Friday, May 11, 2018

Review - Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 (@Archaia)


"Mokey not wanting to paint? She was acting strange indeed."

Down in Fraggle Rock always seemed like a pretty hopping place to be. The Fraggles are no strangers to wild parties and being, well, fraggly. Sometimes though the Fraggles have to deal with other emotions like Mokey in Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 from Archaia. The issue is written/illustrated by Jared Cullum and lettered by Mike Fiorentino.

The Fraggles are back in an all new stand alone adventure illustrated in beautiful watercolor and presented in a format perfect for longtime fans to share with the next generation.

The central premise behind Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 is that Mokey loses the inspiration to be an artist which is something that Cullum relays elegantly to the reader. The entire issue is essentially Mokey's quest to get that creative groove back and Cullum's script succeeds in that regard. Since Fraggle Rock is involved this is very much an all-ages book and Cullum does a wonderful job of making it accessible as such. The moral of the story is very warming as well, with Cullum emphasizing the need to sometimes take a step back from a project to see it holistically. And there's plenty of Fraggle love throughout the issue as well--Cullum doesn't lose sight of the sheer generosity and goodness that the Fraggles are renowned for.

Cullum also handles the artistic duties and the watercolor approach is gorgeous. The issue could easily have been drawn in a more cartoonish way that could be considered a better fit for the property, but Cullum's use of watercolors infuses it with a greater sense of purpose. It's not to say that Mokey is necessarily a watercolor artist, but the reader gets the sense that Mokey is going through a creative block because the artwork is so inspiring. In many ways, Cullum's use of watercolors is--quite literally--painting a picture of a bored artist. And the pale tones of the watercolors reinforce the sense of a morose artist.

Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 is a really fun and warming book that has a great moral at its center. Mokey is a Fraggle struggling to find the artistic spark once again and fortunately the entirety of Fraggle Rock is trying to help. Cullum's script is very engaging and straightforward, effortlessly getting Mokey from one state to another. The artwork is very elegant and adds a bit of sophistication to an artist's quest to find their muse again. Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 is a great all-ages book that is going to appeal more to younger audiences, but there's a certain maturity to it that older readers will also appreciate.

Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock #1 is available now.

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