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The Goblins of Labyrinth

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The cover of the original issue of the book.

The Goblins of Labyrinth is a tie-in book to the film Labyrinth, and features sketches by Brian Froud and captions by Terry Jones. The book does not directly refer to the plot of the film, and is primarily composed of sketches of goblins Froud produced as inspiration to the film-makers which are accompanied by comments on each character written by Jones.

The book was published in the U.S June 1986 by Owl Books. It was published in the U.K in October 1986 by Pavilion Books.

The Goblins of Labyrinth was re-issued by Pavilion Books in 1996 as The Goblin Companion: A Field Guide to Goblins. It was re-issued again in September 2006 by Harry N. Abrams to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the film, in an edition that featured previously unseen art and a new afterword by Froud where he discussed his experiences working on the film.

Back Cover Synopsis (Owl Books)Edit

Goblins come in all shapes and sizes. Most are small, grotesque creatures who love to torment unsuspecting humans. Others are simply dumb, lazy, loutish brats with unspeakable personal habits. But whatever the type, goblins are malevolent and cantankerous to humans – even when they are on their best behaviour.

Up until now our scanty knowledge of goblins had been based on speculation, but we now know a great deal more, thanks to an important archaeological find by the eminent part-time goblinologist Brian Froud, who stumbled across forty-three notebooks created by Dash, the Reynolds of Goblin portraitists. These precious notebooks are necessarily sketchy, but years of painstaking reconstruction by Froud, backed up by years of dry research by his colleague, the noted academic Terry Jones, have produced what amounts to an illustrated who’s who of the goblin world.

This gallery of slimy portraits includes such smelly denizens of the Labyrinth as Hallow goblins, who can spit half a mile and turn their grannys into sofas; the Klutton, which lays an egg three times its size; Zitzie, the “beautiful” goblin, the contents of whose handbag strike fear in all goblins; Stench, the great cook’s assistant, who puts his whole heart into the cooking; and Foregoblins, who have the power to see into the future and must have been delighted about the publication of this book, which is at once a sumptuous and entertaining companion to the film Labyrinth and a major contribution to goblinological research.

BRIAN FROUD, the conceptual designer of the film Labyrinth, is a fantasy artist whose work is much admired and collected. Born in Winchester, England, he studied graphic design and then worked a free lance illustrator. The Land of Froud, an anthology of his fantasy work, was published in 1977; Faeries, which he illustrated with Alan Lee, was a best-seller. In 1978 he teamed up with Jim Henson and worked as a conceptual designer on the fantasy film The Dark Crystal.

TERRY JONES is the author of the screenplay of Labyrinth, an award winning children’s book writer, and an expert on medieval history and literature; but he is perhaps best known as a member of Monty Python, the hilarious British comedy team.

Synopsis (20th Anniversary Edition)Edit

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The cover of the 20th anniversary re-issue.

Stranger! If you would know the Goblins of the Labyrinth, seek the old man of Ngorongoro Crater.

So reads an ancient message discovered by faery expert Brian Froud in an otherwise normal sixty million year old earthenware pot. This clue leads Froud to the greatest archaeological discovery of this century (or any other, for that matter), forty-three notebooks, detailing the lives of many nasty, dumb, lazy, grotesque and mostly despicable goblins. With these notebooks and detailed histories compiled by noted scholar Terry Jones, Froud created a masterfully complete reference tome, essential reading for any budding goblinologists.

Goblins express their nastiness in endless ways. Profiles in this book include Agnes (who collects empty promises and hollow opinions of politicians), Apron (the matinee idol of the goblin world) and Borgis Khan (the oddly cowardly Cruel Avenger of Fate), among many other famous, infamous, and insignificant goblin characters. With a new afterword from Brian Froud to mark the twentieth anniversary of this book’s first publication, The Goblins of Labyrinth makes a wonderful companion to the film Labyrinth, in addition revealing fascinating secrets of the goblin world to enthusiasts everywhere.

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