Reading Digest: Geek Gathering Post-Mortem Edition

Three Men and a Comic Book10

“Young people of Springfield, as your mayor I’d like to welcome you to our annual funny book convention.  And thank you for pumping almost three hundred dollars into the local economy.  Your youthful high spirits have imparted a glow to this old war horse, you might say I feel like Radiation Man.” – Mayor Quimby
“That’s Radioactive Man, jerk!” – Jimbo Jones
“I stand corrected.  Well, have fun, and be sure to clear out by six for the Shriners.  Get that punk’s name, no one makes a fool out of Diamond Joe Quimby.” – Mayor Quimby

We have a ton of links from San Diego this week.  There’s video, a little bit of actual news, some reactions to all the crossovers, and even a full breakdown of the Simpsons panel for those so inclined.  In addition, we’ve got a new Simpsons math book, a high school graduate getting through with help from the show, a fan made oil painting, and not one, not two, but three (3!) favorite episodes lists, every one of which agrees with us.


Terminally Ill ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Vows to Give Away Fortune – Sam Simon continues to do cancer about as well as it can be done:

THR: Do you get frustrated with bad things happening to good people? Like, why didn’t someone else get this cancer?

Simon: No. I don’t think that’s what karma is. It never crossed my mind.


THR: So you’ve decided to scale up the foundation?

Simon: We are going to expand all this stuff. We do a day in our mobile clinic where we do dog and cat surgeries for free except complicated procedures. For the first nine months, we couldn’t fill up the truck. But now it’s a huge success. It just took a while for the community to find out about it. And now I think we’re going to add another day for free surgeries. The Sam Simon Foundation is going to be very well endowed, and there’s a lot of stuff I want them to do.

THR: What allows you to do more?

Simon: The Simpsons money got bigger and bigger. When I left The Simpsons, no one thought that this thing was going to still be around. It’s the cumulative effect. It’s like, "Oh my God, 25 years later, and it’s still coming in."

Keep your head up, Sam.  We love you.

On Graffiti of The Simpsons in the Downtown Eastside – An intrepid young woman tracked down more of that Simpsons graffiti in Vancouver, and she took pictures!:

Then this mysterious back door opened and this nice girl comes out and catches me gawking curiously at the graffiti inside her workplace. We chatted briefly, turns out that the artist goes by the name of Soap. And that these graffiti change from time to time.


Threadless News! “Face of Springfield” up for scoring! – The Simpsons design contest is still going on, and this guy submitted one.  I think it looks better on black, but that’s just me.

Lisa Simpson, The Scream Reproduction – Awesome fan made oil painting of exactly what it says.  Bravo.

List O’ The Week – Top 25 episodes of The Simpsons – A gargantuan and detailed list, with nothing past Season 8, from someone who’s done the real work of burrowing into the show:

Full Disclosure: I still have, to this day, 40+ VHS tapes of The Simpsons episodes that I taped off the TV (that’s right, I’m bad) as a young lad. I have all the DVDs up until season 11 where the horrible packaging made it impossible to remove the discs. Most embarrassingly, I have an entire folder full of sheets (almost 100 in total) which perfectly document which episodes are on which tapes (and a brief description), whether or not the episode exists in its entirety or was only half taped, and a grade out of 10 for each. So this list is in honour of that boy who had (and clearly still has) way too much time on his hands.

[Oh dear God. I just found the folder. 100 pages was a VAST understatement. I also have sheets listing exactly (to the second) how long each tape was, a running tally of how many episodes per season are centred around certain characters and a list of who is on each DVD commentary track for the first 10 seasons. In fact I made a top 20 list back then as well which has a bizzare mix of great and mediocre episodes, although certainly there are still epsiodes which I’ve loved since then that aren’t loved by the fandom. Wow my handwriting was markedly better back then].

That is an impressive act of geekiness.  Well done. 

Discover The Simpsons’ Mathematical Secrets – Cool:

Like The Simpsons? Like maths? Or even a bit apathetic about maths but like geeky in-jokes? Then this event is for you.

It isn’t happening until October but about half the seats are already gone, so we thought we’d better flag it up now. Simon Singh’s written a book about the maths inside The Simpsons – it’s not released until 29 October, but a week earlier he’s at the Southbank Centre talking about it.

