The Muppet Show Comic Book #8
Part 1: Chickens of the Night
Written and Illustrated by Roger Langridge
James Gannon – Another story arc, the fifth one, dawns on The Muppet Show Comic Book: Muppet Mash, a four part saga which will probably hit its finale just before Halloween, as long as the releases go as planned… Which probably explains why we had two issues last month.
Gonzo returns to the theater after a vacation trip to Transylvania, and starts acting strange. He’s wearing a cape, he refuses to go out into the sunlight, he has a weird desire to drink Tomato Juice (kid friendly… meh), shivers at the sight of a garlic steak, and the chickens are wondering around in a dazed state. Add to the fact that Scooter has talked Kermit into a monster themed show because of the popularity of vampire movies. Yes!They do mention that specifically. I miss the days when vampires were on cereal boxes and had 1970’s cartoon sitcoms where they had Bubble Gum rock bands… you know, back when they had some real dignity!
It’s not too long before the rest of the crew gets suspicious of his odd behavior. Kermit is heard to remark, “When he acts strange, you’re never sure if something’s wrong, or if it’s Gonzo being Gonzo.” While Kermit isn’t one to jump to conclusions (weirdness surrounds the frog, after all), the rest of the gang (Sam the Eagle and Miss Piggy especially) believe that Gonzo has become a vampire. This isn’t the first time Gonzo has been associated with vampirism. He did take on the role of Gonzula a couple times on Muppet Babies and he was one of the bosses in the “Muppet Monster Adventure” video game, becoming Noseferatu.
When it comes to the regular features, you always can expect certain rotating Muppet Show segments, so I like to point out some of the outstanding and creative original sketches or alterations to classic skits. The opening act is a very strange, yet fitting, tribute to Ernest Thayer… “Casey IS a Bat,” the story of two garbage men fighting a large, vampirish bat who attacks them on their graveyard shift. All, of course written to the rhythm and scheme of the original poem. And, for a change, Link, Piggy, and Strangepork are NOT Pigs in Space, but rather a gang of monster hunters in “Link Hogthrob: Monster Smaher.” There, Link proves just as effective at tracking down ghouls and goblins as he is at being a Captain. Yep. That bad.
This issue also marks the return of Roger Langridge as a writer/artist. It’s great that we can have guest artists from time to time as a change of pace, but we can’t take the pace for granted, either. There seems to be more sketches than the previous saga, and less of a major overall plot. I gotta say, this is a great issue, but I wish they held the Gonzo is a vampire story as a recurring plot point in the entire Muppet Mash arc, instead of wrapping it up at the end of the issue. But it seems that this arc is going to be more episodic, continuing on a single theme (i.e., Meet the Muppets) than a full on interconnected storyline (Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson). Not that there’s anything superior or inferior about either. Mummys are on the cover of the next issue, so you know that’s gonna be an interesting story. Plus, teenyboppers didn’t ruin mummys yet. I sure hope they don’t.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier