(originally published in Simpsons Comics #200)
Hey Bongoreenos! Things are hoppin’ here at Bongo Comics HQ. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, 2013 marks Bongo’s twentieth year in the comic book biz. That’s gotta be like, thirty years in every other industry. We’re so happy to make it to that milestone that we’re gearing up for a yearlong extravaganza featuring even more comics, more creators, more surprises, and a heapin’ helpin’ of hilarity. There might even be some shenanigans thrown in as well, but it’s too early to know for sure.
Of course, the event that kicks it all off is the much-anticipated Simpsons Comics #200. At double the size, it’s double the fun! (Okay, our marketing department made me write that. “Fun” is too difficult to accurately measure, IMHO. I will say that it’s very, very, very enjoyable. Kind of like the greatest party you’ve ever been to that gets somehow distilled down and lovingly printed on 70# matte paper.) Make sure you pick yourself up a copy. And if you’re reading this Bongo Beat in Simpsons Comics #200, never mind! Your work is done.
So how does a comic company manage to sustain itself for over two decades? Having a viable and beloved intellectual property (or two!) doesn’t hurt, certainly. Dedicated fans? Check. But I would also argue that assembling a team of creators and coworkers that are infatuated with the art form and are always pushing themselves is just as important. I’ve had the great fortune to see some of the comic world’s greatest talents produce work for Bongo and it’s always an inspiration. Being a comic writer or artist is a labor of love and that’s not widely recognized by the general public. Let’s face it…if you’re working in comics, you’re definitely not in it for the money…and it’s also possible you may be addicted to the fumes given off by Sharpie markers. Who knows? Creative people can be a little peculiar, I hear.
Perhaps the greatest thrill of working at the Bongo offices for so long is my interaction with the Big Cheese himself…Mr. Matt Groening. Every now and then he’ll ask me to file some art or scan something, and he always does it with a smile on his face. Then he’ll call me “Gary” or some other name that isn’t mine, and it cracks me up. Classic Groening!
Maybe next time I see him, I can get him to sign my Simpsons Comics #200! Now, if only I can find a Sharpie…