Wednesday June 17, 2009 3:09 pm
FORGOTTEN COMICS: THE MUPPETS by Jenny Craven and Graham Thompson
Long before Boom! Kids turned Jim Henson’s Muppets into a rousing success of a comic book series, there was another Muppets comic. This one came from across the pond in England. It’s hard to think of anything related to The Muppets as forgotten, but there was a one-shot Muppets comic book back in 1979, 30 years ago.
Back then, The Muppet Show was in the middle of a five-year run on television when the British publishing company, Fontana, published The Comic Muppet Book in 1979. Written by Jenny Craven and illustrated by Graham Thompson (who would later do a comic book adaptation of the Terry Jones movie Erik The Viking), the book is thin, a mere 32 full color 8 1/2 x 11 pages, and wrapped inside a cardstock cover. It carried a UK cover price of 99p, and it was designed more for bookstores than newsstands and comic shops. Regardless of format and price, each page delivers the Muppet goodies.
The comic is set up like an episode of the syndicated TV series, only Kermit is trying to put together a book (the one in your hands) that explains how the show is put together. Unfortunately for Kermit, Miss Piggy as a “spot” on her snout (we Americans would call it a pimple or a zit) on the day a photographer is arriving, the publisher (and theater owner) is demanding a publication “with action” or it’s grilled frogs’ legs for Kermit and his relatives, and the Cabbage Liberation Front is demanding a section of the book devoted to themselves. It’s all barely-controlled hijinks, well-drawn and colored (old school style) and featuring all the Muppet Show favorites: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, Rowlf, Dr. Bob, the Swedish Chef, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Scooter, Sam, Animal, Gonzo and, of course, Statler & Waldorf.
You might not be able to find a copy, but the fine folks at Boom! Kids have a brand new series of comics including a Muppet Show series by Roger Langridge and a Muppet Robin Hood by Tim Beedle and Armand Villavert Jr. So why not play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show…tonight.
[Artwork: Cover to The Comic Muppet Book]
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