James Gannon – It’s been quite some time since Muppets of any kind graced their own regular comic book. BOOM!’s Muppet comic series is a distant memory. Ape’s Sesame Street comics didn’t even get to see a second issue published (especially strange since the first issue was reprinted and promoted for Free Comic Day and Halloween of the same year). Just when you thought we’d never be graced with any of the Muppets in comic form, Archaia and BOOM! combine their forces to bring us Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring. And is it ever glorious.
Gobo feels inspired by the spirit of invention to create a device deemed completely impractical by Cotterpin Doozer. It involves solar energy for one thing, something lost on cave dwellers. Taking her advice, Gobo seeks out his friends in hopes they can provide him with problems only an invention can solve. However, when he meets up with Red, she learns the hard way that the water has run dry in Fraggle Rock. It’s up to the Fraggle Five to take a Journey to the Everspring. You know, like the title says.
Unlike the first two volumes of the Archaia Fraggle comics (one main, longer one and two shorter ones), we’ve got our first four part story arc. Also, it’s actually shaped like a comic book this time, so you can find the Mylar bags to protect them much easier (which is a huge upgrade to me. Everything from the writing to the paper stock impressed me, and I had high standards going in. Kate Leth has a great understanding of the series and its characters. Wembley wembles, Boober moans. Given how song heavy Fraggle Rock is, she didn’t shy away from giving Gobo a musical number in comic book form. This brings to mind Roger’s The Muppet Show Comic Book closing numbers. You wouldn’t think these things would work in comic form, but they make it work.
The astounding, painterly artwork by Jake Myler rounds the book out, complimenting the dialogue. Fraggles are lovingly stylized in their beautifully storybook environment. By all means, a great Fraggle Rock experience. There’s also a word search thing that kind of feels tacked on compared to the games and activities in previous issues, but easily forgiven. I wasn’t going to muck this thing up with ink anyway. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ll audibly groan when you hit the ads at the end of the book. A month can’t go by fast enough for the next issue to arrive.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org