"Know It All in The Family"
Writer: Ian Boothby
Artsists: Phil Oritz(p), Phyllis Novin(i), Art Villanueva(c)
This issue of Simpsons Comics starts out simple but soon travels in directions that the reader cannot expect. In short, good solid Simpsons styled laughs and weirdness abound.
Boothby establishes his story on bedrock Simpsons continuity. The Simpson men grow less intelligent as they grow older, but the Simpson women gain more and more gray cells. Now, Boothby is smart to show that Marge is not stupid. She is simply filled with self-doubt, but that doesn't get in the way of her pursuit of higher education. So the story starts out with Marge attempting improve herself and episodic encounters with the existential Willie, the mad scientist Professor Frink and a special surprise guest whom we learn earlier attends community college for entirely different, but characteristic reasons.
Boothby shows Marge's progress and how she applies them to the family setting. This creates a domino effect that sets Lisa into the training of Maggie. Bart however sees the education of Maggie as a threat to the balance of gender power. So, Lisa allows Bart to join in. Let the inanity begin.
To be fair, Bart, as Boothby shows, is also not stupid, and Bart gets most of the facts correctly. His dinosaur extinction theory for instance is mostly science based. It's just that the dinosaurs talk and bear some familiar caricatures ably rendered by Oritz and Novin. Bart's creativity takes these facts where no fact has gone before, and by the end you're unsure of the metafictional reality.
It's a nicely done issue that takes the form of the many anthology episodes of the series but adds its own spin by grounding these tales in physics and biology as opposed to fable and tall tales.
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