Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?

Buy My Book

“I’m not some dizzy starlet who can’t string two words together!” – C.M. Burns

It is my great relief to announce a project that has been the better part of a year in the making: “Zombie Simpsons: How the Best Show Ever Became the Broadcasting Undead”.  It’s a mini-book (~22,000 words) that is as close as I can come to a definitive statement on how The Simpsons became Zombie Simpsons.  Table of contents:

Part I – Putting the Spring in Springfield
1 – What Is Zombie Simpsons?
2 – The Terrible World of 1980s Television
3 – The Most Anti-Authority Show Ever
4 – You’re Watching FOX, Shame on You

Part II – Show Business Is a Hideous Bitch Goddess
5 – The Retirements
6 – The Deaths

Part III – Stories of Degradation and Humiliation
Season 7 – A Very Special Episode
Season 8 – Frank Grimes and the Phony Kidnapping
Season 9 – Armin Tamzarian and the Death of Story
Season 10 – Jerkass Homer Gets a Job
Season 11 – The Destruction of Springfield
Season 12 and Beyond – Zombie Simpsons

Appendix A – A Note on the Term Zombie Simpsons
Appendix B – Episode Numbers vs. Production Numbers
Appendix C – December 17th: Simpsons Day
Appendix D – A Defense of Mike Scully
Appendix E – Yeah, It Was That Good (1,000,000 A.D.)

You can read the first two chapters right here, right now.  And though the entire text will eventually be available for free on-line, before that happens we’re going to conduct an experiment in the strange new world of digital publishing.  If you want to read the entire book today, you can purchase it from Amazon’s Kindle store for $2.99.  (Why $2.99? Because that’s the minimum price Amazon demands for only taking 30% of the gross instead of 65%.)  It will remain available in that format and at that price indefinitely; meanwhile, it will be published in chunks here at Dead Homer Society until every dot, tittle and citation is on-line for anyone to read whenever they like.

The thinking behind this is that some people (especially the kind of people with the disposable income to own Kindles and iPads) are willing and able to pay for words if the price is reasonable and the payment is easy to make.  At the same time, making it available only in a paid version is self defeating and stupid.  Not only do fewer people read it, but using digital rights management and other convoluted anti-“piracy” measures to police the internet is a fool’s errand.  Therefore, the only sensible thing to do is make it easy for people to purchase and easy to get for free, however odd that may seem at first glance.  We’ll see how it goes.

You can purchase the book from Amazon right now, or you can read the first two chapters by clicking the new “Zombie Simpsons” button in the navigation bar at the top of this page.  This is the current schedule:

Today: Chapters 1 & 2
Tomorrow: Chapters 3 & 4
Sunday: Chapters 5 & 6
Next Week (Probably Thursday): More

One final note, I am not the least bit above making revisions should any of you fine Simpsons fans out there discover that I’ve made any factual errors.  My sources are all stated plainly, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t made an unfounded assumption somewhere or screwed up some part of the history of the show.  If you (yes, you!) come across something where I’m just flat out wrong and you can point me to some credible evidence of my wrongness, please tell me.  It’s the only way I’ll learn.

Buy from Amazon

Read Chapters 1 & 2 On-Line

34 Responses to “Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?”

  1. 18 May 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Wow, this is rad as fuck, and just in time for my birthday too!

    I really want to purchase this.. I have an amazon account but I don’t have Kindle or know anything about it… when purchasing from a regular ol’ computer, will it just download as a .pdf file or some equivalent I can open on my laptop?

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      18 May 2012 at 1:00 pm

      There’s an “Available on your PC” link on the right hand side just under “Buy now with 1-Click”. It should give you a Kindle reader app that you can use on a regular ol’ computer.

      • 18 May 2012 at 1:06 pm

        Cool, thanks! Going to order it in a bit then.

        …I was reading chapter 1 and the only error so far was “And let me say that it was very flattering that they asked me to do it. Jim Brooks said, “You know, you’re the very first voice we ever asked to come back and do it again.” I was surprised. I asked, “Why do they need me to introduce them to this gay couple? Why wouldn’t he move in with Carl and his partner?” Then I started thinking, Maybe [sic] they just wanted my stamp of approval on it because it was just a bunch of cliches.”

        It breaks the “italicized and in grey font” look of the rest of the quoted passage. I’ll post more if I spot em. Great reading so far btw!

