Simpsons Comics. Written by various. Illustrated by various. New York: Bongo Comics/HarperCollins.
Sample story synopsis: in "The Purple Prose of Springfield," Bart stumbles upon Lisa's diary and, after "pepping it up," sends it into a publishing contest for a laugh. But he quits laughing when Principal Skinner, who's running the contest, offers Lisa a book contract. Later, as Lisa signs copies, Marge takes a peek at the book, and is shocked by what she reads. Lisa is also startled, and Bart confesses his misdeed. Lionel Hutz offers to buy the rights for $45,000, and they snap up his offer. The success of the diary turns Lisa into an egotistical literary snob and prompts the rest of Springfield to write their own tell-all books. Disgusted with herself and the way everyone is now behaving, Lisa attempts damage control by confessing that the book is a fraud, only to be sued by Troy McClure for supposedly plagarizing his diary.
As for the characters, although they weren't entirely wrong, they said or did enough out-of-character things to disturb me. For example, in "The Purple Prose of Springfield," Marge snatches the $45,000 check out of Lionel Hutz's hands, thereby giving tacit approval to the book she's been railing against. I just don't think she would do that (I would have expected Homer to do so), especially considering that a few pages later, she yells at Bart for taking money to lie on TV.
The art is true to the series, though it really does work better as animation. Hey, we all know The Simpsons didn't get famous for its art.
I can't tell how popular these books are. I got one of them (and saw several of the others) in a remainder store. However, they had several enthusiastic reviews in Amazon. They're certainly appropriate for all but the smallest kids. Given the show's continuing popularity, especially among kids, it seems wise to have several of these on hand in a library, though for pleasure reading I can't recommend them. Go rent a video or watch a rerun on Fox if you need a Simpsons fix.
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