That’s right. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Everyone’s favorite dim-witted-yet-lovable child has his own spin-off comic, and no, I don’t mean Butters. I mean the original bedwetter, Ralph Wiggum. Don’t get too carried away all at once. I just about keeled over in glee when I first saw Ralph Wiggum comics #1 advertised, but was greatly disappointed when I later found out it’d be a one-shot. Granted, I have no idea how they could come up with more adventures for Ralphie each and every month, but I would’ve liked to see the bright folks at Bongo Comics try.
Ralph Wiggum is quite possibly the most quoted Simpsons character, and the most quotable. Every Simpsons fan cherishes humorous lines like “Me fail English? That’s unpossible,” or “I ated the purple berry. It tastes like burning.” For all his fan following, The Simpsons creators have been careful not to overuse young Ralphie. In most episodes, he’s a bit part at best, and only occasionally plays a role integral to the plot, but you can bet those are episodes that are not to be missed. Giving Ralph his own issue was definitely a great idea. Hardcore fans got to see more of the addled adolescent, while television viewers weren’t exposed to too much of a good thing.
Was the comic itself good? Yes! Ralph Wiggum #1 is a collectible for sure. It’s probably not worth anything, but it’s a cool one to have in your collection. For one, this has one of the best covers of any comedic comic I can think of. I have a strange urge to frame it and put it up on my wall. It also contains several different short stories focusing on Ralph’s misadventures, from his misguided attempt to cook for himself (with disastrous results) to a story where he boards a bus and mistakenly thinks he has travelled into the future when he disembarks.* That story is the highlight of the issue. It’s a sweet and affecting story of how Ralph, lost in his own little daydream, walks around town spouting nonsense, and ends up brightening up everyone’s day in the process, touching on a common Simpsons theme: everyone, no matter how big or small, bright or slow, plays an important role in society.
While I was dismayed to see there wouldn’t be more of Ralph in the near future, I was quickly turned around when I saw an ad for another delightful side character who will be getting his own comic treatment: Milhouse!
—–If you’re looking for something else to read, please check out my book The Madness of Art Short Stories, available on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook!
*A recent Beavis and Butthead episode had the same setup with different results. The boys get off the bus at a historical re-enactment site and think they have actually time-travelled into the past.
If you’re a Simpsons fan, I’d recommend you go ahead and shell out $3 for Ralph Wiggum Comics 1.
Here’s another good Simpsons comic, issue #180.
Oh, here’s another one. “Principle Skinner, I got carsick in your office.”–Ralph Wiggum.