The Crystal Calls

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Title: The Crystal Calls
Publisher: Jim Crawford
Date(s): around 1985
Medium: print
Size: each about 30 pages
Genre: gen
Fandom: The Dark Crystal
Language: English
External Links:
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The Crystal Calls is a Dark Crystal zine. As of September 1985, here were at three issues. A fourth was planned and was to have material "on related material" which was defined as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis/Narnia, Oz, Elfquest, faries, elves and related fantasy materials. [1]

Issue 1

The Crystal Calls 1 was published in 1985 and contains 30 pages.

  • Gelfling Chronology
  • an article on Gelfling characteristics
  • Memorbilia, part one
  • art
  • other unknown content

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Jim Henson and crew invented a whole new intriguing world in DARK CRYSTAL, and Jim Crawford promptly fell in love with it. He then spent many long nights painstakingly building and improvising on the meager 'facts' presented in the film, and created the world's first Dark Crystal fanzine to share his research with others. A good start: the first issue presents non-fiction, including a gelfling chronology (spanning more than 4400 years), a lengthy dissertation, on gelflings, and a partial listing of Dark Crystal memorabilia the collector can look for. Gennie Summers did the interior illo, as well as a very striking cover. Recommended for all serious Dark Crystal fans, especially as a 'table' to write fiction for future issues. Also of interest to writers as an example of world-building. There are, unfortunately, a few minor glitches in the printing (paste-up shadows), and there is a lot of wasted space—wide margins, double spacing, and the like. A good starting point; hope there are enough fans out there to keep it alive. [2]

Issue 2

The Crystal Calls 2 has a front cover by Gennie Summers.

  • article on gelfling origins by David Krause
  • article on speculative evolution of intelligent lifeforms on the planet Thra
  • Messanger, fiction
  • Kira's Dream, fiction by Gennie Summers
  • Dark Crystal crossword puzzle
  • letter from Jim Henson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

THE CRYSTAL CALLS is a fanzine devoted to Dark Crystal, although recently the editor announced plans for expanding the contents to include other positive fantasy series, such as Narnia and Oz, in future issues. And like #1, both issues feature covers & interior art by Gennie Summers.

#2 features scholarly speculations on gelfling origins. By David Krause, it is very well written and shows a great deal of thought. There's also an article on speculative evolution of the intelligent life forms on Thra, the planet of the Dark Crystal. Fiction in this issue is short, several pieces no more than vignettes. "Messenger" is one such piece which, though it has a self-contained little mystery, hardly explores the gelflings' reactions to it. "Kira's Dream" by Gennie Summers is constructed better and gives a fleeting glimpse of Kira's life with the podlings. My favorite story in the issue is an unlikely cross-universe that strangely enough works where the Prisoner finally 'escapes' the Village — sort of.

Other tidbits include a Dark Crystal crossword puzzle, a letter from Jim Henson, a listing of articles on Dark Crystal, and a largely unreadable 'translated' epistle of an ancient gelfling (the choice of quasi-medieval English is unfortunate). [3]

Issue 3

The Crystal Calls 3

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

THE CRYSTAL CALLS #3 is a special "humor/pathos" issue and is chock full of wonderfully silly cartoons by Crawford and Summers. Fiction is a bit sparser this time with a bit of a first person narrative from a human on Thra which I assume to be part of a larger work. It serves as a 'lecture' here on various aspects of gelflings and their world via the Ifell of Destiny. Despite ray general dislike of his approach to presenting 'facts,' I did find this enjoyable. According to my dictionary, the terra 'pathos' is to 'evoke pity or compassion through an element of experience or artistic representation.' Unfortunately, that does not apply to the story "Alternate" which is just outright depressing, even with its 'moral' ending. None of the pieces in the section labeled Pathos fit the bill. They are, instead, interesting glimpses at what-ifs and alternate Dark Crystal timelines. [4]

Issue 4

The Crystal Calls 4 features material on Oz, elves, reviews of fantasy games on computer, and more. Includes "The Shapes of Kindness" and "Love's Bright Power." An ad in Pop Stand Express #10 says that "Dark Crystal stories are also available for $3.00 each."


  1. ^ from Pop Stand Express #3
  2. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #48
  3. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #50
  4. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #50