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Return to Labyrinth: Opinion

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by alorindanya, Jul 31, 2006.

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  1. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    Some of you may find the new manga to be quiet surprising, especially if you have followed the various fanfiction stories that have been generated over the past few years. I know I certainly found it to not follow the expectations of most fans (and myself).

    The adult depiction of Sarah isn't as one would have believed her to look and Jareth at moments visually viered from masculinity. But all in all it is the story that is the main thing to focus on.

    I for one will hold off on making my final judgement until volume 3 has been revealed, but this is the place to share thoughts on Return to Labyrinth, Vol. 1.

    FYI: The link to the scans of the manga mentioned in following posts has been removed as the link no longer exists per the request of the creators.
  2. JakeForbes

    JakeForbes New Member

    If you'd like to read a bit about how the story for Return to Labyrinth came about, there's an interview coming up shortly on The Pulse You can also hear a recording of the Comic-con panel at the MangaCast livejournal community (although I'm afraid my voice is a bit hard to hear). I'd post links to URLs, but I don't have the privilege right now - sorry!

    It is difficult for any writer to live up to the expectations of a devoted fan base-- especially when the movie in question hasn't had an authorized follow-up since in 20 years. I realize that it isn't the story that many wanted or expected, but I hope that readers will give it a chance on its own terms. That said, I am quite happy with the way the first volume turned out, as are the folks at Henson and Tokyopop, and we're very excited about the developments in the upcoming volumes.

    To whoever scanned the book on their livejournal, and to those who would link to this, not only is this a gross copyright infringement, but it is disrespectful to the Jim Henson company who are the rights holders of the book.


    Jake Forbes
    Writer, Return to Labyrinth

    PS-- To those who bemoan the lack of Sarah scenes in volume 1, she is certainly going to play a significant role in the series, even if she is not the protagonist. I hope you will stick around to see how it plays out!
  3. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Hello Jake, thank you for coming to MC and for taking the time to post, and responding gracefully to the assaults.

    Having never yet seen Labyrinth I suppose I don't have place to comment, but for me the look of the comics is close to what I have seen in images of the film, and the...well...feel of the graphics is the same as the feel of graphics I've seen of the movie.

    I suppose I should have to see the film, and indeed read the comic properly to comment more fully.

    I just wanted to say thanks to Jake for dropping by to speak to us.

  4. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    Jake, thank you for coming. I guess it is because I have been a part of the very strong Labyrinth community for the past 8 years that this story that is supposedly given the okay by the Henson Co. is nothing like the stories that true fans have come to follow.

    If they cared about the fans, they should at least respect US and go with something we would want to pay for. If you read the link I did post, which in all fairness isn't copyright infringement but a WARNING to all of us true fans that it might not be something we want to give our time to, you'll see that we are highly dissatisfied. The saying "The Customer is Always Right" isn't just a passing fancy.

    We had such hopes for this and it failed. Don't blame us for wanting something different; MEET OUR EXPECTATIONS. Run it by the fans first before releasing it to the public.

    I am truly hoping this Moppet character is Sarah in disguise.
  5. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    FYI to all. The attached link in the original post will be changing as the scans are being removed.

    As some of us on other boards are starting to discuss, we should all wait until the third volume has been presented before we make our final judgement. I think I was rash before, but I must admit I was quite surprised by what has been presented so far.
  6. Chelsey

    Chelsey New Member

    My issue here is not the 'expectations' of the fanbase. I wasn't expecting this to be Jareth and Sarah 'twu luv', or anything of the sort. I wouldn't have wanted it to have been. I knew it was going to focus around Toby, and that makes perfect sense from a marketing standpoint.

    My issue is the quality of the writing. It's pitiful. I'm kind of curious as to who came up with the idea of Moppet. I know that's not the biggest issue here, but I thought I'd hit it first.

    The reason Moppet disturbs us so heartily is because it's so unbearably common. One of the biggest self-indulgent fantasies is a beautiful young girl wished away to the goblins, and eventually she catches the eye of the Goblin King or his son.

    It's boring. It's mundane. And combining it with the Cinderella story doesn't make it original. It just makes it worse, because we are forced to be sympathetic. We must surely feel for her plight, so that when she makes the eventual hook-up, it seems just and right. No work has to be done on her characterization. Just say she's abused and has to live a lie and of course people will like her for soldiering on in spite of the circumstances!

    Ahaha. Not true.

    Okay, next -- Karen. Because I've been calling her that for too long to suddenly switch to 'Irene'. Why is she suddenly a wicked witch? I just think that's taking the easy way out. There were so many different ways to characterize her, but instead she's a very two-dimensional villian. Once again, cliched.

    Finally... what's with the lipstick? And the buttcancer joke?

