Like any kid growing up, I had heroes, and while I didn’t have villains, there were definitely people and things I thought of to be plainly evil. One of those heroes was the imaginative genius Jim Henson, whose work and accomplishments I have come to appreciate even more as an adult. On the opposite end, I despised Dmitri Mendeleev for creating the periodic table, one of the many banes of my science education. Of course, adulthood has also put Mendeleev and the elements into perspective, and I can see them for the game-changers they were.
While I don’t put much stock in personal heroes nowadays, I have found a new one in artist/designer Mike Boon, who has created one of the most amazing things on Earth — absolutely no bias went into this — by designing a periodic table filled solely with creations from Henson’s many projects, as seen above. I realize it’s pretty hard to read, so you can see a larger version here. Really, I’d like it to cover all the walls in my house if that were possible. (And I’d move into a smaller house to make it possible. Sorry, wife and child.)
Not only is it a badass creation in and of itself, but the way Boon chose to design it is perfect. Each section is separated by the shows the characters were most known for, and their debut appearance, debut year, and initial puppeteer’s initials are noted. Up top is Sam and Friends, where Kermit got his start, and then there’s the Sesame Street characters, then we move on to the Muppets proper, whose characters premiered everywhere from Ed Sullivan’s show to Prairie Dog Chow commercials, as well as the various incarnations of The Muppet Show. Last but hardly least are the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock. It’s a monumental achievement, people! Take a limited closer look below.
Beyond the show breakdown, Boon has particular method behind each square’s design, aside from just using each character’s eyes. The background colors match the characters’ skin or fur, the border colors match the characters’ hat or hair color, and the color of the abbreviated name represents the nose color, assuming the character has a nose.
You can pick up prints of the Muppet Periodic Table — because you’re obviously going to want one — at Redbubble and Society6.
Science and pop culture meet up all the time, but rarely in ways that make me want to run jubilantly through the streets like this. The picture below, which features Ninja Turtles characters turned into letters of the alphabet, takes a close second. I expect construction for a Mike Boon statue to begin by the time you’re finished looking at it.