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RedPiggy's Realizations

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by RedPiggy, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Up is the first episode of my series, RedPiggy's Realizations.

    You can find it here.

    Oh, and Ed ... while I have pics of some of the characters, it's basically just me ranting.

    The intro consists of a dark background of the Skeksis castle in the distance on a dark stormy night. Ballroom Sarah and Jareth appear on screen right, facing to the left. Mokey is just left of Sarah, facing left, Robbie then appears behind Mokey and feeds Baby to his left from a glass jar. After that, Chamberlain-in-rags appears in the far left of the screen facing right. Finally, Kermit in a tuxedo appears in between Sarah and Jareth and the red-golden title "Redpiggy's Realizations" appear.

    The end credits just has more pics from RTL and the movie Labyrinth (during the As the World Falls Down snippet).
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, I enjoyed that. Of course, I did read your shpiel about this when you posted it on FB as well. I rather like the little character conglomoration you described.
    BTW: A couple of things I never mentioned after getting RTL Volume 3 from you... What was the name of Spittledrum's tarot card panel? And I know this because of the shots Disney used to insert into their movies that only people truly looking at it would find the hidden "adult-toned" images and because I had a high school classmate who was equally artistically talented. (Trust me, my own drawings were more of a cartoon style when compared to his, though mine were done well at times.) Anyway... The panel with Mezumi latching her cloudwater chain onto Toby, making him buckle downwards... Didn't that look like she adopted the classic dominatrix appearance? Meh, whatevs I guess. Looking forward to RTL 4 and your next vlog entry.
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Technically, it's not the same because the one on Facebook was about destiny, not love.

    I don't have it in front of me right now, but I think it is "THE FOOL."

    Wow, thanks for that image. I don't usually think of that sort of thing until some male brings it up, LOL.
  4. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    The second video is up.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Would like it better if it streamed continuously from start to end instead of hiccupping every 3 seconds. It only went continuedly from the bit about the Yellow Brick Road onwards.
    *Laughing at attempts to get Sara away from the power cord, only because one of my family's two remaining dogs tried biting a power cable once too. Remind me to tell you her name and the horror show incident, if you're brave enough for it.
    I'm with you on developing the RTL volumes further... That's why I think/hope JHC is waiting for Volume 4 just like you an me. The way I see it, put all the issues together, and you have the perfect script for Labyrinth 2 right there in your laps.
    It's also why although I've seen and liked most of the Harry Potter movies, I think it's being done an injustice in its cinematic presentation. Warner Brothers owns Potter... Why not turn it into a one-hour weekly TV series for their CW network? It would be much more fuller than the movies, characters and events and subplots that were gutted can be added back in, and you build upon the richness of the world already glimpsed in the books and movies.

    Looking forward to your next installment. Thanks as always.
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    It quote-unquote hiccups because I lose my train of thought and I have more dead space than is really necessary. You're hearing the edits. I wish I could sustain a speech for 10 minutes ... but that's not really my strong point.

    edit: oh, the streaming thing ... I can't help that ... it's been doing that to me on nearly every video ... the site itself must be all wonky...
  7. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Since my Pokemon and Transformer fics are wallowing in writer's block limbo, I guess I'll do a couple of FR ones tomorrow.
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    My first FR topic is up.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Kelly... Where did you learn a funeral dirge like that? Oh yeah, it was composed by the singer in honor of their own departure. It should be somber, dignified, it even lost its sad maudling quality. But you've got to admit it's a funeral dirge you can dance to once they picked up the tempo.
    :smirk: :crazy: :excited:
  10. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    That kind of thing really amazed me about Fraggle Rock: yes, there's death, but there's always hope in some form or another, whether you end up not dying to begin with, you die but are reborn, etc.
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, puts into perspective Wembley's reply to that other forum member that one time.
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Comeback, ACT 1, where Wembley gains an appreciation for Storyteller's job.
  14. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Ah, riiiiiiiiiiight. I forgot. :D

    @ Ailie: I'll keep it in mind when I get to the Muppets subjects. You'll need to get in line ... Cait had JHH topics she wanted. :p
  15. Kiki

    Kiki Active Member

    Why didn't I come across this thread EARLIER? ;_;

    I love it, Kelly. Very entertaining. :) I love your style. :cool: And your accent! xD <333
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    *blushes* Thanks!
  17. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    NOTE: I've decided against making any more videos for this series. However, this thread will continue, just in article form. So, no more singing, LOL. I'll begin by posting articles I've already posted ... somewhere, like Facebook.

