In “Eat the Pie Slowly,” writer Tom Peyer, artists Nina Matsumoto, Mike Rote and Nathan Hamill imagine Bart in a school championship eating contest — what would Michelle Obama think of that I wonder? The story slickly utilizes a heaping helping of Springfielders, and all are in perfect characterization. The unctuous Mayor Quimby makes a promise Chalmers and Skinner must refuse, and this triggers the true name of the game. Sabotage.
Peyer draws in the family Simpson by pitting Homer against Bart. Homer harbors a dark secret from his past that precludes his rooting for Bart until the very end, when alas, it’s too late, or is it?
Nina Matsumoto exhibits the skill of a Chuck Jones School attendee. Note the sly looks of disdain on Homer’s mug. Observe the background gags, such as Chalmers and Skinner gleefully spraying each other with cola. The contest venue calls for an illusion of width, and inker Mike Rote enhances the feeling that you’re looking into the panels. Nathan Hamill contributes the usual candy colors that denote the Simpson’s habitat. He also must be commended for making the food look delicious.
In the second story, the Reverend Lovejoy’s evil daughter returns to pester Bart in David Seidman’s “Bugged.” The Mother’s Day setting is remarkably apt, and the story examines the relationship between Bart and his mother. Her influence explains why Bart will one day end up as a Supreme Court judge and/or head his own demolition company. Dexter Reed conveys the absolute glee in Lovejoy’s black heart as her scheme marches on, and the tension mounts as you wonder if Bart will crack.
In the final story, Carol Lay focuses on the bond between Bart and Maggie. Her art and story convey the love brother has for sister and vice versa. It’s extraordinarily sweet that Maggie uses her extreme intelligence to aid her brother so subtly that he doesn’t know he’s being helped.
This excellent issue’s final short arrives courtesy of Sergio Aragónes. His expressions for Homer and Maggie make dialogue superfluous, and her dainty dabbing of the mouth favors Matt Groening’s edicts for dining depiction.