by Matt Groening
Reviewed by Larry Cox
It is almost impossible to imagine American pop culture without or before “The Simpsons.” Since its debut in 1989, the animated cartoon has become one of the most influential forces in television and comedy history, and has broken records all along the way. For example, it is the longest-running primetime, scripted television series, and the Simpson family and the various characters from the series are recognized throughout the world.
Matt Groening, the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series, has compiled an incredible book that is the last word in fan memorabilia. Groening reveals all of the seminal events that turned this so-called average family into the pop-culture phenomenon it has become.
The large-format book is richly illustrated and the perfect way to mark the 25th anniversary of one of the most consistently entertaining, enlightening and inventive shows in the history of television.
As Groening points out, he has been doodling misshapen, bulgy-eyed cartoon characters with tragic overbites since the sixth grade. Thirty years ago, while occupying a studio bungalow on the 20th Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, he pitched his idea for a series of animated short films. Those first films eventually became 550 episodes spread over 26 seasons. This in addition to a hit feature film, a dozen video games, a couple of breakfast cereals and, of course, its place in our culture.
“The Simpson Family History” is, indeed, a celebration of television’s favorite family. It is an absolute joy and chock full of art taken from the source. Light the anniversary candles, and let the party begin.