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Muppets

ET On Your TV

We just found out about Earth To Ned, the new science fiction TV series from the Muppet folks at The Jim Henson Company. “The galaxy’s first alien-hosted talk show” will start streaming on Disney + starting September 4th. “Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marwar Junction Productions, Earth to Ned is a decidedly different take on the late-night talk format. It stars extraterrestrial-creatures Ned and Cornelius as they interview terrestrial stars. Each episode focuses on a topic or theme that is unique to Earthlings and fascinating to Ned, including comedy, sports, social media and fashion. Ned beams in celebrity guests from across the known universe, and the more he learns about our human culture, the more obsessed he becomes.” Take a look at the review on Deadline, and check out the trailer video there or on YouTube.

image c. 2020 The Jim Henson Company

Back to Fraggle Rock

While we’re all huddled in our caves — why not visit with some friendly creatures who dance in theirs? Apple TV+ and the Jim Henson Company have brought back the stars of the beloved series Fraggle Rock in a new collection of shorts called Fraggle Rock: Rock On! “The Fraggles might be apart in separate caves, but they can still find ways to have fun together! Join Gobo, Red, Boober, Mokey, Wembley, and Uncle Traveling Matt for stories and songs that show everyone how we’re all connected.” Fun fact: How do you produce a new show when everyone is still in lock-down? Simple — the entire show is filmed on iPhones from the production staff’s homes and garages. Modern technology! Here’s a review over at Slashfilm, which includes the trailer.

image c. 2020 The Jim Henson Company

Can’t Stop The Rock

Archaia has a special edition reprint you should know about — with a long title! See what’s happening down at Fraggle Rock… “It’s the annual ‘Splish-Splash Friend Bash’ at Fraggle Pond and all of Fraggle Rock is invited! But when a few bullies decide to crash the party, Gobo, Boober, and the other Fraggles will have to look out for one another and come up with a plan to help everyone get along. Written and illustrated  by Jay Fosgitt (Bodie Troll), Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: The Rough Side of the Rock celebrates Jim Henson’s timeless television series with an inspiring story of acceptance and friendship for fans of all ages.” It’s issue #2 of Archaia’s Fraggle Rock comic, but now it’s in a premium hardcover picture book format. Check out the preview over at Graphic Policy. (Happy 4th!)

image c. 2019 Archaia

Return to the Rock

Whoops! This passed us by last summer… but here it is, thanks to Boom! Studios. “In honor of the 35th Anniversary of Fraggle Rock, the Fraggles are back in all-new stand-alone adventures, each by distinct creative voices and presented in an 8″ x 8″  format perfect for longtime fans to share with the next generation. It all begins with a story written and illustrated in beautiful watercolor by Jared Cullum (Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special), as Mokey Fraggle is losing her love for creating her art and needs her friends’ help to rediscover her inspiration. Fraggle Rock #1 features a cover by Jared Cullum, along with a connecting subscription cover by Jake Myler (Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring). Each issue of Fraggle Rock will have a connecting subscription cover featuring a different Fraggle.” This 4-issue limited series is in stores now.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

A World Far Away… As Seen By Others

The re-discovery of Jim Henson’s masterpiece film continues with Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Artist Tribute, new from Boom! Studios. “Return to the world of The Dark Crystal and see the vivid locations, life-like creatures, and beloved heroes as realized by a collection of uniquely original artistic voices in celebration of one of Jim Henson’s most enduring creations. The Dark Crystal Artist Tribute features illustrations from artist luminaries and newcomers alike, including Jae Lee, David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Cory Godbey, Jeff Stokely, Benjamin Dewey, Sana Takeda, and the film’s original concept artist, Brian Froud.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

Before He Danced the Magic Dance

Boom! Studios (through their Archaia imprint) are returning to the world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth in a new series called Labyrinth: Coronation. It sounds like this: “Before Sarah braved the Labyrinth to save her brother, another young woman sought to save a young boy named Jareth from the clutches of the Goblins. Set in 18th-century Venice, Italy, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is a striking look into the history of the Labyrinth itself, and what happens to the little boys who don’t get rescued. This is the untold history of the Goblin King.” Written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss, the first issue is on the shelves now. Mr. Bayliss, you may recall, was the illustrator of that marvelously weird anthropomorphic comic Kennel Block Blues.

image c. 2018 Archaia

Light the Lights, Baby

Disney Channel is bringing back a childhood memory for many, and perhaps creating new memories for a new generation. This March they will premier a new Muppet Babies TV series as part of their Disney Junior line-up. (If you didn’t know, back in the 1990’s the original Muppet Babies 2D animated series was so successful that it spawned a flood of imitators, including Disney Babies and Warner Brother Babies, no less.) Interestingly, this will be the first Muppet TV series animated in CGI. (Also interesting: Jenny Slate (Dawn Bellwether from Zootopia) is one of the voice actors.) According to Animation Scoop: “Based on the original Emmy Award-winning series, the all-new CG-animated Muppet Babies chronicles the hilarious playroom antics of the young Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin. The series will feature guest appearances by fan-favorite Muppets including: Statler and Waldorf, Bunsen and Beaker, Rowlf the Dog, Rizzo, and Dr. Teeth. Set in the vibrant playroom of an urban brownstone with an expansive backyard, the Muppet Babies have everything they need at their fingertips to lead them on their fantastical adventures.” The article has a lot more information, and a preview clip as well. Look for the new series to debut March 23rd.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel

It’s Time to Night the Nights

Back from Comic Con, with lots to talk about. So why not start off with something delightfully odd? This fall, the Muppets return in a new illustrated book, Muppets Meet The Classics: The Phantom Of The Opera. Seriously. “This classic tale of love, intrigue, and jealousy at the Paris Opera House, which has thrilled readers, musical lovers, and movie goers for more than a century, has now been reimagined with the cast of the Muppets. Readers will gasp, cry, laugh, and laugh again as Kermit (as Raoul), Miss Piggy (as Christine), Uncle Deadly (as the phantom), and the chickens (as the ballet corps) give a whole new meaning to the word classic.” You read it here. Gaston LeRoux’s famous work has been adapted for the Muppets by Erik Forrest Jackson, and it’s illustrated by Owen Richardson. Look for it in paperback this October.

image c. 2017 Penguin Workshop

You Remind Me Of The Babe

With the death of David Bowie earlier this year, lots of people have been remembering his 1986 turn as the Goblin King in Labyrinth. Now Boom! Studios have their own salute to that landmark film as they bring us Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special. “Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the beloved Jim Henson fantasy film with stories from inside the magical walls of the labyrinth. Featuring fan-favorite characters like Ludo, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, and a few surprises, this special celebration collects for the first time all of the Labyrinth Free Comic Book Day stories along with new tales from Eisner Award winner Jonathan Case (The New Deal), Gustavo Duarte (Bizarro), and more!” Entertainment Weekly did a special preview recently.

image c. 2016 Boom! Studios

image c. 2016 Boom! Studios