Muppet Comic Mondays: Fraggle Rock Comic Book, Volume 2 Issue 1

Fraggle Rock Comic Book
Volume 2, Issue 1
James Gannon – It’s been a month after the Muppet Classics line ended with Muppet Sherlock Holmes and several after the end of “Muppet Mash,” but thankfully the void has been filled with glorious news. Archaia’s Fraggle Rock Comic Book has started up again, and with the same amount of Fraggley wonder and amazement as the last volume.
This issue starts with an intriguing story written by Grace Randolph (Muppet Peter Pan) and illustrated Chris Lie, “Wembley and the Great Dream-Capade!”  Wembley can’t sleep. Instead of dreaming, he sees nothingness, all the while hearing how great the other Fraggles’ dreams were. So Gobo, Red, Mokey, and Boober decide to help him out by sharing their dreams. There’s even an appearance by a wonderfully handled (in both art and writing) Trash Heap. And I’m sure she references a past episode. You’ll know what I mean when you read it. Other than a few issues with eyes on certain Fraggles (Red has strange eyelids in one panel for instance), the art fits perfectly and has a wonderful storybook feel.
Of course, we also get two more wonderful shorts as in every issue. “Boober and the Ghastly Stain” (written by Jake Forbes, illustrated by Mark Simmons) shows the almost uncharacteristically brave strides Boober will go to in order to remove a superstain from Gobo’s shirt. That’s what I call obsessive compulsive motivation! And there’s even a very Fraggley original song in there too. Not since Roger Langridge have I seen the riskiness of putting music in a visual medium pulled off so well.

Boober’s back to his cowardly ways in “Brave Sir Wembley” (written by Joe LeFavi, illustrated by Cory Godbey), where he psyches out Wembley on his way to pick up a postcard for Gobo and Storyteller. Both with such wonderful varying art, but unifying Fraggle themes. And let’s not forget Katie Cook’s activity corner. We get a standard coloring page (well drawn, though) but we also get Red Fraggle’s tips on stretching before exercise. Not only helpful, but in character as well. I’ve always felt meh about comic activity pages (especially in Muppet Sherlock Holmes) but there’s something about the use of them in the Fraggle comics that make them work.  Maybe the kid’s book shape and size of these comics?

I always felt that Fraggle Rock was a very special series (more so than even Sesame Street or The Muppet Show), and it’s good to know that four issues later, all contributors channel what made it great into every story. In every review I state that I’ve read some slapdash, generic comic adaptations of cartoons and TV characters. I’ve even read some that were spot on, but missing something intangible.  But with The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock comics we’ve seen recently, it does a Henson fan proud to see them flawlessly adapted in comic form, even taking advantage of the new medium. There is a concern that, by renumbering them starting back with one, some buyers may get confused, especially since each issue has multiple covers. A Volume 2 tag would have been helpful. I really, truly hope these do well enough to get us Volume 3. It would be an injustice if this didn’t outlast the Marvel series from the 80’s.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

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