ToughPigs at NYCC 2016

Published: October 11, 2016
Categories: Feature, Reports

Many thanks to our ToughPigs correspondents who helped with our New York Comic Con roundup: Joe Hennes, Matthew Soberman, Sarah Elizabeth Grace, and Louie Pearlman! Our very own Muppet fan Justice League!

Past Comic Cons have been ripe for Muppet fandom.  We’ve had interesting panels, amazing celebrity appearances, the best merchandise, and more.  As time goes on, the Muppet stuff gets harder and harder to find, and there’s always a moment of “what am I even doing here?” when we show up to cover the event for ToughPigs.

Thankfully, there’s just enough Muppet/Sesame/Henson representation to keep us coming back, despite the lack of a hit TV show or movie or even a current comic book for the thousands of attendees to clamor on about.

Okay, enough complaining.  Let’s find other things to complain (and cheer) about!


Easily my favorite part about New York Comic Con is the cosplay.  People get so creative with their costumes, from professional grade to homemade.  And since Comic Con is more like Pop Culture Con, there’s a better chance that folks might dress up as their favorite Henson creation.  Like the family above, who went 2/3rds simple cosplay and 1/3rd all-out Super Grover 2.0.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

Below, you’ll see a few more of our favorites, including a gender-swapped Jareth and Sarah, Cookie Monster Deadpool, The Swedish Chef (who hilarious refused to break character), and Link Hogthrob!

cosplay1 cosplay2

People really are great, aren’t they?

panel1 panel2

This year, there was only one “panel” that talked specifically to Henson fans.  And I use quotation marks because it was less of a panel and more of a 15-minute interview with Twitch.

Archaia Comics Associate Editor Cameron Chittock and writer/artist Cory Godbey took to the NYCC Livestream Stage to talk about three titles in their Labyrinth series: Godbey’s recently-released Labyrinth Tales and the 30th Anniversary Special, and the upcoming Labyrinth: Artist Tribute. Chittock and Godbey were grateful to The Jim Henson Company for having an interest in an “artist’s thumbprint,” giving them a “sandbox” approach to the franchise, allowing them to put their own voices to the characters, though they conceded that the characters created by Jim Henson and Brian Froud had distinctive voices of their own; as one put it, when developing a story, once they had a premise, all they had to do for the characters was to “wind them up and let them go.” The pair also discussed their introduction to the world of Labyrinth. Chittock went on to discuss the “mix of awe and confusion” he experienced upon watching the film on VHS for the first time as a child, while Godbey admitted that he hadn’t seen the film until well into adulthood (for the record, his first exposure to the creative world of Jim Henson was Muppet Babies). Though it was a brief interview, it’s clear that Archaia’s talent has a love and affection for the cult classic film.


The highlight of the Muppet merchandise selections (unsurprisingly) came from Diamond Select, who had some of their upcoming Muppet wares on display.  Above, you’ll see the next wave of Muppet Minimates, complete with Constantine, Pepe, Patrol Bear, the Newsman, and the missing Electric Mayhem members.

merch-diamond2 merch-diamond3 merch-diamond4

They also had the next wave of Select toys, and we got our first real-life peek at the gang above.  I predict that Rowlf will be a favorite, as he looks remarkably like his puppet counterpart.  I also dig the scoliosis-like bend in Crazy Harry’s back, making him look more menacing and giddy than most other action figures.


That Kermit giclee we reported on a while back was on display, and you can see that there’s no Comic Con deal for the price. $300 sure is a lot to pay for a Photoshop filter!


The Hallmark booth had a bunch of their ornaments on display, including this year’s Muppet ornament – The Electric Mayhem bus!  I already have mine, so I can confirm that it’s already in Hallmark stores, waiting for you to buy it and add it to your tree.  Or Hot Wheels set.  Or Bottle City of Kandor.


We spotted a few Henson t-shirts, including the cool Sir Didymus shirt on the left, and the Dark Crystal one on the right.  The Zen Monkey Studios booth had a bunch of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal shirts, all of which you can skip the Con and buy straight from their website.


The Zen Monkey Studios booth also had the above pins for sale!  Finally, the Labyrinth Worm can stab you!


Possibly the best piece of merchandise at the entire Con was the new Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History book!  We snagged a copy, and from what we can tell already, this thing is phenomenal.  Loads of new photos and sketches, tons of extras, and a deep respect for the history of the classic Henson film.  We also got to chat about the book with Cheryl Henson, who was on-hand to sign a few copies.  As you can imagine, the Henson family is just as excited as us about this new book, and you will be too once you snag a copy of your own.


There was a little less Muppet art at Comic Con than I expected to see this year.  We found a few goodies that we hadn’t seen before, but considering how so many artists are starting to stray away from superheroes and into more film and TV, we thought Kermit or Cookie Monster or Jareth might be a bigger hit this year.  We did get the Kermit/Godzilla pic seen above, courtesy of artist Nate Bear.  We also got to see the pics seen below:

art2Art by David Wong

art3Artist unknown (can someone identify for us?)

art4Art by RT Vegas

And thus ends another New York Comic Con.  Join us next year when we’ll hope to find more Muppet costumes and brilliant artwork, and perhaps the possibility of a panel or two??  Tune in next October to find out!  Same ToughPigs time, same ToughPigs channel!

Click here to dress your whole family up as the ToughPigs forum!

by ToughPigs Staff


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