The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 2 of 4:
Ryan Dosier - Following directly behind The Muppet Show Comic Book: Kermit’s Story, comes Fozzie’s Story (released April 2009), once again released by BOOM! Studios and written and drawn by the fantastic Roger Langridge.
The main plot focuses on Fozzie feeling low about being a less-than stellar comedian and not being able to appeal to the audience no matter how hard he tries. (Why he just now gets down-trodden about this is beyond me.) Chaos and the audience’s increasing dislike of the bear’s act arise as he tries everything from Shakespeare to depressed poet chic, complete with a jester’s outfit and a beret (respectively)—Fozzie even becomes desperate enough to ask Gonzo for help.
Notable acts in the issue include a “song” number called “In My Merry Oldsmobile” featuring two pigs—which could’ve easily been copied direct from the original Muppet Show, a presentation from Muppet Labs, “The Ubiquitous Quilp” (an incredibly zany, Muppety act that could only work on the comic page), Veterinarian’s Hospital, and Pigs in Space.
Of course, in the end, Fozzie finds his comedic voice again with a little help from an old friend. Even Statler and Waldorf get a good laugh out of it (and not for the reason you think)!
Once again, Langridge has beautifully captured the unhinged feeling that each of us enjoyed watching on the original Muppet Show. Zaniness reigns supreme, random Muppets hang out backstage, and we can once again feel like the show never ended.
The most important part about these comics, I think, is the writing. Sure, the art can be beautiful, but if the words don’t work, how can the comic? And folks, Roger Langridge has captured the Muppet spirit of writing in a way that is more than reminiscent of the Jerry Juhl days of The Muppet Show. He has a complete grasp on every character. Never once when reading this or the first issue did I think, “Gee… that’s not something (insert character here) would say.”
Everything in the comic works, and it’s because of the quality of the writing that this is true. When there are, not one, but five chances for Fozzie to deliver a pun-filled monologue (each in a different comedic style) and hit each one out of the park (relatively speaking), you know the writing is top-notch.
While some fans on the forum have knocked Langridge for taking too many artistic liberties with the characters he draws, I disagree. Yes, the characters are mostly off model, and Scooter, Gonzo and Fozzie have been shown with teeth, but this is no reason to ignore the amazing work Langridge does. The artwork matches the humor and suits the Muppets extremely well. It’s zany and off the wall, and the Muppets are zany and off the wall.
It may take some getting used to, but by page three I guarantee you’ll be focused on Fozzie’s opening monologue and not even bat an eye at the artwork.
The Muppet Show Comic Book is probably the best piece of widely-available Muppet merchandise we’ve seen since Kermit’s 2006 book Before You Leap. Everything in the comic is as it should be; the humor, the characters, the voice—everything.
The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 2/4: Fozzie’s Story has sold out, but you can buy the first trade paperback, The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets, containing Issues 1-4. You’re sure to enjoy it!
The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 3/4: Gonzo’s Story was released in May 2009 and focuses on Scooter trying to find out what Gonzo is—for insurance reasons, of course.
The Muppets featured in this issue include: Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Miss Piggy, Scooter, Rowlf, Statler, Waldorf, Lew Zealand, Thog, Swedish Chef, Sam Eagle, Pepe the King Prawn, Gloat, Boppity, Rats, Crazy Harry, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Animal, Sweetums, Bunsen, Beaker, Pigs, Monsters, a Talking Cheese, The Ubiquitous Quilp, an Alligator, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, Chickens, Pigs, Monsters, and many more randomly placed Whatnots and Muppets of all kinds.