Simpsons Comics issue 180 is an entertaining, satisfying comic, and I’m not just saying that as a Simpsons devotee, but as a fan of funny comics in general. Some of the Simpsons comics I’ve read in the past have been underwhelming, recycling jokes from the show and retreading old plotlines. This one though had some original jokes that provided actual laughs–not just silent, mental laughs, but I found myself laughing out loud, which is something I rarely do when reading.
Also, this issue manages to overcome an obstacle that affects all comics based on franchises: artists don’t have a lot of room to invent. In this case, the inhabitants of Springfield have to look like their cartoon counterparts. Here, the artists tweak the style of the series. As you can see from the cover alone, colorist Art Villanueva brings in bolder colors with more contrast than what you see on television, plus going the distance by applying shadows to the characters. The inker of this issue is Andrew Pepoy, who some of you might recognize as the inker of Fables. He uses thick pen sizes for character outlines and thin ones for details. Penciler (and writer) Ty Templeton fills the panels with recognizable side-characters and sight-gags (for example, Springfield has a “Bank of China”).
By the way, since the Fox Network is being characteristically megalomaniacal, I think we should all try our best to support The Simpsons in whatever way we can.
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