Archive for the 'News' Category

09
Aug
16

Season 28 Publicity Stunts Teased (No, You Shouldn’t Care)

Mid-Season

“It’s hard to believe someone that young could’ve risen to the rank of admiral.” – Marge Simpson

It’s August, which means that it’s time for the networks to show off their upcoming seasons to critics and advertisers. In addition to celebrating another meaningless milestone (600 episodes, 400+ of which are Zombie Simpsons), they’re going to have a two-part episode:

The animated Fox comedy will offer up an hourlong episode (including commercial time) that is a hip-hop homage to The Great Gatsby and features such guest voices as Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key, the network announced at the TCA Summer Press Tour on Monday.

It’s going to be some kind of rap musical, which would’ve been awesome in 1996 and will undoubtedly be wince inducing when it’s broadcast in January of 2017. (Remember what happened the last time they did a cross-over with a music heavy FOX show? It wasn’t pretty.) Their other publicity stunt is to share Amy Schumer as a guest voice with Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers:

The comedian will guest-star on three animated Fox shows on Sept. 25, the network announced on Monday at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour. “She recorded all shows at once and they were very accommodating and they can pretty much record someone in any city,” Fox chief Dana Walden told reporters. “It was just very lucky and fortuitous. It was always designed for the same actor. That was our goal and what the shows anticipated, that there would be connective tissue throughout the night.”

The Inside Amy Schumer star will play different characters on Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, and Family Guy.

I’m not quite sure how to fully parse that. If “It was always designed for the same actor” doesn’t refer to a single character, then is the “It” there merely the publicity stunt of having one person on all three shows and they just happened to slot in Schumer? Either way: meh.

12
May
16

John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man

MoldersBoy

“Can I pick the song?” – Bart Simpson
“No. The song will be John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Frinkiac.com, the lovable rascals who made creating Simpsons screen grabs far easier than I ever could, have now added .gif support. It’s just you and me now, lock of hair.

09
Mar
15

So Long, Sam Simon

SayonaraSam

“You’re a comedy writer?  My God, you’re so old!” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“I want my check!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Haha, you’re a writer alright!” – Roger Meyers Jr.

Sam Simon, one of the three godfathers of The Simpsons, died today at the age of 59.  It was almost exactly two years ago that he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and from that moment until his death today he handled it with grace, generosity, and, befitting Simon, a lot of humor.  They gave him three-to-six months; he lasted nearly two and a half years, laughing about it all the way.

The tributes to him are pouring in from people who knew him and those who just knew his work.  I’ll only say this, the show he did so much to create treated life and death with a mirthful contempt that resonated with hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.  He’s gone, but he’ll still be making people smile for a long time to come.

Sayonara, Sam.

21
May
14

Last Night, On Twitter . . .

Homer's Barbershop Quartet12

“I can’t remember the last time we were all together.” – Principal Skinner
“Last year, on that stupid Dame Edna special.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Al Jean continues to ever so gingerly dip his toes into the never ending torrent of love, hate and general bullshit that is Twitter.  Last night, he tweeted out this undated picture of some of the old staff:

JeanWritersPic

I wasn’t sure who everybody was, so I asked him, and he was kind enough to reply.  From left to right it’s him, Mike Reiss, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jay Kogen, Jon Vitti, and Jeff Martin.  He also said this:

Aren’t you the guys that trash us every week? Peace and love, man.

I’d quibble with “trash” and substitute “criticize”, but I don’t begrudge him his point of view on that.  Al, we love you all the same, and thanks for the picture!