    Jareth versus Mizumi: You Cannot Stay the Hand of Destiny
    By Kelly Masters (RedPiggy)

    Warning: Spoiler Alert

    In 1986 comes a fantasy movie of a spoiled teenage girl and her quest for maturity.

    That’s how it starts.

    In 2006, Jake T. Forbes starts the official sequel in manga-like comic book form, Return to the Labyrinth. This story chronicles Jareth’s problems with his past and Toby’s adolescent quest for maturity. As of this article, we are only up to three out of four volumes, but the story gets more fascinating with each new addition.

    So, fascinating, in fact, and I am baldly going to plug myself here, that I wrote The Comeback King Saga (http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=39236) in August of 2008. It was originally just one story, but it evolved into four separate stories that were later recompiled into one gigantic saga.

    Don’t worry; I’m not going to review my own fanfic here. Rather, I bring it up because I’d like to discuss “destiny”, the fact of life that has kept philosophers and theologians paid for millennia.

    The movie Labyrinth, with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, is a coming of age tale. However, the movie doesn’t really delve too deeply into the characters residing in the Goblin King’s kingdom. We get far more characterization in the comic book sequel and, in my opinion, my fanfic. The comic book adds elements that really serve the original story well, adding on meanings. For instance, Jareth, the Goblin King, kidnaps baby Toby Williams after the infant’s half-sister Sarah Williams wishes him away in a fit of adolescent over-reaction. The point of the movie is that Sarah must learn to value her family and her responsibility and become a mature woman.

    Since that barely happens, I’d like to take Jareth out of the film and into a greater three-dimensional life because I feel the movie experienced a paradigm shift with the sequel.

    In the comic book sequel, Jareth apparently had an ex-girlfriend, one he felt so frustrated about that he created the Labyrinth to keep her (and possibly all other love interests) out of his heart. That ex is Mizumi, Queen of the kingdom of Moraine. Her story is remarkably similar to the Greek classic Medea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea). She is a woman scorned and has chosen to strive for nothing less than the abject humiliation and defeat of Jareth.

    Jareth’s attempts to deal with the furious Mizumi bring the movie into more interesting areas. I don’t doubt that Jareth eventually fell in love with Sarah and formed an attachment to Toby while the latter was in his care. However, how much of trying to woo Sarah was an attempt to find someone to back him up when the time to face Mizumi came? At the end of the movie, Jareth, as a barn owl, watches over the girl who defeated him and then flies off into the moonlight, repeating the first few lines of the song “Magic Dance”, which was a song that he sang to young Toby to calm him. If Jareth was merely in love with Sarah and enticed her to the Labyrinth in order to find a worthy queen, then why the implied sequel-ready change of focus to Toby? The sequel leaves me with the impression that Jareth knew full well of Mizumi’s machinations and wanted to set up fallback plans. He openly mocked Sarah at the beginning, but eventually became intrigued by her willpower. Only a powerful will can stand up to Mizumi, who is presented as Jareth’s equal in power. In the sequel Jareth comes after an adolescent Toby, who is just as obstinate as his half-sister, though he does have more compassion than Sarah did.

    This leads me to the point of this article (yes, there was going to be one eventually). I believe Jareth represents Destiny and Mizumi represents the (futile?) challenge of it.

    Jareth’s level of manipulation grows by leaps and bounds in Return to Labyrinth (RTL) and grows even more in The Comeback King Saga. He was just toying with Sarah in the movie. Now, he has planned several hundred steps beyond Mizumi’s own machinations. He knows her so well that he plans for the results of her ploys before she even gets a chance to think of them. Distraught by Sarah’s defeat right after the movie, he turns to his ex-girlfriend Mizumi for a second chance at Sarah. However, he bets her that if he fails, she can have the Goblin Kingdom and its king. Mizumi, desperately amused at the idea of finally having her ex humiliated in her icy/watery kingdom, agrees … only to discover that Jareth had made Toby heir to the throne, leaving her with a worthless kingdom (to her) and some teenage human boy. In my fanfic, Jareth is in fact the former King of the Universe, mentioned by the Gorgs in the show Fraggle Rock, under the name of Sir Hubris. Just as the movie makes Jareth rather arrogant, Sir Hubris (as the name implies) is considered one of the most selfish and arrogant jerks in the universe. However, one of the themes of the movie was that nothing was what it seemed. Thus, in both Forbes’ and my work, Jareth is labeled a conceited jerk and a coward, but he is actually very compassionate and generous. His drive to ensure things go the “right” way makes him seem egotistical, when he is just trying to keep the universe (or later, his Goblin Kingdom) running smoothly. In my fanfic, based on the tale of Sir Hubris as told by Ma Gorg, Jareth gives his crown finally to Gorgus, making him the first Gorg King of the Universe. While it makes Jareth look as though he is giving up his destiny, the fact that Gorgus’ descendant Junior threw away his crown toward the end of the series actually serves his purposes later. After all, once Sir Hubris returned to the Gorg Kingdom, the King would have to return the crown. Since Junior threw it away, the spell/prophecy was broken and Jareth could bring Junior to the lad’s destiny personally. This is important because Mizumi discovered that the land of Fraggle Rock was integral for Jareth, allowing Sarah to receive messages without having such communications traced back to him. In the second volume of RTL, Mizumi noted that a land cannot change hands unless in trade or war. Thus, since Mizumi knew there was no longer a Gorg King, she could invade their territory more easily without breaking the rules. Restoring Junior’s crown is a major plot of Act One of my story because the return of the monarchy means Mizumi can’t legally invade the entrance to Fraggle Rock through that land.

