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Simpsons Comics #131
By Hervé St-Louis
September 3, 2007 - 03:45

Bongo Comics Group
Writer(s): Chuck Dixon, Ty Templeton
Penciller(s): Mike Rote, Andrew Pepoy
Cover Artist(s): Mike Rote, Andrew Pepoy


This issue, Bongo Comics’ 40-year-old like intern, guides readers through some of the local adaptations of the Simpsons in other country. The tour takes us to Japan, where we witness a baseball game played by Bartomu. Next is the great mystery of the crumpling porches, set in Belgium, where Henri, better known as Homer in the United States tries to sell his waffles but without success. To round up the tour, is the Mexican version of the Simpsons is trying to sneak into the United States as migrant workers.

I really did not expect to enjoy this comic book so much. I thought that the comic book version of the Simpsons was for small kids. I was wrong. Adult readers will find enough material in there to challenge their mind, if they pay attention.

While the Manga version of the Simpsons is not very fun, it does capture the essence of the family. Just a few of the gags were interesting. Everything was a good translation of what it would mean to have the Simpsons in Japanese.

The Belgian version was more fun because the Simpsons’ characters were mostly adapted to fit an odd counterpart from some Belgian comic book from the Smurf or Tintin. How a proxy was found was quite funny and also made fun of these other comic book series, while making fun of the Simpsons at the same time. This is the type of absurd joke that works on so many level especially if you are familiar with the old Belgian comic book and the very political culture of that country. That story alone was priceless.

Finally, we get a Simpsons’ comic book that borrows more from South America soap operas than comic books but that works nevertheless. I could not stop laughing every time Bart or Lisa would call their mother Mamasita. And Marge looked the part too. Part of the story poked so much fun at Mexicans, that some people might be offended by it. But just like the Belgium story, it rang true.

The artwork is adapted to evoke the comic book style of the particular country where the story is set in. The manga update of the Simpsons work. Bart looks like Dragon Ball with spiked hair and all. The story was full of zip a tone and in black and white. The Belgian version of the Simpsons showed more flair. The designs were almost the same, but less smooth and with a heavy dose of ligne claire thrown in. Finally, while the Mexican version of the Simpsons was closest to the actual characters’ designs, Marge got lift up making her much more bimbo-like. The other characters got to wear local Mexican clothing.

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