31
Dec
13

Off Topic: A Friend’s Ripping Good Read

The-Wizard-of-Evergreen-Terrace3.png
“These Hardy Boys books are great, too.  This one’s about smugglers.” – Homer Simpson
“They’re all about smugglers.” – Bart Simpson
“Not this one, The Smugglers of Pirate Cove, it’s about pirates.” – Homer Simpson
If you’re reading this post then you’ve probably already read the “Zombie Simpsons” mini-book.  That little thing would’ve been much worse if not for the help of, as I said in the acknowledgements, “my friend Liz”.  Well, today Liz became a for-real published author with her first dead tree book, Hunted:
Elizabeth-Heiter-Hunted
As you can probably judge from the cover, it’s a mystery novel.  Specifically, it’s about an FBI profiler on the trail of an asshole who murders young women.  It’s a real page turner, the ending is both scary and great, and I can personally attest that she did her homework.  Liz has been to the FBI’s training center, has shelves groaning under books about modern homicide investigation, and has a sharp eye for which procedural details are cool and move the story and which ones aren’t and don’t.
The main Amazon link is here (Kindle or paperback), her Goodreads page is here (where Hunted has four stars on 28 ratings), and this is her website (yes, that is her in the sunglasses with the semi-automatic pistol).  This is the first book in a series, and if you like fun and pulpy mysteries, it will suck you right in and keep you turning pages long after you planned to be doing something else.
26
Oct
13

RIP: Marcia Wallace and Mrs. Krabappel

Bart the Lover12

“Bart, it’s such a nice day today, let’s have detention outside.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Sad news, Marcia Wallace, Mrs. Krabappel herself, died yesterday.  The cause was “complications from breast cancer”:

She would also build a second career as a voice-over actress, giving life to Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s cynical and chain-smoking fourth grade teacher on “The Simpsons.” The role, a sublime parody of disaffected instruction, earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. The show’s executive producer Al Jean said Saturday that the character would  be retired out of deference to Wallace’s death.

Good on Jean.  So long, Marcia.  We’ll miss you. 

RIP Marcia Wallace

Left image shamelessly yoinked from The Wrap link above.  Right image, one final “Ha”.

07
Aug
13

Simpsons T-Shirt Designs Galore!

Ripoff

“Eighteen bucks for this?  What a ripoff!” – Some Guy

Yesterday was the entry deadline for Threadless’s Simpsons design contest.  All told they accepted 820 submissions (and there was a real rush at the end because that number was 494 when I checked it yesterday afternoon).  You can view all of them here, and scoring goes on until Tuesday, so you’ve got plenty of time to vote. 

I’m not sure how many they are going to actually print, but there are definitely a couple that I’d consider actually buying.  Below are some of the ones I liked best, but there are a lot more at the site. 

Wow! Chocolate, half price! – It’s a little busy as a design, but it’s a very recognizable scene so it shouldn’t be a problem. 

BONESTORM – Oh, nothing, just the Bonestorm logo. 

Hitmen… best friends – Lenny and Carl in a fantastically well drawn guns out version of Travolta and Jackson from Pulp Fiction

Movie Poster – Man Getting Hit By Football, an official selection of the Springfield Film Festival.

The Stingy & Battery Show – The black and white broadcast look is a nice touch.

Monorail Emblem – Just what it says. 

They Fight & Bite – Giant Itchy head.

They Fought & Bit – Scratchy version.

Lincoln Squirrel – This is one of those you could basically never wear to anything but a gathering of geeks, but if someone recognized it you could probably be their best friend forever. 

You don’t win friends with salad! – Illustrated with all the constituent parts of a common hot dog.

I got toasted at Flaming Moe’s – This shirt would be ideal for taking off before you sit down to a family dinner.

Lisa&Marge&Homer&Maggie&ElBarto – Nice usage of the “bunch of names” t-shirt design. 

The Fraternity – The Stonecutters emblem with “Stonecutters” and “Est. 776 BC”.  I’d like this better if it was just the emblem, make people figure out what it is.  (Also, they were established long after 776 BC if their “fifteen-hundredth anniversary” was in 1995.)

Simpson & Son Tonic – You look like a man who needs help satisfying his wife.

A Vintage Intro – There are a lot of these that involve using the outlines of the characters, and this is probably my favorite.  The clouds are great, but it’s especially nice the way they worked in Snowball II and Santa’s Little Helper. 

Duff Beer Can Pop Art – Andy Warhol Duff is a great idea, and the colors are fantastic.

