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Simpsons #106

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2005
By: Ray Tate



"Simpsons the Musical"

Writer: Ian Boothby
Artists: John Costanza(p), Mike DeCarlo(i), Art Villanueva(c)
Publisher: Bongo

I'll give Ian Boothby this much. He dared the impossible. The creators behind The Simpsons concocted some of the most hilarious songs and musical episodes in the history of television. Only Mystery Science Theater 3000 comes close to matching the maestros of mirth. Anything Mr. Boothby attempted would ultimately fail, but he did try, and that was brave.

In a typically convoluted fashion, Boothby drives the Simpsons to Capitol City--the subject of one of The Simpsons classics sung by I kid you not Tony Bennett. Once there, Krusty the Clown convinces Springfield's favorite family to become a kind of reality show musical. "The horror, the horror."

The songs are based primarily on standards and well-known numbers from musicals like Evita--of all the tunes, the funniest. The lyrics just don't pack the same punch as the ones heard on the show. Perhaps, its because of the subject. Domestic life just isn't that very funny when compared to Monty Burns drooling over his inventory of animal skins while singing "See My Vest, See My Vest" to the tune of Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest."

Artists John Costanza, Mike DeCarlo and the always dependable palettest Art Villanueva do provide some grin-worthy gag panels. The Santa's Little Helper imitation is quite funny, and they also construct an impressive angle and backdrop for Milhouse's spectacular dive. The ghastly end result of fire ant infestation sets up the real joke quite nicely--I even heard Hank Anzaria at this point, and I'm as always impressed with how quickly and efficiently the team can load the art with nearly every denizen from Springfield as well as nameless extras to fill an audience. It's a lot of sketching, and it's on time.



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