Welcome All- A Few Things to Know

Welcome All- A Few Things to Keep In Mind:

1. Hi all. I'm Storyteller Knight. You can find me on Fictionpress where I write novels about King Arthur, Superheroes and Vampires (but not at the same time) and at Pardon My Sarcasm where I rage about how the republicans are ruining all things.

2. Here is the Master List of books read, books owned and books needed to complete a series. Superscripts next to title links to reviews on this site. Or you can search using the lables.

3. I'm approaching this blog with the assumption that everyone reading already knows the ultimate spoiler of the King Arthur Legend: Everyone Dies. Those who read King Arthur books do so to see different interpretations of the characters and the stories. My goal here is to analyze the effectiveness of those interpretations. Thus, all my reviews will include spoilers.

4. This is not an Arthurian 101 blog. As I said above, I'm assuming that everyone reading already knows the legend and is looking for different interpretations of that legend. Therefore, I'm not going to take time to explain who the characters are and what roles they traditionally play. Links to Arthurian Encyclopedias at the bottom of the page.

5. These reviews are my opinions of the books. I may hate a book you love or I may love a book you hate. If you have a different opinion, write it up. I'd be more than happy to have some guest posts.

6. Please don't ask me (or any of the guest bloggers) to do your homework for you. As I said above, this is a blog dedicated at looking at these books from an Arthurian perspective. If you comment on posts asking us what the theme is or such, we're just going to screw with you.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Muppet King Arthur Chapter One Review

Title: Muppet King Arthur, Chapter One
Written By: Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck
Artist: Dave Alvarez
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Assistant Editor: Jason Long
Editor: Aaron Sparrow
Designer: Erika Terriquez
Cover: David Petersen
Publisher: Boom Kids!
Pages: 22
Synopsis: (from the publisher trade) A Tale of Chivalry, adventure, chickens, and magic!  The tale of King Arthur has been told many times over the centuries, but never before has it included robots, knock-knock jokes, and boomerang fish!  The Muppets bring you this beloved classic in their signature style, adding twists and turns to the quest for the Holy Grail that would make a sane driver pull over and ask for directions!  Will the Frog King save his beloved England from the curmudgeonly Sam of Eagle?  Will the Lady of the Lake get back on the festival circuit?  Will they find a carpenter capable of making a round table?  Find out in MUPPET KING ARTHUR!

I own the trade, but I'm going to review all four chapters of this book separately because I think it would be fun.  And I ditched the normal format because, um, Muppets.

Warning for Spoilers and General Silliness.

Kermit: It's the Muppet Show with our very special rendition of King Arthur!  YAAAAY!

It's time to play the music,
It's time to light the lights,
It's time meet the Muppets
On the Muppet Show Tonight!

It's time to put on makeup
It's time to dress up right
It's time to get things started
Why don't you get things started

 Kermit the Frog as King Arthur
Miss Piggy as Morgana Le Fay
Fozzie Bear as Sir Percival
Janice as the Lady of the Lake
Rowlf the Dog as Merlin the Magician, PHD (Prestidigitating Hound Dog)
Sam Eagle as Sir Sam of Eagle
Statler and Waldorf as Ye Olde People Who Heckle from the Balcony that's always there
Rizzo as The Owner of Rizzo's Plaques 
Sweetums as, um, Sweetums

It's time to get things started
On the most sensational, 
inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational
This is what we call the Muppet Show!

And so begins the tale of King Arthur as told by the Muppets.  Once we get some light into the place, we're introduced to the contest to remove the fabled sword Excalibur from the stone.  Complete with game show host and a crew of unruly contestants.  While Kermit!Arthur mopes in the corner because he's just a lowly page and can't do anything fun, Fozzie!Percival and Sir Sam of Eagle duel it out.  Complete with bad puns that Sir Sam of Eagle does not find amusing at all.

Waldorf: Now wait a minute.  Go back to the bit before.

To Kermit!Arthur sulking in a corner?

Statler: No, to the dark ages!  That's a comic book we could have read! ::guffaw guffaw::

During his duel with Fozzie!Percival, Sir Sam of Eagle blunts his sword and requires a new one.  No, he cannot just go get it sharpened.  Sir Sam of Eagle is a patriot!  He will not just fix something he already has when he can throw it away and buy a new one instead.  How dare you suggest otherwise!  But Kermit!Arthur has a problem with this as he is a member of the pages union and they don't condone the throwing away of perfectly good weapons.  But Sir Sam of Eagle is not impressed and demands to know the credentials of this pages union!

Fozzie: Wocka Wocka!

So Kermit!Arthur goes through the market to try and find a sword for Sir Sam of Eagle but has no luck.  He goes to the lake to sulk some more when the Lady of the Lake (but please, call her Janice) appears.  She tells Kermit!Arthur to go pull the the sword in the stone.  Kermit!Arthur protests.  Only a king can pull the sword from the stone and he's only a page.  But Janice is way cool with it, all.  She tells Kermit!Arthur that she put the sword in the stone and she can, like totally, decide who gets to pull it out.  I mean, the festival owners were all like 'we need people to buy more weapons' and Janice was like 'but it's about the rock, man.  It's not like Rock ever hurt anyone, except for scissors.  Poor scissors.  And, like--'

Waldorf: I think a few performers would disagree with that.

