Various writers and artists contributed to the collected tales: Heidi Arnhold, Nichol Ashworth, Tim Beedle, Jason M. Burns, Ross Capbell, Lindsay Cibos, Katie Cook, Joanna Estep, Jake T Forbes, Chandra Free, Cory Godbey, Lizzy John, Joe LeFavi, Chris Lie, Paul Morrissey, Grace Randolph, Mark Simmons and Katie Strickland.
“Dance your cares away/worry’s for another day/Let the music play/Down at Fragle Rock…“
To say it’s been a while since I threw myself into the world of the Fraggles and Doozers would be a massive understatement. I still remember sitting in my living room with anticipation of each new episode when the show first aired, back in 1983. Wow. Nearly 30 years. With a new generation of fans being introduced to the underground world of the Fraggles, via recent syndication on some cable channels, such as The Hub, how does this collection — the second from Archaia 00 hold up to those fond memories of my youth? I’m not going to tell you that. You must read on and do some exploring of your own…
The collected edition features several short stories by different creative teams, each spotlighting different members of the Fraggle family, including Uncle Travelling Matt, a favorite of mine from the television show.
The writing and artwork are great at capturing the look and feel of the show. At times this felt more like adaptions of classic episodes than new advenures, and I mean that as a high compliment. It was easy to put myself back in the shoes of the wide-eyed me at age 11, when I first discovered the new world that Jim Henson, a personal hero of mine, brought to life.
While all the stories are good, my favorite is the Uncle Travelling Matt adventure, “Shopping With Silly Creatures” written by Katie Strickland and illustrated by Lindsay Cibos. In this particular story, we see through Matt’s eyes “ how the silly creatures get their clothes.” We, of course, know that Matt is in a public laundrymat, from the illustrations. But we hear a Fraggle’s explaination of the large open pits that they discard their unwanted clothes into (washing machines): “From the sound of it, there are strange beasts living in these pits that eat the Silly Creatures’ old socks and sweaters,” explains Matt in a postcard to his nephew, Gobo.
Also included in this collected edition is a cover gallery, activity pages and sketchbook section. Not the kind of things that I would’ve expected in a “childrens book,” but then again, this book, or rather these stories, seems to have been made for those who grew up watching those littel Doozers build things for the Fraggles. I recommend this to those old fans and to their children, as well. I mean, what better thing to pass down to the next genreation than something created by Jim Henson..?
When Steven A. Wilcox isn’t contributing to Comics Bulletin, he is a full-time student and father of four. He also is an independant comic book artist who enjoys talking and typing about himself in the third person.