Simpsons Super Spectacular #9
Bongo Comics Group (2009)
“The Best Radioactive Man Event Ever!” finale
WRITER: Batton Lash
PENCILER: Tone Rodriguez
INKER: Andrew Pepoy (who I keep starting to write “Peopy”)
COLORIST: Art Villanueva
LETTERER: Karen Bates
EDITOR: Bill Morrison
The big day has arrived, and Springfield is ready for anything. But are they ready for nothing? That’s what they got–a blank comic except for boxes or words. Since readers keep complaining about changes, but then complaining about the changes (I’m sure one of those should have been “lack of changes”), Krusty’s strategy is to just let people make their own comic. Hey, the sales are through the roof…until the next issue smashes a hole in the basement. Very upset, Bart decides to sell copies of the near-blank comic with his own art and story..a rather violent one. (Or as violent as a Bongo title gets.) Krusty decides that maybe it’s better to let the talented staff write the comic, and the next issue of Radioactive Man is just a good read, as a comic is supposed to be!
What they got right: Whiny fanboys. Comic “investors”. Publishers and Editors-in-Chief suffering from Eventitis. No one is spared, and it’s all in good fun.
What they got wrong: Now if only the aforementioned would take those lessons with them, maybe blogs, forums, and the comics themselves would be more enjoyable to read. (Not counting mine. Mine is totally enjoyable. Bias? What bias?)
Updated thoughts: Okay, I admit this was rather biased since I liked the message; just make good stories without relying solely on events and marketing gimmicks and people will just complain about the stories, but good stories will usually be rewarded. Yeah, we could dive into specifics like getting the characters right and whatever, but it would be a good starting point. I do like that it does also point out that fans do complain a lot as well. In the end readers aren’t a hivemind. They have their own tastes and you can’t satisfy everyone. Just make good stories with good art, respect your fans and continuity without being enslaved by either, and you have the makings of a good comic. Bart getting Krusty to see that is pure fantasy, but we’re talking about comics here. Not being real is part of the fun. It’s making a commentary on Eventitis and other gimmicks without being one-sided like so many “we hate our critics and people who don’t share our politics” nonsense that usually happens in commentary comics. It’s kind of like what I hope I’m doing in Jake & Leon, whose anniversary is coming up next week by the way.
Re-reading this though I have to wonder how Bart turned those empty panels into comics. Did he find a way to print onto each of the pages or did he redraw his story in each issue? It doesn’t really say. Bart gets rewarded by being in the next proper issue of Radioactive Man but instead of the Robin-inspired costume I would have liked to have seen him as Bartman. Bartman doesn’t get enough respect, man.
Recommendation: Pick up these comics (unless the joke continues into a Trade, which it should, with an in-character Krusty exposing the virtues of trade waiting as only Krusty can) and maybe get some for the obsessive fanboy in YOUR life.