    This is not to say that Jareth is omniscient. He is just a master planner. He plans for nearly every contingency. He can be surprised initially but has usually left himself some wiggle room for just such occasions.

    Mizumi, on the other hand, lives only to destroy Jareth. She claims he broke her heart (and in volume three you’ll see she kind of means it literally) and now she wants to break him. This article is being written before the release of the final volume of RTL, so I don’t know how Jake Forbes intends to end it. However, my fanfic is a sequel to his story (sadly, I wrote it before volume three came out and now I’ll have some hoops to jump in order to explain certain inconsistencies), so I’ll probably have more to say about how I portray her. So far, she is merely the spurned ex-girlfriend who wants to ruin her more awesome ex-boyfriend. I tend to portray her similarly (in part because I don’t know how Forbes will end his tale), but I go deeper with the thought that she really just wanted Jareth for his power. I portray Jareth as on the lookout for a woman who can love him for himself and care about him instead of him always doing the heavy lifting in the relationship. He thought he found it in Mizumi, but realized that she is just power-hungry. He turned to Sarah, but she was too immature at the time to appreciate him. In fact, she doesn’t really start trying to think of others first until I have her have a heart-to-heart with Boober Fraggle one lonely night.

    Mizumi’s daughter Moulin repeats the theme of RTL, which is that “one cannot stay the hand of destiny”. Mizumi cracks a smile and concedes this fact, but she desires to outsmart it. Since her will is equal to Jareth’s, she banks on the idea that she is more creative. Mizumi feels that by thinking outside the box, she can defeat Jareth. After all, when Sarah searched for Toby in the Escher room, she gets to him by jumping off a platform, destroying the paradoxical illusion that kept him from her. I also continue the idea that creativity is the best counter to Jareth’s magic. His puzzles assume you will think in simplistic terms. Mizumi uses a Trojan Horse strategy and a creative method of invasion in RTL. In my fic she decides that by destroying Fraggle Rock, she can destroy Jareth because the magical tunnels can connect worlds and people. Without the “Underground”, he cannot extend his power beyond his kingdom.

    The Comeback King Saga always has this dichotomy playing in the background, even when the focus is taken off these two characters. When Jareth isn’t trying to manipulate others, Mizumi is. Even when she is temporarily defeated and sent back in time to Pangaea after it was condemned to nuclear winter thanks to corporate greed and apathy, she starts scheming with those available to her. She will stop at nothing to destroy Jareth, even if it takes forever.

    So, does free will exist? Is there such a thing as destiny and can you change it? Personally, I don’t believe in free will as anything other than a subjective feel-good concept that enables humanity to get through bad times and good times. I believe one might be able to change the timing, but what happens will happen. Thus, Mizumi’s attempts to cheat destiny will ultimately fail. No matter how hard she tries and what she comes up with, she cannot best someone who is always several hundred steps ahead of her. By Act Four of my story, she has enchanted a horde of dinosaur survivors to attack Jareth. He, of course, has countered it already by summoning a special council consisting of every Hensonian royalty/authority figure I could think of. He lies to them, telling them that he is afraid humans are going to destroy their dimension (I admit I had been watching “Imaginationland” from South Park). However, it becomes apparent that they all are to be pawns to wear Mizumi down.

    That, as you might imagine, doesn’t win over very many hearts.

