James Gannon – When I say I can’t wait for the next issue of Fraggle Rock, I don’t mean it that literally. Only a week after Issue 1 of Volume 2 was released, Issue 2 came out. Now, to my understanding, this was just a goof up with the distributor, and we should expect the next issue back on schedule in two months. But let’s get on with the show anyway.
This issue opens up with one of the greatest stories that appeared in the comics, “The Meaning of Life” (Joe LeFavi/ Heidi Arnold). Gobo finds his Uncle Matt’s old journal, and reads an entry about the one quest Matt could never complete. It is said that whoever completes the journey will find the meaning of life, and Gobo feels such an important exploration should fall onto him. His friends reluctantly follow suit, caring mostly about the prestige they’d likely get for making that discovery (though Boober comes along to make sure their clothes don’t get horrible stains on them). Ultimately, they discover such discovery comes with an ultimate price.
Now, I’ve been saying since the first issue that the stories all feel so real to the characters and themes, it’s like reading lost episode scripts. Even that odd little story where Red invents the Segway Scooter felt like a throwaway gag from the show. This story especially felt like a long lost episode, and it had a heartfelt, emotional deepness some of the best episodes of Fraggle Rock have. It even managed to have a similarly themed Uncle Matt postcard, and Gobo sings a few lines of “Follow Me” as well. All that was missing was the Doc and Sprocket wraparound. Heidi adds to the emotional thrill ride with great Fraggle expressions, giving them more animated facial expressions and even tears. All and all, a powerful story with the heart and soul of Fraggle Rock.
Later, Gobo tells scary stories in “The Fraggle Who Cried Monster” (Jason M. Burns/Chandra Free). Stories so scary, Boober can’t sleep and suddenly sees monsters. Or is it just some character we’ve seen before? Finally, “The Perfect Words” (Tim Beedle/Ross Campbell) escape Mokey when she tries to compose the perfect poem to describe her relationship with the other four. She works so hard, her eyes bug out, causing her to look like one of those Fraggle plush released by Tomy (couldn’t help that reference). And Katie Cook shows you how to make fingerprint Fraggle art. Of course, the word “fingerprint” was too great of a jinx for this comic collector, so I quickly shoved the comic back in the bag and hid it in the back of my closet before it were to further depreciate in value.
Something I’ve noticed about this go around, the stories so far focus exclusively on the Fraggle Five. While in the first volume, there was occasionally a short about the Doozers or the Gorgs, this one just focuses on the core characters. The strange thing is, covers for Issue 1 (David Peterson) and Issue 2 (Heidi Arnold) both feature Junior Gorg, and he’s also in the inside front cover. He has yet to make an appearance so far (Ma gets a one panel cameo in last issue’s laundry story). These are still great stories, but I hope to see the Doozers and Gorgs in the next issue. Also of note, there are a lot of references to past episodes in this issue, so keep an eye out for them.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier