Tale of Sand is a graphic novel adaptation of a "lost" Jim Henson film script. It was written before the days of all of that mop-mixed-with-a-puppet fame, so its a bit more overtly existential and cerebral. I think one reviewer explained it as Dark Tower inside of a Dali painting. The art is incredible as evidenced by my expert opinion and the number of Eisner awards this graphic novel has won.
Here are the relatively spoiler-y discussion questions:
1. Jim Henson is best known for The Muppets. Were there any Henson-esque humor, themes, or ideas you caught in Tale of Sand?
2. What does the man in the eyepatch (Patch) represent? Why does he antagonize Mac?
3. Tale of Sand won a number of art-related Eisner awards. What makes the art so award-grabby?
4. Why did Ramon Perez incorporate the original script pages into the art? What does it represent? The fourth wall is broken and Mac sees script pages as well, explain.
5. There don’t seem to be any rules per se in the race/game that Mac is running. What is the point of the race? What conclusion or goal is Mac supposed to reach?
6. One might say that you only get out of Tale of Sand as much as you put in, meaning a quick read-through might only tell you the story of a very, very strange race through the desert. What did you get out of the story? Do you like/dislike this form of storytelling?
7. Would a film adaptation of this script work?
8. What is being said by the fact that the race starts again at the end of the book?
9. What is the purpose of The Blonde? Why does she unzip into Mac?
10. At the beginning of the race, the sheriff says "remember that the worst thing you can do is panic. If you don't panic, you've got a real chance of making it." Is this a life lesson? Does Mac make it without panicking?
11. Patch is seen in various disguises throughout--as a woman, in a fat suit. Is he masquerading as every antagonist throughout?
12. What does Patch whisper to Mac? Why does he turn into sand?