Statler: That's why they only let us have tomatoes now!  ::guffaw guffaw::

Janice insists that Kermit!Arthur could make a great king even if he's uncertain.  So Kermit!Arthur goes and pulls the sword from the stone and voila!  Kermit!Arthur is King!

But Sir Sam of Eagle is not impressed!  He demands a recount!  But in Kermit!Arthur's moment of triumph, Rowlf!Merlin appears to insist that only the true king could have drawn the sword from the stone.  But Sir Sam of Eagle refuses to back down.  He wants to select a king by voting!  But the free hand of the market has already made its decision, if the sales of Rizzo's Plaques' Arthur Memorabilia is anything to judge.  But Sir Sam of Eagle will not back down!  He has a dream for this great country of America Britain and he will not see its integrity, decency and culture besmirched by this would be frog king.  Rowlf!Merlin, Fozzie!Percival and Kermit!Arthur take their leave so Rowlf!Merlin can teach Kermit!Arthur how to play the piano.  They shall be entertainers until Kermit!Arthur can rally all to his cause.

Now we move on to Miss Piggy!Morgana who is busy spying on everyone with her magic mirrors.

She sees Kermit!Arthur in her mirror and immediately falls in love.  But she quickly grows bored with his training scenes with Rowlf!Merlin and decides to come back when something more interesting starts happening.  Kermit!Arthur goes on tour with Fozzie!Percival and Rowlf!Merlin to try and convince the common people that he is worthy to be king.

Meanwhile, at Eagle Rock, Sir Sam of Eagle has convinced Sweetums to duel with Kermit!Arthur to the death as all of his other plans have thus far been foiled (the police won't arrest him and even the blacksmiths support him ::gasp!)

Kermit!Arthur has moved on to a town hall in his continuing quest to prove to the common people that he's worthy of being king.  Statler and Walldorf remain unimpressed with his attempts.

Waldorf: That's right.  You need to present something of a higher class to impress us.

Statler: One would hope it's so high that we aren't able to see it! ::guffaw guffaw::

But then Sweetums comes down and challenges Kermit!Arthur to a fight.  And Sir Sam of Eagle has paid off spectators to heckle him with bread, milk, cheese, armor polish taunts of his bravery!  But Kermit!Arthur is undeterred and bravely accepts Sweetum's challenge, which startles the knight and causes Rowlf!Merlin to facepalm.  They do battle!  And Kermit!Arthur begins to believe in himself and his kingship, awakening the power of Excalibur!  It snaps Sweetum's sword in half and Sweetum's drops to his knees and swears fealty to Kermit!Arthur offers to beat up on Sir Sam of Eagle.  Kermit!Arthur leads the charge out of the town hall after Sir Sam of Eagle only to find that he is waiting with an army outside.  Sir Sam of Eagle demands Kermit!Arthur surrender the sword but at that moment Miss Piggy!Morgana bursts in through a cloud of magicks and vows to defend Kermit!Arthur with her power.  Sir Sam of Eagle's army is wavering, but Kermit!Arthur decides he doesn't want to fight.  He is a leader and if Sir Sam of Eagle won't follow, he'll just  find some other way to win his kingdom.  

Miss Piggy!Morgana suggests that Kermit!Arthur gather together the greatest knights in the realm to create an army that's impossible to defeat (no one wants to fight their favorite celebrity after all).  With this plan in mind, Kermit!Arthur and his companions walk off into the horizon.

Waldorf: Hurray!  It's over!

Statler: Finally!

Well, not quite ::gets pelted with tomatoes:: Ow!  Hey, was that a rock!

Waldorf: Maybe you'll find a sword in it!

Statler: Then you could become ruler of some foreign blog where we won't have to read you! ::guffaw guffaw::

I'm not going to star these because with the Muppets involved I have no sense of scale.  All I know was that this book was wonderful.  I especially like the casting decisions as they have been played out so far.  I especially like the decision to cast Fozzie Bear as Percival.  But Miss Piggy as Morgana Le Fay was great too.  The characters weren't only in character as the Muppets but also played to the strengths of the characters they were playing in the legend.

The only thing I'm not completely sold on was the art.  The Muppets looked like animated characters in this when they're supposed to look like Muppets.  And Kermit looked constantly sulky and putout which just isn't the way Kermit is.  But James Silvani is the artist on the remaining three issues (who I love from the Darkwing Duck Comics) and if his tumblr is any indication, he totally gets how to draw the Muppets so they look like Muppets.  

I'm super psyched for the next chapter where we'll get to see Gonzo!Lancelot, Camilla!Guinevere and (and this is so awesome) Animal!Gawain.

Waldorf: You mean we've got another one of these to get through?

You've got three.

Statler: Get a bomb gag up here to put us out of our misery!  ::guffaw guffaw::

Disclaimer- I do not own the Muppets, especially not Waldorf and Statler.  Their heckling bits were only included because it seemed like the thing to do in a Muppet review.  Especially since I absolutely adored this book.  I make no money off this blog.  

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