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The Muppets Character Encyclopedia coming Feb. 7 2014

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by minor muppetz, Oct 2, 2013.

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  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I just read that there will be a Muppet Character Encyclopedia coming out February 7, 2014. Although Muppet Wiki is likely a better encyclopedia, I am very excited about this. It will be released by DK, which has released many great visual guide books for many properties, including Disney and Looney Tunes (I have those two, and they are awesome), as well as Star Wars and many superheroes (I wouldn't be surprised if they have also put out a Star Trek guide, but I don't know if they have).

    I've read that this will be 200 pages. So it'd better be filled with characters. The description at Muppet Wiki (which currently has it on the "Upcoming Muppet books" page, but I feel this should be its own article) says that each page profiles a different character, which makes me wonder if it's just 200 characters (or 100, depending on if the profiles are two-page spreads) or if there'll be pages spotlighting many characters as well as individual pages for the main characters.

    I hope Disney knows that it owns the Jim Henson Hour characters now*. I also wonder if this will include characters like P.J. and Kai-Lee, Angelo, the original characters from Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony, anybody from Muppet Meeting Films, Little Muppet Monsters, Muppet Time, or Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree, or Lindy from two of the Sing-Alongs. I wonder if it'll have one-shot characters who only appeared in one sketch on any Muppet series (I can see characters who only appeared in one movie being included). I wonder if The Electric Mayhem will all be covered in a two-page spread or if they'll all get their own pages (I can see Animal getting his own page AND a page for the whole band, though I wouldn't do it that way). I wonder if we'll learn the official names of any characters we don't know the names of (like each member of The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband, the Solid Foam Drummer, or even the drummer from Inner Tube).

    I also wonder if this will have behind-the-scenes info, such as mentioning the performers for each character. Considering that in the past few years Disney has avoided having the performers appear as themselves in behind-the-scenes stuff and bonus features, I wouldn't be surprised. I also wonder if there'll be much info on any non-Disney productions that have featured Muppets. I can see it mentioning Kermit's role on Sesame Street, and various Muppet guest appearances on non-Disney/non-Henson shows, but I wonder if it would acknowledge, say, Rowlf's hosting gig on the Dog City special or Kermit's now-edited-out cameos in Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and The Christmas Toy.

    *In 2010 the writer of Muppet Snow White wanted to include characters from The Jim Henson Hour, but was told that Boom couldn't include them. I'm not sure if Disney thought they didn't own the rights to the characters or if Boom's license was limited to specific Muppet productions.
    Mister Muppet and LaniArianna like this.
  2. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    Awesome cant wait
  3. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Isn't Marvel also putting out a character encyclopedia ? They will be competing against each other!
  4. rowlfy662

