How lucky are we that we can go into any comic book store and actually purchase and read not one, but two Muppet comic books? Not lucky enough, because BOOM! Studios is bringing us a third comic in the form of Muppet Peter Pan.
Writer Grace Randolph was awesome enough to answer a few pressing questions about the comic for us. We’ll have at least one more Q&A with Grace after the comic’s debut, so stay tuned for more! Now let’s settle down and listen to Grace Randolph and her insight into the frog that never grew up.
ToughPigs: How did you get involved with BOOM! Studios?
Grace Randolph: Paul Morrissey was my editor on a few different projects over at Tokyopop, so when he took over BOOM! Studios?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ Disney line I asked if I could pitch a few ideas. Happily my Muppet Peter Pan pitch sparked his interest and Disney?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s, so it was off to the races!
TP: Where did the idea for Muppet Peter Pan come from? Was it your pitch, or did BOOM approach you with the idea?
GR: It was kind of a mix, really. Disney and BOOM! had decided that in addition to The Muppet Show comic book (awesome book!), they were going to publish a Muppet Storybook comic book as well. So I pitched three different storybooks ala Muppets and Peter Pan was everyone?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s favorite.
TP: Were you a Muppet fan before this project came about? Who are some of your favorite characters?
GR: Yes! I love the Muppets! I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢d watched The Muppet Show when I was a kid and I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ve seen all The Muppet movies ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢d say my favorite is A Muppet Christmas Carol. As for favorite characters, of course I love Kermit but I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ve always had a soft spot for Sam the Eagle. Also my sister loves Pepe the Prawn and Bean Bunny, so they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢re special to me too.
TP: In Muppet Peter Pan, what Muppets play which characters? Will there be any surprises for the fans?
GR: There sure will be some surprises ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú especially if I don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t ruin them here! So sorry, I can only divulge the casting of the main characters as they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢re already on the cover of the main book. Kermit plays Peter Pan, Miss Piggy plays Tinkerbell, Janice plays Wendy, Scooter plays John and Bean Bunny plays Michael. Also I believe the solicitation for the book mentioned that Gonzo plays Captain Hook.
TP: How are you changing the Peter Pan story to fit in with the Muppets’ sensibility?
GR: Actually, I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m trying to stick with the original Peter Pan story as closely as possible. As I said above, my favorite Muppet movie is A Muppet Christmas Carol and that was a very close adaptation of Charles Dickens?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ original story. So what I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m trying to do is simply put the Muppets in that world and, since the Muppets are naturally funny, voila! Muppet Peter Pan becomes a comedy but one which is still as touching and charming as James L. Barrie?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s classic story. Personally I believe those are the best stories, ones that work on many levels.
TP: What kind of research have you done to prepare for this comic?
GR: To be honest, I know the Muppets and the story of Peter Pan so well that I haven?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t had to do too much research. I did look into the origin of Peter Pan which isn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t often included in other adaptations, and I also have a Muppet Whatnot named Josh who was very helpful explaining the intricacies of Muppet culture that we non-Muppets aren?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t privy too. Having an inside man was a crucial part of my process.
TP: Have you seen any pages from Amy Mebberson yet?
GR: I have and oh boy is everyone in for a treat! I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m very lucky to have a great artist like Amy on the book because she?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s got great comedic timing. I put a lot of humor in the book, some of it subtle and visual, and to really sell the jokes the art has to be just perfect. Amy is also giving it that wonderful storybook feel we all love.
TP: Do you have a dream comic that you’d like to write featuring the Muppets?
GR: Um, I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m writing it. Hehe. But in all seriousness, it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s just an honor to write for the Muppets and get to play in that world. Hopefully there?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ll be more opportunities in the future.
TP: What is it about Bean Bunny (who has been mostly absent in recent years) that made you want to bring him back?
GR: It?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s very simple really. Bean Bunny got this role because of his work in The Muppets 3D ride at Disney?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ve been going to Disney World for years and every time I go, I stop by and watch this 3D movie. It?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s very funny and well done, especially considering I haven?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t gotten tired of it yet! And Bean Bunny is such a cute character here that I felt he was the perfect choice to play Michael. Plus, as I said, my sister likes him so I also included Bean Bunny as a nod to her.
TP: Has it been a challenge to have to mix two different franchises while staying loyal to them both?
GR: Yes, but it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s one of those challenges that when you get it just right, it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s very fulfilling. The great thing about the Muppets is that they?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢re so dynamic, and each character has so much personality, which means they don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t just live in another world but add to it. Therefore I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m happy to say that while you might be familiar with the Muppets and Peter Pan, this is a whole new story that feels fresh and exciting while still maintaining the qualities that made each property so beloved in the first place. At least that?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s the plan.
TP: Do you have a message you want to relay to the fans?
GR: The Muppets are in good hands!
Special thanks to Grace Randolph for taking the time to chat with us!
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