This is a collection of tales about sirens and mermaids that are based on traditional folklore from all over the world and told in the style of Jim Henson's beloved television program.

It's not the tales you tell that matter, but how you tell them. The critically praised Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens features four enticing stories about mermaids and the sea, based on folklore from all over the world and told in the style of storyteller Jim Henson's legendary television program.

Features beautiful stories told by some of today's most exciting voices, including:

Jakub Rebelka (Judas) with Sztybor Bartosz, Chan Chau (Elements), Sarah Webb (Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Under the Spell), and Aud Koch (The Wicked + The Divine), this stunning hardcover edition also includes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the process and care taken in adapting each of these timeless tales.

For too brief a time in the late 1980s, The Storyteller showcased relatively obscure folktales to television audiences worldwide. Though the show only went on for 13 episodes (including the sequel series Greek Myths), its legacy lives on to this day. This includes a television reboot currently in the works, and a novel adaptation.

There is also a set of graphic novel miniseries’, each an anthology featuring a particular creature of fairy tales and mythology. So far, the series has covered Witches, Giants, Dragons, Fairies, and most recently, Sirens.

View the complete library of The storyteller books.


Title: Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens

Pages: 128 pages
Published: December 24, 2019
Publisher: Archaia
Language: English
Appropriate for ages: All ages


Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #1

The critically acclaimed Jim Henson's The Storyteller is a four-part, 40-minute television film inspired by folklore from across the world and told in the spirit of Jim Henson's much-loved children's program.

In this first issue, Polish writer Sztybor Bartosz collaborates with artist Jakub Rebelka (Judas) to retell the ancient Polish folklore tale "The Fisherman and the Mermaid." The fisherman is dissatisfied with his lot in life.

He works constantly, trying to make ends meet rather than spending time with his wife and child. He becomes smitten with a mermaid one day while fishing and her song overwhelm him with delight. He is unable to cease thinking about this song, so he captures the mermaid and locks her away.

Sztybor Bartosz does excellent work in establishing the tone in the first of four stories from Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens, which is a great opening for an anthology. The structure of the novel is a little more rigid from the beginning, when the Storyteller introduces it, through to the tale itself. It reads more like storyboards than a graphic novel as it progresses.

The tale is significantly quieter than its original source material, yet it still conveys the same meaning. The fisherman wants happiness but cannot locate it anywhere in his job or family. 

When he discovers the siren, he is captivated by her singing and immediately puts her under lock and key so that no one but him may hear her song. It provides him with some pleasure, albeit at a price. 

Bartosz's short story, which is aimed at children, reflects on themes of addiction, gluttony, and taking things for granted in 20 pages. Regardless of the reader's age, the conclusion will tug at his or her heartstrings.

The artwork, like the writing, isn't particularly inventive. Jakub Rebelka's work may benefit from some artistic liberties if he used a more fantastic approach to visual storytelling and worldbuilding.

He could have imagined his book in a more fantastic light rather than simply illustrating it word-for-word. The characters have a distinctive style that resembles something out of a children's book, with elongated faces and simplified emotions.

The Storyteller: Sirens features a lot of blue and green hues in its artwork. It has a damp and dreary undertone to it, suggesting that the fisherman is trying to discover happiness while he searches for his family. The Storyteller's cave, on the other hand, is painted in cool blue red, and orange hues that evoke a sense of being right there beside him by the fire as he tells his story.

For fans of the original series, Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens #1 is a wonderful read for the kids and inner child. It's basic but intriguing.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens #2

The art in this issue is gorgeous, and the narrative is equally bittersweet. I was instantly a fan of Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Sirens #2, which was written and drawn by Chan Chau. Campbell's lettering adds to the eeriness without overpowering it.

The story begins, as it always has, with the titular Storyteller in his chair with his canine companion at his side. The cause of this issue's narrative is nothing complicated. The Storyteller's drink falls off the table as he reaches for it with his hand, which slips and topples over a vase.

The Storyteller examines the shattered vase and responds, "It would be simple enough to mend." After the dog inquires about the value of repairing it, the Storyteller begins his story.

The narrative's central character this time is a goddess named Nuwa. Nuwa, who has the body of a snake and the head of a beautiful empress, is lonely. She quickly understands that she can cure her loneliness by making something.

She acquires all of the knowledge and skills necessary to construct people and animals, but it takes her a few tries to succeed. Despite her great power and divinity, however, Nuwa quickly discovers that there is more to being a creator than simply producing.

