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Simon "Si" Spurrier is a British comics writer and novelist.
Interview with Syfy Wire
Jeff Spry, "Exclusive preview and interview for Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Syfy, February 16 2017
- The original movie landed in 1982 and caused an immediate stir, being the first live-action flick which featured literally no human characters. I'm not sure the audiences of the day quite knew what to make of it. Critics expected it to fit tidily into the continuum of knowingly comedic Muppetry which had made the Henson name, and couldn't wrap their heads around this slice of totally earnest, unironic adventure which set its sights on nothing less than pure wonder. Is it sci-fi? Fantasy? A kids' flick?
- Cut forward to the present, BOOM! imprint Archaia receives the license to explore the unproduced screenplay in the comics medium and asks me to be involved -- that last point entirely because they knew I'd pursue them like a hound from hell if they didn't let me. Or, worse, I'd totally sulk.
- On his involvement in writing The Power of the Dark Crystal
- [F]or me the brilliance of the first film — the underlying reason that I hold it so highly — can be boiled down to two words: childlike wonder. Literally every character in that movie is a version of a child we'd all recognize. From the laid-back mystics — remember that high-functioning kid in every classroom who just stares dreamily out the window all day? — to the petulant and venal bullies of the villainous Skeksis. They're all cast as utterly original monsters, but they're very recognizable tropes once you know what you're looking for.
This was a movie which introduced a whole new world, after all -- not just some lazy Tolkien-esque fantasy rip-off, but a teeming, exotic, alien reality full of impossible life and delightfully weird wonders. The little piece of genius which underlies the movie is that the central characters are experiencing all this craziness for the first time, just like we the viewers.
- I've adhered to the story in the screenplay pretty closely but the one thing I've insisted upon is that we should experience it all through the eyes of a newcomer. The accidental upshot of that is that a reader of the new comic doesn’t even need to have seen the movie (although of course they should!), since our protagonist is encountering this world and its history for the first time, too.
- On The Power of the Dark Crystal
- [T]he Skeksis will always be horribly memorable. I'm pretty sure the scene where the Chamberlain is attacked and defrocked by his sneering brothers gave me nightmares as a youngster.
- It would've been too easy to go looking for an artist from the same hazy 'beautifully messy' school of creation as Brian Froud, whose aesthetic is most closely linked to the Henson movies. But there's literally nobody who can do that stuff as well, so why bother? It makes far more sense to lean the other way and present this world in a very clean and bold aesthetic.
- On the art of The Power of the Dark Crystal
- I think it spoke to me so strongly when I first saw it because it set itself a very precise challenge: presenting a totally new world, which nonetheless has the capacity to make the viewer relate and respond to its characters' interactions. That sounds very simple, but as a storyteller I can reliably report that it's unutterably sophisticated.