Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Tom Wolfe Is Screaming"

This is a funny, well-written article from the LA Times, with a number of great quotes, so I'm going to go ahead post it in its entirety so that it will be preserved for Simpsons fans. Click on the link for photos of the recording session.
The call of 'D'oh!'
Writers Michael Chabon, Tom Wolfe and Gore Vidal become downright animated for 'The Simpsons' guest spots.

By Steven Barrie-Anthony | Times Staff Writer

Tom Wolfe is screaming. He screams softly, this Southern gentleman, his trademark white suit unwrinkled, his spats unwavering even as a giant granite boulder hurtles down upon him. It looks to be the end of the pioneering New Journalism author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

"Aaaaaaaahh! Wait, no, that wasn't good, let me start over."

"How did you scream last time a boulder was hurtling toward you?" asks Carolyn Omine, executive producer of "The Simpsons."

"Why don't you try, 'Aaaaahhhh, my suit!' " suggests a rail-thin, nerdy-looking writer, from the front of the Fox recording studio.

"Ahhhhh, my suit! It's gabardine!" wails Wolfe, toward the microphone. "Well, but cops wear gabardine."

Slowly, Wolfe transforms. Even now, this episode's director, Mark Kirkland, is circling Wolfe, snapping pictures. Soon, a team of animators will render Wolfe bug-eyed and yellow-skinned. A year from now he'll appear on television alongside Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the bartender Moe in an episode of "The Simpsons" parodying highfalutin literary culture.

"We started with the idea of Moe as Charles Bukowski," explains Matt Warburton, who wrote the episode. "We brought Lisa in as the person who discovers in scuzzy, barfly Moe something that we've never seen before: a poet." Antics ensue, with Wolfe and fellow guest stars Gore Vidal, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen voicing themselves. All were thrilled to participate.

"This is the only show of any sort that I watch on television," Wolfe says, sitting in the greenroom after recording. The immaculately dressed author is surrounded by a group of scruffy Harvard-educated "Simpsons" writers, hanging on his every word. "My son, Tommy, who's now 20, one of his first words was [Homer's trademark exclamation] 'D'oh!' And now any conversation he has with anybody, he'll reference 'The Simpsons.'"

The writers laugh knowingly. This isn't uncommon. The show is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most guest voices of any animated series, and invitees are often begged to participate by their children or younger friends who see it as akin to nabbing the Nobel Prize. Past guests include actors (Kirk Douglas, Drew Barrymore), musicians (U2, The Who) athletes (Andre Agassi, Magic Johnson), politicians (Tony Blair) and even the most reclusive of writers (Thomas Pynchon lent his voice twice, and faxed in a list of jokes beforehand).

"The fastest 'yes' I ever received was Elizabeth Taylor," says Bonnie Pietila, the producer in charge of casting. "I hung up the phone after leaving a message and she called back five minutes later." Some celebrities are so eager to appear on the show "that they have a representative call us on a monthly basis," Pietila says. "But we only have 22 episodes each season." Al Gore is one of the few to have turned "The Simpsons" down.

On a stiflingly hot Monday afternoon, Franzen and Chabon drive onto the Fox lot together. They convene with producers in the greenroom and sit on couches surrounding a wide swath of sandwich makings, jumbo cookies and fruit that nobody ever seems to touch.

"My kids and my father are very excited," Chabon says. He's not kidding. Reached later by phone, his father, Robert Chabon, said that he always expected Michael to win a Pulitzer (which he did in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). "And I still think he's going to win the National Book Award," said the Kansas City, Kan., pediatrician. "But him being on 'The Simpsons' is beyond my wildest dreams. You envision certain successes for your children, but this kind of success — I never envisioned."

Sometimes the show seems to be instigated by a vast conspiracy of children. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening strolls into the greenroom and once again tells Chabon that his kids are big Chabon fans. "That's great," Chabon says, grinning. "My kids were very excited when I told them that Matt Groening's kids know who their father is."

The script calls for Chabon and Franzen to brawl during a dispute about their literary influences, and standing next to each other in the recording room, the friends ready themselves for a fight. Franzen complains loudly that he has fewer lines than Chabon — "Only 38 words!" — to which Chabon responds, "I see there's a little counting going on in the Franzenian corner."

