Review: Fraggle Rock #1

Fraggle Rock #1

Written by Heather White, Katie Cook, and Jeffrey Brown

Drawn by Jeff Stokely, Katie Cook, and Jeffrey Brown 

Colors by Lizzy John, Katie Cook, and Michael DiMotta

Lettered by Dave Lanphear

$3.95 / 32 Pages / Color / 8" x 8"

Archaia Entertainment LLC


We think about what a 2010 John Lennon record would sound like. We think about what a 1994 John Lennon record would sound like. Would it be any good? More of the same or something we can't understand from this foothold. Guy was murdered in one of his primes, so it's impossible to say whether his new ventures and artistic output would be considered relevant or grounbreaking or even enjoyable in some version of today where he was still walking around New York, tossing up peace signs, showing up for hush-hush jam sessions with the Arcade Fire or the Roots. What could he have done, what would he be up to?

I ask the same question about Jim Henson, a puppeteer turned fantacist who only isn't here stitching together new daydreams because he ignored the symptoms of a flu. It's tragic, but more than anything, it's frustrating. So much of my own childhood was shaped by people like Henson, and selfishly, I wish he'd just gone to see a damned doctor to get things sorted out so that he could still be doing things with storytelling and felt and googly eyes and David Bowie and cardboard. He's the one who died, but it still feels like a kind of theft. All that potential energy just scattered out into the ionosphere. That said, he left a pretty rock-solid legacy and we have things like Avenue Q and a handful of upcoming Muppet projects to look forward to. Fozzy and Grover are immortal. C is for Cookie unto the alpha and the omega. And for children of the 80s like me, that goofy granola ragamuffin rhapsody that was Fraggle Rock is still tucked away to revel in the underground, nestled there under the pavement of our day-to-day. Fraggles. Doozers. Sentient trash heaps. They're like pop culture cockroaches, maybe because they're so wonderfully bizarre that it's impossible to just file them away, compartmentalized with other things. You can't ignore something like a Fraggle or a Popple because they have their own filing cabinet unto themselves. Everything I've ever known or cared about with regard to fashion has come from Boober. Dude taught me how to be a worry wart on a cosmic level. Gobo is still, in a way, the fuchsia-haired spirit of adventure. 

And that lives and lives and lives. 

I was extremely excited to hear that Archaia would be introducing a new line of Fraggle Rock comics, and that the profile was so high. For one, my generation craves this stuff. It's one of our treasures. We keep a lot of them, but this one is just so entirely special. If I can nutshell it, I pose and pitch it this way: The Fraggles are tiny creatures who can only view the waking world as absolutely huge. The world beyond their subterranean village is simply known as outer space. To them, the world of humans, even the most mundane levels of our existence, is extraterrestrial. It was the perfect metaphor for being a kid and learning about the outside world. Learning the fullness of it. The mechanics. Everything was about discovery. Adventure through the lens of exploration and understanding. It's a craving that we tend to lose as we grow increasingly weary, no longer awed by strangers and strange new things, but overwhelmed by it all. One of the reasons I get that glimmer of excitement and hope in my eye when I hear that word "Fraggle" is because I suppose I long for those days when new didn't mean daunting. It meant adventure. For me, this new comic is about thinking fondly on that time and that spirit. But more importantly, this is a great book for kids who've maybe never heard of Fraggles or Doozers or Gorgs outside of an inside joke passed between a parent and their friends. 

That's the important thing to remember about this new Fraggle Rock book. It's all-ages, geared at young adventurers and not necessarily an Orc Stain level D&D sourcebook for your next shroomtastic voyage. There's no escaping the fact that Fraggle Rock is so out there, even just conceptually, that upon finishing it you might wonder if you've just woken up from that one long catnap in your dorm. There's been time between now and the last time you thought you saw a live clown fish in Tyler's lava lamp. So, yeah, it's weird. But this isn't Cool World. This isn't Cracked. This isn't the egg sizzling in the skillet. 

So, how do you approach this? Well, first off, if you have a kid in your charge, this goes directly into their hands. All three of the stories herein are perfect for a little kid. Don't ask me what age, because I genuinely cannot tell the difference. At family gatherings I'll even ask what appear to be babies if they want in on the bouncy castle because I don't want to offend them by neglecting to invite them. "Can this one talk?" I'll ask the person holding them. "Can they bend their legs yet? Do they know who Darth Vader is? Is their skull formed or is that still a thing?" And they'll inevitably end up telling me they're 11. Because I seriously can't tell the difference. Anyways, kids will dig this. The scripts are fairly elementary with simple, coherent narratives. And even at 25 and a college graduate, sometimes that's still something I crave. Because, sadly, it's often hard to ask for even that. It's light and it's breezy is what I'm saying. Is good. Is just simple. Maybe a little less sophisticated than Boom's Muppet Show book which seriously has something for everybody. 

Now, where my art hounds at? If you love that glorious, colorful cover up top, there's more of that inside. Jeff Stokely's opener in here is so vibrant and crisp. More of that, please. And then Katie Cook delivers this brilliant Andy Capp lookin' take on Boober with a huge honkin' nose. Then Jeffrey Brown brings on the cartooning with a very organic looking short. It's wonderful to see his pencils fully colored. Oh, and Cook did this cool "Draw your own Doozer" page in the back where kids can try their hand at cartooning. Hopefully there'll be even more activity pages in future issues. 

What we're looking at is a perfect new addition to the torrent of terrific all-ages books out there on the market. I love that the books is getting such a big promotional push and that such talented indie artists are lending their pencils and brushes to the series. Indie used to mean underground and grit and hide-it-under-the-mattress levels of lewdness. But these days it just means great storytelling. For every bracket. For every demo. From high brow to low, cerebral to educational. People who dig superheroics deserve to read comics. People who dig philosophy deserve to read comics. People who dig great art and great insight and great discourse deserve to read comics. And so do kids. It's never not been absolutely crucial that there be a comic accessible to every potential reader out there. So big ups to the very talented writers and artists who are making this happen. 

Grab a copy to remember. Or grab a copy to introduce your niece to an old franchise still worth celebrating. Excited to see where this goes, whether it means geopolitical commentary with Fraggle and Doozer relations or just more adventure. 


Paul Montgomery still checks footballs for popple appendages, just to be safe.  You can reach him at


  1. Couldn’t agree more, my mom asked me to pick up a copy for her. I think she’s planning on bringing them into school for kids to read.

  2. Great article! Fantastic writing. I recently revisted the fraggles on netflix watch instantly!

  3. Very excited for this!

  4. The art in this is phenomenal. I have been scooping up any images of it I can find online since the announcement.

    I cannot wait to pick this book up. Thanks for shining the spotlight on this, Paul. 

  5. Fraggle Rock marked my earliest awareness of the unfair nature of capitalism and my burgeoning prediliction toward class warfare. Jim Henson is doing a new show, but it’s only going to be on paid cable? This will not stand! It’s like getting mugged by Big Bird while Miss Piggy and Ernie videotape it and laugh! I felt betrayed by one of my oldest friends. Years later, after Jim Henson’d death, I finally caught an episode on my uncle’s Betamax and I quietly forgave the transgression. But never quite forgot.

  6. Great review Paul. Now we need Boom! and Archaia to team up to do the fabled Muppets/Fraggle Rock crossover. Like that Christmas special I still watch to this day.

    Speaking of Boom!, how on earth did they not get the rights to use this? 

  7. The Muppets are owned by Disney and Fraggle Rock is owned by the Jim Henson company. That’s why it didn’t fall under the Boom contract.