Return to Labyrinth

Before I get to the book part, just a quick note about the thing on everybody's minds.  Like so many folks, we are semi-battened down.  Our county has no confirmed cases yet, but then they have only done a few tests, so the true state of affairs is unknown.  (Couldn't resist a DWJ reference, ha.)  The reaction has been slow here, but school admins have the advantage that this week is spring break.  Things are changing fast, but at the moment K-12 is off for two weeks instead of just one (I think that will change), the university has gone online until the end of April, and the community college I work for is preparing to go online but so far, will still hold classes after a couple of extra days off.  We have some students with no internet access at home, and some instructors who have not chosen to become familiar with online education, so it's a bit tricky and I'm hoping our library and the tutoring center can stay open to serve those who need support.  This is the third semester in the last four that has featured a major shutdown, and each one has been different.  We're too jaded to panic, though...

Speaking of which, the runs on groceries have only just started here.  Only TP and hand sanitizer are gone, there's plenty of everything else. 

So for at least the next week, my 16-year-old and I will be home together a whole lot.  We have all the time in the world to read, sew, watch movies/TV, go for walks, and cook a massive St. Patrick's Day dinner, and my glasses won't break!  (Or if they do, I have a backup pair.)  My husband may well end up working from home too.  Our 19-year-old is at college/work, but the school is now online so I would be happy for a a little visit if possible.

I'd love to know how all of you are doing.  I presume we'll be swapping stories on our blogs.  Or comment here!  And now, on with the book...

The covers are a bit overblown IMO
Return to Labyrinth (4-volume graphic novel), by Jake Forbes and Chris Lie

My 16-year-old has been on something of a Labyrinth kick lately.  The kids and I love almost anything that Jim Henson ever touched, but Labyrinth is definitely one of our favorite things, and in the last couple of weeks we've been humming the songs after the 16-year-old invited a friend over to watch the film.  Then I found a couple of Labyrinth cross-stitch patterns on Etsy, and now she and I are doing them together, which is a lot of fun.  So when my co-worker started working on a display of fantasy titles and happened to grab this manga graphic novel, I knew I had to take it home for my kid to read.  Her reaction to the first volume was that it was very very strange, and what the heck is going on??  She isn't much into manga, and thought the style didn't really suit the story, but that's a matter of taste I suppose.  I've now read all four.

The covers, by the way, are by a different artist than the actual story, which has fewer swirls and not as much hair.

The story is that Toby is now 16 years old, and Jareth has been watching him this whole time, granting his wishes (usually to disastrous effect), and planning to make Toby his heir.  A very confused Toby arrives at the Labyrinth and tries to figure out what's going on.  Should he try out this kinging gig?  At the same time, Sarah, in the regular world, is now a teacher who at some point lost her originality and imagination.  What happened, and will Toby survive long enough to decide whether to be a Goblin King?

Toby wants to give it a shot, and a queen from a neighboring kingdom does her best to thwart him. It's all extremely complicated, and Jareth is still trying to manipulate events from the background.  There are several intertwining plotlines, but it does all become clear by the end...

It's a pretty weird story, and I wouldn't say it's perfect.  The world of Labyrinth was not necessarily designed to be explained or continued in the first place, which I think makes extending that world a little tricky.  Toby doesn't have a lot of depth to him, but that's his problem; he's been coasting through life.  It's an imaginative and entertaining story that is fun to read and has a lot of really weird detail, plus appearances of all our favorite characters.  Fans would have fun with it, especially if they don't take it too seriously.

Now I find out that there is also a trilogy graphic novel about the backstory to the film -- how Jareth became the Goblin King in the first place.  I may die if I can't read them!


  1. Here's my crazy situation down here in SoCal...

  2. And that's great that you guys haven't had any confirmations thus far...but like you said, it is a matter of testing. That could change. As of yesterday, we've had no confirmations in San Bernardino Co. But once more people are tested, it will change. Kaiser said they are not testing anyone unless they have symptoms, which makes sense. So we'll see what happens.

    Glad to hear you guys have food. I think the clientele at Winco in the High Desert tend to be more selfish and paranoid, as you could see from my pictures at my blog. It's unnecessary.

  3. Our county is, as far as I can tell, only testing people who need to be hospitalized. They've only done a few.


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