Dan Castellaneta, the voice of many "Simpsons" characters, including Homer, Barney, Krusty the Clown and Groundskeeper Willie, sits on a swivel chair nearby, wearing sunglasses and smiling at the amateurs. Then Groening arrives, a red light glows and recording begins.

Franzen need not have worried about counting words. The session's Emmy-worthy performances are wordless strings of yelps and grunts. After reading and rereading their lines, the writers take turns making fight noises like "urrrrrg!" and "ugh!" and "ouch!" Chabon throws his whole body into it, lunging at the microphone, while Franzen keeps a dry, acerbic cool. Omine, the producer, reads them their cues, and writers sitting around the room toss out ideas as they occur.

Franzen: "Gaa! Dajjjmit! Ach! Rrrr!"

Writer: "How about, 'Nooo! My prescription-less glasses, the ones I wear to look smart!'"

Franzen: "My trademark glasses!"

Omine: "Let's continue with Jonathan, because you have to whack Michael with a chair. Some more pain sounds, please."

Writer: "How about saying, 'You fight like Anne Rice!' "

Eventually, it's time to encounter that same runaway granite chunk that flattened Tom Wolfe. Franzen's scream has a hint of falsetto; Chabon writhes as he lets out an anguished moan.

It's over in less than an hour; but echoes of those recordings will stick with you, says Amy Tan, author of the 1990 book The Joy Luck Club, who voiced herself on the show five years ago. "Among a certain group of mostly younger people, I'm like a movie star of cartoons," she says. "People who are not impressed with anything else are very impressed that I was in 'The Simpsons.' I don't know what the equivalent would be. Like I was playing with the Rolling Stones or something. It's as though I actually know Homer and Marge and the kids."

Being on the show doesn't improve a writer's salability, says Sandra Dijkstra, Tan's literary agent. "I don't think it does anything for their careers. My impression is that it's simply fun. 'The Simpsons' is countercultural and subversive and it makes important statements about America today. Good writers want to be subversive, and they want to be on 'The Simpsons.' "

If there were a trophy for hipsterism, it might well be in the shape of Homer's head. The series that Time magazine dubbed "the best show in the history of television" has for 17 years spawned conversations on playgrounds and at cocktail parties. It's the focus of university classes and doctoral theses. And it long ago infiltrated the lingo of today's high school kids, who don't know a Simpson-less world. ("D'oh!" was included in the 2001 Oxford Dictionary.)

But despite its cultural saturation, Gore Vidal hasn't watched the show. "I live in Italy," he says, walking with a cane toward a lone chair in the recording studio. "I don't see much American TV."

Vidal puffs out his chest and begins, imbuing his lines with the solemn dignity of a Shakespearean actor. Each syllable receives its share of attention. Groening watches intently from a couch, smiling. Vidal doesn't sound like a Simpson. He sounds like Gore Vidal.

It's a wrap. Vidal says that he "can't wait" to see the episode and that transforming into a yellow-skinned character is a return of sorts: "After all, I had jaundice as a kid." On the way out, he segues into a favorite topic and tells the producers, "There's a White House plan to destabilize California like they've destabilized Iraq or Iran." Then he leaves the studio. Alive. Vidal is the only one of these authors to escape a cartoon death.

Monday, November 28, 2005

UltraHomer & AstroBart

One of the purposes of this blog is to showcase pictures of Simpsons characters as superheroes and science fiction and horror icons. This custom action figure of Homer Simpson as Ultraman (sold on eBay last month) reminded me that I hadn't done that in awhile, so...

Below are pictures from the couch gag that appeared in the episodes "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" and "Fraudcast News."

The Simpsons' couch has been replaced with a bench at a Japanese bus stop. The family members, dressed as popular animé characters, fly onscreen and demonstrate their superpowers.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!

Bart and Homer discuss the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Bart: "I know it wouldn't hurt them to use some cartoons made in the last fifty years."
Homer: "Son, this is a tradition. If you start building a balloon for every flash-in-the-pan cartoon character, you'll turn the parade into a farce."

