Born on this day in 1954, Matt Groening's instantly recognizable visual style, off-kilter humor, and knack for depicting the innate dysfunctionality of personal interactions have defined him as one of the most influential cartoonists of the late 20th/early 21st century. From self-publishing comics in the late '70s, to overseeing a multi-media empire in the new millennium, he's followed an unorthodox and unlikely path to fame and fortune, without compromising his idiosyncratic vision.
Music and comics have a long history of influencing one another, whether it’s story titles borrowing lyrics, band names taken from dialogue, or that one time that Matt Fraction had a Britney Spears analogue punch a bear in The Order. Sometimes, though, that connection goes beyond nods and winks, and a band or artist releases their very own licensed comic.
It happens more often than you probably realise. It’s no secret that, say, My Chemical Romance have their own official comic. (A comic, lest we forget, featuring a villainous cravat-wearing Grant Morrison.) But there are plenty of other artists with comics you may have never even known existed. Artists like, oh, I don’t know…
It might just be me, but I have to imagine that for a lot of people my age, it's still a little surprising to see Bongo's commitment to producing kid-friendly Simpsons comics. Pleasantly surprised, you understand, but still, I remember being a kid when that show started, and I have fond memories of both the parental outcry about how the Simpsons were actively destroying family values and the truly hilarious explosion of bootleg merchandise that followed its initial popularity. And yet, here we are, with a long-running line of comics that uses some of the most popular characters in any medium of the last quarter century to tell stories directed squarely at younger readers, and does it with a consistently high level of quality.
The latest offering: The Wonderful World of Lisa Simpson #1, a one-shot anthology of stories focusing on the Simpsons' often beleaguered middle child, told by a roster of all-star creators, mostly women, and it is great.
From the looks of what Diamond Comic Distributors has release so far, Free Comic Book Day 2014 on May 3, will once again be a most family-friendly affair.
Diamond unveiled what it's calling its "gold-level title" list today, 12 books from publishers including DC Comics, Marvel, Image, Archie, Dark Horse, Viz Media, Bongo Comics, Boom! Studios and Fantagraphics. The fare is almost all kid-friendly stuff, with Hello Kitty, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spongebob Squarepants, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Uncle Scrooge comics all on tap.
If you have ever dreamed about drinking a Flaming Moe at Moe's Tavern or having a for-real Krusty Burger, you can go get one in The Simpsons' apparent home state of... Florida?
That's right: Universal Studios Orlando has a fully realized Springfield. There's even an Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop (which assuredly sells Bongo Comics). So stifle your annoyed grunts (that's Simpsons script-speak for "d'oh") and check out all the images and video of the new attraction putting the "Spring" in "Springfield" after the cut.
When it comes to San Diego Comic-Con, every publisher approaches the show a little bit differently. Whether they house cosplay contests, interactive displays, photo ops with talent, creator signings and/or a whole lot of purchasable product, SDCC booths are an opportunity for the publishers that can attend to make a big impression on one of the most attended pop culture gatherings of the year. You can get a sampling of what publishers like Marvel, DC, Archie, Boom!, IDW, 2000 AD, Dark Horse, Image, Fantagraphics, Oni and others were up to on the show floor of this year's SDCC after the cut.
After 14 years, 7 seasons, multiple specials a video game and more, fans are understandably bummed that following its 140th episode in September, Matt Groening's Futurama will conclude... as an animated series, that is. Thanks to Bongo Comics, the adventures of Leela, Fry, Bender and the rest are planned to continue well into the foreseeable futur(ama).
Tech: Mimoco has revealed its newest Mimobot USB drive lines with images of characters from Transformers and G.I. Joe.
Digital: Bongo Comics has announced its new standalone app powered by ComiXology, which features a number of free titles from its line of Simpsons comics...
Creators in Need: The Hero Initiative is accepting donations on behalf of Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer, who is in a coma being struck by an automobile in a hit-and-run incident on June 23.
Movies: Michael "Magneto" Fassbender is starring in and co-producing an Assassin's Creed movie...
Movies: The German version of The Avengers movie trailer has an extra bit of footage at the end where Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Cap all say... well, things in German to each other.
Gaming: Gogii Games has a story-driven, free-to-play Archie videogame in the works for iPad, iPhone, Android and Flash in the works...