The tale, written by Chan Chau, is simple yet effective. This feels more like a parable than the previous issue, which had a feel of a fable to it. Although the plot lacks a lesson, it still has the characteristics of something intended to educate rather than just entertain. While this is true, it is still worth noting.

Creation stories are frequently told in a dry, unemotional manner. Here the author goes to great lengths to show us why Nuwa is doing what she's doing and make her sympathetic. The transition from the storyteller's introduction to the actual tale is a little jagged, but on the whole, it's a decent script.

The artwork, which is also created by Chan Chau, is breathtaking. Chau depicts a more youthful era through the use of a simple colour palette. The simplicity of the colours and the strong contrasts drawn between light and dark is effective in telling the tale.

One of my favourite aspects of the art in this comic is how shadowing is used to convey Nuwa's isolation and divinity. Whereas the light appears to represent her more "human" sentiments and emotions. The shadow, on the other hand, fades from her as she creates people and learns more about how they function after being created.

Comics, like film and television, are a visual medium. The advantage of having the same writer and artist is that we may enjoy this synthesis of the two into a cohesive whole more readily because they are both equally visual. Campbell's lettering is fantastic. It's always visible, clear, and undistracting, adding emphasis to the artwork without ever pulling the reader away from it.

I was satisfied with the overall tale. It didn't live up to my expectations after reading the first issue, but it redeemed them in a creative way. Overall, I feel like the author tried to play it safe by using his own style.

However, when there's a distinct change in art and writer to complement the problem overall, I believe it adds value. If you loved the first issue, the Storyteller TV series, or any other modern adaptations of ancient tales, then this is for you.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens #3

The Storyteller is a forthcoming feature despite being on the market for more than two decades. It's based on Jim Henson's The Storyteller, which aired on British television from 1987 to 1988, then later in reruns on HBO, and explores the deep history of enticement of sea creatures from across the world's folklore and mythology.

Every single problem has a provocative narrative written by some of the industry's most renowned authors, including Jakub Rebelka (Judas), Sztybor Bartosz, Chan Chau (Elements: Fire), and Sarah Webb (Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Under the Spell). Aud Koch (The Wicked + The Divine)

The Rundown: As the night gets colder and the fire begins to go out, the storyteller begs his devoted dog to give up his stick so that the fire may burn. In return, he will tell a tale for both of them.

Willa Westness lives on the coast with her mother and younger siblings. She discovers a sea lion and its calf hiding in a tiny cave off the coast when she is required to collect worms for her mother. When the mother leaves, Willa sits and interacts with the puppy before returning to her when she returns.

Willa and her two siblings are gathering cockles on the beach as the tide starts to rise later that day. From behind, an old woman and her daughter offer assistance to a young girl attempting to lead her frightened siblings away from the approaching blaze. They seem like they should be someone I know.

The Story: This charming tale about how a little act of kindness may make all the difference is told in a fun, engaging, and sweet manner. Its tone and execution are flawless.

Webb's artwork is exquisite in this issue. The characters all appear stunning, and the character designs and style are reminiscent of classic children's stories. With art that matches the pleasant tone of the tale, this is a lovely-looking issue with excellent art.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens #4

In this German tale, Lorelai is a river nymph who was born on the Rhine River and lives in the shadow of a wealthy town called Wochara. However, at the heart of Wochara's wealth is a hidden bargain that Lorelei and the citizens of Wochara made many years ago.

Every year, Wochara sends Lorelei a young man to be her husband for the year, living in comfort and luxury in her magnificent palace, while fat nuggets of gold wash up on the town shores.

But it's not all as it appears, and when she picks a young man who already has a partner, the deal between Wochara and Lorelai is at risk of being destroyed.

The Storyteller begins his day with a new narrative about the dangers of making a bargain and forgetting its conditions.

The village of Wochara on the Rhine River has seen years of success and prosperity, thanks to its connection with Lorelei, the Lady of the River. The village's riches arrive in the form of gold that washes ashore from Lorelei's kingdom, and her only demand is that a husband is given to her every year.

The people comply, and the tale of what happens to the husbands of Lorelei becomes a legend in its own right until a Forest Witch goes seeking the facts when her lover is chosen as the next husband.

On this topic, Aud Koch provides a moving narrative. Everything about the writing to the dialogue is outstanding. The tale has a flowery, melodic tone to it and is read to you in a style that makes you feel as if John Hurt is narrating the narrative to you.

The Art: Koch's art is amazing. Many of the panels resemble stunningly drawn paintings bursting with light and colour. An attractive issue, to say the least.