[7507] "Bart vs. Thanksgiving"
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm still waiting on turkey.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

HABF01 - Simpsons Christmas Stories

Much like the Simpsons' annual "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episodes, this season's Christmas episode -- [HABF01] "Simpsons Christmas Stories" -- will feature a trilogy of Yuletide stories:

The First (Annoyed Grunt) el – When Reverend Lovejoy’s car breaks down, Homer takes over the sermon and gives his version of the birth of Christ, featuring Joseph (Homer), Mary (Marge) and the evil King Herod (Burns).

I Saw Grampa Cussing Santa Claus – Grampa’s out to exact his revenge on Father Christmas. During the war, Grampa and his gunner, Burns, were shot down and stranded on an island. They thought Santa was an enemy aircraft and shot down his sleigh. When they realised their mistake, they repaired the sleigh, and Santa rode away, promising to send help, but never did.

The Nutcracker… Sweet – The people of Springfield go about their Christmas days, to the tune of the Nutcracker. Moe attempts suicide, Marge struggles to make Christmas dinner and Homer frantically searches for Marge’s gift.

The episode will air on Sunday, December 18.

And while we're on the subject of holidays, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I'll return to blogging after the tryptophan-induced turkey hangover passes. Mmmm... turkey.

Simpsons Comics #115, Bart Simpson #28

From the December 2005 Previews catalog, here are the solicitations for the Bongo comics shipping in February 2006:
Simpsons Comics #115
by Dixon & Ortiz
Krusty the Clown and Ned Flanders take center stage this month in two separate but equally funny stories. First, Krusty quits show biz for health reasons, and ends up working at of all places... the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant! Then, Ned Flanders enters a Hitchcockian web of intrigue and suffers a bout of vertigo-areeno when he becomes obsessed with a woman who is a dead ringer for his dearly departed wife, Maude!

Bart Simpson #28
by Groening & Morrison
In this month's plethora of pint-sized pranks and parodies, Bart is in over his head when he attempts to sneak into a horror film; Milhouse has a life-altering door-to-door sales experience; Groundskeeper Willie trains Lisa to be a "vampire croaker"; and Bart conjures up a brand new Angry Dad adventure!
Also coming in February:
Simpsons Comics Volume 14: Jam-Packed Jamboree Trade Paperback
by Matt Groening & Various
The Simpsons are slammin' with the newest mama-jama of fabulous funnies! It's a wham-bam thank you ma'am of hilarity; a hommina-hommina-hommina of humor! First, Marge takes to the bench and dispenses justice with a firm hand... and a plateful of fudge, in "Judge Marge!" Then, the Simpsons win an all-expenses-paid trip to Bosqueverde, a remote Latin American country, only to find themselves in the middle of a military coup in "¡Viva Bart!" And when Homer captains a "Love Boat" of adventure and romance, his passengers will soon be "Cruisin' for a Bruisin'." Add in a "turn of the century" fair, Malibu Stacey, 10,000 packets of irradiated seeds, a very bad case of hayfever, Hank Scorpio, one prodigal son, Doctor Colossus, an epic search for kitchen curtains, and a masked brigade of vengeance seeking shopkeepers, and you've got one gut-bustin', side-splitting, spine-bursting, page-turning collection of Simp-sational comedy! ($14.95)

Frank Gehry in Springfield

In episode GABF08, "The Seven-Beer Snitch" (April 3, 2005), Frank Gehry became the first celebrity architect to have a guest voice cameo on "The Simpsons."

Architecture student David Teoh writes about Gehry's appearance on his blog today, and nicely illustrates it with framegrabs of the episode.

Also, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story on the episode a few days after it aired.

I'm looking forward to seeing "The Seven-Beer Snitch" again, now that I'm familiar with Gehry and some of his architectural masterpieces. I'll have a lot more appreciation for the detail the animators captured, of both the exterior and the interior of his creations.

Top: Famous architect Frank Gehry and a model of the concert hall he designed for Springfield.

Bottom: Frank Gehry's "Walt Disney Concert Hall" in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Queer Eye for the Comic Book Guy"?

From the New York Comic-Con website:
New York Comic-Con Fans… Queer Eye is looking for STRAIGHT GUYS!

