Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: The Rough Side of the Rock (#2) – Jay Fosgitt

3 out of 5

I come to this as a Jay Fosgitt fan, not so much a follower of Fraggle.  As such, my memories of Fraggle habits are lacking, and though I can pick up, from context, when we’re supposed to chuckle at personality idiosyncrasies, there’s no “oh, that Fraggle” fueling my reading.  I’ve also poked and prodded at the various Archaia mini-series along the lines of this one, so I knew not to expect much beyond a one-shot adventure.  And that expectation was certainly met: the Fraggles, in preparation for an annual fest, ward off some bullies via the power of innocence and friendliness.  We know the Henson world was rarely over-the-top cloying, so while that description is all sunshine, it plays out with plenty of amusing hijinks and yuks, and Fosgitt’s comic book timing once again shines.  His expressive characterizations and bold lettering style are a perfect fit for the Fraggle / Henson tone, with Joana Lafuente offering a bright, well-separated color palette to match.  Whether it’s a shift in Jay’s style or working more to the Fraggle look, his work – vs. Bodie Troll – is occasionally simplified here, with straight-forward paneling and some backgrounds dropped for pop colors; the story also has to jump between more characters than Bodie-led adventures, and thus feels a bit erratic, but it’s still a worthy holdover for a Fosgitt fan like m’self, and as mentioned, I can’t fault the book for being exactly what I’d figured it’d be.

Note: This was also released as a standalone hardcover.  It’s exactly the same thing, but with a title page and end pages.  The HC is obviously nicer than the floppy edition, and if you don’t mind spending extra cash, the border that the red covers indirectly give the pages end up sort of balancing out the interior colors nicely.