled “Tale of Sand,” the story of a man being pursued through the desert with a backpack full of mysterious objects was written by Henson and writer Jerry Juhl, with whom Henson often worked, during the 1950s.
“I want people to learn about [Jim] as an artist,” Lisa Henson, the chief executive of The Jim Henson Company and Henson’s oldest child, told The Wall Street Journal. “Releasing a book [as a graphic novel] is a new way of getting to know him.”
Lisa Henson told The Wall Street Journal that her father’s 75th birthday this past September and the financial and critical success of the new film “The Muppets” have prompted even more curiosity about unreleased work by Henson, who died in 1990.
The “Tale of Sand” story is the only screenplay written by Henson that has not been produced. In addition to taking on the writing duties with several others for “The Muppet Show,” Henson wrote for the children’s television show “Sesame Street” for 21 years. He is credited with working on the story for other films featuring his puppets, including the 1986 David Bowie film “Labyrinth” and the 1982 fantasy film “The Dark Crystal.”
The graphic novel transformation of “Tale of Sand” was completed by Archaia Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. The first printing of the graphic novel will release 15,000 copies.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.