If you or someone you know is a cute guy, a die-hard comic enthusiast, but needs some cleaning upEMAIL US TODAY!

We are currently looking for the following characters…

• A fan who needs help getting ready for a major event in his life (i.e. wedding, high school reunion, family reunion, adoption interview)
• An artist who is making his debut at New York Comic-Con
• A guy who has an extreme occupation (i.e. bounty hunter, stunt man, timber cutter, news anchor, weatherman, etc…)
• A fan who is a widower and ready to date again
• A fan who needs to get cleaned up for a job interview
• A fan who is expecting a new baby but his memorabilia is taking up too much space in his home


When applying please keep in mind:

• This is the chance of a lifetime.
• You MUST live in the New York City Metropolitan area--not more than 30 miles away
• You MUST be a straight male between the ages of 25-40.
• You MUST have an outgoing and dynamic personality.

If you or someone you know is great guy with charisma please send photos and reasons why we should choose you / him.


You heard them, NYC comic geeks, this is the chance of a lifetime. Or something.

"Worst. Reality Show. Ever."

Today in History: November 22

42 years ago, on November 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (or "JFK" as he is known to "Itchy & Scratchy" director Oliver Stone) was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. "Lone gunman" Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Decades later, Professor John Frink used the Zapruder Film to demonstrate that Marge Simpson was involved in the assassination: "And if we freeze on frame 138, we distinctly see a puff of blue hair coming from the grassy knoll." Who really killed JFK? Despite the lack of any new evidence, the media rehashes this question every year on this day.

Monday, November 21, 2005

More Simpsons Safety Posters

The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Safety Inspector strikes again!

Back in September, Victor House Publications released a set of Simpsons-themed safety posters. (See the original set here).

Here are four new designs. Hopefully they will eventually publish a Simpsons poster for each item on their Safety Topics list.

Also, you can check out their other Simpsons-themed safety products here, such as employee safety cards, quizzes, and table tents.

This Week: Futurama Comics #22

Due in comic shops on Wednesday, November 23:
Futurama Comics #22
by Boothby & Kazaleh

Bender becomes the 31st century's newest diet guru, and before long President Nixon appoints him czar of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. But too much power in the wrong robots hands is a dangerous thing, and the physically tired and huddled masses of New New York City are soon yearning to be free of Bender's tyrannical exercise regimen.
"Hey that sounds good! Let's all buy it!"

-- Ian Boothby of Urban Improv

Today in History - November 21

On November 21, 1877, inventor Thomas Alva Edison announced the invention of his phonograph.

From the Edison National Historic Site:

OK, then--did they save his brain when he died?

This was stated on an episode of "The Simpsons" (first aired September 20, 1998), but don't worry, it is not true. Edison's brain is buried with the rest of his body behind his home, Glenmont, which is part of Edison National Historic Site.

However, when Edison died, some people thought that saving his brain was a good idea. Professor Oskar Vogt at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, Germany, said that Edison's brain should be saved and studied by scientists. (This was reported in the New York Times, October 25, 1931.) Luckily, no one listened to him.

Most of the facts given about Edison in the Simpsons episode were quite accurate--more so than most Edison documentaries! However, there were a few errors:

Although Edison claimed to have invented wax paper, he probably did not.
He invented the alkaline storage battery.
He did not invent the microphone.
He had no machine that talked to the dead. (See above.)
He had no poster of Leonardo daVinci.
There was no six-legged chair or electric hammer.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter Opens to $36.4 Million. Yahoo! News has the Full Coverage.

Spoiler Warning: Harry finally grows up and marries Lisa Simpson.


Disclaimer: All posts on the "Crisis on Infinite Springfields" blog are intended for entertainment purposes only. Actually following any advice posted on this blog may result in disciplinary action.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Philosopher of the Decade

Top Philosopher Homer

Homer Simpson has been named man of the decade.

The doughnut-loving cartoon dad won a place in the poll in Britain's Men's Health magazine to find the most influential men of the past 10 years.

In the 10 categories, Homer won the title Philosopher Of The Decade, while 'Live 8' organiser Sir Bob Geldof, iPod creator Jonathan Ive, TV chef Jamie Oliver and England soccer manager Sven-Goran Eriksson also made the Top 10.