    People don’t like hearing that they’ve been suckered into a force much bigger than them. Humans learned to rebel against Destiny, imagining themselves with free will. They sometimes act as though a hopeful wish can make them fly or live forever. In the United States especially, people are taught to believe that we are in charge of our own destiny. Toby, when he is being considered for the role of Goblin King, learns that the Pathmaker (the entity that actually creates the contorted paths of the Labyrinth) is himself. In other words, he learns that he is his own destiny. In the words of Kermit the Frog, “Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending.” However, at the end of the day, Toby’s position was determined from the beginning by someone else. His fate is recorded in the Hall of Prophecies deep within Goblin City, written long before the infant became a teenager, even before the infant was born at all.

    The world of the Labyrinth is so much more than just a coming-of-age tale. It is a tale of destiny, and even you cannot stay its hand for long.
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I Can Show You Your Dreams …
    By Kelly Masters (RedPiggy)

    If you like Looney Tunes or DC Comic book characters, you head over to Six Flags. If you like Disney … well, there’s Disney parks. Marvel is over at Universal. Sesame Street has its own place and cameos in Sea World for some strange reason.

    There is a terrible, nay, nearly unforgivable lack of theme park ideas. Let me suggest one….

    I would like a Hensonian park.

    I realize this small company (which should not be small, considering the wonderful stuff that has come out of it) will never (or at least, most likely will never) have enough money and backing to pull this off.

    That’s evidence they haven’t talked to me. I had already managed to talk about this in the forums of Muppet Central, but this, in my lowly humble opinion as a fan, deserves another mention.

    Universal has its Islands of Adventure. Can you imagine something similar for all things Henson? True, you won’t get the Muppets or Sesame Street, but there are a lot more franchises to play with than just those struggling characters.

    Just imagine four theme parks centering around a fifth, each connecting in some form to another and the center.

    Dark Crystal
    This would be geared more for the family demographic as opposed to strictly kid or adult fare. Anyway, there would be an area for the village of the Mystics, a brief walkthrough of different biomes, Aughra’s observatory (which would house an IMAX theater, naturally, where one could watch Hensonian films), Gelfling ruins, and the Skeksis castle. Souvenir and refreshment stands would be found in the Mystic village. Also, one could try their hand at sand painting and Mystic language deciphering and Mystic music making. The different biomes would include mock-ups of a desert canyon leading to Aughra’s observatory and a swamp/forest that leads both to a small reference to podlings having fun and the Gelfling ruins. The Skesis castle would provide animatronic scenes and a show similar in concept to Terminator 4-D at Universal (a blend of live-action and animatronics and movies). A couple of landstriders face off against the garthim as you enter the front gate of the castle. They could be animatronic or statues. Once inside, you would have the “dark” side of the castle: decayed and filthy surroundings, strange creepy sounds, animatronic Skekses arguing or driving podling slaves, and the room that houses the Dark Crystal, with Skekses statues dutifully soaking up the light from the triple suns shining from the ceiling. This room would provide entrance to the show, where Jen and Kira must free the podlings and deliver the crystal shard to the Dark Crystal, making it the Pure Crystal, and watching as the Mystics and Skekses merge back into UrSkeks and the castle lightens up. The exit to the show would lead to a much brighter short passage through the castle as it would look like purified, with hopeful murals of happy gelflings and podlings and what-have-you.

    This would be the most “sci-fi” of all the parks. It would also be geared for family fare, though there would be adult-friendly night life. There would be restaurants/night clubs, souvenir shops, and such, but the primary centerpiece would be a large Moya, inside of which would be a rocking space battle simulation ride. The Peacekeepers would be a main threat, but other various aliens from throughout the series would also stake a claim on Moya’s precious hull. The ride would not take place in Moya, but on Talyn, her weapons-bearing son. The climax would be a distress call from Moya and the crew, forcing a climactic battle to save her as enemies are trying to pull her into an unstable wormhole which would most assuredly destroy her and everyone on board. Meanwhile, outside, each restaurant/nightclub would honor certain planets from Farscape lore. A “wormhole” gate would connect this area to the Pure Crystal castle in the Dark Crystal world.

    Fraggle Rock
    Certainly the kid-friendliest of all the parks, Fraggle Rock would border the Farscape area with a huge walk-through gate patterned after Doc’s workshop, the tunnel leading, naturally, to Fraggle Rock itself. A great deal of it would be “underground”, with animatronic Fraggles in their rooms just off the main winding pathway that leads to the Great Hall. The Great Hall would consist of a pool, various Fragglish sports areas, a child-friendly restaurant and first aid center (both to treat real injuries and to learn “Fraggle first aid”), and a photo/painting area (which would include 1-hr photo development … why wait ‘til you get home?). There would be a child-friendly rollercoaster with cars shaped like beanbarrows. There would also be, down one small tunnel, a simulation ride, where you travel to the Gorg’s garden to search for vegetables and missing Fraggles and even seek help from the Trash Heap and avoid getting stepped on in the Gorg’s castle before returning to Fraggle Rock.