‘The Simpsons’ to join forces with ‘Futurama’ for crossover episode – This was the big news out of the whale’s vagina, and is just what it says:

The plot will revolve around bad boys Bender and Bart: “Bender has to come back from the future to kill Bart because there’s something that Bart does now that makes the future really, really, really bad,” Jean continues. “Tip of the hat to Harlan Ellison.” (Ellison, by the way, will lend his voice to a different episode this season.)

The Futurama cast members who will visit The Simpsons include Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche. (Tress MacNeille will also be heard in the episode, as she’s also a voice actor for The Simpsons.) And DiMaggio has played Bender before on The Simpsons; he recorded a brief cameo as the foul-mouthed robot for a season 16 episode.

Can we put the Futurama production staff in charge?  Pretty please?  They have been killing it this summer (that episode with the three different Saturday morning cartoons was as good as anything they ever did).

Stinson: The Simpsons are David Silverman’s extended yellow family – Silverman is going to be at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International today and tomorrow, and this is a nice little puff interview with him.  I did find this mildly ironic:

He says that Matt Groening, who created the characters, and James L. Brooks, one of the original executive producers, were insistent that “you can never sacrifice story for the sake of a joke.”

That insistence has greatly mellowed with time.

‘Simpsons’ Director David Silverman – And another interview with Silverman:

You directed "Mother Simpson," one of the funniest but also most heartbreaking episodes in the canon. Can you talk about the construction of its final shot?

It was during the table read when I thought about that shot. I had this image of a big wide shot of Homer waving goodbye as his mother left him, and then of him sitting on his car looking at the stars — that wasn’t in the script. As I was drawing it, I almost started tearing up. It really affected me. Everyone can relate to that. Sometimes things happen to us and all we can do is contemplate and look at the stars.

‘The Simpsons’ Writers Have a Fantasy League of Their Own – Jebus knows I don’t think much of the output of the current writing staff, but a highly competitive movie box office fantasy league sounds like a lot of fun.

‘Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy Guide To Being Worst. Nerd. Ever. – There’s some Zombie Simpsons in here, but for the most part it’s fun.

Summer free Shakespeare season winds down – Mike Reiss, budding playwright:

"Simpsons" writer Mike Reiss, who opened the summer season at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex with "I’m Connecticut," has a new comedy that will get a test run at the New York International Fringe Festival next month.

The Bristol native’s play "Rubble" is set for five performances between Aug. 10 and 25. The play will star Bruce Vilanch and Litchfield actor Jerry Adler (who was featured in "I’m Connecticut" at Ivoryton).

Reiss, an Emmy winner for his work on "The Simpsons," has written a semi-autobiographical play about an aging Los Angeles comedy writer who is taking a meeting with a network executive when a major earthquake strikes.

Rob Lowe On Playing JFK Without Sounding Like You’re On ‘The Simpsons’ – Hey, he is no longer illiterate:

How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like the Massachusetts-y Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons? The suave way I decided to put this question to Rob Lowe was essentially … "How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons?" I had a brief moment of fear that he wouldn’t know what I was talking about, which could have been very embarrassing, but happily for me (and presumably for Mayor Quimby), he did, and he laughed. (Thank goodness.)


"Just technically, what I learned was he really had two voices. He had the voice that we all know — you know, [Mayor Quimby-ish Kennedy voice] ‘Come to Berlin,’ you know. He had that voice, which is the voice that everybody imitates, and then he had the way he spoke in private, which was very different. And there’s actually a linguistic term called the ‘Kennedy stutter step,’ not to get too technical.

That sick freak.

Don’t Throw Parties, Kids – The dangers of using your iPod at a party:

The Simpsons – Honey Roasted Peanuts

Come on now. This is ridiculous. I’m a pretty big Simpsons fan and I would stand by any music from the show if it were to play at a party. Their songs are clever both musically and lyrically. This, however, is a short scene in which Homer, the patriarch of the family – if for some reason you’ve never even heard of the show, perhaps due to a 30 year long coma or a memento-like illness – eats a pack of peanuts, but not before reading the ingredients first. Yeah, this is a weird one. Maybe one guy as lame as me (Will) at the party might have enjoyed it.

Smith At SDCC – Matt Smith from Doctor Who walked around Comic-Con with a Bart Simpson mask, and there’s YouTube.  The stunt doesn’t quite work because the mask is terrible, so the rest of the people at the convention just think he’s some lame dork begging for attention for his shitty costume.  The sarcastic kid at the 0:30 mark nails him.

