The Muppet Show Comic Book #1
On the Road - Part 1: "Watch That Tiger"
Ryan Dosier - Roger Langridge returns his pen to his always-incredible work on "The Muppet Show Comic Book" this month with its second new installment since becoming an ongoing series (meaning, basically, that the numbering of the book won't reset after four issues).
In the new series, "On the Road," the Muppets are taking their show on a cross-country tour after the theater was accidentally demolished at the conclusion of "The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson" arc. (Sorry for the spoiler.) Once again, Langridge proves that he knows the Muppets as well as anyone.
The story opens just as Langridge's first Muppet Show comic did, with a report by the Muppet Newsman. It has little to do with the rest of the plot of the book, but it's hilarious.
We soon find Miss Piggy lamenting to Kermit about her fear of this "show on tour" being a back-step in her career. Kermit assures her that everything will be fine and above all, they'll have fun with it! No sooner does Kermit reassure Piggy then he goes to purchase new caravans for them to perform in. The retailer of these fine caravans tells Kermit not to open any of the wardrobes because a tiger may be lurking in them.
If that wasn't enough trouble, Fozzie tells Kermit that he's taking his act on the road too--but a different road than Kermit and company. The bear desires to stand on his own for once, which is an odd character turn for Fozzie, but it works.
The show soon gets off to a... well, a start. With a rollicking rendition of The Muppet Show theme song (with slightly altered lyrics), the show is officially off to its new road-show start.
But, of course, The Muppet Show wouldn't be The Muppet Show without chaos backstage. Rizzo is taking bets from everyone from Sam the Eagle to Swedish Chef as they wager a guess as to which caravan houses the tiger. Meanwhile, Kermit is incessantly hounded for a payment by the owner of the land where the Muppets are performing. If that wasn't enough, Statler and Waldorf's incredibly familiar cousins are attending the show.
Sketches include Veterinarian's Medical Compound, A Message From Sam the Eagle, Country Cooking with The Swedish Chef, "Whispering" performed by The Acoustic Mayhem with Sweetums and Robin, and a closing number by Miss Piggy.
Can the Muppets truly put on a road show with financial difficulties, dwindling spirits, and a missing comedian? Well... you're asking the wrong guy. I haven't read the next installment yet!
Roger Langridge has captured the tone of the Muppets as well as (if not better than) anyone who has written for them in at least a decade. Not only does his writing house Muppety wit and charm, but his artwork has never been better. The Muppets are near-perfect in Langridge's hands.
It's amazing to me that even though they're on the road, the Muppets have never seemed more Muppety. Langridge reminds us all that sometimes you have to change the formula up a little bit to keep it fresh, that's just what happens here. The road show format allows the Muppets to be wackier and zanier than ever--and Langridge captures it brilliantly.
All of the characters are written well in this issue, but some of the most outstanding characters include Sam the Eagle, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rizzo, and Gonzo. Kudos, Roger! You've captured them perfectly.
This may be the best-drawn issue of the book yet. All of the Muppets look as good as they're written and it seems like Langridge has finally settled into his groove of drawing these characters. From facial expressions to full-body shots, Langridge has an exceptional way of harnessing the Muppet spirit on paper.
This issue is one of my favorite of The Muppet Show Comic Book so far. Everything just comes together perfectly to make a fantastic read. Chickens make pyramids, Sam Eagle preaches about the threats of gambling (while gambling himself), and a tiger mauls The Great Gonzo. This proves once again that Roger Langridge is the epitome of fantastic Muppet comic book work.
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Animal, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Sweetums, Robin the Frog, Sam the Eagle, Rizzo the Rat, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Mister "Bags" O'Gravy, Lew Zealand, Statler and Waldorf's cousins, Thog, the Mutations, Gloat, Boppity, Mr. Weazell, Chickens, Rats, Monsters, a Sheep, and more!