The Muppet Show Comic Book
Pigs in Space #0 Review
James Gannon - Somewhere between the destruction of the Muppet Theater and the Road Tour of the theater troop lies Muppet Show issue 0. This stand alone story focuses on Rizzo and Fozzie trying to pitch a bold artistic vision based on the classic Muppet Show sketch series Pigs in Space. And uh… spoiler alert… you can kinda guess who they’re trying to pitch it to. Right from the start something popped into my mind. How come Rizzo has never been paired up with Fozzie before? The writing gives them a great chemistry as the shrewd Hollywood wise pitchman and his reluctant, nervous partner.
Now, Pigs in Space is my favorite segment of the Muppet Show, and I really liked how the animated version of the segment worked in the short lived Little Muppet Monsters series. The latter took them out of the same old set and put them on alien worlds, the fortresses of evil space fiends, and all those classic Sci-Fi standbys and clichés. This comic is more successful than that, giving it that great feel of the classic Muppet Show segment, blended of course with Langridge’s brand of Muppety humor. Link is just as vapid and vain as ever (the way he should be), and Piggy and Strangepork have to suffer his leadership. In fact, the action begins with Link wanting to flee the galaxy as soon as possible after accidentally insulting the Martian President’s daughter.
While this is a Pigs in Space based story, it still is a Muppet Show Comic Book. Breaking up the action is some of the usual skits, but with a themed twist. Muppet Labs features Dr. Honeydew with a Beaker-like Robotic assistant. Also breaking up the action is Rizzo and Fozzie trying to sell the story as hard as possible. Even going so far as interrupting the actual “movie” to change a sequence where giant Chickens are going to boil them when the film producers complain about the instance of cannibalism.
And as this is a Sci-Fi story, we see a lot of nods to classic Sci-Fi movies. A scene in a bar resembling Star Wars (you can even see silhouettes of Han Solo about to shoot Greedo in the back ground) for example. And the villain of the piece, Gonzo in a Ming the Merciless type role, who stole the Earth’s Moon to destroy his own planet. Apparently, he’s bored. I thought that’s how that sort of thing works.
This issue sees a new artist, Shelli Paroline (apparently, she’s from Massachusetts! Yay us! ). She has an angular yet fluid look that gives everything a very animated look. You could swear that if there was a Muppet Cartoon series on the horizon, it would at least look similar to this. This is what I wanted to see since the comic line was announced… different guest artists working on different stories. Not that I don’t like Langridge’s work, that is. But it seems that without the art work, his writing feels a lot more focused. The Pigs in Space segments of the regular comics are my favorite of all the comic adapted series, and this shows how amazing they’d be if they had the full issue to focus on this one sketch. But I do have one little complaint. If anything, this comic is too short. This really feels like it should be a 4 issue saga, or a side comic series instead of the fairy tale line. There’s just so much you can do with a Pigs in Space comic, and I think this only gave us a sample of what can be accomplished. But for one issue, it’s a heck of a ride anyway.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.