The Simpsons Forever! by Matt Groening

Published: 3rd November 1999Goodreads badge
 Harper Design
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
Genre: Graphic Novel
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Picking up where The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to our Favorite Family left off, The Simpsons Forever! brings all the history, tidbits, and cold hard facts on every episode from the past two years, and much, much more. Fans will find the highlights of all the shows from seasons nine and ten, plus eyeball–busting two–page spreads for special episodes (like the annual Halloween show). Heavily packed into these pages are updated favourites like Best Homerisms, Famous Chalkboard Sayings, All–New Simpsons Singalong Lyrics, Couch Gags, and classic screen images. And, yes – it’s all cross-referenced!

This book is the second as part of a series released by Matt Groening that start at season one and work through the series aired at the time up until season 14. Each book is a continuation of the previous publication with multiple seasons covered within. This is important because anyone who reads this book, especially thinking they are getting a full series exploration, will no doubt be disappointed. While the first book covered seasons 1-8, this second one is very short, covering only seasons 9 and 10 but it still is filled with detail. Each episode overview for both seasons includes quotes, blink and you miss it things you may have missed, as well as fun information about background characters, songs, show highlights, character bios as well as the numerous and varied movie and pop culture references made by the writers and animators.

This is a great read if you like the attention to detail that The Simpsons have always had and the clever and creative signs, references and homage, or unique characters that have been created over the years. The trivia is enlightening and I was reminded of things I had long forgotten and even learnt a few things that made me even more in awe of the genius minds of the people who work on the show.

I went looking for these books when I learnt of them because I’m a long time fan of The Simpsons. This book is from early on in the shows run, when only 10 seasons had been aired, and nowhere near as comprehensive as the later publication featuring the first 20 seasons, which even now is old given the new 30th season. Having said that, it is still a great read. I think being closer to the airdates there were more things to include, and more focus could be put on each episode without worrying about making anything too long or cluttered. If you are a trivia nut like I am the little random facts are fun to learn and it’s great to read about just how much thought goes into background characters and crowd scenes. Hopefully I can track down the rest of these early books because I think they would be an enlightening read, especially ones that cover more seasons.

You can purchase The Simpsons Forever via the following

Amazon | Amazon Aust

World of Books

The Simpsons Family History by Matt Groening

Published: 23rd September 2014Goodreads badge
Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Genre: Graphic Novel
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

So you think you know the Simpsons? Well, think again! The Simpsons Family History unravels 25 years of Simpsons facts and fun and presents them in a never-before-seen chronological format. Travel through time with Matt Groening as he pulls back the curtain and reveals the events that turned this average family into a pop-culture phenomenon. Discover the hopes and dreams of a young Homer and uncover the sensitive and driven girl Marge was before she married him. Marvel at the hidden moments you never knew you missed, as all the pieces of Simpsons history fall into place. Chock full of art taken directly from the source, this massive tome is a must for Simpsons fans and the perfect way to celebrate The Simpsons’ 25th anniversary.

This is not a substantial book despite its fancy appearance. It is not filled with facts and information about our favourite four fingered family with a comprehensive history and trivia guide, it is, however, still quite nice.

There is humour and heart as the journey from the beginning of time, (skipping 67 million years to speed things up a bit) all the way up until Grandpa Simpsons early life, Homer’s birth and beyond. I thought I would be disappointed in this book because it wasn’t what I expected i.e filled with facts and information, and yet I still enjoyed flicking through as the history of the family was traced.

In that sense it does do what the cover says, it is a family history of The Simpsons, a celebration of the family. In full colour there are images taken straight from episodes, with no updating or touch ups, which, to my nostalgic self, loves that you can see the animation evolution, and also realise that through fate or design the entire lives of each family member has been explored in one episode of another allowing a chronological journey through their story. We see Homer’s birth, his early and ongoing meetings with Marge, and their love blossom until the arrival of Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

I can see how some people might think it has no value, but it a celebration of the family, never claiming to be a guide or any kind of anthology about the show. It’s a pictorial history that was actually quite enjoyable. If you are looking for wordier, and more comprehensive histories of The Simpsons or fact guides, then there is no shortage out there from ex-staff or fans alike. But as a lovely guide to this long running show that focus on the family it was quite a nice trip down memory lane.

You can purchase The Simpsons Family History via the following

Booktopia | Dymocks | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust

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