Friday, May 8, 2015

CBR Simpsons Comics #1


Here's a blast from the past - the very first original Simpsons Comics!

Cowabunga!

For more Matt Groening-related reviews, check these other pages below!

Comic title: Simpsons Comics #1 aka "The Amazing Colossal Homer" and "The Collector"
Art by Bill Morrison, Tim Bavington and Sondra Roy

Written by Steve Vance & Cindy Vance

Published by Bongo Comics
From 1993
Lineup The Simpsons series
Format: Single issue from the Simpsons Comics on-going series.

In the early 1990s, The Simpsons success was at its peak.

Homer Simpsons, Marge, Bart, Lisa & co quickly became staples of our pop culture. Countless video games were made. America's most popular family appeared over all sorts of pieces of merchandising and memorabilia.

Who would have even imagined they would last to this very day, new episodes still being produced year after year - quality questions aside.

And yet there were no comic books yet?

A first Simpsons comics was published through Welsh Publishing, an anthology feature of sorts titled Simpsons Comics and Stories #1 on January 1993. But despite its success, that was only a one-time only sort of thing.

Since Matt Groening really wanted to keep creative control on his creation he decided to simply launch his very own comic book publishing company - Bongo Comics. Named after his iconic very first comic strip creation, Life in Hell.

Founded in 1993 by Matt Groening, Bill Morrison, Steve Vance and Cindy Vance, Bongo comics would produce various Simpsons and Matt Groening-related comics over the years.

Its two main series being the Simpsons Comics ongoing series - and just like its namesake show still going strong currently - and a Bartman mini-series. Many more titles would follow such as a Itchy & Scratchy Comics, Radioactive Man, and many more!

This main Simpsons Comics was launched in November 1993, and it's now currently at about issue #216 as I write these lines!


This first issues contains the tale of "The Amazing Colossal Homer", a parody of the classic film feature "The Amazing Colossal Man", written by Steve and Cindy Vance, and illustrated by Bill Morrison and Tim Bavington.

This very first issue follows Homer as he's accidentally turned giant by a Mr. Burns by accident. He then starts rampaging through the town of Springfield...

But his path is not without danger... if he ends up stepping over the power plant, the town might just get destroyed!! His family attempts to draw his attention and calm him down...

The tone is very silly, and very reminiscent of the earlier Simpsons episodes. It's also a funny and simple enough tale. Unlike some more complicated Simpsons adventures, it's a pretty straightforward parody. The humor is in the tone of the show. The different characters' voices are pretty well captured on the paper.

It just feels like the original cartoon series and looks simply gorgeous. Great well-detailed cartoony art.

The most notable aspect of this comic, compared to most standard issues out there, is that you can flip it over... and then a secondary feature appears!


Surprise! This contains two features!

The first and main story is about 24 pages.

This secondary story is titled "Bart Simpson's Creepy Crawly Tales: The Collector", and it was aksi written by the Vances, illustrated this time by Sondra Roy and Bill Morrison.


This second tale printed backwards was made in the fashion of the show's famous "Treehouse of Horror" episodes.

Homer plays here "The Collector". One night as his butler leaves him for the weekend, this Collector gets trapped inside a vault protecting his personal comic book collection! To survive from the freezing temperature he is forced to burn his own treasured comic book collection!!!

It's a short but fun little "horror" tale. Kinda reminiscent of old Cryptshow stories. Of course it's also pretty silly and funny, just like a good parody. But I really liked the tone of this shorter tale.

And that's it for this very first issue. Both stories are pretty decent. And the art perfectly matches the cartoon, as expected.


Overall, it's a pretty decent start. A fun all-age title. And off to a great beginning, the very first original Simpsons comic before Bongo launched all those other spinoffs of questionable quality such as Radioactive Man, Bartman and many more!

This comic has something the crew kinda lost sight of in the newer episodes of the show. A more naive, simple and far stranger tone. Before they started overwhelming the show with too many subplots per episodes, overstuffed and crowded cameos and pop culture references.

It's a very nice all-age title for both kids and adults alike. I would certainly Recommend it for any fans of the show. It's well worth a read. This is classic Simpsons, closer to the older art style of the series, with a much similar humor and plot-wise. Even haters of the later seasons should give this a try, current issues still retained this classic Simpsons look.

This first issues was reprinted and offered as a bonus feature with The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis.

The comic series itself is still going strong and maintained this same great quality standard over the years. It even saw some great names in the industry like Gail Simone, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, Patton Oswalt, Kyle Baker, Paul Dini, Chuck Dixon, Evan Dorkin, Gerry Duggan and even Mark Hamill! Amongst the numerous spinoff titles, the annual horror Halloween issues of The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror is perhaps the most notable one, allowing different authors to reimagine and play with art styles to explore The Simpsons and all kinds of weird stories.

I give it:
2 / 3 Snoopies!

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