This month’s Vanity Fair has a sunstantive oral history of The Simpsons, with quotes from some familiar faces.
Gary Panter, friend of Matt Groening’s, cartoonist: The people I knew who were doing the mini-comics at the earliest were Matt, Lynda Barry, me.… Matt’s earliest comics were about language.… He did a whole series of Life in Hell called “Forbidden Words.” He would just name all these phrases that were overused in culture and forbid them from being used again. His comics were very ambitious, and his drawings very simple, but beautifully designed; it has clarity, and Matt’s a great writer, and understands human psychology.
Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist, Maus: I pleaded with Matt and advised him strongly from my elder-statesman position to not work with Fox. “Whatever you do, don’t work with those guys! They’re gangsters! They’re gonna take your rights away!” He’s never let me forget it.
Lest we forget, the earliest Simpsons, as actually drawn by Groening, has a far more primitive, Savage, even Jumbo-esque look than the cuddly yellow icons we know and love today.
Spekaing of the Simpsons, an online poll has decided that Springfield is located in…VERMONT? Really? Didn’t see that one coming either.