SDCC VIDEOS! – The third video down is from the Simpsons panel, and includes the singing group and a drawing contest.

Media Monday #20: The origin of The Simpsons – YouTube of Groening at Comic-Con charmingly blowing off the question he’s been asked more times than any other.

The Simpsons 2013 Comic-Con Panel Live Blog – And, for our final Comic-Con link, a short blow-by-blow recounting of the Simpsons panel.

The Billion-Dollar Empire of "The Simpsons" – Here’s another periodic reminder that, unwatchable as it is, Zombie Simpsons still produces ungodly amounts of cash.

As vozes por trás dos 105 personagens de “Os Simpsons”! (6 fotos) – I’m not sure if these are new or old, but it’s six pictures, one each of the main cast, with all the characters they do.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 51) – “Bart’s Comet” vs. “Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2”, that’s a tough one.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 52) – Season 9 beats Season 18.

R.I.P.D. …In 10 Words – You’re off the case, zombie McGarnagle!

The Conjuring…In 10 WordsFeh.

Carlos Danger…In 10 Words – There are three ways to do things, the right way, the wrong way, and the Carlos Danger way!  Isn’t that the wrong way?  Yes, but after you resign from Congress! 

The Simpsons Crossover: Have they Jumped the Shark? – Here’s an interesting angle on the Family Guy and Futurama crossovers I hadn’t considered: it might finally convince even more people that Zombie Simpsons sucks ass:

To those people who have asked if the show has declined in quality I usually say that it’s still better than most of the stuff that’s on TV now anyways. This time though I can’t imagine this crossover idea will work out well.

Speaking of crossovers… – A little more evidence:

Now we’re hearing that there’s going to be a Simpsons/Family Guy cross over.

Really folks?


Goddamn I don’t want to live on this planet any more…

It’s one thing to do a crossover to launch another series, it’s quite another for two long expired series to try and prop each other up. 

LIfe and other weird ideas – Getting through Ramadan ain’t easy, but this isn’t a bad way to do it, either:

No hospital shift today so I am enjoying a lazy day. But it does go slower that’s for sure. I made up for it by watching two episodes of Scrubs back to back and will hold out for the Simpsons at 6.

Bloggy Odds and Ends – Twenty three years later, and “Bart Gets an F” still gets through to the kids:

Math has always been a difficult subject for me, and I had such a hard time getting momentum to do all the extra homework. I decided to bribe myself with old Nostalgia Critic videos, since I had fallen behind in watching them.

After completing a good lot of grad math homework and some tests, after many many on the first day, I decided, “Hey, I’ll watch the top 11 Simpson Episodes one!”

(SPOILERS) When it got to number one, my heart just exploded. At that moment, I was Bart! Grad-math, and subsequently passing high school seemed SO impossible at that point, and no matter how hard I tried, math didn’t make sense to me.

I wound up crying and feeling a bit discouraged, but not passing high school was not an option! I kept with the system of bribing myself with Nostalgia Critic videos, and then Demo Reel (which gave me more reasons to cry) until I completed the program.

Like ‘Bart Gets An F’ I did have a ridiculously happy ending happen to me. I passed the test and graduated high school (obviously).

The kids are alright.

Top Ten Thursday #11: Ways I Relate To Milhouse Van Houten – Heh:

What I think sometimes when I’m working/studying:

Milhouse: So this is my life . . .

Dag 169 – Oh, nothing, just a straight Duff shirt.

Today on the tray: Hot dogs – In celebration of national hot dog day (which was earlier this week), we’ve got some YouTube of old hot dog commercials and the Oscar Meyer song from “A Star Is Burns” . . . in Italian!

Simpsons Super-Cuts – I do not have a device on which to watch this, but some of you do:

As an editor, I felt it was important to compile these clips as an ode to the funniest era of Simpsons superiority. Plus, they’re fantastic to watch if you’re hungover this weekend.

App Store becomes EA’s biggest retail partner by sales for the first time in June – That freemium shit really, really, really works:

Apple has become “EA’s biggest retail partner as measured by sales” as a result of the App Store. It’s a big announcement for the publisher that previously sold the majority of its content through retail channels for console games, and it could be a sign that EA will be investing more in iOS and other mobile titles in the months to come. In its earnings release, the company noted that it was “the #1 global publisher in the iOS game market in the June quarter,” and also highlighted a few of its more successful iOS titles, including: The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, and The Sims:

  • -The Simpsons™: Tapped Out recorded its highest revenue quarter* in Q1 since launching in August 2012.

