Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Muppet Sherlock Holmes

Anybody else see this book that was published in February 2011? It's a comic book/graphic novel starring Gonzo and Fozzie as Holmes and Watson. (If you ask why they didn't use Sherlock Hemlock instead, that's because the Sesame Street characters are now separately owned by Sesame Workshop.) I just found it on Alibris and ordered it recently. It apparently also came out as 4 separate magazines, but the book I got put all 4 issues together.

Since it's the Muppets, it's not a serious pastiche, but a broad and zany parody. There's plenty of puns, as well as an occasional song thrown in. There are also sly references to Batman, House, Basil of Baker Street, and James Bond. The artwork, by Amy Mebberson, is especially reminiscent of the Guy Ritchie films, using the same sepia tones on the title pages. Gonzo, aka Sherlock, also seems to be based on Downey's version; he's all hopped up on 12 cups of coffee in the first scene. He also calls his deduction method "look-a-fication."

Kermit plays Inspector Lestrade, who joins them on all cases and seemingly moves into Baker Street with them, when Mrs. Hudson is introduced. (She makes them all clean the house.) Other Muppet characters appear such as Janice of the Electric Mayhem, Rowlf, Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker, Uncle Deadly, Pepe the King Prawn, Scooter, and Sam the Eagle.

Four chapters adapt cases from the canon: The Speckled Band, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, and Musgrove Ritual. (Also Final Problem is there because to my disappointment, there's a thread of Moriarty throughout the book.) Mycroft also appears at the Diogenes Club. The cases are changed so that no one dies, only gets ill or goes missing. Also the scandal in Bohemia seems to be that Irene Adler took photos of Duke Ornstein gambling at lawn darts and other dangerous games where people, er, muppets were injured. There's also explosions from a set of land mines in Musgrove Ritual.

Miss Piggy plays a number of different roles, as apparently she is a "master of disguise" although only Gonzo fails to recognize her. He loves her as Irene Adler, but Miss Piggy as always only has eyes for Kermit. It was amusing enough, but unfortunately they made Irene Adler a serial blackmailer and in cahoots with Moriarty yet again. When will this trope die? (By serial blackmailer, I mean she did it for a living, like Milverton, and didn't do it just the once for personal reasons, i.e. revenge on the King after their affair.)

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