The Art of Brian Froud
Who else remembers the coolest books in the public library that explained the realm of faeries and goblins? I think back in the day, I checked out the Goblin Companion and the Pressed Fairy Book hundreds of times. The imagery was so Tolkienish and perfectly ancient and magical. What a feast for the eyes and imagination Froud's images were and still are. I used to go wandering through the fields and woods convinced that I'd see some little such creature scuttle away.
This all comes about because I just watched Jim Henson and Frank Oz's "The Dark Crystal" the other day.
I hadn't actually seen this masterpiece of puppetery before and it certainly takes the standard muppet to a whole new level. The whole movie was inspired by Brian Froud's work and his artwork became the basis for the entire world of the Mystical Ursu and the Skekses. It strikes another chord of nostalgia with me, because one of my favorite childhood books was the story of the Dark Crystal, (I still have it.) Until watching the DVD extras, I hadn't even realized that my favorite imaginer, Froud, was the heart and soul of all of it. What a marvelous discovery.
All of this makes me want to go out and revisit the fairy tree by Lake Harriet and hang out in the woods in anticipation. It also recalls my mind back to the Gnome book by Will Huygen. I think the intrigue for me is the thought of these entire little worlds that might exist right before our eyes, but we just never take the time to look. I used to sit for hours and draw up gnome homes and hobbit holes and maps of imaginary worlds and creatures.
I guess anything that Henson, Oz or Froud had a touch in went instantly to the forefront of my creative side. "Labyrinth", Yoda and the Ewoks from Starwars, all had the same style that I love. What great memories these movies and books bring back. And just for your information - the Dark Crystal is playing at the Uptown Theater right now! Go see it.