(originally published in Simpsons Comics #197)
Hey, Bongoheads! We know you love your Simpsons Comics with all the intensity of a million white-hot suns, but did you know people all over the globe feel the same way? That’s right! I’d even venture to say that love of “The Simpsons” will eventually unite the world and usher in an era of peace and happiness that would make Ned Flanders squeal with delight.
Case in point? Simpsons Comics #197 is available (or soon will be) in stores all across the planet! Bongo’s comics have cropped up in the United Kingdom, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Ireland. We’re in negotiations with the country of Latveria, but that’s proving to be a little more difficult…
As the Bongo intern, one of my first duties was to file away the international editions for archival purposes. When I first laid eyes on all the different languages and countries represented in our vault, I started singing "It's a Small World (After All).” I felt it was apropos and helped pass the time as I worked diligently. After a few hours of this, I found myself unable to stop singing. I just continued on and on…hour after hour. I was actually getting a little worried until a vicious, but mercifully brief, beating by the rest of the Bongo crew solved the problem. Those guys are the best!
One of the perks of seeing these international editions is the sweet premiums attached to some of them. I’ve seen such swag as water pistols, whoopee cushions, beach balls, umbrellas, plastic spiders, inflatable Spider-Pigs, skateboarding Barts, basketball hoops, and the much-loved, yet enigmatic, hopping eyeball. Other than not being printed in English, a lot of Bongo comics look exactly the same as in the U.S.; however, in the UK, comics are about one-and-a-half times larger. Conversely, Australian editions are a petite digest-size. They fit easily in your back pocket or inside the pouch of the nearest wallaby.
With the same comic published in so many different languages, Bongo's international library is a veritable Rosetta Stone! A few months back, I attempted to read an issue in English and then reread the same issue printed in German…just to try and pick up some vocabulary. It was much more difficult than I imagined, and I just couldn’t retain anything. I soon gave up as the whole experience only filled me with weltschmerz.
So if you're ever traveling abroad, share your love of “The Simpsons” and Bongo with your host country. Even if that doesn’t usher in a new Age of Enlightenment, you may learn how to say “Eat my shorts” in Swahili…and that just may be good enough.