The Simpsons fandom is prospering, simply not the place you’d look forward to finding it

The Simpsons is lifeless, lengthy reside The Simpsons. The basic cartoon sitcom has had an unbelievable influence on popular culture and animation because it started airing in 1989. This was very true throughout its golden age, which is disputed however broadly covers seasons 3-8. The present’s basic run has lived on within the meme zeitgeist, like with the infamous “Steamed Hams” skit, Sugarposting, or screenshots utilized in Twitter jokes. Simpsons quotes are virtually a dialect of their very own. However whereas basic Simpsons has come and gone, followers nowadays are enthusiastically returning to the present’s older episodes — and the brand new canon — to seek out inspiration for their very own Simpsons tales.

The animated comedy simply had its season 33 premiere on Sunday, and the present has reinvented itself many instances over its decadeslong run. The one factor that the present refuses to compromise on is getting older up any of its characters, and so the timeline retains sliding ahead: In season 33, Homer and Marge are millennials. However what if the Simpsons really aged? Every Simpson has been by so many iterations and timelines that they are often imagined anyplace (or anywhen). Webcomic fan artists are exploring these questions and extra, whereas paying homage to The Simpsons’ basic years.

The Simpsons really had its personal comics, revealed from 1993 to 2012, which have been based mostly on the sitcom. Fan comics, nonetheless, give artists the inventive license to think about their favourite characters in conditions that the official media can’t or received’t depict. Panic Volkushka is the artist who created Couples’ Therapy, a comic where Bart Simpson and Family Guy’s Chris Griffin are working collectively to take care of a romantic relationship regardless of the abuse inflicted upon them by their fathers.

Springfight! is one other fan comedian that takes a vital have a look at the legacy of Homer Simpson, however combines it with a love letter to the present’s basic run. The comedian begins with a really Simpsons premise: Mr. Burns is leaving his wealth to whoever can finest the remainder of Springfield in a large match. Homer takes the lead early on, however his household life has crumbled because of this, and the Simpsons should navigate the situation collectively.

Springfight! - A comic depicts Marge and Homer having a serious conversation about their family in a locker room

Picture: Joe Chouinard

“As a child of the 90’s, I’ve never known a world without The Simpsons,” says Joe Chouinard, the creator of Springfight! “I took the show for granted growing up, partly because it was so pervasive, and partly because I didn’t understand half the jokes. But I don’t think any piece of media has had a bigger impact on me. Those early seasons are burned into my brain, and have undoubtedly influenced the way I think about humor and storytelling. Also, I quote the show on a daily basis. I imagine in twenty years I’ll still be proclaiming whether or not everything is, in fact, coming up Milhouse.”

Chouinard’s inspirations have been far reaching. After a rewatch of Yu Yu Hakusho, Chouinard puzzled why emotionally charged martial arts tournaments weren’t a bigger a part of the Western cartoon canon. From there, Springfight! blossomed from an concept right into a full comedian.

“So, I ditched the status quo and gave the characters permission to grow, change, and move on with their lives,” says Chouinard. “It felt like they deserved it after three decades, and it was nice to have some closure, even if I had to make it myself.”

Different artists are nonetheless totally in love with The Simpsons in its present type, and stay energetic within the fandom. Spikermonster is a web based artist who has been a fan of The Simpsons all through his life, however he rediscovered the present throughout a depressive episode.

“I decided to rewatch [the episode] Love, Springfieldian Style after watching the Sex Pistols mockumentary The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle,” he tells Polygon by way of Twitter. “I discovered that I’m still pretty fond of it, actually. That led to me finding more Simpsons episodes to watch. Before I knew it I was neck deep into the show, drawing fanart and thinking up ideas for stories and character exploration. My depression had entirely vanished. I feel like it saved my life.”

That artwork led to a venture known as Those Springfield Kids, which is “a character study of Bart, Lisa, and their friends during their late high school years.” Spikermonster explains that they have been curious to see how the solid would develop if the clock abruptly began on their lives. “I was partially inspired by other Simpsons fan projects like Bartkira and Marge Simpson Anime,” says Spikermonster. “To think that there’s some people out there who are seeing my work and they might be feeling the same way I felt upon seeing Bartkira for the first time is truly so exciting.”

He provides, “I hope people don’t stop making these sort of fan projects, it’s always so fun to see how creative people can get in their reinterpretations of such an iconic show.”

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