By d. emerson eddy — Jakub Rebelka is one of BOOM Studios! secret weapons. Like Dan Mora, he's an artist that always turns in interesting, captivating, and beautiful artwork for the company, deeply enriching whichever project that he's working on with his unique character compositions and approach to color. His shapes, lines, and the appearance of almost a mix of chalk and oil paint reminds me of other surrealist artists like Frazer Irving and Ted McKeever, but not as heavy in use of shadow or extreme angles. So, while it's highly stylized, it has a softer, almost beckoning look that makes you just want to pore over the pages. He also seems to choose offbeat and intriguing projects for Boom, having previously illustrated Namesake with Steve Orlando and Judas with Jeff Loveness.
Here, he, his fellow Polish creator, writer Bartosz Sztybor, and Jim Campbell kick off this new mini-series within the Jim Henson's The Storyteller world with an adaptation of the traditional “The Mermaid and the Fisherman” fairy tale. Like the previous series, like Giants and Fairies, this is made up of single issue stories from a variety of creators, with the titular Storyteller (I still hear John Hurt when reading the dialogue) telling a tale to his talking dog.
Sztybor very nicely weaves the moral of the fairy tale into a question raised by the Storyteller's dog, why he wouldn't want to tell his tale to a wider audience, along with a want for treats all the time. It's a really interesting interpretation of appreciating what you have and a welcome intertwining of the Storyteller and the story that we don't always see. Jim Campbell's lettering also serves an integral role in the story as the song of the mermaid is one of the key elements. Though I do find it interesting that she's singing bass.
Overall, this is a great all-ages single issue story from Sztybor, Rebelka, and Campbell. Whether you've read or seen The Storyteller before, you'll have no problem picking this up and enjoying it. The art is absolutely gorgeous and there's an important moral to the tale.
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens #1
Writer: Bartosz Sztybor
Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Boom Entertainment / Archaia
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d. emerson eddy is a student and writer of things. He fell in love with comics during Moore, Bissette, & Totleben's run on Swamp Thing and it has been a torrid affair ever since. His madness typically manifests itself on Twitter @93418.