Current Reviews


Bart Simpson Comics #49

Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Mary Trainor, James W. Bates
Phil Oritz(p), Mike DeCarlo(i), Nathan Hamill(c); Mike Kazaleh(p), Phyllis Novin(i), Art Villanueva(c)
Bongo Comics
"Children off the Cob"

"12 Angry Kids"

Some may argue that it's a little too late for a Children of the Corn parody. I would have been among them, but Mary Trainor's Bart Simpson short is so uproarious that the expiration date on the joke becomes irrelevant.

New kid Ethan All joins the Springfield kids at the playground to expound on the wonders of corn. The illustration team of Paul Oritz and Mike DeCarlo make this fruitcake-in-miniature mighty strange looking, but unlike the eerie redheaded source nut from the film, Ethan actually can speak eloquently and scientifically.

Trainor smartly updates the Corn Cult to green standards. Soon all the kids are growing corn stalks, and it's surprising to see such a citywide problem erupt in Bart Simpson Comics. Usually, the focus for the comic book is smaller.

In the end, Bart and Lisa are the only scamps thinking for themselves. Trainor ups the stakes with a hilarious cameo from Homer. Now, the siblings must save their father from Ethan All's maize machinations.

The second story, as the title implies, involves a trial--specifically of Nelson Muntz, who is accused of stealing Principal Skinner's war medals. The trial commences, and Edna Krabbapel's class act as the jury. Lisa naturally sees the injustice of accusing Nelson without evidence. Thus begins chaotic comedy court.

Writer James W. Bates keeps all the jurors in character--though he falters with some of the third-tier players, such as the twins. His non sequitur jokes about Bart amuse, and the depth from the bullies offers surprising humor.

Normally, Mrs. Krabbapel acts dejected over her students' lax attitudes. However, Bates, penciler Mike Kazaleh and inker Phyllis Novin take a few cues from the series and display Edna's deeply buried thirst to teach. That turn takes the prize.

Bart and Lisa first match wits with corn-fed crazies and then with ten classmates who have axes to grind. The Bongo crew does a tremendous job keeping your ribs tickled and your eyes glued to the richly colored pages.

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