The Muppet Show #3
Written and drawn by Roger Landridge
Release date: June 3, 2009
When news came down the pipe that Boom! Studios was creating a line of child-friendly comics off some licensed properties, I was pretty surprised. I mean, it is tough enough for a smaller publisher to publish non superhero-centric books in this current market, let alone comics geared towards kids. It has the terms “no good deed goes unpunished” and “shoot yourself in the foot” written all over it. But, leave it to the crafty publisher to bring out several quality properties that not only have massive kids appeal, but also mainstream appeal such as The Muppet Show.
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy, and the rest of the Muppets are back in comic form once again. Following the pattern of the original variety show, readers are treated with an actual Muppet Show as seen on TV, filled with musical numbers, skits, and backstage shenanigans that you come to know and love. While the show is in session, readers are given a main story to follow that spotlights one member of the Muppet clan. So with any given issue, the focus is on a different Muppet and their story.
Writer/artist Roger Landridge does a great job creating a whole Muppet episode on paper. I remember watching a few episodes way back when and this issue reads very much like what a typical episode would. The funny dialogue is top notch and the overall tone of the series is excellent, giving something a small child can comprehend but also something an adult with an fondness for Muppets can enjoy as well.
I am a huge fan of Landridge’s work on Fred The Clown, so it is nice to see that a talented guy such as himself is doing more mainstream work. Landridge can expertly pull off a sight gag but is also able to tug at your heart strings, if need be. I especially love the main story involving Skeeter trying to figure out what type of bird Gonzo really is, a typical Muppet storyline that I am sure even hardcore fans have wondered out loud about. Landridge’s art on the series is also great. Other than a few exceptions, his art captures the essence of the Muppets perfectly. Fans of the show should not be disappointed.
Hopefully, this will lead to more gigs for him.
Though I believe that Landridge pulls together some really entertaining Muppet issues, there is an element missing from these books. I think it has to do with the fact that they are drawn as real creatures in the book and not puppets. I grew up with the Muppets as a child so when I use to see them, they looked like odd puppet creatures. They walked funny, talked funny, and their appendages always moved oddly and I think that was the appeal. It was the reason why some of the jokes worked so well or why some dialogue worked in a scene. While most of the jokes and gags work on the comic and I enjoyed them, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have enjoyed it even more had they been acted out by puppets.
Regardless, you could do a lot worse than this comic. The Muppet Show is an entertaining read and has massive mainstream appeal. Landridge is obviously a fan of the original series, and with talks of the comic turning into an ongoing series, as long as he is on board, fans can rest easy.