By Various (Titan Books)
Here’s another knowing laugh-fest culled from the pages of the Simpsons comic book (featuring material originally printed in issues# 10 and #32-35). ‘Rhymes and Misdemeanours’ (by Jeff Rosenthal, Tim Bavington, Stephanie Gladden, Phil Ortiz, Bill Morrison, Jeannine Black and Nathan Kane) is a sly and sarcastic pastiche of Beat Poets and Young Love as Lisa and portly intellectual Martin Prince are gripped in a savage war of sonnets and odes when poetry becomes a spectator sport at McBeans Coffee House.
Scott M. Gimple scripts the wonderful alternate unreality tale ‘The Great Springfield Frink-Out’ as the outlandish Professor Frink screws up the multiverse in a tale drawn, inked, lettered and coloured by Ortiz, Bavington, Black and Kane. ‘Burnsie on Board’ by Rob Hammersley, Gladden, Eric Tran, Tim Harkins, Black and Kane reveals how the parsimonious Mr. Burns develops some sporting spirit when he buys the Winter Olympics, and ‘To Live and Diaper in Springfield’ is the saga of how the monumental “Krusty’s Kids DayKare” monopoly was challenged by Mrs. Simpson’s homely little “Marge’s Charges”. The reckless baby-endangerment gags are courtesy of Billy Rubenstein, Ortiz, Bavington, Black and Kane.
The last long story is a tasteless tale of smuggling, tax-evasion and cheap gratification as Homer and family “win” a holiday from Mr. Burns. ‘Fan-Tasty Island’ is by Rosenthal, Luis Escobar, Bavington, Morrison, Robert Kramer, David Mowry, Richard Starkings Comicraft, Nathan Kane and Electric Crayon. Also included are the short features ‘Principal Skinner’s Bottom 40’, ‘Tiger-Teen’ (a magazine feature on those Barbershop heavyweights the Be Sharps) and the ‘Simpsons Supporters’ Suggestion Spin Cycle’ with Ian Boothby, Dan Studley, Jim Lincoln and Chris Ungar accompanying previous culprits in the creative mayhem. As ever Matt Groening takes the final blame for all the hilarity and offence in this sharp, funny and thoroughly enjoyable spin-off book.
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