Simpsons Comics #185

A comic review article by: Ray Tate


Basically, it looks like Sergio Aragónes illustrated a cover, and the creative teams were told to write and draw a story that would meet the criteria of that cover. I don't know this to be fact, but it certainly feels that way. How else can you explain two different stories guest starring Sideshow Bob and dealing with the clumsy ballet of Homer and Chief Wiggum?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is exactly what happened.)

In the first tale, Grandpa Simpson gets carted into the pokey and tells his side of the story in his usual ramble. Patric Verrone's short holds the interest, but it's not really funny. The comedy arises in Hilary Barta's outstanding wild takes and Art Villanueva's moody colors.

The second story is much funnier. Evan Dorkin first comments on the artifice in the contrivance necessary to put Homer in a pink tutu. Then he contrives a hilarious means to do just that.

Wiggum actually had a pretty decent plan to trap Sideshow Bob without embarrassing any parties involved. Bart however sees a means to punk his Dad, and that is far more important than anything on the face of the earth, let alone his own safety.

I laughed aloud when I came to the word "mongrel." I can really envision Kelsey Grammar referring to Bart in such a way, and dig the Batman expressionism on the wall. Though in costume, Bob still casts that distinctive malevolent shadow.

The very neat thing about Ian Boothby's tale is that it actually doesn't contradict anything in Evan Dorkin's story. Once captured, Bob could have been put to work for community service to direct a school play. At least in the flexible weird reality of Springfield. Mind you, two ballet performances by the Chief and Homer are really stretching the disbelief.

Sideshow Bob's Mecca


Boothby's means of stuffing Homer and the Chief in the tutus exhibits an underlying love for the children. So this coda has the benefit of being sweet and funny. Furthermore, artists James Lloyd, Andrew Pepoy and Villanueva enjoy one really good slapstick joke at the expense of Snake.




Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.


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