    Once again, these certainly aren't the biggest issues with the comic, but they're the first things that came to mind and so I thought I might as well run with them.

    - Chelsey / dreamtlove
  7. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    Still, we can't expect someone who writes for other storylines to fully grasp...nope, no, you would hope that research would be done to know the characters and their personalities. Not that it wasn't done...heck, luckily with Toby you can work from scratch on characterization.

    But I agree with you on Karen (aka apparently Irene although in the novel she was offically titled Karen). In the movie we were seeing Karen through Sarah's eyes. Karen didn't ask anything of Sarah that any normal parent would. And that she was interested in her step-daughter having a social life showed that she cared about Sarah. My favorite fanfics are those that show Karen as misunderstood by a girl who thinks some woman has come in to take her Father away. Sarah grew up in the movie, thus we can assume that she saw her stepmother in new light and made up with her. Karen in no way should treat her own son like he is a hoodlum.

    And I couldn't follow Moppet very well so will have to check out her sections a bit more, but if she is going to be someone Toby should be interested in...well, first of all, how old is Toby supposed to be? To have to learn to rule AND have a girl in the mix will be a lot of pressure on the young teen.

    I guess a problem I'm having, mostly because I am not used to storys being told so quickly through picture form, is that this type of medium gives only the surface of the characters. Three volumes isn't going to be enough to have us get to know THESE characters. And I emphasize THESE because these are not the characters we know and love from the movie but someone's interpretation of the characters (like any author persuing a sequel, including those in fanfiction). With the written word we have the chance as authors to flesh out backstory and personalities. With mangas, you get a page full "with the bubbles and action, the little details in colour" (yes, I had to quote Bowie in here somewhere- It's from "New Killer Star") and you do not have hardly enough time to dive into the "WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE or WHY" of things. That is why from the very beginning (as in July 2005 when this was first announced) I was very weary about it.

    I'm still waiting to see the whole package, but the old saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" isn't really working for me here.
  8. LadyLaura

    LadyLaura New Member

    Well I think the point is for the fans to fill in the Whos Whats Whens and Wheres of the story. Really that is what we did with the original movie. Some of the things we as fans accept as dogmatic fact were made up by other fans to explain something away that wasn't clearly explained in the movie.
  9. quixotic

    quixotic Active Member

    Okay, so who can blame me for looking at the live journal? any curious fan would, so I popped over there and looked at the manga, as closely as I could.

    My first reaction was shock, to see the characters in manga style, and in black and white (Im sorry Im not knowlegeable about the art form) and so firstly I had to get my head around this.

    I thought it amusing that the ending of the movie was told as if it were a legend, because it is! And that made me laugh, and hats off to them for that. thank you.

    As I continued to scan the pictures, (please note I could not read them, my poor eye sight- well I think I need glasses) I've come to the assumption that this manga is possibly for a young teen market. I just get the feeling that it is their aim to bring in fresh fans, who would identify with Toby, someone of his age, whatever that is now. Im not too old myself mind you, only twenty, but still it makes me think that this would probably have better affect on someone younger. When older fans, like me, look at this Manga, they probably hoped Sarah to be the protagonist, even if this is unrealistic. Toby makes the better choice as regards to progression of the story. And for people who want to focus on Sarah's life, I guess there is always fan fiction. It would be better for younger readers to folow Toby's journey, like we older fans followed Sarahs, and this will capture their attention, like the movie blew me away when I was a kid, and I got swept up into that world, and her character. hmm I hope that made sense.

    When I imagine Labyrinth its a world of wonder and magic, and the issue I saw didnt show this to my interpretation, but anyway, all I have to say is lets see. I guess I think back on the story with nostalgic eyes and imagination, thinking of the film sets and what it was, the world that Froud created. So in that respect, I guess manga style could sadly not recapture my imagined image, possible only Froud could have in book format.

    As regards to Jareth's lipstick I think some people are forgetting that Bowie wore lipstick in the film, well in the ballroom scene at least.

    As regards to Irene, aka 'Karen' I think Sarah did learn at the end of the film, that she should treat her parents differently, and this showed in her lighter temper towards her dad's call. But am I mistaken? In the manga Irene is said to be Toby's Aunt and not mother, (again, my eyesight might be failing me) but this would therefore go against these judgements of her being Karen, his mother. And if Irene is Toby's Aunt, who in fact mistreats him, then we are seeing a repetition of a Sarah-like character- who is alienated, playing by himself with escapest toys, and seemed to be misunderstood by his family. Even more reasons for him to take off into the underground.

    I think you could either take or leave this manga, and I think if you feel insulted, because its an offical story that didn't live up to what you hoped, then theres not much I can say for your dissapointment. But with people who had expectations for twenty years, all I can say is that sadly, with that in mind, they werent going to please everyone, and rather far from it, as you say alorindanya, with such huge expectaions, it looks as if people were all ready to reject it before its anitcipated release.

