Some Things Should Never Have Been Attempted

Though I am generally a big fan of The Simpsons I admit that I have been bogged down by the mediocrity of the show in recent years. The movie seemed to rejuvenate the writers of the show, but there was a time when the show was losing viewers...and FAST! In an attempt to gain new (possibly younger) viewers on the show, Matt Groenings company Bongo Comics made a deal with the syndicates to publish Simpsons comics in major newspapers. The result? Eh...

...not so great. This was one of the more major screw ups for the newspapers because there were several problems with the comics. First of all they were huge. We're talking close to "Calvin & Hobbes" size huge (except without the detailed artwork...these comics looked plain in comparison). So you normally had to cancel one of the comics to make room for this one (at least on Sundays, there were no weekday comics of this). Depending on which comic you decided to drop would determine how the paper was redesigned on that page. So you had to go through the painful process of selecting which comic would be missed least and then you had to pay someone to redesign a couple of pages that had been established long ago. But replacing the comic didn't faze most newspapers because they were picking up the freaking Simpsons! Surely that would cover their butts right?


The final problem with the comic was that it wasn't funny. And when I mean it wasn't funny I mean it was NOT freacking funny in the slightest bit! These were huge comics with lots of panels and words to read, and the strip rarely emitting any laughs. It barely evoked chuckles. I remember finding a comic of "Cathy" more humorous then "The Simpsons." My newspaper stopped carrying the comic after a few months, and in less then two years the comic was canceled and chalked up as one of those "How the heck did you screw that up?!" Strangely enough, even after this huge failure someone had the idea of trying to pitch "Futurama" as a weekly comic, but the syndicates (wisely) turned that idea down. Ironically, a weekly "Futurama" might have worked.

After all, by the time this hit the papers "Futurama" was canceled, and so fans would have flocked to read the new adventures despite their quality. One of the big hurdles with "The Simpsons" is that the show was still on TV, so there was less reason to go out of your way to read them in the Sunday paper (the same day the show airs on TV). It was an idea that should have been sucessful but failed on every imaginable level.

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