Editor Morgan Rees said: "These are people of real substance and solid achievement rather than temporary fame.

"The people on our list have used their talents to change the world around them, rather than just to draw attention to themselves."

He added: "Homer taught a generation how to take on the challenge of modern fatherhood and win - although not always with honour."

(Source: The Canadian Press BANG Media International)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

News Roundup

Harvard Crimson Magazine reminds us that many writers on "The Simpsons," including Conan O'Brien, got their start at the Harvard Lampoon.

The Chelmsford Independent has an article about Simpsons artist Lance Wilder.

And the Unofficial Apple Weblog has some fun Futurama links.

"The Last of the Red Hat Mamas"

"The Last of the Red Hat Mamas" airs Sunday, November 27. You can read the synopsis in the November Sweeps post.

"See Homer Run" airs this Sunday, November 20. The Springfield Post has posted Fox's television promo here. A different promo is available at the Fox home page.

In other news, the Promise Keepers are praying for "The Simpsons."

Simpsons Comics #113

Coming in December:
It's a hard knock life for Bart when his latest prank lands him in the Springfield Orphanage. Things go from bad to worse as Bart learns the orphanage is run by Mr. Burns... and this billionaire is no Daddy Warbucks! Can Bart lead an urchin insurrection and oust the evil Burns? Or will his attempted coup only lead to more gruel and unusual punishment?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Simpsons Comics #112 Out Today

"When Second Bananas Attack!" Witness Wiggum, P.I. face "The Curse of the Mama Jama Voodoo Zombie Gumbo"! See the Love-Matic Grampa in "Exchanging Ows"! Behold the Simpson Family Smile-Time Salute to Rock & Roll! That's right, it's time for the "Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase Quickly-Cancelled Comics Cavalcade!!" written and drawn by Ty Templeton.

(Previously discussed here).

Simpsons Comics Reviews

I had noticed that Silver Bullet Comics occassionally reviewed Simpsons comics, but didn't realize until today how consistently they do so. Check out the list below. I also found this interview with Ty Templeton.

Line of Fire Reviews of Simpsons Comics:

Simpsons Comics #30
Simpsons Comics #36
Simpsons Comics #41
Simpsons Comics #47
Simpsons Comics #48
Simpsons Comics #49
Simpsons Comics #50
Simpsons Comics #52
Simpsons Comics #53
Simpsons Comics #54
Simpsons Comics #56
Simpsons Comics #57
Simpsons Comics #57
Simpsons Comics #58
Simpsons Comics #59
Simpsons Comics #60
Simpsons Comics #61
Simpsons Comics #62
Simpsons Comics #64
Simpsons Comics #65
Simpsons Comics #66
Simpsons Comics #67
Simpsons Comics #67
Simpsons Comics #68
Simpsons Comics #69
Simpsons Comics #70
Simpsons Comics #71
Simpsons Comics #72
Simpsons Comics #73
Simpsons Comics #74
Simpsons Comics #75
Simpsons Comics #76
Simpsons Comics #77
Simpsons Comics #78
Simpsons Comics #79
Simpsons Comics #80
Simpsons Comics #81
Simpsons Comics #82
Simpsons Comics #83
Simpsons Comics #83
Simpsons Comics #84
Simpsons Comics #85
Simpsons Comics #85
Simpsons Comics #86
Simpsons Comics #87
Simpsons Comics #88
Simpsons Comics #89
Simpsons Comics #89
Simpsons Comics #90
Simpsons Comics #90
Simpsons Comics #91
Simpsons Comics #92
Simpsons Comics #93
Simpsons Comics #94
Simpsons Comics #95
Simpsons Comics #96
Simpsons Comics #97
Simpsons Comics #97
Simpsons Comics #98
Simpsons Comics #99
Simpsons Comics #100
Simpsons Comics #101
Simpsons Comics #102
Simpsons Comics #103
Simpsons Comics #104
Simpsons Comics #105
Simpsons Comics #106
Simpsons Comics #107
Simpsons Comics #108
Simpsons Comics #109
Simpsons Comics #110
Simpsons Comics #111
Simpsons/Futurama Crisis Crossover II #1
Simpsons/Futurama Crisis Crossover II #2
Futurama/Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis #1
Futurama/Simpsons #1
Futurama/Simpsons #2
They've also reviewed a number of issues of Futurama, Bart Simpson comics and trade paperbacks, etc., which you can find by using the handy Search function in the righthand column of their website.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wolverine on "The Simpsons"?