    rowlfy662 Well-Known Member

    This sounds very interesting and will definitely be picking it up when it is realeased. Looks like Craig Shemin is finished writing so i'm hoping we do get some minor characters like Digit, Seymour, Marvin Suggs, Lewis Kazzager, Gorgon Heap the list continues wondering if maybe the Jim Jerry and Frank characters will be in it or are they still owned by the Jim Henson Company either way it will be awesome can't wait for this to go on my book shelf
    LaniArianna and minor muppetz like this.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I heard that there's going to be 200 pages, and read that many characters will get a full page. Somehow, I think I might be misreading/misunderstanding that, and it's possible some pages will have multiple characters, and that some might have more than a page. I could be wrong, and of course that 200-pages probably won't just count character sections (it probably counts an introduction, chapter title pages, index, etc.). But last night I thought of 200 characters who could get a page each. I didn't write them down, but it was fun doing so, though I did include some characters separately who would probably be grouped into duos or groups (and at the same time also listed a few groups of characters as one).
    Hopefully it'll have brand-new pictures. And this got me thinking, what if it was only original photos (I know, we'll likely get many old photos, even the ones that Disney won't stop using)? Of course that means the only characters who could be featured are ones whose puppets still exist (good thing many characters were rebuilt a few years ago... and I wonder if they would use photos of puppets that are in museums, if no workable puppet exists).
    I don't know if the book will be presented with the characters in alphabetical order, by production, by character types (main characters, duos, musicians, animals, what), but I was thinking of what how I'd do it:
    • Chapter 1: Main Muppets - Sections on Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf, Scooter, Pepe, and maybe Animal and Rizzo (otherwise they'd be in the next chapter).
    • Chapter 2: The Muppet Show
    • Chapter 3: The Jim Henson Hour
    • Chapter 4: Muppets Tonight
    • Chapter 5: Movies and Specials - spotlighting characters from the Tales from Muppetland specials, Tale of the Bunny Picnic, Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space, Kermit's Swamp Years, The Muppets, and Muppets Most Wanted.
    • Chapter 6: Other Productions - Characters who wouldn't fit in the other chapters. Ma Bear, Wally, Angelo, P.J., Kai-Lee, Lindy, Mo Frackle, Hippocritic Oaf, and characters from Muppet Meeting Films, Muppet Babies, Little Muppet Monsters, Muppet Time, From the Balcony, and maybe also illustrated characters and characters from My Muppets Show (though I could do without illustrated/video game characters in this book).
    This is going to be a hard four-month waiting period....
  6. MuppetsRule

    MuppetsRule Well-Known Member

    Really looking forward to adding this to my collection.
  7. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Finally a Muppet writer doing what they should do, write something for the Muppets!
    LaniArianna likes this.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    You know, I'm a lot more excited about this release than I was of Imagination Illustrated and Jim Henson: The Biography.

    This will be the first non-fiction book on just the Muppets. There's been books on the works of Jim Henson, and specific productions, and there's been quite a few non-fiction Sesame Street books. But there haven't really been any such books for The Muppets from The Muppet Show family of characters. There have been non-fiction behind-the-scenes books for The Muppet Show and Muppets from Space, but those mainly focus on just one Muppet production each. Kermit's "Before You Leap" book kinda counts a little, but it's written from Kermit's point of view, as if he's real and not a fictional character, so it does include some fiction along with the biography.

    Hopefully this won't turn out to be a disappointment. When the 2006 daily Muppet calendar came out I was hoping for pictures of many characters, but not only was it mostly just the main characters (Lips did turn up in one photo with The Electric Mayhem) but many of the same images seemed to be reused for no reason, I think some reappeared several pages in a row (I haven't looked at it in years). And there haven't been any new daily calendars since. And when the Muppet sticker book came out to promote "The Muppets", I was hoping it would include many characters, but the sticker book was limited to main characters and stickers of props and set pieces. I never bought it.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  9. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I hope that they don't use the same old pictures that have been used countless times. I hope some new pictures are done, with some old rare pictures we may have not seen in a long time.
    I also think it will be very interesting what they will do with the Jim Henson Hour, and maybe Muppet babies.
    LaniArianna likes this.
  10. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    In thinking about how it'll be laid out, I've been thinking, if it's not arranged by productions, it would be cool if there was a musicians chapter. Featuring at least a full page for Rowlf and each member of The Electric Mayhem, followed by sections on other Muppet bands and groups. It would be great to know what the Muppets Tonight Band was called (Jim Lewis once said that the band did have a title but he couldn't remember what it was). And for bands where nobody had a distinctive personality, it would be great if it would at least have the names of each named member by the characters as they are pictured. It'd be great to know if the individual members of The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband had names, or if other members of Geri and the Atrics besides Geri had names (not counting instances where members were recycled into other characters).
  12. Mr Sweetums

    Mr Sweetums Well-Known Member

    I'm actually thinking it's going to be an A-Z Muppet guide all the way from Animal to Zoot :halo::cool: yet I hope we get something closer to what Minor Muppetz has described.

