Simpsons Comics #175

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Homer buys a magnet and accidentally wipes out Disco Stu's collection of old television shows. The judge sentences him to Scheherazade.

Ian Boothby's spoof on The Rockford Files offers the most inspired pastiche among the trio of tales comprising the anthology. His casting and mimicry of the show's formula are perfect, especially the part where Rockford (Homer) ends up on the receiving end of a beatdown.

John Costanza, Phyllis Novin and Art Villanueva successfully marry the brown-on-brown signature of Rockford to Homer's normal ensemble. They also add details like the gun in the cookie jar and taxi out a suitable substitute for Rockford's awesome gold Pontiac Firebird. The angles they use also match some of those a Rockford Files director might employ. Note Homer's car in the background as he gets up off the ground.

Unfortunately, the other two shorts are hit and miss. I give credit to Boothby for attempting a send up of The Muppet Show, but this was doomed to fail since The Muppet Show is one of the funniest, absurdist shows ever made. All Boothby can do is recast the Muppets as Springfieldians, and that's just not enough.

Next, Boothby guides the Simpsons to Little House on the Prairie. In this vignette, he wrings a little more comedic juice out of the premise, mainly because of Homer's Michael Landon's animosity toward Father Flanders. However, a lot of the gags fall flat, and a plot twist allows Lisa to inform her peers about turn of the century women taking the jobs traditionally given to men. I'm all for spreading knowledge, but the research doesn't really affect the story at all.

I recommend this issue of Simpsons Comics to fans of The Rockford Files. Other readers, even the faithful fan, just might want to leave this one on the rack.

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