Patrick Storck

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 4 (November 2010)

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Storck wraps it all up, which is a little sad–a sequel does not seem to be in the offing.

He does tie it all together nicely here, though I’m not familiar enough with “The Musgrave Ritual” to know how close he sticks to it and the conclusion, from “The Final Problem,” is expectedly loose. Mebberson does a lovely job with this part of the story, with a great rendering of Reichenbach Falls.

This issue also wraps up the Kermit and Piggy arc, which seems to be in all the Boom! Muppet books, whether it’s primary or not. Storck’s been making Kermit’s LeStrade, especially this issue, a lot smarter than Gonzo’s Holmes, even though Gonzo manages to solve the cases.

For the most part, these themed Muppet titles have been outstanding and I probably have a new favorite with Sherlock Holmes.

Mebberson and Storck should be doing an ongoing series.

CREDITS

Musgrove Ritual?; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 3 (October 2010)

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I can’t decide if this issue is the strongest or if it’s just the one where Gonzo solves the case….

The opening titles establish the cast–Kermit and Piggy are now permanent additions (Piggy’s Irene Adler now impersonating Mrs. Hudson, which is a great way to keep her around)–and it certainly seems like Muppet Sherlock Holmes could have some legs. A sequel series or two would probably be just as good as this series, since they’re adapting from the Conan Doyle’s.

This issue adapts “The Red-Headed League,” which is a memorable title and I remember some of the story’s setup, but I have no idea if it’s all about a bank heist. Here it’s all about a bank heist. Holmes–sorry, Gonzo–stops it in an amusing way.

Mebberson’s art for this series is so sharp and so thoughtful. The third act, with the heist sequence, looks fantastic.

CREDITS

The Red-Headed League; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 2 (September 2010)

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The second issue is as nice as the first.

Storck doesn’t use “Muppet Show” standards (he did in the first issue for a great narrative device), but he does insert Kermit’s Inspector Lestrade–sorry, Inspector LeStrade–into the story. I don’t think Lestrade was in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” but he’s around here, a third wheel affixed to Holmes and Watson.

The plot pretty much follows the original with some Muppet flourishes. Storck and Mebberson come up with these great one or two panel gags–Gonzo, Fozzie and Kermit disguised as a post box, call box and bush having tea. But Storck also has more elaborate flourishes here–Miss Piggy plays Irene Adler and she has a dinner party the boys crash.

The dinner party antics are where Storck and Mebberson’s pacing skills really show. They’re able to fit a lot of events into a few pages.

It’s wonderful stuff.

CREDITS

A Scandal in Bohemia; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 1 (August 2010)

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Now here’s a lovely comic.

Mebberson’s art alone makes Muppet Sherlock Holmes worth picking up–oh, she does the colors too. I was just going to say how great the colors work in the book. Her renditions of the Muppet characters, particularly the expressions, really bring them to life. It’s not something I think about a lot with comics, but with the Muppets, for some reason I do.

But then there’s Storck and his whole approach to turning Gonzo into Sherlock and Fozzie into Watson. They aren’t traditionally paired and it works out as this wonderful dumb and dumber situation. Gonzo’s obnoxious behavior works perfect for the role.

This issue is an adaptation of “The Speckled Band.” Each issue is, presumably, going to be a different story. It’s a great approach and one I wasn’t expecting.

The story resolves the same, but Storck adds some very Muppet details.

A delightful read.

CREDITS

Writer, Patrick Storck; artist and colorist, Amy Mebberson; letterer, Joe Macasocol; editors, Christopher Burns and Jason Long; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Snow White 4 (July 2010)

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Now… this issue is an unmitigated disaster. Snider and Storck cut loose–free of the Snow White plot, shattering the fourth wall as the book entirely loses track of itself–and it’s bad. I don’t know if I’d come back for another Muppet book with the same writing team. It’s more a failure in editing, since some of the scenes are still amusing–most, however, are not.

The book’s terribly mean-spirited for what’s ostensibly a kids comic; it features most of the Muppet cast being eaten by monsters, Kermit and Miss Piggy apparently die… When I was a kid and saw Muppets Take Manhattan, I assumed it meant Kermit and Piggy were married now (I was six, leave me alone).

If I were six today and read Muppet Snow White, I’d assume they were dead.

Boom!’s had a fine track record with the Muppets until now.

Not anymore.

