iFanboy’s 2012 Book of the Year: JIM HENSON’S TALE OF SAND

Our annual tradition of choosing the iFanboy Book of the Year continues! For the past four years, either through our old video show or this here website, we’ve given a run down of the year’s worth of iFanboy Books of the Month, nominated our favorites, and then named the official iFanboy Book of the Year. So without further adieu, here is the iFanboy’s 2012 Book of the Year.

The Books of the Month


January’s Book of the Month: X-Statix Omnibus

Bringing every issue of X-Force, X-Statix and all the following mini-series and one off stories under one cover, this makes for the ultimate mutant pop experience. X-Statix was one of the most unique and adventurous titles ever published by Marvel Comics and to see it again in this grand collection is a dream come true.

– Ron Richards, from his review.


February’s Book of the Month: Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand

After you’ve read Tale of Sand, you will go back through it, flipping around, ogling the images. You’ll see more each time you look at the pages. You’ll appreciate the cartooning all the more. You’ll wonder what the point was, and not care that you don’t know yet. You’ll think about it, and you’ll continue to be impressed.

– Josh Flanagan, from his review.


March’s Book of the Month: Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition

It’s very easy to open up this book and let it envelope you and transport you to another time and place. When I open up Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition I like to pretend that I’m back in the EC offices in New York City in 1948. I can almost hear the din of the general hustle and bustle of a publishing office and maybe Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, and I are just now looking over the new pages from this Wood kid.

– Conor Kilpatrick, from his review.


April’s Book of the Month: X-Men: Season One

In one volume, we get introduced the core characters, the world they leave in, and if, after reading, you’re immediately moved to want to read more, then there’s something wrong with you. X-Men: Season One lays the groundwork for what could be a whole new generation of X-Men fans, and if you ask me, that makes this book a complete success.

– Ron Richards, from his review.


May’s Book of the Month: Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Memory – The Deluxe Edition

If you’re not interested in exploring the thoughts of one of the foremost comic book writers of the last two decades, as he works in an on-going discussion with himself and his readers, then Flex Mentallo is not the way to go. But then, I wasn’t sure if that was my thing either, and here I am, talking about how I couldn’t put it down.

– Josh Flanagan, from his review.


The Comic Book History of ComicsJune’s Book of the Month: The Comic Book History of Comics

There’s no simpler what to put it: The Comic Book History of Comics is a must read for every comic book fan who considers themselves anything more than just a casual reader. Hell, those people should read it too. Not only is it important to understand how comics came to be what they are today, but knowing all that comics have gone through to get into your hands on any given Wednesday might just enrich your experience reading them.

– Conor Kilpatrick, from his review.


July’s Book of the Month: Get Jiro!

When I finished reading Get Jiro!, I couldn’t help but to exhale. The frenetic pace and twists and turns Bourdain, Rose and Foss put together keep the reader on the edge of their seat to see where the story would go. When it finished, I not only found myself satisfied after a funny, often action packed roller coaster of an adventure, but I found myself hungry for more.

– Ron Richards, from his review.


August’s Book of the Month: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

[T]he whole series is imbued by a style that is unlike anything else out there. Clearly the creator has a reverence for the styles of the time period where the story takes place, and you’d be hard pressed to find another cartoonist out there who could do the era such justice. Everything about the book exudes the fictional coolness of a certain segment of the 60s, from the designs on the inside covers, to the clothing worn by the characters.

– Josh Flanagan, from his review.


September’s Book of the Month: Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge, Vol. 1: “Only a Poor Old Man”

Carl Barks’ genius is not only about his wonderful art. He was an excellent storyteller who used his stories to not only tell jokes and send these characters on great adventures. He also told us about how they were as people and used them to examine real issues.

– Conor Kilpatrick, from his review.


October’s Book of the Month: Building Stories

Building Stories is a wonderful comic book experience, and one that’s like no other I’ve found. It’s not just a book, and it’s not just a comic book. But in the center of all that is a story that’s incredible accessible and incredibly human, and I can’t recommend it more.

– Josh Flanagan, from his review.


November’s Book of the Month: Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

It’s no question that A Wrinkle In Time is a modern classic, and now with this graphic novel adaptation by Hope Larson, it gets another moment in the spotlight to shine. As we’re always looking for books to recommend for kids, Hope Larson brings us a mainstay for that influential age group of  late elementary school  to early middle school (ages 8 to 14).

– Ron Richards, from his review.


December’s Book of the Month: Scene of the Crime

If a comic book writer can produce a story this great so early in his career—it was the first comic book story that he had ever written longer than 64 pages—he’s probably destined for great things. 13 years as one of comics most popular writers, four Eisners, and two Harveys later, Brubaker has proven that Scene of the Crime was no fluke, rather it was a just a hint at what was to come.

