Thursday, March 10, 2011

Roger Langridge's Muppet Show in Limbo...

Above: A previously solicited cover of The Muppet Show #12, before it's publication was cancelled. Copyright Disney 2011.

Last month it was announced that Marvel would be taking over the publishing rights for Disney's Pixar comics, which had been previously published by Boom Studios. This included titles based on the popular Pixar movies Cars, Monster Inc, Toy Story among others. This move was not entirely unexpected, as Marvel is now a part of the Disney media empire, and it would make sense to consolidate it's licenced properties. But one unexpected inclusion in this deal is the publishing rights to Jim Henson's Muppets.

The Muppet Show Comic Book as written and illustrated by Roger Langridge, was undoubtedly the highlight of Boom's Disney comics line, earning much critical acclaim and a Harvey Award last year for 'Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers'. Roger was in the process of writing and illustrating his last story-line for the series, a four issue arc titled 'The Four Seasons', when Boom cancelled it's previously solicited Disney books. Marvel are planning to publish the Pixar material in a new monthly magazine, but as yet there are no details on the fate of Roger's completed story. So where does that leave the Muppet comics?

Roger posted this statement on his blog on Tuesday (along with some preview pages!):

To be honest, I have no idea. As far as I understand it, the unpublished work I've done for Boom isn't technically Disney's until it's published, and obviously Boom can't publish it without a license. 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. I'm only a cartoonist, real business stuff makes my brain hurt, so I'm not sure how that would work - I guess Disney/Marvel buys the rights from Boom or something. Or maybe they have to go out into the woods at midnight and bury Kermit in effigy with some chives in order to break the curse. Something like that. However it happens, I would very much like for it to see the light of day eventually.

Until that happy day, which I look forward to with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, I guess it can't hurt to share some of the pages here. This arc would have been called The Four Seasons, hence the seasonal theme - these few pages would have been from the Winter/Christmas issue. (Appropriate for pages that are in cold storage for now.)
Above: Preview pages from The Muppet Show: The Four Seasons by Roger Langridge. Copyright Disney 2011.

With a new Muppets movie currently in production, I expect we'll see this in print sooner rather than later. I'll keep an eye on any further developments, until then you can check out new pages from Roger's webcomic, Mugwhump the Great!


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