muppets Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

And the new Doctor is … green?


No doubt Doctor Who fans are still reeling from the events of yesterday’s Christmas special, but what if the BBC had decided to go in a different direction with the new Doctor? Former Muppets cartoonist Roger Langridge imagines another sort of regeneration for the good Doctor — and some of his friends as well.

He created this Muppets/Doctor Who mashup for the London Film and Comic Con booklet, where he’ll be a guest in March. Check it out below.

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Marvel to publish limbo’ed Muppets story in July

Last year BOOM! Studios’ licenses for the various Disney properties expired, and one of the casualties of that was a four-issue Muppets arc by Roger Langridge that had not been printed yet. “As far as I understand it, the unpublished work I’ve done for Boom isn’t technically Disney’s until it’s published, and obviously Boom can’t publish it without a license,” Langridge said at the time. “So it’s in a kind of limbo right now. In the best of all possible worlds, I’d like to think that Boom and Marvel can come to some kind of arrangement whereby Marvel can eventually release the work.”

Apparently some sort of arrangement has been reached, as Marvel has solicited the first issue of a four-issue Muppets miniseries for July, featuring that “lost” story by Langridge. Here’s the solicitation:

MUPPETS #1 (of 4)
The four-part Muppet Show story “The Four Seasons” – for the first time in print!
Cover by TBD
• Kermit and the gang put on a show to celebrate spring’s arrival at the Muppet Theatre!
• A special guest — Meredith the Mountain Gorilla — arrives to perform on the Muppet Show, and her many admirers compete for her affections.
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

The miniseries follows Marvel’s reprintings of other Muppets material produced by Langridge while BOOM! had the license. Langridge said he wasn’t aware that Marvel was publishing the comic until he read it on the internet, but he did know it would be published in Italy.

“I’ve been working with Disney Italy on a few things they wanted tweaked (they needed Gonzo’s nose redrawing), so presumably that’s where Marvel are getting it from,” he said on his blog, adding, “If anyone from the appropriate department of Marvel is reading this, I can send you my scripts if you want, rather than translating from Italian back into English. (I remember reading British Disney comics as a kid where Carl Barks’ dialogue had been totally rewritten and it made my teeth hurt.)”

Comics A.M. | Little Lotta artist Sid Couchey passes away

Sid Couchey

Passings | Artist Sid Couchey, an illustrator who brought many a Little Lotta story to life during the halcyon days of Harvey Comics, passed away March 111. He was 92. Couchey’s long career stretched from serving as an assistant to Superman co-creator Joe Shuster to steady if uncredited work in a number of comics during the 1950s, Harvey in the 1960s and 1970s, and a whole second career as a local-interest cartoonist, drawing comics about Champy, Lake Champlain’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster. He also may have been the first artist to embed a real-life marriage proposal in a comic. [Press-Republican, via The Comics Reporter]

Creators | Heidi MacDonald talks to Brian K. Vaughan about Saga, his general absence from social media, and jumping from Marvel and DC to Image: “I think at the end of the day I really believe in creator owned books, I wanted to do a book that the artist and I could own and control outright and as much as I loved the other companies I worked for in the past, I feel that Image is one of the few companies left that I would consider having a real creator owned contract.” [The Beat]

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Jim Henson fansite celebrates 10 years with artist-led cavalcade

Although the Muppets and the gang at Sesame Street might be puppets, they’ve made their way into comics on multiple occasions, and with the 10th anniversary of the Jim Henson-centric fansite Tough Pigs coming around this year, a number of artists have chipped in to celebrate the occasion.

For this event, Tough Pigs reached out to a variety of artists, including those from the Muppets and Fraggle Rock comics, the Sesame Street storybook illustrators and even fan artists to celebrate the event and the impact of Henson’s creations. One of the standouts of the bunch is the illustration at right by Mouse Guard creator David Petersen, who also contributed covers to to both BOOM! Studios Muppets titles and Archaia’s Fraggle Rock series.

Head over to the Tough Pigs site to see all of the artwork they’ve assembled, and look into the archives for other original art collected related to Jim Henson.

SDCC Wishlist | Amy Mebberson’s Green Lantern/Muppets mash-up

Muppet Lanterns

If you’re looking for some fun prints to buy in San Diego this weekend, Strawberry Shortcake artist Amy Mebberson has several, including the above mash-up of DC’s various Lanterns and the Muppets. Mebberson is no stranger to the Muppets, having drawn them when BOOM! had the license, and she’ll have a non-color coded Muppets print as well.