    Creative Wonder
    This is more of an amalgam of different properties all lumped into one area. There would be a carnival tent from Mirrormask, a fairy tale area with monsters and characters from The Storyteller including that big mechanical dragon given life by some daydreaming kid who loves movie creatures, a stage show of The Cube and Sid the Science Kid, and references to any other random project of the Hensons (even, possibly, Tinseltown, though I doubt it’d ever see the light of day again). This would be mostly an adult to family-friendly park, geared more toward the geek than any other area. There would even be places to create your own material, be it creatures, puppets, or videos. You keep what you make. A tunnel from a version of the Travelling Matthew Fraggle room would lead to this area.

    In my humble opinion, this one deserves the centerpiece title. Shortened versions of the brick/stone maze, the hedge maze, the Forbidden Forest, the Bog of Eternal Stench, and the Junkyard would lead to the largest building in the entire park: Jareth’s castle. Various puzzles and riddles will be referenced, either through door choices (though, naturally, none will lead to certain death, just other places within the Labyrinth) or signs or such. In the Forbidden Forest, one would find a pyrotechnic show from the fieries. Animatronic Hoggle and Sir Didymus would argue over how to deodorize the Bog of Eternal Stench. Junkyard goblins would be seen picking at various pieces of replicas of memorabilia. There would even be a small store where such goblins would offer rotating stock of strange and unusual pieces for sale. Goblin City, naturally, would be the restaurant and souvenir and entertainment area. Goblins from the movie, manga, and other properties would be visible as walk-arounds. Small animatronic fairies would be seen in various areas, even congregating around street lights. Many humorous and pun-filled signs would abound. The castle would be for dances, conventions, and such. Rooms such as the throne room, the Escher room, the kitchen (as seen in the manga), and Jareth’s bedroom (as seen in the manga) would be visible though they would have limited accessibility. Upscale dining would be towards the top of the castle to provide a breath-taking view of the entire park. A ski-lift-like ride, with cars shaped like bubbles, would take guests from the top of the castle to the beginning of the labyrinth.

    The Labyrinth would connect to each world. For the sake of ease of travel, signs would be posted leading guests to the other areas.

    I feel this would make for an amazing, if you’ll excuse the pun, theme park. Admittedly, it relies more on characters and setting than it does rides, but not everyone can enjoy thrill rides. The best thing about Henson was his imagination and his technical skill. This should be honored in a place that could give more publicity to properties both cult-like and completely obscure.
  19. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Jim Henson’s Return to Labyrinth: A Review
    By Kelly Masters (RedPiggy on Muppet Central Forums)

    Well, the good news is that there is a sequel to Labyrinth. Don’t bother looking it up in the movie listings or some movie rental place, though. It’s a “manga”. Really, it’s a manga-influenced comic book (as many purists have told me on various websites). It is official canon, though that has made quite a few people throw up a little inside. It has been described, to sum it up, as an unoriginal, poorly drawn, blasphemous fanfiction that the Hensons dared to back officially.

    However, I really don’t think it deserves all the bad reviews. Let’s be honest, and you can see some of what goes on http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0091369/ and http://gobblin.net (author Jake T. Forbes’ blog site), a lot of the people royally ticked off at this are really furious that their pet Sarah-Jareth romance fanfic ideas aren’t in this sequel. God forbid there be a Labyrinth story that doesn’t have Sarah locking her lips on Jareth’s the entire time. To be fair, it has its share of fans (myself included). I just wanted to prepare you for what comes out of some people’s mouths.

    This review will encompass all three current volumes. There’s only one left. Naturally, you have to spoil some things when you talk about later volumes. However, considering the average to slightly-below average start of the miniseries, it’s probably best to read all three in short succession anyway.

    Let’s review: In the movie, there’s a teenage girl, Sarah, who prefers daydreaming and role-playing and can’t stand the sheer audacity of her father and stepmother suggesting she take on a little responsibility. She lives, breathes, and eats fairy tales, and acts kind of shocked when she wishes her half-brother away and Jareth the Goblin King actually shows up. Jareth outright enjoys mocking everything Sarah thinks she knows and tells her that she has thirteen hours to solve his maze and get to his castle or he’ll turn her brother into a goblin. Naturally, she makes it just in the nick of time and rescues her brother. However, Jareth has started to like the kid and is truly devastated when Sarah rejects his recently acquired romantic feelings (I know some fans will say he always loved her, as per the play Sarah was reading, but I see little initial evidence of it, so sue me).

