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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

The Monsters of Rock?

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s the late Jim Henson and his associate Jerry Juhl wrote many interesting screenplays for development as projects for The Muppets, and many of them were never produced. Among the latter was a story called The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, which went like this: “Turkey Hollow is a picturesque town where hundreds of years ago, unbeknownst to the citizens, a meteorite landed nearby a small brook on the outskirts of town. One Thanksgiving, while young Timmy Henderson practices his guitar, he’s accompanied by strange, unearthly, musical sounds. That meteorite wasn’t a rock at all but an egg holding seven furry, goofy monsters, each with a unique musical sound. After the initial shock, Timmy befriends the lovable creatures following him all around Turkey Hollow. Not everyone takes a liking to the visitors though and it’s up to Timmy to protect his new friends and save Thanksgiving!” Now Archaia Comics have partnered once again with illustrator Roger Langridge (Snarked, The Muppet Show) to bring these Musical Monsters to life in a brand new full-color graphic novel coming in hardcover this October. What’s more, according to an article in USA Today, Lisa Henson (Jim’s daughter and CEO of Henson Company) has confirmed that the original script is being developed into a holiday TV special — possibly for release as early as this Thanksgiving!

image c. 2014 Archaia Comics

image c. 2014 Archaia Comics

You Remind Me of the Babe

Next month Archaia Press is re-releasing the novelization of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, the 1986 fantasy feature (with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly) which was later adapted as a novel by A.C.H. Smith — and illustrated by well-known fantasy artist Brian Froud, who of course also designed the movie and many of its characters. This new hardcover edition features a brand new collection of Froud’s goblin artwork and sketches for the film, recently uncovered, as well as notes and sketches by Jim Henson himself. USA Today has the story on this and other Jim Henson-inspired projects currently in the works at Archaia.

image c. The Jim Henson Company and Archaia Press

image c. The Jim Henson Company and Archaia Press

Who’s That Fuzzy Person?

Just in time for the new Disney Muppets film Muppets Most Wanted (hitting theaters this March) comes a new tie-in book, The Muppets Character Encyclopedia. According to the Muppet Wikia, this 200-page hardcover book features entries on more than 150 Muppet characters and more than 600 full-color photographs. “The most sensational, inspirational, muppetational character encyclopedia ever! You can play the music, light the lights, and meet all your favourite characters from the Muppets in The Muppets Character Encyclopedia. From Animal to Zoot, meet over 150 of the most memorable and best-loved Muppet characters from the 1970s to the present day. It is packed with facts about Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef, and all their wild and wacky buddies. Featuring full-colour images of each Muppets character with annotations. Fact files provide info on each character (and some little known facts), including their role in the Muppets pantheon and details of their first appearance.” It’s available now on Amazon from Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.

image c. 2014 Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd

It’s Time to Light the Lights

Since 2009, artist and writer Roger Langridge has been playing in Jim Henson’s world by creating various comic book series featuring the Muppets for Boom! Studios. Titles like The Muppets, The Muppet Show, and The Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson. Now, over at Marvel Comics, they’ve announced that all of these titles have been brought together to be released in march in a new hardcover collection, The Muppets Omnibus.  The Comic Book Resources page has a more complete preview of this full-color collection, coming next year on the Disney Comics imprint.

image c. 2013 Disney Comics

Sweeping the Clouds Away

Oddly enough for an international institution like Sesame Street, it has never had its own comic book — Until Now! Ape Entertainment’s Kizoic imprint presents the first regular Sesame Street full-color comic, written by Jason M. Burns and illustrated by Amy Mebberson. The first issue hits stores this April, and features one of five full-color covers that interlock into an ultra-wide poster.  “From television to the comic panel, Ape Entertainment will portray the characters that millions of parents and children have come to know and love in a comic series that will be produced in full color and available in stores this fall in standard comic sized printed editions for $3.99 and digest sized hardcover comic book editions for $7.99. They will also be available as a digital comic book that will be available through Apple’s App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.”

image c. 2013 Ape Entertainment

Here Come the Muppets Again

Walt Disney Pictures have announced several upcoming feature films, and among them is the sequel to the successful 2011 re-launch of The Muppets. Currently titled The Muppets… Again, the new film is scheduled for release in March of 2014. According to The Muppet Wiki, “The film is planned to be a ‘comedy caper’ set in Europe.  Ricky Gervais will star as ‘a male lead whose intentions are always in question’ along with Ty Burrell as an Interpol inspector, Tina Fey as a ‘Russian femme fatale,’ and a ‘slew of cameos'”. [Oh like they ever have that in a Muppet movie!] The sequel will be again directed by James Bobin, and scripted by Nick Stoller, who co-wrote the 2011 film with star Jason Segel.

image c. 2013 Walt Disney Pictures

Jim Henson’s Work… in Comics

In case you missed it, Archaia Entertainment have collected several of their comic book titles based on the work of Muppets creator Jim Henson into a series of hardcover full-color graphic novels. First up is Jim Hensons Dark Crystal, Creation Myths. From the pre-release publicity, this is  “an original graphic novel hardcover set one thousand years before the crystal cracked, before the world of Thra fell to strife and destruction. Original Dark Crystal movie concept designer Brian Froud will plot, provide the cover, design characters, and art direct.” The stories are by Brian Holguin, and the interior art is by Alex Sheikman and Lizzy John. Archaia have also collected Jim Henson’s The Storyteller in a hardcover volume, with stories written by Katie Cook and illustrations by a bevy of well-known artists. Up next is an original graphic novel based on Jim Henson’s film Labyrinth, which Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy speaks about on their web site.

image c. 2012 Archaia Entertainment

More Stories from The Storyteller

The Storyteller was a popular fantasy TV series in the late 1980’s, created by Jim Henson and the Muppet Creature Shop. It featured John Hurt in the role of the Storyteller, simultaneously telling fantastic tales to his muppet dog (voiced by Brian Henson) and we the audience. Now, Archaia Entertainment brings us a brand-new Storyteller graphic novel in hardcover. It features new stories and artwork from numerous talented folk. Here’s a write-up from Comics Beat: “The Storyteller anthology will be edited by Nate Cosby, formerly of Marvel, with contributions by Roger Langridge, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover, Francesco Francavilla, Brian Clevinger, Tom Fowler, Marjorie Liu, Evan Shaner, Jennifer Meyer, Katie Cook, Chris Eliopoulos, Ron Marz, Jim McCann and Janet Lee — and an unpublished story by the late Anthony Minghella [who helped the late Jim Henson create the original series].” Look for it in September.

image c. 2011 Archaia Entertainment