“Why don’t you bring this potato? It’s pretty big.” – Marge Simpson
“Mom, you’re always trying to give me potatoes. What is it with you?” – Bart Simpson
“I just think they’re neat.” – Marge Simpson
Between the internet echoes of last week’s streaming news and the announcement of a, wait for it, Mr. Potato Head Homer, the signal to noise ratio was pretty bad again this week, so it’s once again a shorter than usual Reading Digest. When they announced last year that they were kicking the merchandising into overdrive, they weren’t kidding, and it seems like hardly a week goes by without a new tie in or marketing campaign. Not only did we get Mr. Homer Head this week, but there was also a contest to draw Simpsons characters in an officially license notebook. Yes, they’re now endorsing blank paper. The good news is that we got some cool fan art, both of the marketing and non-marketing variety, along with quite a bit of excellent usage, some sketches from early in the show, and several people who agree with us, implicitly and explicitly.
Early rough sketches and character sheets from David Silverman – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this collection of David Silverman sketches compiled by our old friend Sebastian. I put this up on Twitter last weekend, but if you didn’t see it then, click it now. The ones from when Homer bangs on the door in “Bart the Genius” and the Land of Chocolate alone are worth it.
16 Timeless Business Lessons from The Simpsons – These are actual business tips (with words like “liability” and “regulation”) but they come with good YouTube and not a single example cited is from Zombie Simpsons.
The Simpsons Embroidery – Two very cool fan made Simpsons embroidery pieces, one of a Duff can, the other of Homer with a donut. Bravo.
ACT’s 2014-15 season to include 2 N.Y. hits – The post apocalyptic Mr. Burns play is heading to San Francisco.
Emmanuel Mauleon Black Bart Simpson – I’ll just let them explain:
It seems like just about everyone has a soft spot for Bart Simpson these days. Photoshopped images of Odd Future dancing with Bart and Lisa flood Tumblr, streetwear blogs seem to worship the Simpson son, and artists like Emmanuel Mauleón have also caught onto this trend as well.
Mauleón, a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Puebla, Mexico, created these dope illustrations of Black Bart Simpson as promo pieces for electropop singer Gordon Voidwell’s mixtape Bad Études.
Check out the full collection at Tumblr.
Round 96: The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace vs. My Mother the Carjacker – Season 10 easily triumphs over this:
Not a fan. I’m willing to forgive outlandish plots, and abandoning all logic and character traits, if an episode at least manages to make me laugh, or if it has something to say.
This one didn’t, and it hasn’t.
Round 97: A Milhouse Divided vs. King of the Hill – This happens a lot in Season 9:
An interesting side-effect of this tournament, and one that I didn’t expect to happen, is that I look at episodes much more critically than I ever did in the past. I always enjoyed “King of the Hill,” and I still did, for the most part, on this viewing. But compared to not only the episode above but also to the kinds of episode I expect to make it to the last rounds of the bracket, a few things stood out to me. Homer is once again a tad too much of a jerk, he’s victim of too much physical abuse, and the (always lose) fabric of the show’s plausibility is stretched too thin a few times.
Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon talks PETA, Obama, NRA and dealing with cancer – A wide ranging Simon interview. No surprise in that there isn’t much Simpsons content, but this is pretty cool:
I think I have one of the most expensive hobbies in the world, which is buying roadside zoos and setting the animals free. That is kind of the new activity around here. It is really gratifying to see these animals that have been so abused, animals that have never been outside of a concrete pit, taking their first steps on grass.
Hasbro releases Homer Simpson Mr Potato Head – God bless marketing euphemisms:
Hasbro is celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons this year with the release of a Homer Simpson Mr Potato Head.
Celebrating? The only thing they’ll celebrate is if this makes them enough money to cover whatever ungodly licensing fee they paid FOX.
The official way to draw Lisa Simpson is pretty damn neat – We’ve seem these before for other characters, but they are pretty neat.
The 7 Best Episodes of The Simpsons, season 1 – Cool list, but extra worth the click for the YouTube video of “Bart the General” at 200% speed. I didn’t watch the whole thing, but at a couple of points Bart’s talking so fast he almost sounds like he’s rapping.
TV Character Bracket Elite 8: #5 Homer Simpson vs. #11 Dr. Cox – Homer beat Omar last week and he’s ahead of Dr. Cox from Scrubs at the moment, but could certainly use more votes.
The toilet drains the other way in Australia… – Flush capacity as a bigger cultural difference than swirl direction. Also, there’s a .gif of Homer bouncing back and forth across the border at the embassy.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out(Android, iOS) – This is certainly true:
This game does have problems though, with the EA name attached to it, it’s really no surprise. This game has frequent server crashes, just trying to get into the game can be a pain, you’ll get one or two screens telling you to either hit retry or telling you to wait for it to reconnect, when it’s because of an update that is fine, but it does it a lot at random times.
Album Review: David Crosby – Excellent usage:
Crosby has virtually disappeared from the singer-songwriter landscape for 20 years. Sure, he’ll crop up singing backing vocals alongside Graham Nash every now and then, but for many people the man with the walrus moustache is probably better known for his cameos on The Simpsons, his time in prison for drugs and firearms offenses, or even his role as a surrogate father for Hollywood’s Sapphic community. In fact, a joke from The Simpsons sums it up perfectly -
Barney: David Crosby? You’re my hero!
David Crosby: Oh, you like my music?
Barney: You’re a musician?
Recap: Irvine International Film Festival Brings Indie Flair to Laguna – More excellent usage:
When describing Branson, Missouri to his friends, Bart Simpson recalls Homer’s comparison that it was, “like Vegas, if it was run by Ned Flanders.” That’s more or less the vibe of the Irvine International Film Festival that ended its week-long run last week at Laguna Hills Cinema. When looking at the fledgling festival and comparing it to other festivals in OC like the Newport Beach Film Festival, IIFF is the most relaxed, family-oriented fest of them all, where Flanders himself would give two ecstatic “thumb-diddly- umbs” up.
Whoopidoo…ings: Portrait No.7 of 40 – Zombie Bart Simpson – Fan made drawing of Bart for a marketing competition being run by those notebook people.
Fan Creates Phish Simpsons Mashup on JamBase – Just what it says, with lots of clips from various episodes and outtakes. Definitely more fun if you’re high.
A visto a este sujeto? – Spanish language Handsome Pete .gif.
GIFs de la semaine : les graffitis fluos – This isn’t in English and mostly isn’t Simpsons related, but there is a great .gif of Bart high on the all syrup squishy.
The Simpsons season 16 on DVD (Leeds Student, 2013) – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:
It hasn’t been the best of times for The Simpsons. Oh sweet Jebus, let’s just say it: it has been the very blurst of times. Yes, the show still rakes in the big bucks and yes, while it continues to do so FOX will probably renew it into oblivion. But there’s been something painfully off about The Simpsons ever since the seasons hit double digits. These more recent outings, led by current showrunner Al Jean, have been called forgettable, lazy and disappointing.
Truly the blurst of times.