CREDITS

Writers, Jesse Blaze Snider and Patrick Storck; artist, Shelli Paroline; colorist, Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editors, Jason Long and Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Snow White 3 (June 2010)

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Remember when I said Snider and Storck were going to run into major pacing issues? They spend half this issue (or thereabouts) on a rock concert for the Electric Mayhem (who are the dwarves in Muppet Snow White) being threatened by one of the Queen’s assassins. Maybe both of them, I couldn’t keep track because there are all these forced attempts to break the fourth wall.

These Muppet adaptations of classic (read: public domain) works require thoughtful plotting finesse. Snow White clearly doesn’t have the material without some padding, but Snider and Storck wait until the end of this issue to make that padding both Muppet and content-related….

Piggy, the evil queen, decides she gets Kermit, the prince, and kidnaps him. This comes following a scene with her fighting with the Snow White stand in over whether she gets to eat the poison apple.

These are moves long overdue.

CREDITS

Writers, Jesse Blaze Snider and Patrick Storck; artist, Shelli Paroline; colorist, Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Snow White 2 (May 2010)

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I’ve decided Paroline’s art works well for Muppet Snow White. The book doesn’t require any suspension of disbelief–it’s hard to use that term when talking about a Muppet story–as the reader is constantly reminded it’s the Muppets doing a Snow White “performance,” as opposed to it just being Snow White told with a Muppet cast.

Paroline’s a fine, cartoony artist and it works perfectly in that context.

The issue has some funny moments–more smiles than laughs–as Snider and Storck seem to be targeting the younger audience while still leaving room for adults (the presumable Muppet fans) to appreciate.

The big problem is with the cast–the principal Muppets aren’t really important in Snow White (Kermit doesn’t even show up this issue). Instead, Snider and Storck are using the nineties Muppet creations, who are better as skit fodder than as lead cast.

It’s decent enough, but unremarkable.

CREDITS

Writers, Jesse Blaze Snider and Patrick Storck; artist, Shelli Paroline; colorist, Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Snow White 1 (April 2010)

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Snider and Storck take many four pages in the middle of this issue as an aside. Yes, they introduce Snow White and her prince, but it’s mostly just them having a lot of fun with the script. When the comic opens, it’s very much in the vein of the Muppet Treasure Island movie, down to Gonzo and Rizzo narrating it.

Actually, the aside has a lot to do with that narrative approach, because Rizzo doesn’t know the fairytale so he follows the Disney movie plot instead.

It’s a little soon to guess how the series is going to turn out because after just this one issue… it’s clear there are going to be some pacing problems. The writers probably could have gotten the entire story told in this one issue.

Paroline’s art is decent. It lacks any polish, which might eventually work for this series. Again, too soon to tell.

CREDITS

Writers, Jesse Blaze Snider and Patrick Storck; artist, Shelli Paroline; colorist, Braden Lamb; letterers, Deron Bennett and Troy Peteri; editors, Jason Long and Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet King Arthur 4 (March 2010)

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A happy ending for King Arthur? The writers even comment on it. It does work, of course–so well I didn’t even think of a happy ending being out of place until they mentioned it.

For this issue, Boom! upgraded the paper stock to something shiny. It holds the colors much better and gives Muppet King Arthur a lot of visual oomph. The art was excellent before, but here it’s shiny.

It’s amazing, with this great art, King Arthur was a book I thought I’d be complaining about (visually). What a difference an artist makes.

The story takes some fun turns–Kermit and Robin’s pun-off is a pleasant couple pages, but the discussion of it is even funnier (the unintentional puns winning out).

Benjamin and Storck take a lot of time wrapping things up, taking time to give characters exits. Makes for a very pleasing read.

Great Muppet series.

CREDITS

Writers, Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck; artist, James Silvani; colorist, Eric Cobain; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet King Arthur 3 (February 2010)

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And the need for an overall narrative–or at least plot progression–finally catches up. The comic even opens with it, as Kermit (as Arthur) complains to his knights about their lack of activity. They’ve just been sitting around since the last issue.

So off they go looking for the Holy Grail. Muppet King Arthur might be one of the loosest adaptations in the ‘Muppets in popular, public domain literature’ genre, but it’s not like King Arthur really has a good four issue story in it. Taking that difficulty into account, this series’s approach makes sense.

But it’s also funnier without all the Arthurian drama. For example, Mordred–Kermit’s nephew Robin–is against him for not being taken seriously. Similarly, Piggy’s Morgan Le Fey is Arthur’s romantic interest, which works well.

Lots of good jokes, some great full page gag sequences….

I just wish there wasn’t only one more issue.

CREDITS

Writers, Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck; artist, Dave Alvarez; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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