BOOM! imprint Archaia is doing this cool little series inspired by the Jim Henson Storyteller television series that aired in the late eighties and early nineties. S.M Vidaurri’s The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest is the first of four tales in The Storyteller: Witches run. If this is any indication of what’s to come, we’ve got a lot of looking forward to do.
Upon the birth of his son, a king fashions a crown from “the tallest branches of the tallest tree” in the forest, “so tall that they caught the stars in their nettles and contained magical powers”. This oh so human and hubristic act upsets both the Lord of the Forest and a long exiled witch. The young prince is consequently captured by a giant swan goose and only his tree hugging tomboy sister, the princess, can save him!
In a pastiche of fairy tale essentials, Vidaurri (Iron: Or The War After) gives us a modern myth replete with blessing-curses, revelations, and atonements. There’s a bit about grace in these pages, and at the heart of it all is a profound respect for nature.
Vidaurri, as illustrator, renders his sylvan setting in a combination of skillful line cartoons, washy watercolors, and artful, expressive lettering. The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest appears, as it reads, perfectly suitable for children, but bears lessons that even the most sophisticated reader ought to ponder.
Elegant in it timelessness, Vidaurri’s contribution to The Storyteller: Witches series sets a promising tone. In the spirit of Jim Henson’s legacy, could we expect anything less than greatness?