    Volume 1
    The comic (or “manga”) picks up thirteen years later, after briefly summarizing the movie, though, to be honest, it really doesn’t. It’s more like it summarizes the play Sarah was reading, as the images and narration suggest Sarah really is the spoiled princess (literally) instead of just some cosplayer. We don’t see Sarah (indeed, she’s not even named Sarah) in modern clothes at all. I’ve been struggling to come up with a reason, although I guess I could just ask Mr. Forbes himself, but I’m willing to bet that the initial pages aren’t telling us Sarah’s story, but the play’s for reasons that hopefully will show up in Volume 4. Perhaps the play was inspired by something that actually happened to the Goblin King long ago (and in Volume 3 I have more evidence this might be the case). At any rate, this volume is like a repeat of the formula of the movie, though Toby, now 13-15 years old (how old was he in the movie?) is currently the teen protagonist. He tries the whole theater bit, while Goblin City Mayor Spittledrum and Goblin General Candlewic look on. It ends in disaster due to a wish. Sarah shows up to take him home. You’ll find some reviews out there who gripe about her short hair. Seriously? She has it up in a ponytail. The comic is not so badly drawn that this isn’t shown well. Sarah is now an adult who has lost that creative spark. She kind of comes off as rather bland. However, just stick with this version, as later volumes will explain why.

    Toby tries to write a history paper about the War of 1812 and the importance of naval battles after meeting Jareth posed as an academic counselor (HA!). The paper goes missing and Toby chases a goblin through a tunnel in a wall and ends up just outside the Labyrinth. The fact he goes through a tunnel instead of just popping over there like Sarah did actually foreshadows a rather cool cameo later in the volume. We learn that Mizumi, a queen in a snowy castle, has an interest in Jareth’s relationship with Toby (no, not that kind of relationship) and commands her bodyguard or whatever Esker to spy on the kid.

    The good thing about Toby’s trip through the Labyrinth is that it doesn’t just repeat the same puzzles and traps that Sarah went through. Forbes goes through the trouble of having us meet different characters (my favorite at this point being the embittered fairy Hana and her pet yeti Stank) and go through different areas or at least different scenarios in familiar areas. We end this volume with Jareth dropping a bomb of a concept on Toby at a ball. Jareth then bids the party-goers adieu. Toby is stunned after being named heir.

    Yes, the art could have been better. If you’ve seen the real Toby Froud’s picture on his father Brian’s website or on one of the Labyrinth documentaries, where you can actually hear him talk, too, then seeing this rather generic teen is kind of a disappointment. Oh well. Also, the artist, Chris Lie, apparently doesn’t know what a barn owl looks like. I’m not going to complain about the goblins. Even if you had Brian Froud drawing it, they still looked like live-action versions of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficient’s goblins in the movie. Let’s face it … they’re cartoon minions. However, we start to get a deeper look into goblin life when they’re not talking to Jareth. Goblins are still filled with puns and weird humor.

    This volume isn’t perfect – far, far from it, actually. However, while on the surface the characterization seems strange (or absent or pathetic, depending on your point of view), there are enough little moments that introduce you to these characters that will become more important later on. Also, the original plan was for this miniseries to be three volumes long. When a fourth volume was approved per the success of the first, that helps explain why things are more fleshed out in later volumes. Forbes thought he had to rush things. Seriously, this really should have been an ongoing comic book series. The machinations of Mizumi, possibly inspired in part from the Greek classic Medea, needed some more development. I’m an avid fan of her and her entire kingdom. I saw the potential of these characters from the very beginning. I wrote a rather extensive fanfic sequel (though guessing on a lot of things since only two volumes had been out when I started). The reason I toot my own horn, really, is to note that it’s very hard to get readers if you mention Mizumi and company are in it. Again, I feel part of this is some absurd loyalty to Sarah-Jareth. However, it’s not like Jareth’s married to anyone in this story, so just go with it, for Heaven’s sake! Mizumi is obviously based on classical figures. This story continues the classical allusions, perhaps even more than the movie itself. To me, Mizumi and the other original characters fit, since this isn’t the movie and the point is more complex than just some spoiled teen angst tale. This is about destiny – everyone’s destiny.

