This week we officially add a new member to our highly unpaid "staff." You know him, you love him, he writes all of the comic book reviews since I can't seem to get one on time if I tried, ladies and gentlemen, Mister James Gannon. Yes, James will now officially be named the Muppet Comic Guru and will provide us with Muppet Comic Mondays articles consistently from now on. Thanks to James for all of his great work and I'm excited to work with you as an official "staff" member! Now enough blabbing, here's the review!
Muppet Snow White #1
Written by Jesse Blaze Snider with Patrick Storck
Illustrated by Shelli Paroline
James Gannon - The Muppet Classics comics keep getting better with every series. The fourth installment, Muppet Snow White, seems to be my favorite of the bunch so far, giving stiff competition to Muppet King Arthur and Muppet Peter Pan. The Muppets are no stranger to this tale. After all, they did perform the story in that episode of Muppet Babies. And Animal was hitting on a park employee dressed like her in The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
Gonzo and Rizzo, in a role harking back to The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, portray the Grim Brothers. They narrate the tale and comment (and even interact) on the action as only they could. Rizzo even comments on the fact that the real Grim Brothers didn’t even write the tale, and only took credit for it (piquing his interests in making money). Later in the issue, Gonzo tries fruitlessly to tell Rizzo that certain scenes are only in the popular movie edition of the story, which is also the subject of satire here. I’ve always felt the Gonzo/Rizzo parings were the best parts of those two movies, and this series seems to get only the best possible aspects of them: the Muppets messing around the story as loosely as possible. And no human stars that turn them into second string characters either. The Wicked Queen is, once again, Miss Piggy. Unlike the Muppet Babies story, she takes the role on purpose, and she heaps abuse on her nervously apologetic magic mirror (a role that’s aptly cast as Fozzie Bear). Little does she know who wound up getting the leading role (and her frog).
That’s right, it’s Muppets Tonight’s Spamella Hamderson. Even the narrators are shocked that the Snow White beauty is bleached blond. Blame her agent, Pepe the King Prawn, in his best comics appearance yet. Much like the last bunch of Muppet Movies, he steals EVERY scene he’s in, haggling and bargaining and having his say in the story. He even gets the idea to merchandise his wacky sidekick role, a truly backhanded compliment towards Disney. Of course, Piggy can’t stand the fact that such a terrible actress, only hired because of her looks (which Pepe apparently enjoys) is going to wind up with Prince Kermit (who seems semi-reluctant in his role), making it all the more personal (and almost reminiscent of the Muppet Babies episode, only deeper and funnier). And as we all know the story, we all know what’s coming. Oh! And Bobo’s here too, so you know it’s gonna be fun.
But you can’t have Snow White without Dwarfs. And who are these dwarfs? The Electric Mayhem, of course. Not only do we get the five iconic members, but the band also includes Lips. While Lips isn’t the most prolific member, he is a fan favorite, and appeared with the band in the last season of The Muppet Show and for a while after. Their introduction so far is just the cleverest spoof of the iconic Dwarf song I’ve ever heard (or in this case, read). The seventh member (so far) is Scooter, their band manager who has them play in diamond mines. You know he’s not going to stay their long. In fact, the working title was to be Snow White and the Electric Mayhem, but was changed to be more consistent with the rest of the Muppet Classics line.
As with every one of the sub-series, we have a new writer and a different artist. Shelli Paroline, who did the artwork for Pigs in Space (The Muppet Show Comic Book #0), seems to make her cartoony style to the next level, giving it an even smoother feel than before, and even perfecting Muppet likenesses since the last time. Those eyelid glasses of Dr. Teeth have confounded Muppet artists in the past, but even she makes it work in her style. As for the writing, Jessie Blaze Snider (with Patrick Storck) nails each Muppet's character. Even taking on the tough task of writing for Spamella (which, frankly, even the Muppets Tonight writers had trouble with). The end result is absolutely wonderful. If you liked The Muppet Christmas Carol or Muppet Treasure Island, you’ll love that it’s the same tone, but MUPPETS ONLY.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier