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Henson's fantasy films coming to manga

Japan-style comics being designed for MirrorMask, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal

Courtesy of The Jim Henson Company
July 15, 2005

The Jim Henson Company has partnered with TOKYOPOP Inc., the #1 publisher of manga in the U.S., in an exclusive manga publishing deal to bring three of its fantasy titles to fans. Most notable among them is MirrorMask, the feature film from Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman due for release on September 30th of this year.

TOKYOPOP’s MirrorMask prequel manga story will be plotted by Gaiman, the award-winning writer of the highly successful Sandman comics as well as the novels Good Omens and Coraline. Also included in the deal will be all-new original graphic novel series for the immensely popular properties The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

The MirrorMask prequel will tell the story of the princess' escape from the Dark Palace and how she came to acquire the MirrorMask.

TOKYOPOP also plans to release a sequel manga to Labyrinth, which first hit the big screen in 1986, remained a fan favorite over the years and also served as an inspiration for MirrorMask. Its manga version will follow a 13-year-old Toby as he journeys back to the Labyrinth to assume his role as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom. Manga writer Jake Forbes will write this series.

The final title will be a prequel to 1982’s The Dark Crystal, the classic tale of good versus evil that broke ground as the first fully animatronic feature. Henson also recently announced that it is in reproduction on a sequel theatrical film of this cult classic.

Gaiman said, “As soon as I heard that Henson wanted to do manga versions of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, I immediately wanted to include MirrorMask as well. Having the leader of manga handle all three titles seems like the perfect way to present them to readers around the world.”

“TOKYOPOP has consistently had innovative publishing and entertainment programs,” said Michael Polis, Senior Vice President of Marketing for The Jim Henson Company. “Knowing the devoted followers these different titles have had over the years, we are thrilled to more fully explore these much-loved worlds with all-new manga series.”

“The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth movies are so loved and iconic, and I have no doubt that MirrorMask will achieve the same status -- so it’s a joy for me and for TOKYOPOP to be able to work with The Jim Henson Company and Neil Gaiman on these great titles,” said TOKYOPOP editor Rob Valois.

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