James Bates' "Class Klown" pits Bart against Milhouse in a Krusty the Clown contest. Bates prepares suitably juvenile yet clever pranks in an entertaining war for comedy supremacy with a superb punchline that alludes to Krusty's lousy productions.
Milhouse displays some extraordinary backbone in this story, but Bates doesn't defy Milhouse's characterization. Milhouse is Bart's flunkie, but even on the series he's not a mindless one.
The art by Robinson, Giles and Hamill adds to the hilarity. Sight gags that on occasion require a new design never the less stay on model, and they're work really captures the personality of the dueling stooges.
Tony Digerolamo returns to Simpsons country with good mimicry of MySpace pages. The best thing about the tale is how Digerolamo gets into the mind of a child to create age specific comedy. I am, however, disappointed by the dearth of art. What's there is funny but not enough.
The art in Digerolamo's second story is much better. Here Lloyd, Pepoy and Hamill concoct a shadowy world of mystery and murder that's suitable for the Groening style.
Digerolamo's take on the theme of The Fall Guy is melodic and absolutely brilliant. His brief spoof of the Saw film series is the second best thing in the story, and it would have been the first without the ditty.
The writer has before explored the puzzling concept of Moe and Maggie becoming '70s era detectives, but to better effect. Why didn't he make all the murders and predicaments Saw based and include the missing Hans Moleman in that mix? The idea is just sitting there to be seen, and I feel that this was a missed opportunity.
Three stories and one forgettable short comprise Bart Simpson Comics #45. Only one tale is outstanding. All the art in the book captures the comedy and construction of The Simpsons television series, but one is in that respect severely lacking.
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