The End of an Era
After 245 issues and 25 years, The Simpsons Comics has come to an end.
Published non-stop by Bongo Comics (named after the one-eared rabbit Matt Groening created before The Simpsons, as part of his Life in Hell series), it is one of the very few long-running series to reach into the triple digits (that hasn't been rebooted endlessly!)—quite an accomplishment for an independent company. The series has run somewhat parallel to the TV series, but with its own creative team and stories.
Throughout its run, several creators have lent their talents to the comic: Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese), Mike Kazaleh (The Adventures of Captain Jack), Andrew Pepoy (Afterlife with Archie), and Scott Shaw! (The Flintstones).
In this final issue we have Nathan Kane on writing, Rex Lindsey on pencils, Andrew Pepoy on Inks, Art Villanueva on colors, Karen Bates on letters, and Jason Ho on the cover.
The final story (titled, Bye, Bye Bunny) is funny, weird, well-drawn, meta, wth, and bittersweet.
Homer bursts into the family's home proclaiming "So long stink town! Pack your bags, the Simpsons are outta here!" As usual, the story doesn't quite flow how you'd think. A new family pet is bought, Comic Book Guy makes an appearance, Millhouse posts to social media, Mr. Burns schemes, and Bart uses a slingshot. The ending is absurd fun.
The writing feels like a Simpsons episode, and so does the art. I'm more of a Classic Simpsons fan, but I appreciated the comic version: the character were on-model, with subtle cell shading and interesting linework. Panel layout was non-obtrusive but a bit pedestrian (a few epic battle shots livened things up); mise en scène was done well and helped the story flow.
At the beginning of the book we see art mailed in by young fans; and at the end of the book Kane bids a farewell to the readers. But, what's this? He notes that The Simpsons will begin a hiatus! So does that mean more Simpsons comics will be published? At the very least, yes, in terms of collections. As for new stories? Who knows.
Until then, we have 245 back issues to obsess over.