1 The Muppet Mindset: Muppet Comic Mondays: The Muppet Show Comic Book #7 - Family Reunion

Jul 5, 2010

Muppet Comic Mondays: The Muppet Show Comic Book #7 - Family Reunion


The Muppet Show Comic Book #7
Family Reunion
Written by Roger Langridge
Illustrated by Amy Mebberson 

 

James Gannon - Odd timing with this issue. Not even a month after issue #6 and already we get issue #7 of The Muppet Show Comic Book, part four of "Family Reunion." This being the fourth story arc, it seems that there are two types of arcs in this series so far. One that has a unifying theme throughout the arc, but each issue is a different story line (see: "Meet the Muppets" and "On the Road") and one that has a common theme, but has multiple recurring elements throughout the arc ("Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson"). "Family Reunion" felt like the in-between point of both types, as Skeeter was a recurring element and plotline, but everything else was episodic, having characters deal with their own matters of the Family. This issue it's Fozzie’s turn.

Fozzie gets an unexpected visit from his mother, and he’s nervous about how various lies about his success unravel right before her eyes. Not to mention the fact that she’s clearly trying to fix him up with an old childhood friend. And so, Fozzie pulls Skeeter down into his well meaning web of deceit. Not only does Skeeter become his girlfriend, but also master detective Wormwood Soams. After all, who wants their parents to find out how bad a comedian they really are (trying hard not to reference Dane Cook in this review)?

We all know Fozzie’s mother quite well from Muppet Family Christmas and The Muppets go to Walt Disney World, and Fozzie had no problem with his mother seeing his act on The Muppet Show that one time. But continuity is NOT what this comic (or the Muppets themselves) are about. It’s a very sweet story, perfectly Muppety, and a very deep character study on Fozzie’s part. That’s the best thing about these comics, they have all had very character driven story lines.

This issue is a strange animal. There are less and shorter Muppet Show sketches than in most other issues making room for a lot more story and the first sketch didn’t even happen. Instead, we have Fozzie’s fantasy sequence about being Wormwood Soams’s assistant. I’m not gonna lie to you, the detective DOES bear a bare resemblance to his Sesame Street counterpart, at least in the shape of the head. It almost seems like this segment and even the two covers are holdovers from the proposed “Guest Stars” arc (hence the parody name, even though a more human looking Sherlock on cover A). Not to mention Fozzie IS going to play Watson in Muppet Sherlock Homes, due after Muppet Snow White is done. However, if Wormwood is really a guy, I’m wondering why Emily Bear never questioned the fact that he’s a she when they meet. And other than a short “Pigs in Space” and “Rowlf’s Poetry Corner”, the sketches all focus on Fozzie. Especially the closing number, “Baron Munchfozzie,” which, at the risk of sounding ignorant, I didn’t quite get. I never saw the Monty Python related film nor read the original story. Dude’s a liar like Commander McBragg, right?

At this point, I have to also mention the fact that Skeeter was never mentioned by name in the past three issues (I’m not saying if she is or not, and what she really does… that’s for YOU to find out) seemed like the ultimate joke. Now, it was the general consensus of the fan base (and this reviewer) that there was some odd provisions of her appearance that she couldn’t be mentioned by name, maybe at the suggestion of someone at Muppets Studio. After all, the Statler and Waldorf gods playing their game suggested that this may or may not be happening. But after reading this issue, I came to this conclusion… Roger was teasing us the whole time since there was no reason or call for Skeeter’s name to not be mentioned. After all, Disney owns that too.  Touché, Roger. Well done.

How does this rank with the other arcs? Without a doubt my favorite, followed closely by Peg Leg Wilson. Skeeter being the glue holding the arc together, while Andy, Randy, Cousin Mo, and Emily Bear just so happened to visit during her stay. If it wasn’t all a game, I’d suspect that it’s an odd coincidence. As I said in the other reviews, something about Roger only doing the writing seemed to make it more focused and sharper than normal. Amy’s artwork is a lot more cartoonishly animated in this series than in Muppet Peter Pan, which had a more Disney animated feature look to it. Of course, when most of the gags are cartoony, that kind of style is the way to go. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing Roger’s artwork again in the next arc. It is nice to have a change of artist every so often, but I like his style as much as all of the other artists. He really manages to give Gonzo and Animal a very manic look in their eyes. Now we just have to sit back and wait for Monster Mash.













 


 The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

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