“I am going on a diet. From this day forward, I pledge there will be no pork chop too succulent, no donut too tasty, no pizza too laden with delicious toppings to prevent me from reaching my scientifically determined ideal weight! As God as my witness, I’ll always be hungry again!” – Homer Simpson
Posts Tagged ‘Brush with Greatness
“No, not another portrait of that bongo beating Liverpudlian.” – Mr. Schindler
“But, Mr. Schindler, I-” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, someone might have used this canvas to create a masterpiece. Instead you’ve soiled it forever. Now this is art!” – Mr. Schindler
Happy birthday Gabor Csupo!
“Then I’m in the class?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, my dear, there couldn’t be a class without you!” – Professor Lombardo
There really isn’t a great deal I can add to these amazing drawings, so I’ll let them speak for themselves. The artist is Tim Doyle; and they’re part of a show he’s got going in San Francisco. You can read all about it (and see higher resolution images) at his website.
Click each one for the gorgeously large “original” size.
These are part of a larger series, with images of fake places from everything from Seinfeld and Arrested Development to Sesame Street. You can get prints of any of them starting at a mere $40 from the gallery’s store. If you’re in the Bay Area and you want to go see them for yourselves, they’ll be up until February 23rd at Spoke Art in San Francisco.
(Massive hat tip to The Sonny Wilkins Chronicle.)
“Hey mom, these paintings are good. While I know first hand how fragile young talent is, I’d love to hear the particulars of how your gift was squashed.” – Lisa Simpson
[Note: I originally set this for 8pm instead of 8am. Whoops.]
“Now, using the Lombardo Method, you’ll learn to see everyday objects as a simple grouping of geometrical shapes. Here, we see how two concentric circles, various trapezoids, ellipses – and yes, even a rhombus! – can create an adorable little bunny rabbit. It’s just that easy!” – Professor Lombardo
One of my little hobby horses around here is posting videos of people either drawing Simpsons characters or purporting to teach you how to draw Simpsons characters. I find these videos oddly fascinating, mostly because I can’t draw for shit and it’s neat to see how something like that gets done. However interesting I find them, they usually aren’t all that instructive. Though many of them are labeled “How to Draw Character X”, often they’re just demonstrations that don’t contain any actual instructions on how to duplicate what you’re seeing.
The three videos by British cartoonish Jamie Sale that I have linked below, however, actually give some lessons. He tells you what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, from the number of spikes on Bart’s head, to the number of eyelashes Marge has, to how to get Homer’s collar right. (It starts out as a “V” and then becomes more of an “N”.)
Setting aside the slightly overwrought music, which seems to be par for the genre, these are vastly better than most of those other “learn to draw this” videos I’ve seen. Sale’s a freelance cartoonist, so if you need something drawn, give him a thought.
“Maybe you could take a class at Springfield Community College.” – Lisa Simpson
“I think it’s a very nice idea. Don’t you Homer?” – Marge Simpson
“Do I have to do anything?” – Homer Simpson
“No.” – Marge Simpson
“Great, fine, go nuts!” – Homer Simpson
“Hey Mom, did he have those spots all over his body?” – Bart Simpson
“I heard that!” – C.M. Burns
One of the few genuinely interesting things I learned while tormenting myself with the Season 12 commentaries was that Zombie Simpsons isn’t allowed to show ass crack. (Of course, The Simpsons was so fond of cartoon nudity that they had enough for an entire ending credits montage of it by the middle of Season 7.) Now, all shows labor under some burden of censorship, that’s just the way of the world. But Zombie Simpsons doesn’t even try to get clever with it. Burns isn’t wearing some kind of special rich guy underwear, nor a drab prison pair, just sparkling clean tighty-whities.
But even if we set aside childish squeamishness about fleeting nudity, the HD animation still looks dry and dismal when compared with the genuine article:
Look how much more desiccated Burns appears in Season 2. He’s got the liver spots all over his body, instead of just on his head, and the bags under his eyes are much more pronounced. His spine is an unbroken ridge indicative of a man with, in his own words, “a mighty hump”. The lines in the Season 21 drawing are certainly cleaner, but that only serves to highlight the lack of detail. Look what happens when we zoom out and take in the full images:
Look at how sterile and lifeless the background is. Most of the coloring looks like it was done with the “fill” command (which it probably was). There’s no cynical work posters, no frightening prison cavity search implements, nothing. It’s just a nameless, character-less guard and Burns. Now, look at the scene from “Brush with Greatness”:
Here a lot of thought and care have been put into both the background and the other characters. All the accouterments of an upper-lower-middle class bathroom are present: the hamper, the fuzzy toilet seat cover, even the stick-on wall fish. Marge is holding a laundry basket so we know she has a reason to enter the bathroom, and Smithers is eyeing Burns’ crotch.