    Volume 2
    It’s really funny that we start off with Jareth having nightmares about Sarah (though, again, we merely assume it’s Sarah, as she’s not dressed the way she was in the movie and her name is never mentioned until after Jareth wakes up, though he could be mistaken as well). The goblins are starting to get a little miffed that he’s so hardcore obsessed with Sarah (I can somewhat sympathize, really). We learn that we’re actually in flashback mode and Jareth has gone to Mizumi shortly after the events of the movie to make a deal. Back in the present, the goblins aren’t none too happy with Jareth’s choice of heir and Mizumi and her two daughters Moulin and Drumlin spare no extra seconds weaseling their way into Toby’s life in an “advisory” role. Jareth has trouble getting out of the Labyrinth now that he’s abdicated, making for some amusing scenes. Where I feel this really becomes funny and interesting from a goblin standpoint is watching Toby go to goblin king classes. Oh, if only high school had been that bizarre. Meanwhile, Moppet, a masked girl, tries to find Hana’s wings, but she stumbles upon clues to her own past. Mizumi and Toby go the Ministry of Prophecies, where quite a few nods to other properties are included. Drumlin decides to attack Moppet and Hana. Finally, we are left with a cliffhanger designed specifically for the fans who haven’t really liked the miniseries up to now.

    The art has definitely improved by this point, though the interior art still doesn’t match the elegance of the cover art by Kouyu Shurei. Because of the greenlight to the fourth volume, we get some much needed extra interactions among the characters.

    Volume 3
    If a volume of this miniseries could make it all worthwhile, I feel this one has to be it. We get an explanation of what happened to make Sarah bland and uninteresting. We get a great conversation between Jareth and Sarah. We get some more explanation about Moppet’s existence. Spittledrum becomes even more three-dimensional and sympathetic. Mizumi’s wrath shows itself and we learn fascinating aspects about her daughters. We continue nods to other properties, even The Storyteller. Toby discovers the key to running the Labyrinth (it’s about time). However, the deal that Jareth and Mizumi made thirteen years prior comes into play and we are left with multiple cliffhangers.

    This is most definitely the Empire Strikes Back of the entire saga (please, Lord, let the fourth volume not be Return of the Jedi). Things happen that will make your jaw drop. Things that, if you were really paying attention, were just briefly addressed in the first volume are showcased here.

    This is a saga about destiny and choosing sides. If you can get through the rough beginning, you are definitely rewarded. It’s not only Toby and Sarah but Moulin and Drumlin, even Moppet, who make vital decisions that will affect their lives drastically. Jareth is characterized by everyone as a coward, though it’s more like he’s just more laid back about his machinations. Mizumi thought he had run from her, but she can’t help but laugh when she realizes just what sort of obstacles he had placed for her. Even when Jareth is at his worst in life, he still has much to be respected.

    This property deserves to be canon. When it’s all done, and a new company takes over comics for Labyrinth, this story may never be referenced again, and that’s a crying shame. Despite the rough spots, it is everything the movie wanted to be: a classically referential piece that links us to a magical world. I have heard that the Harry Potter series was good because it encouraged kids to read. Well, so does Labyrinth. You get a lot more out of it if you know the stories and characters that inspire it. The movie and the comic/manga both suggest that books take us to that magical world.

    Enjoy the trip.
  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Just a Little Ablation Theory
    By Kelly

    In the comic Return to Labyrinth we learn of the concept of ablations. Namely, that a characteristic of someone’s personality can be removed and turned into a sentient being in its own right, sort of like Dissociative Identity Disorder but more physical and literal. There are at least three in the comic. The downside is that if one dies, the original it came from dies with it.

    That being said, I have a theory that makes the Labyrinth movie somewhat more thought-provoking when adding this concept to it.

    Jareth, the Goblin King, is always deriding Hoggle, the dwarf who is the first main supporting character Sarah Williams meets. Jareth taunts him by refusing to say his name correctly most of the time. Now, Jareth is rather callous to the goblins and downright arrogant to Sarah, but he seems to save most of his revulsion for Hoggle.

    We know next to nothing about Hoggle or Jareth. Of course, we don’t know anything much about the other Labyrinth denizens either, but it seems odd, doesn’t it? They are main characters and we know so little about them.

    I theorize that Hoggle is Jareth’s ablation.

    Now, Mizumi in Return to Labyrinth said that only she had the power to make such things. However, think about it: Jareth is super-confident of his status for most of the movie and Hoggle is super-hesitant about his status. Jareth seems to fear nothing while Hoggle fears nearly everything – especially Jareth’s power.

    Why does Hoggle fear Jareth so? Yes, Jareth can make the Labyrinth turn against you, but Hoggle clearly has the power to create his own path within the Labyrinth. He can make magical doors appear and it’s implied he knows shortcuts all throughout the Labyrinth. Wise use of these abilities would completely negate Jareth’s hold over the Labyrinth. He also shows incredible strength when he pulls Sarah up from the wall from the forest floor.