Special thanks to Jeff for sending me the following article:

The X3 Advertising Campaign / Full Trailer News
Posted Wednesday November 9th, 2005

Brazilian magazine Herói recently interviewed Daniela Tose (international director of licensing) and Mark Rhodes (vice-president of retail development) at Marvel. They had the following pieces of information to offer based on the advertising campaign that they have planned for X-Men 3:

· A full trailer for X3 will be released in February. It will be exhibited in theaters, on the internet and at various other big events (including the Superbowl Finals).

· Hugh Jackman will make a special appearance on The Simpsons next year. This will likely coincide with the promotion of the movie.

· There will also be some mention of X-Men in an episode of The OC next year as well.

Special thanks go out to Nelson, who runs Brazil's largest X-Men 3 Fan Community. If you speak Portuguese then be sure to check it out!

Source : Heroi Magazine | Archived News

Homer as Wolverine custom action figure by Alecia Gulley.

Simpsons Season 7 DVD

From the DVD Times:

Fox Home Entertainment
have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season for 13th December 2005 priced at $49.98 SRP. The complete seventh season will be available in 2 collectible packages. The first is a limited edition molded pack in the shape of Marge Simpson's head, and is the next in a line of collectible molded character packages that began with Homer Simpson in Season 6. The second package will be available at street date and on an on-going basis, and is in the same format as the Simpsons Season 1-5 digipacks.

Features on this four-disc set include:
  • 1.33:1 Full Frame Presentations
  • English DD5.1 Surround
  • French and Spanish DD2.0 Surround
  • English and Spanish subtitles
  • Introduction by Matt Groening
  • Commentaries by cast and crew on all episodes
  • 3D Homer Narrated by Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, David Mirkin, David S. Cohen, David Silverman, & Tim Johnson
  • Soups On with Paul & Linda
  • Super Illustrated Color Commentary: Summer of 4 Ft. 2
  • Super Illustrated Color Commentary on 3F16 The Day the Violence Died
  • Animation Showcase: Raging Abe Simpson and His Grubmling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"
  • Animation Showcase: Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily
  • Deleted Scenes (re-inserted back into episodes)
  • Deleted Scenes Intro by Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, & David Mirkin (Disc 4)
  • Deleted Scenes Gallery with optional commentary (Disc 4)
  • Sketch Gallery (10 Images)
  • Special Language Feature 4 extra Langs. @ 2.0 Audio: on episode 22 Short Films About Springfield: Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, & German
For more details, check out

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Flanders Was A Zombie?

FOX's official Simpsons website has a Halloween theme up today... watch Kang & Kodos attack Springfield! There's also a nifty Treehouse of Horror XVI Promo. And don't miss the Zombie Shoot-Out game! (Hint: Blast the evil Krusty doll for extra shotgun shells). My son's record is 314 zombies.

"Aim for the head!"
--Shaun of the Dead
(Click on the image above for a larger screen shot)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Choo Choo Choose This DVD

The high point of not having a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse to buy stuff for on Valentine's Day? More money to spend on Simpsons merchandise...
The Simpsons are back with another holiday-themed DVD! On February 7th, just a week before Valentine's Day, Fox is releasing The Simpsons - Kiss and Tell. This single-disc release comes with 4 episodes:
There are also extras in the form of an Animatic and a Multi-Angle Animation Showcase on this release, which runs 88 minutes and goes for $14.98 SRP in the USA and CA$16.98 in Canada. Video is full frame and audio is Dolby Surround in English, Spanish, & French. Subtitles are in English & Spanish. Since none of these episodes are on DVD yet (the earliest episode on this disc is from Season 9), it will be a great way to get these without waiting.

Russia vs. The Simpsons

A brief history of this cultural conflict:

The Simpsons On Trial In Russian Lawsuit
"The claimant says that the cartoon is filled with propaganda of violence, drugs and sex

The Simpsons Found Not Guilty by Russian Court
"A Moscow court has ruled that a complaint by a Muscovite who wanted the world-famous cartoons The Simpsons and Griffins to be banned from Russian TV was baseless."

