In the first tale, Bart’s prank forces Apu to take drastic action. The story by Amanda McCann insightfully utilizes Apu’s characterization, and McCann’s backstory for the clerk makes perfect sense.
The way in which Bart temporarily learns from his experiences at the Kwik-E-Mart ties into some of his other short-term memory experiences from the series and factors into Bart’s enormous untapped potential. Remember, all of Bart’s possible futures from head of his own demolition company to Supreme Court Judge are optimistic ones.
It’s terrific to see Hilary Barta illustrating again, and his Matt Groening-influenced art for Bart Simpsons Comics is a treasure. Barta brings his strong inking and sense of depth to the table. The expressive characters never look like flat cel animations. Nathan Hamill saturates the book with remarkable coloring. He takes full advantage of the sunrise settings to pink the sky and redden the clouds, already evocatively shaded by Barta.
The second story from Sergio Aragónes benefits from his singular comedic visuals, yet still valid within The Simpsons’ model. The tale highlights how Homer is a far better father than Abe Simpson. Homer is never malicious. Any anger he feels toward Bart is explosive and quick to dispel. He furthermore exhibits more beneficent feelings toward his son. Abe on the other hand is calculating and denigrating, a thoroughly unlikeable individual. For example, rather than help Homer make his home made electric guitar better. He sits back and watches the fireworks.
Aragónes takes a simple idea and spins it into unpredictable directions, and while these twists enhance the comedy at heart, and there’s a lot of it, this is a story about the friendship between Homer and Barney as they try to get in on the zombie movie action filming at Springfield.
Ray Tate’s first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, “Spider Without a Web,” published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he’s young at heart. Of course, we all know better.