1 The Muppet Mindset: Muppet Comic Mondays: The Four Seasons - Summer

Aug 6, 2012

Muppet Comic Mondays: The Four Seasons - Summer

James Gannon - Summer hits the Muppet Theater in issue 14... errr... Limited Series Issue 2 of The Muppet Show Comic Book, or rather "The Muppets." Kermit is taking the venue to the beach for the Muppet Show Beach Party Extravaganza, while Fozzie mulls a summer season stint at a different theater. Scooter has built the end routine on a dancing bear number (a reference to the Simon Smith number from the original Muppet Show), and the idea hinges on Fozzie staying with the Muppets. When he decides to leave, Scooter is forced to cast another dancing animal in his place.

Being the Muppets, chaos ensues on the beach show. Wayne and Wanda make a terrible opening act, singing a song that invites a rain storm. Then seasonal rainstorm turns to freak snowstorm, causing Gonzo's "diving into a swimming pool full of custard" into "diving into a swimming pool of FROZEN custard," which is a great lead in for a Vet's Hospital skit. Meanwhile, Fozzie arrives at the Whatnot Theater. Here we meet yet another gang of Muppet Doppelgangers, who thankfully are much friendlier than the Moopets or Kismet the Toad. Fozzie's stint would fill in for their own comedian bear, Ozzie, who's having a summer season stint of his own. Ozzie points out a few things that get to Fozzie, and Fozzie gets a huge moral dilemma.

This is a much stronger story than the last issue, with quite a few short sketches in between. We get a strong A and B story that tie each other up very nicely, and all that Muppety Chaos and Murphy's Law we all love. I wish there was more time spent with Fozzie at the Whatnot Theater, though. We only met a few of their crazy crew. The giant carrot that obsesses about spoons knocked me out of my seat. I'm really looking forward to Fall (the issue of the comics, not necessarily the season of decaying plant life).

But the one major improvement over the first issue? Better overall layout. The credits page is now at the end, and it only takes three pages of comic to get into the first three pages of story, rather than last issue's five. Even the ads are more strategically placed. The color situation is slightly better. Wanda is a blonde now, for some reason, and there's some inconsistency when summer comes back to the beach, as it's still colored wintery. Just not quite as inconsistent as last issue. Also, I'm not really a fan of the magazine paper stock used here, but that's a cost control thing. I'd gladly pay the extra dollar for the sturdy glossy pages we had when BOOM! was in command, but that can't be helped.

But the one issue I must address is the cover situation. I kind of both like them and dislike them. They are certainly colorful, vibrant, and have a great movement that helps it jump off the store shelves. Though, the cartoony Muppet renderings are more Disney than Muppety, and I'm not a fan of the big-lipped Kermit-gator on the Summer cover. Though, I like the reference to the giant octopus that's only in the opening splash panel. But the new covers mean that they bothered to make new covers. They could just as easily have slapped on some stock photos on instead. I'd rather have dizzying cartoony Muppets to seeing them in sunglasses from those overused 90's photos. You know the ones I'm talking about.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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