Issue #2 of Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring dropped today, and I decided to catch up. A mysterious drought drives our main cast to search for the source of all water in Fraggle Rock. I love comics, I love Kate Leth, I love Henson, I should love this, right?
I like it, don’t get me wrong. But it’s just not as compelling as other kids’ fare I’ve run across lately. It didn’t catch me the same way that, for example, Lumberjanes did. The story is cute and I genuinely want to know what happens next, but it feels immature and under-developed in a way that a lot of other all-ages comics don’t. And I think that’s in part due to the songs.
In the Fraggle Rock TV show, it was often the musical numbers that held everything together. The songs in the comic are are well-written. They’re paced appropriately, appearing in the same kinds of places they’d hit in an episode, complete with sound effects and monsters as background singers. But I read through them, thinking “That’s some good meter and some fraggle-like lyrics. Wish my brain would process this s as an actual song.” I just don’t get much out of them.
This is probably mostly my fault. I’ve only seen most episodes of Fraggle Rock once or twice, and I haven’t watched the show in years (in contrast to the Muppet show, which I am always watching, forever, whenever I close my eyes). The few times I could kind of half-remember the specific tune and connect it to the printed lyrics, the bit was much more effective.
This series feels like it would work better as a TV show, or a motion comic, or a…whatever Homestuck is. I want to be able to hit a button and hear the song as I look at the art. Instead I’m stuck reading some weird Fraggle-themed Beat poetry.
I’m probably going to keep reading this, because I’m kind of invested in mystery of the source of all water in Fraggle Rock. This comic is probably perfect for the Fraggle truefan who knows all the stock melodies and It would be great for any parent looking to introduce their kid to Fraggle Rock. But for me, I felt like I showed up to class missing some vital homework.
And hey, Youtube? You’re going to make a fortune doing covers of the songs in this comic so people can actually hear them. Don’t let me down on this.