REVIEW: ‘Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 - But Why Tho?

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 is written by Jordan Ifueko with art by Erin Kubo and letters by Jim Campbell. The second edition of this anthology series, it is published by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. In this tale, a mysterious woman takes shelter from a storm in The Storyteller’s home and shares with him a story about Orisha trickster Eshu.

From the get-go, I love that the woman who tells this story is having none of The Storyteller’s tales this evening. He starts by offering to share one, but she immediately cuts him off and has him and his dog learn the parts they must sing in her story, the way her people like to tell stories as a group. I love this not only because it breaks up the formula, but I would rather hear a story told in the voice and style of the person whose story it is than somebody else. It’s a creative plot device to help give authentic voice to this story in a way I didn’t even realize I was missing in issue 1.

The story itself is the slightest bit confusing at first, mostly because it is told as several stories inside a single story, all wrapped inside a framing device. But independently, I appreciate that the issue offers the reader an opportunity to hear several smaller Yoruba stories. They both offer extra context and just generally inspire a desire to explore more stories about Eshu and the other Orisha. The central story does end on a very strong note. It left me feeling good and grinning, in both the story about Eshu and Lolla and the frame story with The Storyteller.

The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 continues the strong art of the series. The characters are drawn full of detail, especially their hair and clothing. The stories within the stories are also drawn with this simplistic style that feels almost like watching a cartoon within the story. The coloring is done so that many panels are washed over with a single color, usually indicating flashbacks, daydreams, or stories within stories. There doesn’t seem to be a specific rhyme or reason for which color is used when, but for a book with little color distinction on a given page, it still works rather well. The way that Eshu is drawn, though, with his shadowy cape and the way his stories are expressed through drawings with thick lines and no coloring, helps set him apart as the deity in this story while accenting his personality.

The lettering works similarly, where Eshu has black text boxes to match his dark and brooding personality. Because this is a frame story that tells several stories within its main story, there are times where several different types of text boxes take up a lot of real estate, and on a few occasions, it became hard to discern whose voices were whose.

The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 is another strong entry in this anthology series about the world’s trickster gods. It is a tad hard to follow, but its message is as wholesome as it gets.

The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

The Storyteller: Tricksters #2
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TL;DR

The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 is another strong entry in this anthology series about the worlds’ trickster gods. It is a tad hard to follow, but its message is as wholesome as it gets.