In Season 2 we see something that was put together with an eye towards quality, in Season 21 it’s just cookie cutter mass production. And, by the way, some of the distortion on the Season 2 images comes from the fact that I grabbed them from my ripped .avi files, not from the DVDs themselves. So even at a compression handicap, The Simpsons still blows Zombie Simpsons away.
Special thanks to commenter Derp for reminding me a while ago that I needed to do an animation post.
“Alright family, I want the truth. Don’t pull any punches. Am I just a little bit overweight? . . . Well, am I?” – Homer Simpson
“Forgive us Dad, but it takes time to properly sugarcoat a response.” – Lisa Simpson
This was one of those rare weeks where the Zombie Simpsons episode was so bereft of humor, or even just attempts at humor, that even wholly owned News Corporation subsidiary IGN couldn’t gin up too much praise. It concludes by saying:
“The Color Yellow” just wasn’t all that worth it.”
Of course the numerical score is still a 6.4, but that’s because IGN sucks at math. Speaking of “wasn’t all that”, it’s IGN’s Faint Praise Phrase of the Week. Instead of just coming out and saying that it wasn’t funny IGN used a lot of wobbly kneed qualifiers of which “wasn’t all that” was the favorite. Fortunately, all you’ve got to do is drop the “all that” and a quivering synergy sentence becomes a nice, clean statement, though it may not be one the higher ups would find pleasing.
As always, I’ve edited out the synergy.
February 22, 2010 – You know something? If a television series stays on the air for two decades, eventually you’ll get around to a jumbled and ham fisted storyline involving slavery. It’s just a fact. And so we have Sunday night’s
The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons, where we were taken back to the 1860s to learn about the history of the Simpson family tree though the use of cliffhanger flashbacks. Though the episode contained this sensitive subject matter, they avoided the kind of shock humor other animated series are known for. Unfortunately, the episode also seemed to be avoiding avoided the laughs. Putting more effort into the roundabout telling of the story would’ve been a good idea, but even so "The Color Yellow" just wasn’t all that funny.
It began with Miss Hoover randomly assigning her class the project of researching their family tree. Lisa was hoping to find something noble in her family’s history, but only came across thieves, killers and alcoholics, any one of which would’ve been more fun than this. Looking through heirlooms in the attic, Lisa uncovered the diary of Eliza Simpson dating from the 1860s. Lisa thought she found her noble spark, until Eliza wrote of being happy that "tomorrow I get my
first slave cliffhanger flashback." This line, and the accompanying gasps from the Simpson family, ended the first act. Except for Groundskeeper Willie’s battle with a tree stump, the majority of Everything in this opening was a dud.
The edgiest line of the episode came in the early moments of the next act. Learning that an ancestor might have owned a slave, Homer quipped, "For once, the Simpsons were in management." This was as shocking as the episode really got, and it was
worth it for an unexpected laugh tame and boring and not the least bit funny. From there, the episode eased the slavery issue by revealing Eliza and her family were a stop on the Underground Railroad Flashback Cliffhanger Express. Learning that the Underground Railroad had no trains and wasn’t underground, Bart stated it should have been called "The Above Ground Normal Road." And it was uninspired jokes likes this that peppered the episode.
The majority of the focus
, and the only really interesting thing to watch in the episode, was the pieced together way the story of what happened with Eliza and her slave were revealed. First it was the diary, but that only revealed so much before the pages turned to cliffhanger dust. Next there was an out of place cliffhanger footnote in Eliza’s mother Mabel’s cookbook, and then Milhouse read from his relative’s cliffhanger journal showing another side of the story. This was a clever time consuming way to reveal the story, but more funny any jokes would have been a better way. There were a few standout truly pointless bits, but none were enough to lift the episode’s ranking out of place in Zombie Simpsons. Colonel Burns demanding that the waltz change its time signature was funny took at least thirty seconds, as were did the riffs repetitions on the Simpson motto, "Quit while you’re ahead." Learning that Marge had stopped watching Carrie just as she was named prom queen was great a stretch even by Zombie Simpson standards.
