Friday, April 10, 2009

Random Floppy Review: THE MUPPET SHOW #1

And now we have the crown jewel of the BOOM! Kids collection. The Muppets franchise has successfully used many different platforms- film, animation, and even comic books. But not one of these various spin-offs has ever topped the original show. The series' freewheeling fun and variety remained unduplicated. The first movie came close (and featured one of the greatest special effects ever committed to film), but ultimately the conventional story requirements of a feature film couldn't match the manic energy of the television series.

Roger Langridge now steps up and attempts to deliver a comic book worthy of Jim Henson's legacy. Not just worthy of the entire Muppet franchise, which has seen it's ups and downs, but specifically the lightning in a bottle charm of the original show. Packed into one issue are all the familiar characters, plenty of sight gags, a song or two, and Pigs In Space. There's also an ongoing backstage tale concerning a mystery that's troubling Kermit The Frog. In short, the comic plays out as any classic episode would.

Even if they missed his earlier Muppet comics from Disney Adventures digest, fans of Langridge will not be surprised to see beautiful the art looks. As live action muppets, Kermit and Fozzy are funny and charming. Turning them into pen and ink drawings can easily rob them of the lifeforce that comes from a human puppeteer. Accommodating for that by making them look more organic would just be creepy and wrong. Langridge's precise and consistent style serves this material well. He carefully recreates the characters as muppets and still manages to instill in them their own life. It's not as subtle and nuanced as Henson's live action work, but it's as close as one has ever gotten in this medium. His eye for detail and ornate backgrounds suit the old vaudeville theater setting. The backgrounds are richly detailed and occasionally reveal him to be a knowledgeable fan of the show. Check out this close-up of a two page spread where George the Janitor, a more obscure character from season 1, meets his replacement, Beauregard:

Earlier this week I talked about how cool it was that the BOOM! Kids titles were getting newsstand distribution. Another old fashioned method they're employing is subscription service. Now this is usually unheard of in the financially uncertain world of independent comics. But I guess when Disney has your back you can afford to guarantee a full series run.

You can subscribe to THE MUPPET SHOW, THE INCREDIBLES or THE WORLD OF CARS through BOOM!'s website right here. Which is kind of great because what kid doesn't like having something show up in the mail box for them?


  1. That Beauregard/George panel is the lawls.

    And whoa, is Swedish Chef trying to cook Robin?

  2. Of course. Kermit would never fit into that pot.

  3. I proudly downlo-IMEAAANNN bought the first issue! BRavo!