The Simpsons (Comic Book)

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After its success in prime time TV, The Simpsons spawned into Comic Book territory with its own series based on the show. The comics were created by Bongo Comics. Simpsons Comics, The main title was launched in November, 1993 and is still ongoing. There have also been several spin-offs such as Bart Simpson, Treehouse of Horror, and Radioactive Man,


Tropes used in The Simpsons (Comic Book) include:
  • Ascended Fangirl: This fan's picture gave her a job offer from Bongo Comics.
  • Art Shift: Treehouse of Horror, an annual series of Halloween comics inspired by the televised Simpsons episodes of the same title.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Most of Lisa's swimsuits are midriff-baring.
  • Big No: Bart at the very beginning of the first Bartman story, after having just learned that he's going to have to go to summer school.
  • Brick Joke: In the fourth installment of the main comic, Milhouse is reading a newspaper. It's mentioned in a small column on the front page that the actor who portrays Scratchy the Cat at the Krustyland amusement park has mysteriously disappeared, but none of the characters notice this, as they're too concerned with reading about the baseball game later that day. Not until Bartman #3 do we learn not only that the disappearance was a kidnapping, but that it ended up creating a citywide crisis in Springfield that now only Bartman and Radioactive Man can resolve.
    • In the very first issue, Mr. Burns' scientists warn him against messing with dangerous experiments by reminding him about "Project Q" (sealed in a vault that absolutely must not be opened until the year 10,000 A.D.). About thirty issues later, Homer becomes amnesiac and, believing that he's actually Radioactive Man, accidentally releases it to wreak havoc on the nuclear plant.
    • An in-story example occurs in "The Greatest D'oh On Earth" when the Simpson family (minus Bart, who's been grounded) go to the circus. Homer is refused admittance because twenty years earlier he had attended the same circus and taunted one of the clowns by throwing peanuts at him - and the actor playing the clown now works at the ticket booth!
  • The Cameo: Pee-wee Herman (although never mentioned by name) is the freak-show handler in "The Greatest D'oh On Earth." (It's something of an in-joke, since Pee-wee portrayer Paul Reubens grew up with several families of circus performers as his next-door neighbors, and of course appeared in Big Top Pee-wee.)
  • Canon Foreigner: Apu's nephew Jamshed, for one.
  • Crossover: The four-part "Futurama Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis".
    • The early days of the comics had When Bongos Collide, a three-issue storyline crossing over all three of the then-running Bongo titles: Itchy & Scratchy Comics, Simpsons Comics and Bartman. Interestingly enough, this storyline involved a plot device similar to the one in the Futurama/Simpsons crossover, with a device that brings fictional characters into the real world -- hence Itchy and Scratchy are running loose in Springfield, and Bartman teams up with Radioactive Man.
    • Later on, a series of Bartman stories that saw him targeted by a villain called "the Canker" somehow tied into an earlier Simpsons Comics story about Ned Flanders being abducted and replaced by Kang and Kodos (who were teamed up with Sideshow Bob, who revealed that he was the man behind the Canker), aided by henchmen who showed up in a seemingly innocuous Rainier Wolfcastle/McBain strip. The Bongo titles were actually surprisingly good at this sort of thing.
  • The Chessmaster: Bart at the beginning of "The Prime of Miss Lisa Simpson" when he had all the teachers deported
  • Crying Indian: When garbage is littered all over the park we see a tearful Apu.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In one story where Homer is Zeus, Bart is Hercules, and Marge is Hera, Bart/Hercules is complaining about his labors. In turn, Homer/Zeus says "When I was your age, my dad ate me!" Zeus's father never actually ate Zeus; he ate his siblings and it was Zeus who freed them, having been born in secret.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: One early issue focuses on the mystery of who stole a sculpture of a puma (the Springfield Elementary mascot) from the school. The mystery must be solved before Principal Skinner returns from a trip. Given a dozen suspects with increasingly bizarre motives, Lisa deduces that Skinner took it with him to protect it.
    • Sounds pretty straightforward, but there was actually a twist. Convinced that the sculpture actually contained hidden jewels that would make the school (and possibly the community) rich, Martin Prince (who in this adventure is humorously portrayed as an erudite mob boss) had intended to have resident thug Jimbo Jones and his lackeys steal the statue and bring it to him, whereupon he would chip away at the paint to uncover the jewels. When Skinner takes the statue, Martin suspects that Jimbo and the other henchmen have double-crossed him and are keeping the puma for themselves. (It's all for naught, though, because when Martin finally removes the paint, all he finds is "nothing but worthless plaster.")
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: In one comic about Jimbo, Springfield Elementary were once ruled by those who were strict on their attendance and education. This meant, during the plot at least, the majority of the bully population were nerds.
  • Fake-Out Opening:
    • In the very first Simpsons comic story from 1994, "The Amazing Colossal Homer," we see a looming shot of Homer in the very first panel and think he's become a giant (because both the cover of the book and the title of the story have led us to expect that). But it turns out we're just viewing a normal-sized Homer from the point of view of the bathroom floor; his turning into a giant comes later.
    • An even funnier example was at the beginning of "Be-Bop-A-Lisa." We think at first that we are seeing Edna Krabappel and Groundskeeper Willie in the middle of an amorous embrace....but then we turn the page and realize that it's just two of Bart's friends parodying Edna and Willie for a school talent show.
    • In fact, the Fake-Out Opening quickly became a staple of the comic. For a long time, nearly every issue had one, some of them being... rather forced.
  • Gigantic Gulp: In one issue, Bart, Lisa, Martin and Milhouse find giant squishee cups the size of children while exploring the Kwik-e-Mart; Squishzilla. Apu later explains that they weren't used because they were so heavy when filled that no one could carry them away.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Kearney is revealed to be wearing pink underpants in Bartman #1, after his shorts slip off while he's hanging from a catwalk in a factory. (On the other hand, since Kearney and his fellow goons are legitimately threatening, this could be an example of Real Men Wear Pink.)
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: One issue has Homer win Smithers off Mister Burns and he and Marge fight for Homer's approval.
  • Saw Star Wars 27 Times: In "Bart Simpson and the Krusty Brand Fun Factory", Grandpa says he has seen When Animals Attack 37 times.
  • Show Within a Show: The "Radioactive Man" comics. Some of them were printed by Bongo, with the conceit that they're the actual comics enjoyed by Bart and friends in The Simpsons (for example, an issue allegedly from the 1970s features a letter from young Marge Simpson). This also lets the writers parody comic book tropes and well-known stories (to illustrate, an issue dated from the 1990s might parody the comic book "Dark Age").
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Bartman is always pulling this on Milhouse, in an obvious Shout-Out to the Batman/Commissioner Gordon relationship.
  • Trap Door: Mr Burns has one in his office, just like in the show.
  • Two-Timer Date: The plot of "Springfield's Typical Teen-ager".
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: A hell of a lot of the content and jokes made no sense at all to children and was geared towards adults.
  • We Care: Used in at least one Simpsons comic with "Globex Corporation - We Dominate Because We Care", the company from the TV episode "You Only Move Twice."