After three issues spotlighting Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo the... uh, what is Gonzo again? Anyway, Roger Langridge turns his attention in this issue to the natural fit for this group of four, Miss Piggy. Having each issue of this series revolve around these four characters has been a great way to structure it and to give each issue a singular focus to base that episode of “The Muppet Show” around.
Miss Piggy shares the spotlight with Madame Rhonda, the guest star for this issue’s episode, and she has the whole backstage buzzing with talk of psychic readings, astrology, and other new age concepts. When Miss Piggy has her palm read, she mistakenly assumes that Madame Rhonda’s reading suggests that, soon, she will lose Kermit, and reacts in her typical over-the-top fashion.
Langridge wisely doesn’t just have Miss Piggy go on a tear, wrecking everything in her path, he also shows her reacting with genuine sadness at the thought of losing Kermit. Those small moments provide a lot of depth to the character and also demonstrates that Langridge isn’t falling into easy depictions of these characters. While Miss Piggy is known for her angry rampages, that’s only one facet of her character and Langridge makes sure we know that.
Interspersed throughout the issue are the usual skits, some of which are funnier than others. The “Pigs in Space” sketch has the crew in an area of space where they can read one another’s minds and Langridge has a lot of fun with that. He also brings the funny from time to time, although this issue relies a bit too much on puns, which is keeping in the “Muppet Show” style, but tend to induce more groans than chuckles.
Much has been said about Langridge’s wonderful, fantastic, magnificent art in this series and this issue is no exception. That he manages to bring these characters to life so thoroughly on the page is nothing short of wondrous. So much of the energy and appeal of the Muppets lies in their being puppets and that jerky sort of movement they have that’s so full of life. Despite not being able to capture that, he nonetheless imbues these characters with life and energy, and takes advantage of things he can do with comics that puppets cannot, like have differing facial expressions at times.
Not only that, but his art is just gorgeous in places. The opening spread that acts as the opening to the show is intricate and so full of characters. Or, his comedic timing in spots, using different panels to make jokes very funny. Hopefully, “The Muppet Show” will introduce a lot of new readers to his work.
With this issue spotlighting Miss Piggy and a psychic, Roger Langridge ends his “Muppet Show” series strongly, maintaining a high quality throughout the four issues. One can only hope there will be a sequel sometime down the road, because this cartoonist and these characters were made for each other.