“The Simpsons” is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. “The Simpsons” has been a continuous presence on broadcast television since December of the 1989-90 television season. “The Simpsons” presents a satirical depiction of a working class family which consists of Homer Simpson (the father), Marge Simpson (the mother), Bart (the oldest child and only son), Lisa (the precocious and brilliant elder daughter), and Maggie (a baby girl). “The Simpsons” also parodies American culture, pop culture, society, etc. via the denizens of The Simpsons' home town, Springfield.
In 1993. Matt Groening, Bill Morrison, and Steve and Cindy Vance founded Bongo Comics Group (or simply Bongo Comics). Until 2018 when it closed, Bongo Comics published numerous comic book series and single-issue publications featuring characters, plots, settings, and situations from “The Simpsons” TV series.
Since 2013, Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins, has been publishing the Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium. This is a paperback graphic novel series which reprints select comics stories from various issues of Bongo Comics' Simpsons comic books. The latest release, Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 7, reprints material that originally appeared in the following comic books: Grampa Simpson Unbelievable Adventures #1 (2015); Simpsons Comics #'s 171, 184, 232, 233, 235, and 236 (October 2010 to January 2017); Simpsons Summer Shindig #'s 7 (May 2013) and 9 (May 2015); Simpson Super Spectacular #11 (June 2010).
THE LOWDOWN: Harper Design sent me a copy of Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 7 for review, as they did a few years ago with Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 4. In the last two decades, I've read only a few individual Simpsons comics, although I have always enjoyed them. In the last five years, I have read several volumes of Harper Design's Simpsons trade paperbacks, thanks to review copies.
Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 7 does not really have any great stories (although there are some good ones), but the stories contained within this volume offer many funny and clever moments. For instance, “Grampa Simpson's Great Sandwich Caper!” is a clever spoof of those choose-your-own-adventure stories because it is composed of clever moments, rather than an overall clever plot. “Uncivil War Bartman vs. Houseboy” offers funny introductions of parody superheroes; one of the best is Milhouse Van Houten's father, Kirk Van Houten, dressed in a “Deadman” style costume and trying to use his super-heroic activities as divorce-dad quality time.
There are some good stories. “Pieman Meets the Pi Man” pits Homer Simpson's Pieman against a wacky villain, “Pi Man,” who uses math to confound his victims and the targets of his schemes. The story “Railroaded” was recently reprinted in another trade paperback. This tale of vacation-by-train beset by overcrowding somehow finds a way to continually assault my funny bone.
“100% Homer” recalls the 2011 film, Limitless, as a rancid donut makes Homer super-smart, and he gets a third eye and goes on a trippy trip. The balloon race and religion con-themed “Karmageddon” exemplifies the sharp humor we expect of “The Simpsons.” Homer takes on Ned Flanders in a balloon race, and Lisa Simpson tries to attend a multi-faith religious convention, (“Karma-Con”), although the tickets to attend are sold out. Just the premise alone is funny, but this odd tale is infused with humor.
So, while Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium Volume 7 is not a great collection, it reflects what Bongo Comics (a defunct publisher as of 2018) offered – some of the best humor comics published in North America. Funny moments and good humor, Vol. 7 of the Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium will tickle the funny bone.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of “The Simpsons” will want at least a few volumes of Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium on their shelves.