Spruce Moose – This could’ve done with a few less elements, plane and airport names alone would’ve been enough, but I can’t design for shit, so what do I know?

dnjk – The bullies.

Duff Ad ! – A pinup Marge selling Duff!  Viva life!

Silhouette Night – Again, this one is very obscure, even moreso because it comes from “The Principal and the Pauper”, but it’s still pretty cool.

The Simplesons – Another silhouette one, but very, very minimal.  It especially looks good on the black background of the t-shirt.

Bleeding Gums Murphy – A jazzman deserves a portrait with some style. 

Meet the Be Sharps! – There were a few Be Sharps designs, this one is their album cover in all its silly glory. 

Worker & Parasite – Exactly that.  Are those letters even actual Cyrillic?  I have no idea.

Brave Corporate Logo – Mr. Sparkle says “Join Me or Die!”.

TRONUT – Ah, old school Tron.

A Super-Simpsons-Spectrum – Yet another silhouette, the colors are nice but I might get rid of the logo at the bottom.  It’s pretty obvious what this shirt is.

Up and Atom! – Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy in a simple, 2-d design. 

Food Chain – The food chain, with Homer at the center. 

The Frogurt is also Cursed – Like so many of these I think this one is trying a little to hard to make people get the reference, but evil frogurt is evil frogurt. 

Lisa Plays – And if a jazzman deserves a portrait in style, so does one of the great little ladies of jazz.  The spotlight is a nice touch.

The Painting – Just the sailboat from behind the couch.  It’s simple and generic looking, and would probably fly over the heads of even casual fans, but that’s what makes it cool.

THRILLHO_ – 8-bit (16?), monochrome Thrillhouse.

Shudder – Translating the rake scene into a still image is tricky, but this design pulled it off.

Mr. Plow – Just the logo with an enjoyably pleased looking Homer.

Everything’s Coming Up Milhouse – Milhouse jumping from the end of “Lisa’s Date with Density” combined with his winning phrase from “Mom and Pop Art”.

Precious Venus – Mmmm, gummy Venus.

Doof – From Sweden! 

Angry. Angry Young Man. – Sideshow Raheem with black power hair picks.  Nice.

Ben – Just a bear with a microphone strapped to his head. 

YELLOW – I like the inventive nudity and all, but how come Marge doesn’t have a mouth?

The Happy Sumo – The neon sign from the outside of Springfield’s first sushi restaurant.

Down With Homework – Simple and effective for starting riots.

Guy Incognito X Homer – A great design showing off Homer and his exact double. 

Can I borrow a Feeling – It’s got his picture on it!

JARRING MIX – Nice little Futurama cross over. 

Eye On Springfield – And now, Part 7 in our eye opening look at the bikini. 

The Be Sharps – Another Be Sharps design, this time just of their name and a hat.  Cool.

3 Ralph Moon – Three Wolf Moon is nigh ancient in internet time, but this is pretty funny. 

Yay! It’s laser day! – Speaking of Ralph, here he is in another meme that’s not exactly fresh but really works well with him.

Springfield: Good – A Springfield postcard design with Jebediah’s motto. 

let your spirit soar – Mona’s painting of Homer as a kid would probably be good for a real life kid, particularly the kind who enjoy running around naked. 

It’s just a little airborne! – Just a flying pig with an apple in its mouth.  Simplicity itself. 

The Godburns – Finely detailed drawing of Burns as Vito Corleone. 

Demoiselle D´Simpson – An artsy Homer, Marge and Maggie. 

The Simpsons’ Present… – Homer’s Hitchcock outline from “Treehouse of Horror III”.  This would get double pop culture reference points on a t-shirt. 

WITH IT! – I’m generally not a fan of t-shirts that have more text than Ivanhoe on them, but Grampa’s quote about not being with it anymore is awfully tempting. 

As I said above, there are a lot more.  The list here isn’t even 10% of them, and Threadless’s site is easy to scroll through (it’s 30 designs to a page), so check ’em out and vote for your favorites.




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