Shelli Paroline

Adventure Time 1 (February 2012)

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It’s impossible to explain Adventure Time‘s joyous insanity. The comic’s licensed–presumably the cartoon also owes a lot to “SpongeBob SquarePants” in terms of the lunacy–but the issue never feels derivative. It’s just nutty fun.

It opens with an introduction to the characters, which isn’t particularly important (yet), and moves quickly into the first bit of craziness. Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb’s art is full of little details, complimented with writer Ryan North’s occasional footnotes talking to the reader about the page’s events.

The two protagonists are purposefully infantile, but good natured and enthusiastic–it’s impossible not to enjoy their bantering. Some of North’s footnotes about them reveal Time‘s actual audience is not kids (though it’s from Boom!’s kid label, Kaboom!) because kids wouldn’t care about his jokes.

My only complaint is it’s too short.

Then Aaron Renier has a great, if completely gross, back-up story.

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.

The Muppet Show 0 (November 2009)

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I’m not sure why Boom! did a zero issue of The Muppet Show. Maybe to show off a different artist could illustrate Langridge’s scripts to good effect?

Paroline does a good job faking Langridge’s style, so much I didn’t even realize it wasn’t him until the second or third page. I just assumed he was being lazy because it was a zero issue.

As it turns out, he’s not being lazy. While the issue is a story within a story–Fozzie and Rizzo are trying to pitch a Pigs in Space movie and we get their disastrous pitch and the movie summarized–there’s a lot of the Muppet Show regulars. In fact, I think everyone shows up for a moment, except Rowlf and Scooter.

So, after thinking it was a strange thing to put forth as a zero issue, it turns out it’s a good sample of Langridge’s take on the Muppets.

CREDITS

Pigs In Space! The Movie; writer, Roger Langridge; artist and letterer, Shelli Paroline; colorist, Digikore Studios; editor, Aaron Sparrow; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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