Russian Court Says 'Nyet' to 'Simpsons' Suit
"We're not sure how 'Woo-hoo!' translates to Russian, but that's the general reaction from the Russian broadcaster of "The Simpsons" after beating a lawsuit related to the show."

Russian Censors Fuming Over The Simpsons
"Russian MPs have issued a final threat to TV stations to scale back on violent shows like The Simpsons if they want to avoid censorship."

Russian references on "The Simpsons"

Treehouse of Horror XVI

Not unlike Christmas in July, tomorrow night is Halloween in November, which has become something of a tradition on "The Simpsons"...
Season 17's annual trio of Halloween stories, featuring guests Dennis Rodman and Terry Bradshaw as themselves.
  • The fright-fest begins in “B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence” when the Simpsons adopt David, a newly developed artificial robot son, to replace Bart after he falls into a coma.
  • In “Survival of the Fattest,” Mr. Burns invites Homer and his friends to his gigantic estate for a hunting tournament, but Homer and the gang learn they are the ones being the hunted on “The World Series Of Manhunter” hosted by Bradshaw.
  • In the final Halloween scare, “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face,” a costume contest goes awry when a real witch turns all the Springfieldians into real-life versions of their costumes, leaving Maggie dressed like a witch with the only real power to reverse the spell.
Wasn't that last one an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #11

I finally tracked down a copy of Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #11 yesterday... an excellent issue sure to please fans of "The Simpsons" as well as Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's Tomb of Dracula, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing, and the classic EC horror comics that are spoofed here.

As a result, I've updated the Super Simpsons Handbook with an entry for Squish Thing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Simpsons Video Games!

I've been waiting for this announcement for a long time. As a huge fan of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, I was beginning to wonder if there would ever be any more Simpsons-related videogames on the horizon. I only hope that Electronic Arts can do at least as good a job as Radical Entertainment did. Here's the press release:

November 2, 2005 - Electronic Arts, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Gracie Films today announced a long-term deal that grants EA development rights to multiple videogame titles based on the FOX hit series THE SIMPSONS. Working closely with the television studio's Licensing and Merchandising division, Gracie Films and THE SIMPSONS writers, EA will create original 'Simpsons' game content for next generation videogame systems. This groundbreaking deal between Fox and EA is the first development deal between these two entities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The first game of the multi-game deal will be launched on next generation systems; no launch date has been announced. "This is a great opportunity for our talented development team to collaborate with the brilliant minds of THE SIMPSONS to bring original Simpsons material to videogame fans," said Nick Earl, Vice President and General Manager, EA Redwood Shores Studio. "This is something EA's been interested in for years and now game development and technology is at a place where THE SIMPSONS characters and world will really come alive in these games."

"The Simpsons is our crown jewel and with every additional episode is creating a legacy of creativity and success unmatched in this industry," commented Twentieth Century Fox President Gary Newman. "Its huge appeal among teens and young adults coupled with its seemingly limitless universe of memorable characters makes it a natural fit for videogaming, and we believe Electronic Arts is exactly the right creative partner to bring Springfield to life in this medium."

'Simpsons' Executive Producer James L. Brooks, speaking on behalf of Gracie Films, stated, "I think this is a great opportunity for us, primarily because it brings with it the possibility of free EA games."

Game development will be done at EA's Redwood Shores Studio, the studio currently responsible for From Russia With Love, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06, The Lord of The Rings: Tactics, The Godfather and The Sims games.

The image above is taken from Simpsons Comics #110. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Marge's Son Poisoning"

November 13 • Marge's Son Poisoning (GABF20)
Bart thinks the cure for Marge's loneliness is to spend more time with her, but that results in Bart being branded a "mama's boy"; Moe drags Homer into the world of arm wrestling.
(For more info on November sweeps episodes, see Friday's post).

Homer Simpson: This Is Your Wife

From the New York Post:

November 1, 2005 -- ATTENTION Homer Simpson: you may have already lost your beloved Marge to British comedic icon, Ricky Gervais.

