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Your Thoughts: The Diva Code Book

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by Phillip, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    We’re approaching the release date of Miss Piggy’s latest book, “The Diva Code – Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Frogs Do.”

    Order your copy here, save 32% and help support MC…

    When you get Miss Piggy’s new book be sure to post here and let us know what you think of the latest Muppet release.
  2. jacobsnchz

    jacobsnchz Well-Known Member

    I am hoping to get it soon! :) I have Before You Leap and It's Not Easy... and want to add it to my collection.
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Nothing New...

    I just got the book out of support for the new Muppet merchandise.

    The humorous one-liners are well written in Piggy's unmistakable voice. Jim Lewis has that down. However the entire treatment of the book is far beneath the status she has earned since her debut on the Muppet Show (several decades back). There really is no new information. No revelations. Nothing more to add but a slick cover sleeve. Why not just update or reprint Miss Piggy's Guide to Life? It had an even better cover, some wonderful photos and humor woven through the writing rather than the redundant "set-up & pay-off" method we're fed in this treatment. There are some photos, but they're poorly reproduced versions of the weakest standard images we've seen a million times. This is pretty much the Miss Piggy treatment of the Pepe book we just got. Again, the writing is good, but the editing and composition of this book lack the quality longtime fans have come to expect from Muppet books past.

    3/5 Porcine Divas for this new book.

    There was an added treat. Each book page is adorned with a fine new silhouette of the Pig created by phenomenal Disney artist John Loter. He really gets what she's supposed to look like - pleasantly plump, proud and fabulous. I hope he's the one who will do the new merchandise art for the Muppets. I just picked up one of his Good Girl, Bad Girl books for a friend today. It was less expensive and much more fun. ;)
  4. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I really think there's a disconnect nowadays. Miss Piggy got big in the '70s because she was on TV every week. And because she was something new and different. Obviously now the Muppets are not a regular thing the public sees. And I think even when they are seen, there hasn't been the "big comeback moment" yet. And I agree, if they would re-release some older material I think it would have a chance.
  5. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    See this is something that I have always felt true. Something that works great on TV or Movies, does not always work well in written from.
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    That's true, you know I think Sesame Street has been very successful with books. But the Muppet Show characters have never really conquered that territory (not that there haven't been good works :) ).
  7. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    very true I think that before you leap had some great parts, but I really didnt want to know much about Kermit in the Swamp. Even though i liked Kermit Swamp years, when i think of Kermit's history i always think of him starting out on Sesame Street or Sam and Friends. Not about him living in a swamp.
  8. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Well like even the older movie books. I recently bought the book for Muppets Take Manhattan and I really like it and all, especially since it's my favorite movie. But I think it's very hard to put the proper voice for Kermit and the others in print. Plus some of the more adult humor does not come across (as dwayne said, that works more for the movies).
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The written portions are great. It's just that I would have liked to see something more dynamic by way of layout and design. Basically the editor just dumped Jim Lewis' text onto the pages with very little thought and Xeroxed off a few pieces of the easiest stock art available.

    Miss Piggy's cookbook a while back was better thought through with a few glossy photos. I wanted more, but they had enough new stuff. I would like to see images of Miss Piggy out and about on the town (old or new) or even some of the old calendar pictures. I just don't understand what makes a nearly text-only book of the Muppets appealing?

    Miss Piggy, author Jim Lewis, jacket designer Phil Rose and the fans deserve a little better than what both Hyperion and content designer Pauline Neuwirth have done with their work.
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Yeah, again I just think that comeback moment hasn't happened yet, or else more effort would have been put in.
  11. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    yea and people are not that excited about books anymore.
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Citing lack of Muppet popularity isn't a good answer...

    Publishing is so click and drag easy these days with programs like Adobe InDesign. It's like Photoshop for books - a great tool in the right hands but too often put into the hands of Joe Shmoes that no little about layout and design. A little digging into the packet they definitely received from Disney would have provided them with a little more art (like the Loter stuff) to adorn the pages along with a heck of a lot more and nicer photographs. The fact is, Hyperion's Muppet books are a half baked effort.

    Again, this is in no way a criticism of the wonderful Jim Lewis. He did his part beautifully but there's not much of a springboard for his words. The treatment of this book is all gimmick and little style thus not inspiring most people to seek out the treasures in his content.

