"Comics Fan No More!"
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artists: John Costanza(p), Howard Shum(i), Jerry Mason(c)
"Box Office Bingo"
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: John Delaney(p), Shum(i), Art Villanueva(c)
"Cross Country Clown"
Writer: Earl Kress
Artists: James Lloyd(p), Andrew Pepoy(i), Villanueva(c)
Three stories in Bart Simpson Comics, and not one clunker in the bunch.
In "Comics Fan No More!" Tom Peyer teams Bart up with the Comic Book Guy for a convention. This would seem to be a comic book fan's dream--especially Bart's payment, but alas, be careful for what you wish.
Peyer while making this moment in time an object lesson for Bart, also shows Bart's uncanny ability to adapt to any situation. Soon Bart turns the tables on the Comic Book Guy much in the same way that he turned the tables on Lisa during the science fair in the television series.
In Chuck Dixon's "Box Office Bingo," Bart concocts a scheme worthy of the little reprobate. Dixon really comes up with a zany, imaginative explanation for why some awful films warrant sequels, and I'll just bet that there's more than a popcorn kernel of truth in his hypothesis.
Earl Kress in the final tale takes a clever, natural idea that fits Bart to an orange tee and takes that idea to an outrageous level with the background noise of Homer J. Think the Animaniacs' "Special Friend" shtick, and you'll have an idea where the trip will take you.
Artwork uniformly sticks to the style of Groening. Costanza, Shum and Mason eloquently express the Comic Book Guy, and the out of place dramatic shadows are an especially juicy sight gag, but there's a disappointing lack of background gags. I mean at least throw in a couple of Benders and Frys. Futurama is licensed to Bongo. In fact it's sadly the only place we can get our Fry and Leela fix.
The setting of the movie theater could have easily become monotonous, but Delaney and Shum keep things animated. There's always movement in the panels and a plethora of characters to entertain. Villanueva's vivid reds are the real butter on the bag of popcorn. Mmmmmn. Popcorn. Aaaarllllllllgggggggg.
Finally, "Cross Country Clown" is a winner due to Lloyd's and Pepoy's visual camaraderie between Bart and Homer.
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