As a proud geek of all nerdy genres, Comic Con is my Christmas.  I am totally that guy who dressed up in costumes, attends every other comic book panel, and gets a thrill out of being in a sea of my fellow fanatics.  The only thing that could make Comic Con better would be getting to add the Muppets to any of the festivities.

The real bummer is that there seems to be fewer and fewer Muppet-related goings-on every year.  There was a time in which we had a few Muppet comic books in rotation, Sesame Street characters popping up in panels, and more to keep folks like us interested.  It’s been an increasing struggle to show off our Muppet-loving freak flags with each Con that goes by.

If you’re planning on going to NYCC this year, you’ll still have a healthy amount of Muppet stuff to look forward to.  The Jim Henson Company is the big winner here, as they have more representation than the Muppets and Sesame Street, as you’ll soon see.  So don’t worry, you’ll have a few things to add to your schedule.

labyrinthtalesfeatPanels!

Celebrate the Publishing World of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth with Archaia
Saturday, October 8 – 12:45pm
Livestream Stage

There’s gonna be a whole panel all about Labyrinth!  Celebrating the movie’s 30th anniversary, Archaia (the publisher of all the recent Labyrinth comics) will be giving a sneak peek at what else will be coming out to spotlight Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus, and the (arguably) greatest product of David Bowie’s career.

Diamond Select Toys: Marvel, DC, Ghostbusters & More
Sunday, October 9 – 3:00pm
Room 1A05

Diamond Select is hands-down the best Muppet licensee out there.  From their amazing Muppet action figures to their cool pint glasses and mugs, they’re the only ones getting the love and money from obsessive Muppet fans like us.  Show them a little love back by attending their panel, and let’s keep our fingers crossed for some more Muppet merchandise news from them in return!

zenmonkey-labyrinthBooths & Swag!

You’ll likely want to stop by the Insight Editions booth (#1536) to leaf through the upcoming book “Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History”, and enter their contest to win an advance copy of your own.  They’ll be giving one away each day of Comic Con.  But more importantly, Cheryl Henson will be at the Insight Editions booth signing autographs on Thursday, October 6th from 2:00-3:00pm!  Yep, you can meet a real-life Henson at Comic Con!  That beats Stan Lee in my book any day.

The folks at Funko (booth #722) will surely have their current Muppet-related offerings on display, including the Sesame Street, Labyrinth, and Dark Crystal Pop toys, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to snag their NYCC exclusive Kira and Garthim ReAction box set.  Or you’ll be like me, and sadly stare at the lucky winners from across the Con floor.  Sigh.

Over at the Zen Monkey Studios booth (#1865), they’ll be selling their Henson-approved t-shirts including designs from Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal.  Guaranteed to make casual Henson fans jealous of your innate ability to make their childhood look cool.

The only publisher currently hocking Henson books is Archaia, and they’ll be over at booth #1828, along with their selection of books like Tale of Sand, The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, Fraggle Rock, and their new Labyrith books.  You also may want to stop by the Joe Books booth (#968) and demand that they start publishing Muppet comics.  They’re the ones with most of the kid-friendly Disney licenses, so apparently I think begging them is our best option.  Oh how far we’ve fallen.

mad_max_mayhem_by_joopadoops-d8xhql7Artists Alley!

As always, our usual team of talented folks who have had their hand in the Muppet, Henson, and Sesame Street comic lines will be present.  There’s the Doozer drawer Katie Cook, Muppet artisans Amy Mebberson and James Silvani, Sesame sketcher Jay Fosgitt, Henson horticulturalist (sorry, I’m running out of synonyms) David Petersen, Tale of Sand… guy Ramon Perez, and the artist responsible for about half of the recent Labyrinth comics, Cory Godbey.  Aside from those familiar faces, there are usually tons of other artists supplying their own brand of original Muppet artwork.  Be sure to stop by their booths and buy a few pieces! Support your local starving artist!

yip_yip_martians_by_minnat-d4vqsvcCosplay!

One of my favorite things about walking around Comic Con is seeing the excellent costumes put together by die-hard fans.  This year, I bet you’ll see dozens of Jareths, more than a few Yip Yip Martians, and oh let’s put in a wild card, how about a Sherlock Hemlock?

dcfunkoMerchandise!

Finally, there’s the shopping.  After you’ve spent most of your cash on comics and Funko Pops, be sure to scope around the vendor booths and see what they have.  We’ve been really lucky in past years and found some cool vintage stuff, great deals on more recent merchandise, and unique t-shirts.  Isn’t it funny how the independent vendors often have more Muppet merch than the big-name companies??

And that’s it for this year!  Be sure to keep an eye out for your ToughPigs pals, and have a great, geeky time!

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Click here to live long, prosper, and visit the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com

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