Of all of Jim Henson’s myriad creations, I always felt that Fraggle Rock was the one that didn’t seem to be on most people’s radar. Ask any geek or child of the 80’s about The Dark Crystal or Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and you usually get a knowing nod of the head and a smile.
But mention Fraggle Rock and most times you just get a confused, blank expression. And that is a shame, because Fraggle Rock always was about a lot more than just Muppet fun. It always provided positive messages to its young audience about prejudice, tolerance and dealing with conflict.
Thankfully, Archaia is bringing the Fraggles back to the forefront of popular consciousness with their incredible Fraggle Rock comics. Fraggle Rock: Tails and Tales is the second collection of the anthology style series and include everything you remember about the Fraggles and their world. The “Fraggle Five” are there, as well as Uncle Traveling Matt, The Doozers and Marjory the Trash Heap. Done by a who’s who of talent, the stories all evoke that distinct Fraggle feeling and will no doubt put a smile on your face.
It’s impossible to touch on every story, but a couple highlights include Brave Sir Wembley by Joe LeFavi and Cory Godbey, in which Wembley and Boober (my favorite Fraggle) have to go retrieve Uncle Traveling Matt’s latest postcard and get more than they bargained for. Another outstanding story is The Meaning of Life, also by Joe LeFavi with art by Heidi Arnhold. Here we see the gang go off to explore a Fraggle legend and come back a bit wiser than when they left.
Fraggle Rock Vol. 2 is also a beautiful book just to look at. Archaia really does a great job in term of presentation with their graphic novels. The book itself is well made, includes a dust jacket with a cover by Mouse Guard creator David Petersen and the back includes a sketchbook section, coloring and activity pages.
Fraggle Rock Vol. 2: Tails and Tales is a joy to read and to share. It is the kind of book that is perfect for anyone who loves Jim Henson and his work, regardless of their age. It is a book you can read to your kids at night and then read yourself if you had a bad day and want to feel better. It encourages you to live by the immortal words:
Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Want to win a copy? Leave a comment about your favorite Fraggle, and we’ll choose one of you at random next week.