    I'm so excited for this book, it's been on my merchandise wishlist ever since I was little back in comprehensive school and all my friends had the 150 Pokémon guide to catch them all... I wanted to catch Muppets. With this one and the new Jim Henson bio I can cross off two pieces of Muppet merchandise from my wishlist :)

    Now where's my squeeze and sing Mahna-Mahna & Snowths soft toys! :search:
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If it's in alphabetical order, then I'd expect Andy Pig to be listed before Animal. The official description does mention Andy and Randy Pig, though it's possible they're just mentioned/included in a section on Miss Piggy.

    I feel it might also be cool if there could be sections on various types of characters following sections on main characters. Like a section on Kermit, then a smaller one on Robin, and then a section on other Muppet frogs. Or a section on Miss Piggy, followed by a section on other Muppet pigs (some would probably be more featured than others). I'd kinda like to see a section on Muppet monsters, the ones who are regular-sized, then a page or two on Sweetums, then a section on full-body Muppets, starting with the full-body monsters and then other full-body characters (like Fletcher Bird and the bad guys from The Muppet Musicians of Bremen). Maybe a section on rod Muppets (like The Bossmen and Gawky Birds) could follow that.
    Mr Sweetums likes this.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Somebody mentioned that DK has put out a Disney A-Z character encyclopedia, and that updated books come out every few years (this would be something that could benefit from digital books, if they could be digitally updated). So I went to the book store to see if I could find one and see if that could give me an idea of what this will be like (the moment I heard of this Muppet one I assumed and hoped it'd be like DK's "Ultimate Visual Guide" books). Couldn't find the Disney character encyclopedias (maybe I could check every library in town), but I looked in several DK books outside of "The Ultimate Visual Guide" series, and it looks like most DK books have the same format, not just "Ultimate Visual Guide".
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I was looking at the DK website, and noticed that they do a lot of sticker books as well. Which would be kind of cool if they did one for the Muppets.

    The only Disney character book I saw was for cars. The age range was for 7 year olds and up. It said it was done in hardback, and had 144 pages. The book said it would include over 250 different characters from Cars 1 & 2 and the shorts Car Toons.
    So I think this is kind of what we will expect out of the Muppet book as well.
  16. MuppetGuy75

    MuppetGuy75 Well-Known Member

    That's definitely a must have!!! :)
  17. JonnyBMuppetMan

    JonnyBMuppetMan Well-Known Member

    Well, there's good news and some marginally bad news. I checked the Muppet Wiki page recently and while I could find no other source for this, it's said that the book will feature "more than 600 full-color photographs from the Henson Archives." With Shemin writing the book, it's great to see that Disney/DK are going directly to the source to make this as good as it can be.

    And now the bad news, the cover was also posted on the site and... oh hey, look! Constantine's on the cover! :p

    Hopefully, this is just temp art and any obscenities will be fixed when the book is ready for release, right? ......right?!?
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Eh... I don't see the problem at all. DK Encyclopedias all look like this. Except, instead of the same Muppet Posers we always see, they're usually filled with the same stock art we always see for any given franchise. And all with a big blank white background.
  19. JonnyBMuppetMan

    JonnyBMuppetMan Well-Known Member

    Consider me in the camp of people who are sick of seeing that particular Kermit poser (I blame ToughPigs). At least now that we have a character who actually looks like that, I can look forward to continually refer to him as "good ol' Constantine" rather than complaining.
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I do agree that they need to dust off those posers and give us some new photo shoots. They really should start at least before the new film comes out on some new promo material. As long as flat head Kermit, air Kissing Swedish Chef, and Gonzo in a Hot Pepper shirt off the cover, I can't complain. I mean, it's not like this problem is exclusive to Disney. Remember when they photoshopped the then current Piggy Head over old posters? That was far worse than this.

    But stock photos and style guide libraries are another thing that seems to be an industry wide problem. The best we can hope for is that we get a new piece of artwork every so often for them to run into the ground. They have TMNT shirts in 2013 that use the same ugly, stiff character stock art from the 80's. Then they stopped using that, and hired artists to draw new, cartoony, show accurate ones.

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