You can find Mebberson and James Silvani (Darkwing Duck) in the Artist Alley area of the con, table Table HH20. Just think of water …

Archaia to bring back classic Fraggle Rock comics

Archaia assembled a talented group of writers and artists for its two anthlogies of comics based on Jim Henson’s 1980s television series Fraggle Rock, but the next volume will go a different route: Reprinting the classics.

The first Fraggle Rock comics came out in 1985-1986, during the show’s heyday, and were published by Star Comics, which was a division of Marvel. The series only ran 8 issues, all of which were written by Stan Kay and illustrated by Marie Severin, who later drew the Fraggle Rock comics that appeared in Muppet Magazine. Marvel reprinted five of these comics in 1988 without the Star logo.

Now Muppet fansite Tough Pigs reports that Archaia will publish a collection of these older Fraggle Rock comics, digitally remastered and collected into a softcover anthology. “That’s 80s content with a modern-day feel! Or at least a modern-day coloring job,” says writer Joe Hennes. The stories include The Magic Time Machine,” “The Trouble With Being #1,” “The Monster That Could Be Anything” and “The Doozer Who Wanted to Be a Fraggle.” The book will retail for $9.95 and will be available on August 31.

Caanan Grall draws Muppet Thor

For his 24-Hour Comics Day challenge, Caanan Grall came up with a brilliant mashup: Muppet Thor, in which the Muppets discover the mighty hammer Mjolnir and the Thunder God himself makes a surprise appearance with Miss Piggy. Grall does a nice job drawing the Muppets, and the story has some clever twists.

If you can’t get enough of Muppet mash-ups, head over to our sister blog Comics Should Be Good for a few more.

Comics A.M. | Mike Keefe wins Pulitzer; BOOM! loses Classic Disney titles?

From Mike Keefe's portfolio

Awards | Denver Post editorial cartoonist Mike Keefe has won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning “for his widely ranging cartoons that employ a loose, expressive style to send strong, witty messages.” Keefe, who joined the Post in 1975, had previously served in the Marines and taught math in college. “I am gobsmacked,” the 64-year-old cartoonist says. “In recent years, the Pulitzer has gone to much younger folks who are newer in the business. I’ve always done pretty classical editorial cartooning. I thought my day had passed.” Comic Riffs has Keefe’s award-winning portfolio. [Denver Post]

Publishing | On the heels of successive announcements that Marvel will publish comics based on Disney’s Pixar and Muppets properties, licenses previously held by BOOM! Studios, comes word that BOOM! has stopped soliciting Classic Disney series like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. However, Diamond’s Previews catalog for July contains listings for the publisher’s titles based on such Disney Afternoon properties as Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and DuckTales. []

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Marvel to (re)publish Muppet show comics [UPDATED]

Marvel and parent company Disney are pulling the Muppet Show comics out of limbo—at least one of them. Marvel announced yesterday that it will publish Meet the Muppets, a 96-page Muppet Show comic written and illustrated by Roger Langridge, in a magazine format for $5.99. This is the first we have heard of Marvel publishing a Muppets comic, although it’s not too surprising, as they recently announced a new comics magazine based on their Pixar properties. BOOM! Studios had previously held the license for both the Pixar and the Muppets comics, and it looks like both magazines are reprints of that material. BOOM!’s version of Meet the Muppets was released two years ago as a graphic novel, although Marvel’s edition has a larger format (with fewer pages) and a lower price.

Langridge commented at Bleeding Cool,

I have to say this is the first I’ve heard of any of this, though I’m glad the material will continue to be out there and available.

At the time of the Pixar changeover, all the parties were curiously quiet about the Muppets license. Now that this book has been announced, perhaps we will hear about the fate of the unpublished Muppets comics, a four-comic series titled The Four Seasons, which are currently in limbo, with no announced plans from BOOM! or Marvel to publish them.

Update: When asked about the project, BOOM! sent the following response:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the team at Marvel are a group I respect greatly and consider friends. It’s exciting to see them republish Harvey Award-winning BOOM! content from the incomparable Roger Langridge. Susan Butterworth and the entire Muppet Studios team are fantastic people, and they were a joy to work with. With any luck, Roger’s unpublished FOUR SEASONS arc will find success on their publishing schedule,” said BOOM! Studios founder and CEO Ross Richie.

Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

20th century Boys

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15,

I’d get volume 13 of 20th Century Boys. This series is fantastic, and I hear there’s a big reveal in this volume.

If I had $30,

I’d add some floppies to the mix. This is a good week for a lot of the series I have been following on and off: Atomic Robo: Deadly Art of Science #4 ($3.50), Sixth Gun #9 ($3.99), Kill Shakespeare #9 ($3.99). Since I have a bit left over, I’ll throw in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #716 ($3.99), because I really have been enjoying that classic Disney.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Michael May

If I had $15:

I’d start with Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever #1 ($2.99). I love weird western tales and can’t imagine a better creative team for one than the writers of BPRD and artist John Severin, who illustrated so many of Atlas’ classic westerns. Then I’d grab The Muppet Show, Volume 5: Muppet Mash ($9.99) because hey, Roger Langridge, Muppets and classic monsters.

If I had $30:

I’d add a couple of Big Two all-ages comics to the pile. If Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Spectacular #1 ($3.99) is half as fun as the show it’s based on, it’ll be worth taking home and reading to the boy. I’ll just have to keep ignoring the irritating, unnecessarily three-fingered character designs. I’m even more confident that we’ll enjoy DC’s Super Friends, Volume 4: Mystery in Space ($12.99) because we’ve been so delighted with the first three collections. David just turned nine and by way of celebration, he wanted to go back and re-read the Superman’s Birthday story from volume two.

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Amy Mebberson’s cuteness overload

Amy Mebberson keeps pretty busy drawing Muppet and Pixar comics for Boom! Studios, and she also has done covers for their standard Disney characters line. So how does she relax after a hard day churning out the cuteness? By turning the dial to 11 and sketching super-cute versions of Barbie and comics characters. Amy has just set up a new blog, Fun Size, to collect her sketchcards and other incidental drawings of cute, rounded, smiling characters. For her everyday sketches, including the sketch covers she did for the Muppet comics at cons this year, check out her other art blog, My Blue Sky.

SDCC ’10 | Highlights of Sunday’s comics programming

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

At last we arrive at the schedule for the final day of Comic-Con International — Sunday, July 25 (aka “Kids’ Day”).

Below you’ll find highlights of the comics-related programming, which include the final Smallville panel, an appearance by famed Japanese artist Yoshitako Amano, spotlights on Matt Fraction and Dennis O’Neil, and a look at the upcoming Spider-Man storyline “Origin of the Species.”

The full programming schedule for Saturday can be found here.

10 to 11 .m. Emily The Strange — Get your last day of Comic-Con off to a strange start with Dark Horse’s Emily the Strange panel! Meet Emily’s creator Rob Reger and Dark Horse editor Shawna Gore, and come prepared to quench your curiosity about all things Emily. Exciting announcements, wacky wordplay, and tasty news bits are all on the menu for this early bird panel! Room 3

10 to 11 a.m. Jack Kirby Tribute — It’s time once again to pay tribute to Jack “King” Kirby, the prolific writer/artist who co-created some of the world’s most famous superheroes, including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the New Gods and many more. Kirby biographer and friend Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics) hosts this annual Comic-Con tradition and is joined this year by writers Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans) and Kurt Busiek (Astro City, JLA/Avengers) and other Kirby fanatics to discuss the King. Room 4

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Straight for the art | Langridge finds it, the Rainbow (Bridge) Connection

by Roger Langridge

by Roger Langridge

Here’s another submission for this weekend’s HeroesCon art auction — this time The Muppet Show and The Mighty Thor‘s Roger Langridge combines two of Disney’s properties into one awesome mash-up. And hey — why not a Thor/Muppets comic?

C2E2 | Mebberson gets the Muppets

Amy Mebberson sketching the Muppets

Amy Mebberson sketching the Muppets

Divalicious artist Amy Mebberson has taken over the interior art chores on BOOM! Kids’ Muppet Show comics from Roger Langridge, and BOOM! publisher Ross Richie described her art this way: “Roger does the full cartooning mode, Amy tries to preserve the notion that the hand is inside the Muppet,” which caused editor-in-chief Mark Waid to exclaim “There’s a hand inside the Muppet?” BOOM!, which has been making kind of a thing of variant covers for conventions, came up with a unique idea for C2E2, the Get-A-Sketch cover: It’s blank, and Amy sketches the buyer on it—as a Muppet. This requires the artist involved to be a good sport, and Amy certainly put in a lot of hours at the booth, but she always looked like she was having a good time.

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