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Simpsons Comics #145

Posted: Friday, August 22, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Eric Rogers, Chuck Dixon
John Costanza, Phyllis Novin (i), Art Villanueva (c)
Bongo Comics
In "Worst Competition Ever" Homer and Bart, through some unusually normal events, open up a new comic book store. This makes them enemies of Comic Book Guy. Meanwhile, Grandpa Simpson's retirement home appears to be spiraling toward a state of decay.

The subplot grows more important as the main story progresses, and unlike what's expected, the tale does not detail continual one upmanship. Instead, Rogers' story takes advantage of Homer Simpson's single-mindedness and how quickly he becomes ensnared in other's dreams, if those dreams interest him.

John Costanza and Phyllis Novin accomplish Homer's strange metamorphosis not through just simple appearance but also by subtly changing Homer's attitude and his body language. This is much more complex an artistic feat. How do you alter the visual characterization without losing the character's essence? Art Villanueva in addition blows every bulb in the rainbow.

Chuck Dixon fills the remainder of the pages with a fascinating fair play mystery in which Marge goes back to her cop roots to find out which of the family, swearing innocence, messed up the kitchen.

Clues are given. Deductions are made, and Costanza, Novin and Villanueva cut to the chase with a brilliant use of space within a single panel to create scale, scope and the illusion of depth.



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