    The book really only needed a nifty layout and a few striking graphics. That doesn't really cost money, it shouldn’t be hard and it makes no sense to release a book in this condition (no matter what the property) unless the publisher plans a swift destination in the half-price section. It would be better if they'd pooled their resources into one quality Muppet or character book rather than release them in the state they did. We aren't that desperate anymore for Muppet product as we once were. I’m just disappointed. :sympathy:
  13. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Yeah it is a bummer. I do think they're not entirely sure there'd be a market for it. Plus remember, with the recession, everyone's been hit hard.
  14. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Then why release Diva Code at all? That's what doesn't make sense. Once they decided to release it there's really no excuse for sloppy and cynical execution. I’m getting tired of the economy ate my homework explanation, but we’re likely to hear more of it in all aspects of life.

    I took a trip downtown and paid full price for the Diva Code in an actual book store (Frog bless Jim Lewis):). Yet this is the last one I'll buy until/unless Hyperion steps up its game. It wouldn't cost them more to improve these releases with items already at their fingertips.

    Plus - I think the Muppets deserve some new photo shoots (and for them to be used in product). But nobody seems to use the many shots they already have!
  15. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

  16. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    This is what I'm going to do and I encourage others here to do the same. My Piggy image resources aren't what they should be but I do have several pictures.

    I will clip and edit a few hi-res images into postcard size and allow forum members access to save and print them as bookmarks. I'm shooting for a 4"x6" ratio betwen 120-300 ppi. I'll post links to them here. I like solutions more than problems and invite members to join me in this display of Piggy pride. :) :mad:
  17. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Jamie, once again I agree with 95% of what you've said. The book was hilarious and written perfectly in the diva voice of our beloved pig--which, really, shoul dbe the most important part of the book. But... boy does the interior design and organization lack a LOT.

    When I first saw the list format Piggy was going with I really liked that it was different from Pepe's in the format... but then it went right back to it. I like this format in a $5-$8 book, but in a hardcover $15 book? I don't really think it's worth it. What, again, was wrong with the format of the amazing, full-color, fully-written Before You Leap? Hasn't that sold NUMEROUS copies? Doesn't it continue to sell?

    Again, like Jamie I have absolutely NOTHING wrong with the writing within The Diva Code. In fact... I think that it's some of the best Piggy writing I've seen in ages. Jim Lewis is to be commended for always delivering comedy gold no matter what character--or format--he's handed.

    I honestly think that this Piggy book is a step up from Pepe's... hey, at least they're using acutal photos this time, not drawings. I'm hoping that if Hyperion publishes more Muppet books (which this book implies they will) that they use rarer poser photos... I'm SO sick and tired of the same old stock pictures. I'd be ALL for a new photo shoot. I'd put in... $25 towards one! :p

    I would honestly prefer it if Disney sought out a new publisher other than Hyperion... they seem EXTREMELY restricting... and Jim Lewis and the Muppets deserve better. :smirk:

    Though, again, overall it was a great book for Piggy lovers! I reccommend it but hope for better in the future!
  18. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Why don't we take this to Jim Lewis he may be able to shed some insider thoughts on this. I think everyone here would like to know why? Why go the cheap way or the half hearted way on the books when everything we have heard from Disney is that they want the Muppets to do there best.
  19. Muppet Loverr

    Muppet Loverr Well-Known Member

    -Im confused...I havent bought this book yet..(BUT I WILL...CUZE PIGGY IS THE REASON I WATCH THE MUPPETS...-if Piggys in not it, i most likey wont remeber to watch it.) Soo it it like Before You Leap? Because i have that book. And I love it.

    Im reading everywhere that there are only a few pictures or something...Before you Leap had quite a few - ALOT of pictures...I just thought it would br the same but with Miss Piggy pictures instead-of Kermit.

    I am going to buy it no matter what, since it her book. But how many photos are in there...Can someone give me an guessimate, or can you count them on one hand(godforbid)?

    Thank You
  20. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Here are some postcard bookmarks

    The Diva Code contains 7 black and white Xeroxed Miss Piggy photos aside from the cover image. 5 of these photos are the unflattering calendar poser pics we've seen many times before. The other two are the Guess Who picture and the long pink dress image. There's also the nice little stencil at the bottom of the pages that I mentioned. Trust me that these are the bottom rung of pictures and some of them are even duplicated later in the book.

    I don't have a great catalog of Miss Piggy images, but licensors definitely should. They just need to take the ten minutes that I did when pulling up 8 fan-pleasing photos from different eras that were sitting on my hard drive. I just stuck the book logo on them. Some are better than others and there's been minimal cleanup. They are 4x6 and 280 dpi. This is for the Piggy fans out there:

    American Diva Postcard
    Space Diva Postcard
    Chorus Pig Diva Postcard
    Treasure Diva Postcard
    Biker Diva
    Karate Diva
    Diet Diva
    Wonder Diva

    Enjoy, the Pig is worth it.

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