  2. 7 Joe
    18 May 2012 at 1:21 pm

    If this were a real book, I would proudly display it on my coffee table. But since it’s not, and it seems foolish to purchase a kindle just for the purpose of setting it on a coffee table, I guess I’ll read it here for free.

  3. 18 May 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Congrats on the book/manifesto, can’t wait to read it!

  4. 9 Disco Stud
    18 May 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Excited to read this!

  5. 18 May 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Ooooh, I am intrigued. I await to be edu-ma-cated by your words of truth.

  6. 11 Anonymous
    18 May 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Best $3 I spent all day, cheers!

  7. 12 The Entire Score of the H.M.S. Pinafore
    18 May 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Well, I had two quid to spare and I really enjoy this site even if I am a chronic lurker, so I went ahead and bought the Kindle version. Just a note that in the table of contents the first chapter just says ‘Putting the Spring in Spring’ instead of ‘Springfield’ (I’m in the UK if there are different versions). Thanks & keep on keepin’ on.

  8. 13 Residents Fan
    18 May 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Hi, longtime listener, first-time caller. ;)
    This book looks very interesting. I think the chapter on “The Terrible World of 1980s Television”
    is fairly insightful- in an era of “Breaking Bad”, “30 Rock” and “Homeland”, younger
    viewers might be surprised to learn how dreadful American Televison used to
    be, and just how ground-breaking “the Simpsons” actually was when it came
    on the air.

  9. 15 majorosliam
    18 May 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  10. 16 Josh
    18 May 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Right on! About time someone wrote a definitive essay/book on the national tragedy that is the zombification of the Simpsons. Nicely done!

  11. 17 lennyburnham
    18 May 2012 at 8:30 pm

    In the middle of reading it. Great work!

  12. 18 Frostillicus
    18 May 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I can now gaze at my Kindle library and see the immortal works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Poe, and Sweatpants.

  13. 19 Anonymous
    19 May 2012 at 12:24 am

    The Frank Grimes episode was great. You take the show too seriously.

  14. 19 May 2012 at 1:28 am

    Welp guess since you’ve hit the Amazonian bigtimes it must be all downhill from here, according to the law of success. See you in two years when Charlie’s struggling to write his Season 13 Crazy Noises solo while Jon and Dave’s working on their own spinoff blog about the decline and fall of Futurama.

    Decliners aside, I’ve only read the first two chapters you’ve posted, but you’ve already piqued my interest, especially with the 1980s television chapter. Funny, whenever I think of 1980s TV, I can only imagine them as these super-fuzzy creatures with super-distorted music living on the untouched VHS tape recordings in the basement. Can’t wait to read the next two tomorrow.

  15. 23 akumatafur
    19 May 2012 at 2:05 am

    Congrats, I´ll wait until the whole book is posted online (no kindle).

  16. 24 generalsherman67
    19 May 2012 at 6:50 am

    You’ve got a sale!

    • 25 generalsherman67
      19 May 2012 at 8:25 am

      Puts on super-nerd voice: Er, Charlie, in Chapter 2 you state The Simpsons was the first primetime animated show since The Flintstones; actually it was the first (or, specifically, the first to run for more than 1 season) since Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, which lasted three seasons before ending in 1974.

      And in Chapter 6, the character in “Bart vs. Australia” is Evan Conover – you have his name down as Everett.

  17. 19 May 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Long time reader, haven’t been commenting for a while though.. Anyway, bought this last night, and am slowly reading it.. It’s really good I’ll say! Perfect way to explain the downfall!

  18. 27 Anonymous
    19 May 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Awesome! But I must ask… do you have any plans to publish this in ePub format, so it can be read on every single e-reader in the world that isn’t a Kindle?

  19. 29 Thrillho
    19 May 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I think I’m most interested in reading your “A Defense of Mike Scully” chapter because I think it’s really unfortunate that his showrunner status seems to have overshadowed his writing career. He wrote some great episodes of The Simpsons (as well as some other shows), but he was not the right person to designate as the captain of a sinking ship.

  20. 31 Patrick
    20 May 2012 at 2:27 am

    Ah the simpsons the show that got bill hicks and stephen hawking’s seal of approval :D i can’t wait to read the book xD

  21. 20 May 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Wow, feeling out of the loop with this! Nice one Charlie. Don’t currently have a device suitable for e-books, but would purchase it if I did.

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