– Conor Kilpatrick, from his review.


The Nominations


Ron Richards nominates:


Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

While I had the pleasure of reading some of my favorite works this year by some stellar creators, it was the work of Hope Larson adapting Madeleine L’Engle’s modern classic that really spoke to me on several levels. First, the sheer amount of work involved in adapting this novel into a graphic novel was massive. At nearly 400 pages, Larson brings a visual language to a work that’s never been envisioned before. Secondly, the promise of a graphic novel like this is part of the solution to the age old question of how we get kids to read comics. For many 8 to 14 year olds, their first exposure to graphic novels may be this wonderful work thanks to libraries and in-the-know teachers, and I can’t think of a better entry point into this wonderful medium.


Josh Flanagan nominates:


Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand

Months later, when I think about Tale of Sand, I smile. At shows and in conversation all year, people asked me what I enjoyed, and this was always the first thing that popped into my head. The more I do this job, the more I appreciate the craft of comic book making above all else and I look through Tale of Sand and that is what stands out immediately. Pages and panels flow and tumble into one another, just as the main character flits about this incredible world where he finds himself. You get the sense that Ramón Pérez shut himself up in the studio, and just went at it until he had something, never quite being sure what that was, and finding himself very lucky at the end. He was not the only lucky one.


Conor Kilpatrick nominates:


Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge, Vol. 1: “Only a Poor Old Man”

In a great year for books, the one that I find myself constantly pulling off the shelf, more than any other, to pour over and to show off to people is Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge, Vol. 1: “Only a Poor Old Man”. Carl Barks is one of the all time greats in an industry full of them, but sadly since he didn’t work on superheroes, he is someone who remains unknown to many fans of the four color variety. Thanks to Fantagraphics lovingly produced hardcover collections, people can now see why Barks is held in such high esteem and why the Disney comics, and Uncle Scrooge stories in particular, are so beloved.


The iFanboy 2012 Book of the Year


Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand

By Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl, & Ramón K. Pérez
Published by Archaia Entertainment

Tale of Sand is the perfect blend of craft and passion wrapped up in a comic book. It’s the passion of the strange unfilmable screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl. It’s the very real passion of folks at Archaia, like editor Stephen Christy, who put together the deals to make this book possible, and who worked tirelessly to spread the word. It’s the skill of the book designer, who said that, while the pages inside are absolutely stunning, the package on the outside needs to match that quality. Finally, it’s both the passion and skill of Ramón K. Pérez, who made something out of something else, and did it such a way that he instantly became a star in the world of comic books, where every single person who pays attention to such creative arrivals knew his name and what his talent could do. We at iFanboy have zero doubt that Tale of Sand deserves the acclaim it has received, and are very proud to give the book our highest recommendation, and name it our 2012 Book of the Year.


  1. i’m really glad i got that book. Its just incredible. Total long term keeper for my shelf, and not to mention, its just a wonderfully designed and printed book. I need to check out some of the other books on this list.

  2. Great pick. There were so many great books of the month. I own 7 of these books now thanks to the Book of the Month picks, so its definitely opened my eyes to material I otherwise may have never found. Parker: The Score would have been my pick, but Tale of Sand is up there.

  3. Very cool pick. I haven’t read it myself, but now I’m intrigued. My book of the year though would have to Humanoids long-awaited Engish publication Jodoroswky, Janjetov and Beltram’s The Technopriests: Supreme Collection. Such an incredible, high quality publication of one of the wildest, most imaginative science fiction stories I’ve ever read.

  4. This is a bit of a shocker to me. I haven’t read Cup of Sand, but thought from the things you guys said it was a bit unintelligible. My top 2 are The Underwater Welder and Parker: The Score, with Parker narrowly getting the win.

  5. Boy, what a great list! I really want to get Tale of Sand soon, but since I haven’t read it Uncle Scrooge gets my vote.

  6. Great choice. I’d personally like to thank this site for pointing it out to me. I’ve loaned it to many a non-comic reading friends, who’ve all enjoyed it immensely. Such a work of art.

    • Also thanks for the X-Statix omnibus recommendation. Only read a couple random issues during it’s original run. What a hidden gem.

    • I haven’t read anything from this list except X-Statix, and it was a fantastic book that I loved back in the day.

      I do have the Flex book to read someday. I have looked at the Comic Book History and may read that someday as well.

  7. I really wish this was available on amazon

  8. Never would have read tale of sand if it wasn’t for a friend who found a copy the local library (the local library! I never would have guessed). An incredible read, and I had a a lot of fun showing off the beautiful artwork to everyone who would give me the chance to.

  9. The Underwater Welder wasn’t book of the month, Whaaaat!?