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Now, on to our featured Mindset...
The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 3 of 4:
By Ryan Dosier - Continuing BOOM! Studios’ four issue arc of The Muppet Show Comic Book written and drawn by Roger Langridge is the third installment of the series: Gonzo’s Story (released May 2009).
The Muppet Show returns to the comic page once again in the third story of the series. This time, the focus of the story is that beloved weird whatever, Gonzo the Great.
While the plot is Gonzo-centric, he is surprisingly not the main character. Even more surprising is the fact that the Muppet Show’s resident go-fer, Scooter is the main character—a role that wasn’t even given to him when the show was at the peak of its popularity. That’s the beauty of these comics, characters like Scooter or Rowlf can move to the forefront without the worry of finding a performer for them—let alone one that would please the fans.
In the comic, insurance agent Osbert J. Smedley arrives at the theater to conduct routine risk assessment (it’s a big enough risk even entering the theater). Kermit, in order to get the annoying agent off of his back, directs him to Scooter. Scooter is more than happy to oblige when Smedley asks for a list of all the species hired at the theater. The list runs smoothly until Gonzo walks by… and then Scooter is in trouble.
The rest of the story follows Scooter around as he observes, investigates, and interviews Gonzo and the rest of the Muppets in an attempt to learn the bizarre creature’s genus. The madness of a classic Muppet Show continues onstage with acts including “Chicken Lake” (a dance number starring chickens… and Gonzo), “Gumshoe McGurk, Private Eye!” (starring Gonzo), “Twinkle Twinkle Little Rat” (also starring Gonzo), and “ExtravaGonzo!” (starring… well, just guess who); along with classic acts, Bear on Patrol and Pigs in Space.
By the end of the story, Gonzo reveals to Scooter exactly what he is—and it’s a terrific answer I honestly didn’t see coming, but it works and it’s great.
The tone of Gonzo’s Story seems a little more off the wall than the first two issues—which is to be expected from a story focusing on Gonzo. I assume that Kermit let Gonzo take the reins for this show (especially considering the number of utterly strange acts the weirdo is a part of). It’s like the themed episodes of The Muppet Show—this week’s theme? The Great Gonzo.
Once again, Langridge impresses all-around with his writing styles. Every character is written spot-on—even Pops, who hasn’t had a real speaking role since The Great Muppet Caper. Scooter is also written exceptionally well in this issue. He has the Richard Hunt “voice” to him throughout the whole thing—I could easily hear his voice as I read through the story.
The only complaint I have is a very small one. In the Bear on Patrol sketch, it seems Fozzie is written as the dumb cop, being distracted by cakes and éclairs, while Link accuses the criminal. It just seems to me that these roles should’ve been switched, but that’s just my opinion.
Other than that all of it comes across perfectly. Rizzo has a few awesome scenes, and everything Gonzo says is delightfully weird. Langridge should be immensely proud of the job he’s doing here.
The art in this one is especially interesting, considering the fact that the one main character fans have gripes about the design of is Gonzo. I’ve personally grown to love Langridge’s Gonzo by this go around. His expressions all scream Gonzo, and although he doesn’t look exactly like the weirdo we know and love, the character is there and easy to see.
Again, I have one very small nit-picky annoyance that only an obsessed fan would find annoying. Langridge draws Camilla and the rest of the chickens to the same height as Gonzo. Anyone who has seen Gonzo associate with his chicken lover knows that she’s about a head shorter than him… but again, this is a very small complaint. It doesn’t affect the quality of the wonderful artwork at all.
Roger Langridge hits it out of the park once again with Gonzo’s Story. Ranking up among the previous two issues, I’d say this one is better than Fozzie’s Story, but doesn’t quite match Kermit’s Story.
Be sure to pick up your own copy of The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 3/4: Gonzo’s Story today! Or buy the first trade paperback, The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets, containing Issues 1-4.
The Muppet Show Comic Book Issue 4/4: Miss Piggy’s Story was released in June 2009. Will Miss Piggy’s annoyance with a shady fortune teller who visits the theater end in distress—or just a broken bone or two?
The Muppets featured in this issue include: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, Statler, Waldorf, Rizzo, Pops, Osbert J. Smedley (Insurance Agent), Sam Eagle, Sweetums, Robin, Thog, Boppity, Gloat, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Animal, Zoot, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Camilla, a Platypus, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, the Masked Phantom, her Masked Nephew, Bunsen, Beaker, Swedish Chef, Uncle Deadly, Rowlf, a Bug Person of Grazz’But IV, Rats, Chickens, Monsters, Pigs, and more random Muppets than you can think of.