But the episode as a whole
just felt was flat and boring. I guess it’s difficult to find the humor in slavery, even for The Simpsons and it’s well beyond the capabilities of Zombie Simpsons. The big way out of place twist ending was revealing that the rescued slave and Mabel Simpson started a life together in Canada, and that the rest of the Simpson clan were descendants of the pair. This made our favorite animated family one sixty-fourth black. Bart: "So that’s why I’m so cool." Lisa: "That’s why my jazz is so smooth." Homer: "And that’s why I earn less than my white co-workers." Will this historical fact ever come up again in future seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons? Most likely no. So it makes you wonder, "Why bother?" The episode wasn’t all that funny, the storyline not that shocking was hopeless beyond repair, and the reveal of the Simpsons having African-American roots will likely never be referenced again. "The Color Yellow" just wasn’t all that worth it.
“Indeed. Marge you find the inner beauty of your subject and bring it out for all to see!” - Professor Lombardo
Check out these fan-fugu-tastic Simpsons renditions by David Barton. He’s done them in the styles of famous artists. Here’s Marge in Vermeer’s “Girl with Pearl Earring”:
Then there’s Groundskeeper Willie, van Gogh style:
(found via Web Designer Depot)
“Ah very good . . . fabulous . . . oh, even better!” – Professor Lombardo
See that rather awesome Sideshow Bob painting to the left? It can be yours for the low price of just $25 provided you live in Toronto and can pick it up. This listing led me to www.loverazor.net which is the artist’s blog. There are several other Simpsons paintings on there including a tattooed Homer (note the Stonecutter symbol on the forearm), a tattooed Burns (great dollar sign on his neck), and – my favorite – jack-in-the-box Homer from “Treehouse of Horror II”. There’s a full gallery page that has more of her stuff from Simpsons, Family Guy and various other pop culture ephemera including what looks to me like Squidward after a very long night of partying in Bikini Bottom.
An artist named Randal Roberts painted this magnificent portrait of Homer.
I have a hard time drawing stick figures, so to me that is really amazing. I especially like the dueling Marges along the sides. (There’s a more detailed description and some background here.) I know what I’m going to spend ten minutes staring at next time I’m stoned.
“Marge, I’m 239 and I’m feelin’ fine! Look, I’m using the original notches that came with my belt.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s wonderful Homer! I’m so proud of-” – Marge Simpson
“Let me get this straight. You’re pleased with your current appearance? Oh hoh hoh hoh hoh. Ahh why my good man, you’re the fattest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been on safari.” – C.M. Burns
I was poking around for items for tomorrow’s link dump when I came across this from a blog called “Art Brut(e)”:
See I was going to be really clever and somehow link “Mom and Pop Art” with “Duck Amuk” to Larry Johnson and it was going to be really clever, but the conceit doesn’t work anymore so– eh, why don’t you pick up an Art Forum or something.
“Duck Amuck” is one of the most memorable Merrie Melodies ever and, prior to clicking that link, I hadn’t actually watched the whole thing (~7 min) in years. It’s still very clever and quite funny. I cracked up when Daffy’s parachute was replaced with an anvil (William Faulkner could write an anvil gag that would really make you think).
In terms of “Duck Amuck” and The Simpsons the first thing that sprang to mind was Snowball II after Bart makes it more interesting in the second Treehouse of Horror:
But then I got to thinking about all the other times the show broke the fourth wall with animation. (Note: this is not meant to be an exhaustive list.)
First up is “Brush with Greatness” and it’s never ending MC Escher line for the “H2WHOA!” ride:
Next is “The Front” and it’s fantastically crappy reused background of water cooler/nondescript door/cleaning lady:
In Boy Scoutz N the Hood we learn that cartoons don’t need to be 100% realistic and, lo and behold, there are two Homers:
Finally, there are a lot of couch gags that play around with how the Simpsons are animated, but two in particular seem genuinely “fourth-wall-ish”. The one in “Lisa the Beauty Queen” and “Duffless” has the family running literally out of frame:
And then there’s the infinitely receding couch from “Homer Badman” and “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds”:
I always thought that one must have been fun to animate, just keep drawing the family smaller and smaller until they’re basically dots.