    Through study of the media, Ive learnt then when sequel films/books etc are introduced to the public, they must follow enough of their audiences expectations, as to not dissapoint them. But, importantly, it is with their new innovative content that they succeed, in areas that an audience didn't expect. This is usually how they work the system, and hope that a new product, or in this case, a fresh slant on an old beloved story will be accepted by an anxious public.

    Even if this manga isn't for me, Im hopeful, that its helps in prolongng the life of the film, and all the fun and such its provided to people everywhere.
  10. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    That is a good perspective. At least Labyrinth is living on in some shape and form.

    And I did notice something; most of the discussion isn't so much on the writing but on the artistic representation of the characters. Any storyline could have been used, that's understandable, but the characters should at least look like we remember them. Ludo, Didymus and Hoggle did, but the hominid characters are where I think we are taken aback.

    SO hopefully round two can be cleaned up before it is printed....that is my wish.
  11. edible eye

    edible eye Well-Known Member

    Having Hoggle as the "Prince of the land of Stench" is clever. However, he wouldn't hate Sarah his only friend.

    And the Moppet character needs to go. Where's the originality there?

    I just hope they never make a movie out of this.
  12. Jivepuppet

    Jivepuppet Well-Known Member

    I liked it. Don't sweat. You're doing good. Fanfic is just that. You're a pro and keep it up!

    No offence to Fanfic writers.:o Writing other peoples characters professionally has ALOT of politics to it.
  13. alorindanya

    alorindanya Well-Known Member

    That wasn't very nice. The point is to share our criticism, not cut the man down.
  14. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    The Henson company is famous for NEVER asking the fans what they want.
    I guess they don't have the time for communicating with us. Or they don't want to? Who knows...
  15. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    Regardless, I'll buy it. Will judge it when I read it. However I don't like the graphics. It's nothing like the movie, it just looks like manga to me.

    How about Mr. Froud doing the next volume? :)
  16. abiraniriba

    abiraniriba Well-Known Member

    Bad graphics

    I saw the Labyrinth Manga, I didn't like the graphics that much, unfortunately I can't speak for the story as my internet connection couldn't enlarge the pics enough that I could read the text other than the scanners satirical comments. That said, I think what I should do is order the book itself online and read it before I judge it. Now if I could just find some extra money with which to order said book. Maybe Jareth is hiding some at the bottom of the Bog of Eternal Stench. :smirk:
  17. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    It's just $ 10.- ... is that really a problem?
    Sell some stuff on Ebay man... :)
  18. angelforlife

    angelforlife New Member

    True the Labyrinth fandom isn't as large a fantasy fanbase as something like Lord of the Rings, but attention to detail is certainly just as important to many of us.

    Irene? I'm sorry, her name was Karen. There's a novelization of the film, was that utilized at all for research? -Was- there any research? The deviation from original characterization makes me boggle. Did anyone bother to inquire with any of the original team from Labyrinth for information? I just spoke with Brian Froud this past Sunday at Faerieworlds Festival in Oregon state and he was very kind in giving me some detailed information about Jareth, I can't imagine it would be hard for someone making something as 'big' as this to have thought to do the same.

    At this point I'm sorry to say I've given up all faith that any decent 'sequel' can ever be made in any form. The only way that could have happened is if the original team that actually knew what they were doing had made something, but with Jim Henson gone.... yeah. I think you all know where I'm going with that.

    I for one see this as nothing more than fanfiction of mediocre caliber, and I certainly won't be accepting it as canon. Yes, not everyone could have been made happy by however this manga could have been made - but an overwhelming majority online seems to be taking up the stance that it's not worth the $10.00. I think that speaks a lot for itself.
  19. abiraniriba

    abiraniriba Well-Known Member

    I didn't know how little it cost I'll probably get it with my next paycheck, BTW check out my friends and family post and remember babies can be expensive.
  20. I just want to cry. I actually had hope with this, and that was all because of the cover. The cover gave it the credit and the support behind it.

    But whomever posted those images online, thank you. Illegal or not, I think that Labyrinth fans were dupped. I think we deserve to see before we buy, and ten dollars is not exactly a lot of money, true. But it's more than I pay for paperbacks.

    Jim Henson can write a better sequel, if he wanted to. With or without Toby. (I am somewhat of a J/S supporter, but I can see a manga created for Toby...but no J/T ness. Ew.) I can't believe that Brian Henson allowed this to be created. Now because of this I'm scared to see how the Dark Crystal one is going to come out.

    Can I also say that the drawings look like the graphics from Poke'mon? And the writing? ... Ugh. I'll wait for the second installation.

    "I hope you prove me wrong, Jake. And I doubt you will."

    *shakes head*
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