    The main fear of Hoggle is that he would be forced into the Bog of Eternal Stench. Jareth confidently uses it as a threat – but note that he never goes there either. Jareth merely talks to Hoggle telepathically when Hoggle tries to avoid Jareth’s orders. Of course, that begs the question as to why it seems Jareth only talks to Hoggle telepathically, but I’ll bring it up again later. Jareth stays in the relatively clean castle and his clothes are always clean and well-kept, even when wearing disguises. What is it about the Bog? You could argue it’s the smell, but I think, since the movie is highly dependent on psychological metaphor, what is really the issue is that they both fear being “unclean”. I highly suspect Mizumi will be behind this fear in the last volume of Return to Labyrinth, though I could be wrong.

    The only time we hear Jareth using telepathy is when he warns Hoggle not to throw the peach into the Bog. He never seems to do this to anyone else, even Sarah. With Sarah, he has to use a crystal ball to get into her mind and show her her dreams. It seems really peculiar that Hoggle basically has a direct line of communication to Jareth. After all, when Sarah and her team of friends enter the Goblin City, one goblin announces the fact to Jareth but only refers to Hoggle as “the dwarf who works for you”. The goblin only names Sir Didymus, a knight. The goblins clearly respect Didymus, but not Hoggle. Why? Do they not know that Jareth can speak to Hoggle through telepathy? Are they forbidden to mention his name? Jareth could have sent anyone to follow Sarah and he picked Hoggle, who is treated like a nobody by nearly everyone. Sir Didymus would have sworn to do what Jareth asked, if Jareth had treated the issue like Sarah was trespassing, for Didymus is very literal and very loyal, as his behavior at the bridge in the Bog can attest. However, his sense of chivalry might have made him rethink getting rid of Sarah. Jareth assumes that Hoggle will never fall in love because Hoggle has convinced himself he’s unlovable. This is upset, however, when Sarah becomes the first person to label Hoggle a friend. It shatters Hoggle’s belief that he’s worthless.

    I once read a Freudian take on the movie, where everyone represents parts of Sarah’s psyche. However, I think Hoggle represents Jareth’s vulnerability, not Sarah’s. He believes that no one can love him while Jareth is assured that women will grovel at his feet. Hoggle could easily give Jareth a run for his money in the Labyrinth with his knowledge of the layout and his powers but tries to keep these abilities from drawing too much attention, while Jareth neatly assumes he can control everyone without incident.

    Note that Jareth quickly becomes jealous of Hoggle and the growing closeness to Sarah. When it’s clear that Hoggle has decided to help (when Sarah gives Hoggle a bracelet that has Freudian implications), Jareth appears to sow doubt in Sarah’s mind over whether she can trust Hoggle. He threatens them with death but the cleaning drill is so slow that a two or three-foot character can outrun it. The next time Hoggle decides to help, Jareth mocks Hoggle’s friendship with Sarah with great cruelty. He cuts straight to Hoggle’s sense of being unloved. Jareth seems so angry over a closeness he doesn’t seem to want himself.

    Also note that as Jareth starts to admire or even begin to love Sarah, Hoggle’s courage also grows. Even though he runs from Sarah in humiliation after giving her the peach, he still trails her to the junkyard and keeps an eye out on her. It’s not shown that Hoggle followed the bubble that carried Sarah to the junkyard, but he’s nearby when she awakens there. When Sarah breaks free of her amnesia, a hidden Hoggle says “You know” and follows them to the city walls. This is the climax of Hoggle’s bravery, as he realizes that Jareth has lost his grip. Hoggle seems to be aware that Jareth’s power is waning and it gives him even greater courage. Jareth’s confidence is false. Jareth believed he had all the winning cards but he really didn’t. On the other hand, Hoggle believed he had no power and had to realize that he, in fact, did. Nothing was what it had seemed to be.

    At the end, Hoggle is needed by Sarah and appears in celebration in Sarah’s bedroom while Jareth (as an owl) looks on, defeated, from outside. Now Jareth has become powerless. He was humbled while Hoggle was raised into glory, so to speak.

    It is my opinion, especially if you take the sequel into account, that Jareth didn’t want to feel vulnerable anymore due to Mizumi’s machinations, so he hid his heart and split his personality to gain greater power over the kingdom. Magic, like Mizumi said, is related to will. Being vulnerable and doubtful would allow people to get to the heart of the Labyrinth, and Jareth didn’t want that. He thought that by keeping his personified vulnerability, Hoggle, on the outskirts and on the low end of the totem pole, he’d never be at risk.

    But Hoggle led Sarah straight to the heart.

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