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Simpsons Comics Shake-Up and Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Graphic Novel Reviews

Simpsons Comics Shake-Up Graphic Novel Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume One Graphic Novel

“Simpsons Comics Shake-Up” entertains while “Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 1” falls flat.

If you can’t get enough of “The Simpsons” on TV, you’ll be happy to know that you can now read comic book adventures of the iconic cartoon family courtesy of Harper Design’s graphic novel collections of the Bongo Comics.

One of the most recent graphic novel collections is dubbed “Simpsons Comics Shake-Up.” In this book, readers get stories about a Simpsons musical stage show, Homer’s beach guide, Bart’s report on Francis Scott Key, Homer acting as an attorney for Bart’s trial, a Simpsons family summer vacation (with Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball enjoying freedom at home), Dr. Nick’s illegal secret night medical practice, and Mr. Burns framing Homer for his one of his many illegal actions.

For the most part, ‘Shake-Up’ is exactly what one would expect a Simspons comic book to be like. These stories look and feel like the TV show in comic form right down to the art, visual gags, and scripted jokes. Sure, some jokes fall flat (like the Krusty storyline in “Dr. Nick @ Night”), but a majority of the stories and humor work rather well. How can you not laugh at the Simpsons musical (even if it work better audibly), the Brian Michael Bendis joke, the pop culture references, Grandpa Simpson’s lines or seeing Homer share a cell with Sideshow Bob? There’s something for every fan here.

Another recent graphic novel on the market is “Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 1.” In this softcover collection, there are stories about Bart’s antics at a fair, Bartman and Houseboy chasing after a bite happy squirrel, Chef Darcy Michael trying to implement healthy organic food at school (much to the displeasure of the students), MMORPGs, Maggie using the internet, Spider-Pig, Homer helping Lisa beat the heat, a Radioactive Man movie adaptation, Maggie using the internet, Snake and Apu, Bart facing off against the bully Kearney, Lisa and Homer playing a Second Life esque game, a multi Bart hero story involving Bartman, Stretch Dude and Cupcake Kid battling an evil Bart, and a story set in the future in which a Simpsons museum tour guide tells stories of how Homer, Bart and Lisa impacted the world.

I wish I could say ‘Colossal Compendium’ makes a great companion piece to ‘Shake-Up,’ but sadly ‘Colossal’ pales in comparison to the above mentioned graphic novel. Even though both graphic novels feature a mixture of writers, this collection is a colossal misfire if you’ll pardon the pun. The problem with these stories is that they are all better in concept than execution. Aside from the amusing Freak Show bit in the fair tale and the “Second Life” story which offers up some great one-liners and a great “Futurama” cameo, the jokes tend to fall flat here. Not even the ambitious and phony Radioactive Man movie adaptation comic elicits many thrills or laughs here. To be honest, the best part of this whole graphic novel is the nifty papercraft project featured in the very back.

Overall Thoughts: Pick up “Simpsons Comics Shake-Up” and skip “Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 1.”

April 14, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , ,

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