Battersea – The Butcher & Grill (review) – Excellent reference:

If you will allow me to self-indulge, I imagine that if I became a food reviewer in my current state that pandemic obesity would clutch the world in a lardy grip. Much like the episode of the Simpsons where Homer does just that, only to miss the poisoned eclair by the skin of his teeth.

“I’m not a state…I’m a monster!” – Heh.

My Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end the way I like, and not just with one person who agrees with us, but two blogger buddies.  Plus, I did not know this:

The most moving sign of the show’s influence is that, when the editors of the New York Times took on the task of writing obituaries for every person who died on 9/11, they found that most of the men in that age group they profiled “were described as admirers of the show,” so much so that they stopped mentioning this fact in the obits.

That’s pretty cool.  Onto the list:

So, when my friend and fellow blogsmith Juan Alvarado Valdivia and I challenged each other to write our Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons, I knew it would be tough. I didn’t know that it would turn into the single most difficult post in the history of the blog. There are so many classic episodes with lines of dialogue that have become part of our national consciousness. And I say this as someone who thinks the show fell off precipitously and hasn’t really watched it in years (my list has no episodes later than Season 8).

Naturally.  And for Mr. Valdivia . . .

My Top 10 Simpsons Episodes Ever – . . . the same sentiment:

At first, coming up with a list to accompany (and compete!) with my homeboy, J-Oro’s list seemed like a terrific, exciting endeavor. Ultimately, it still was, but by the end—after watching and carefully considering at least fourteen episodes for my final four spots—it wasn’t so fun. Coming up with a top 15 list would have been dandy, like a stroll through a verdant park with a pretty girl, but picking only ten best episodes from the entire Simpsons repertoire seemed like an unfair exercise. (And really, I only looked at Seasons 2 – 8.)

There are 165 episodes in Seasons 2-8 (and they weren’t counting Halloween, clip shows, and specials), and picking ten is nigh impossible.  Well done, sirs. 

9 Responses to “Reading Digest: Geek Gathering Post-Mortem Edition”

  1. 1 frank
    26 July 2013 at 12:48 pm

    re: Simpsons/Futurama crossover –

    maybe you mentioned this before, but there is a hardcover comic called Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis (http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0810988372), which is actually pretty good! Well worth the 20 or so dollars it costs.

    The back of the book includes some amazing artwork done by other non-Simpsons artists.
    Definitely a book worth investing in and reading over and over again.

  2. 26 July 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, and for the link! Great blog you have here!

  3. 26 July 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Sam Simon is a good man for doing an act like that and helping others.

  4. 26 July 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the Threadless mention! And it’s not just you; others have commented they’d prefer it in black too. :)

  5. 5 Sarah J
    26 July 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I disagree with statements that new episodes of Zombie Simpsons are better than most things on TV. Sorry, but episodes from the last few years get at most a few laughs out of me per episode. Considering the show is supposed to be a comedy, that’s not very good.

    And I do agree, maybe this crossover will get more people to admit that the show isn’t good anymore and needs to die.

    But honestly, I’m REALLY surprised they didn’t try this a few years back. Ratings have been going down for the past several seasons, to the point where it does cut into profits, and they’ve been trying all kinds of gimmicks. You’d think “crossover” would’ve happened earlier.

    • 27 July 2013 at 10:06 am

      “I disagree with statements that new episodes of Zombie Simpsons are better than most things on TV. Sorry, but episodes from the last few years get at most a few laughs out of me per episode. Considering the show is supposed to be a comedy, that’s not very good.”

      And even if that were technically true, there are much better shows to watch. Why would I watch Zombie Simpsons when we have Breaking Bad and Homeland?

  6. 27 July 2013 at 4:28 am

    Thank you so much for the share! Such an honour to be part of a simpsons fan club, Homer is THE MAN

  7. 27 July 2013 at 4:57 am

    I’m just going to echo the above sentiments. Many thanks for the mention. This is a great site :)

  8. 27 July 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Great to see another cool Simpsons blog. Thanks for the kind words, man!

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