The creator, writer and star of the original BBC version of "The Office" says Fox is putting the finishing touches on an episode of "" that he wrote and appears in as a guest star.

The soundtrack and voices for the show are done, Fox sources say, but the episode will spend the next few months being animated.

In "Homer Simpson: This is Your Wife," expected to air next spring, the Simpson family visits Fox's California studios.

At the Fox studio lot, the Simpsons see things like a Mischa Barton statue, and Homer gets to meet Dan Castellaneta from "The Tracey Ullman Show." Castellaneta has been the voice of Homer since "The Simpsons" first appeared as short animated sketches on "Tracey Ullman" in the late 1980s.

Then at Fox, Homer and Marge wind up on a reality show called "Disparate Housewives" to try to win money for a big-screen TV.

Homer gets saddled with a nasty, belittling Yale professor who is married to Gervais' character, Charles.

More storyboards at

In Comic Shops This Week

Due in from Diamond Comics Distributors on Wednesday, November 2:

Fun-in-the-sun on a remote tropical island turns into a tropical treasure trove of tricks and treachery for the Simpsons, when Mr. Burns sends them on a wild secret substance chase into the cream-filled center of an international scandal. Then, Ned takes a psycho-diddily-pathic turn for the worse, and Bart and Lisa enlist Rainier Wolfcastle to uncover the truth. Also, witness Apu's incredible 96-hour shift at the Kwik-E-Mart and a western adventure starring Homer Simpson.


Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture is an all-new book from the ongoing series: The Simpsons Library of Wisdom.
Allow the portly proprietor of 'The Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop' to guide you through the ins and outs, the fast food takeouts, online dates, things he hates, Wonder Woman dreams, internet schemes, chick flicks, Kung Fu kicks, gaming freaks, fan boy geeks, comic books, condescending looks, Tolkien's Middle Earth, his own middle girth, and every other aspect of pop culture from his own expertly acerbic point of view.

Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture - it's the worst, we mean, the best book ever!

In The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, Matt Groening, the creator of 'The Simpsons', offers an ongoing series of portable and quotable books that will eliminate the need for all religions and philosophies, exalt man's role in the universe and make the world a better place ... sort of. No other television show in history has commented so freely and so humorously on modern times, and there seems to be no end in sight for the sharp satire and pointed parody that 'The Simpsons' serves up every night of the week all around the world.


The Ralph Wiggum Book is an all-new book from the new series: The Simpsons Library of Wisdom.

There's more to Ralph than meets the eye. He might be that kid you feel like pointing towards and laughing at, but Ralph Wiggum has a 'special' way of disarming you with his completely off-kilter statements that always have the ring of truth about them. See the world through Ralph-coloured glasses as he muses on household pets, poetry, constellations, homemade gifts, hiding spots, sports, school, right and wrong, crime and punishment, love, leprechauns, wookies, wiggle puppies and a lot more non-booger and paste-related subjects.
So don't just stand there with your finger up your nose . pick a winner with The Ralph Wiggum Book.

In The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, Matt Groening, the creator of 'The Simpsons', offers an ongoing series of portable and quotable books that will eliminate the need for all religions and philosophies, exalt man's role in the universe and make the world a better place ... sort of. No other television show in history has commented so freely and so humorously on modern times, and there seems to be no end in sight for the sharp satire and pointed parody that 'The Simpsons' serves up every night of the week all around the world.
Also shipping from Diamond Comics this week:

Simpsons Bust-Ups: Series 1

Due to arrive in comic shops tomorrow:
Simpsons Bust-Ups: Series 1 Set
Simpsons Series 1 Bust-Ups™ will be packaged in coffin shaped boxes as this is a Treehouse of Horror series. Individual pieces stand 2-3 inches tall and come in several plastic pieces that fit together like a kit. Set of four (4) includes Bart the Raven, Count Burns, Devil Flanders, and Kang & Alien Maggie. By Gentle Giant Studios.
These have already been sighted at non-comics retail outlets such as Suncoast. Sure, Diamond is getting them into comic shops 2 days after Halloween, but they're still 4 days ahead of Fox, who won't be airing the new Treehouse of Horror episode until Sunday, November 6.