On the heels of renewal through its 28th season, a perennial contract dispute (with a twist) has at long last claimed one of The Simpsons' foundational cast members. Harry Shearer, the versatile artist behind such indelible characters as Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, McBain, Dr. Hibbert, Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Otto-man, Lenny, and dozens of others will be departing the show at the end of the current season. Of course, the show must go on.
To kick-off its 26th season, The Simpsons handed the couch opening gag to cult animator Don Hertzfeldt (previously) who transformed Our Favorite Family into a surreal nightmare vision of the far future.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
An entire episode of the Simpsons sent through various Alignment And Distrubution vector tools becomes a mesmerizing, glitched out work of art
Universal Studios has revealed their concept art for a real life Simpson's theme park. Io9 asks how many references you can spot.
Charles Bock examines how underground comics helped give rise to TV's Archer and reviews the series in a post-Sideshow Bob world. (First link contains NSWF embedded YT videos.)
The story that lead to the creation of The Critic is an interesting one, starting as an idea for a behind-the-scenes show with a focus on the make-up lady for a morning talk show, which transitioned into the animated series that ran for two seasons on two different channels, plus 10 online shorts (on the blue, previously). If this is all news to you, you can peruze an old fansite and, or watch all 23 episodes online, plus the webisodes in two sets. Bonus: the Simpsons/Critic crossover, which did not amuse Matt Groening.
Brad Bird accepts the prestigous Winsor McCay Award from the 2011 Annie Awards at an undisclosed location where he's directing the not-animated "Mission: Impossible IV". A Brad Bird career retrospective immediately preceded. (Double Link Single You Tube)
After 20 years and 429 episodes, The Simpsons has updated its opening title sequence. Here it is. [more inside]
Real-life recreation of The Simpsons opening. (YouTube link)
Simpsonsmath.com: a guide for teachers to engage math-o-phobes with animated fun. "Mmmmmm, pi."
Best. Episodes. Ever. Though I think they're wrong about the worst. In honor of the upcoming 300th episode of the Simpsons, Entertainment Weekly looks back at the 25 best episodes and 1 worst. May the arguments, and uneeded meme generation, begin.
The Simpsons' Mike Scully is interviewed in this week's Onion. He briefly addresses the whole a.t.s. I-hate-the-show-but-I-keep-watching-anyway syndrome, along with the symbolism of the Comic Book Guy. It was amusing until I realized that I'm guilty of the exact same attitude when it comes to The Onion each week. Is it me, or is the paper just not as funny as it used to be?