(Originally published in Simpsons Comics #199)
Hey there, Bongoheads! Welcome to another installment of the Bongo Beat. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I took on the duties of writing this column. I guess time flies when you’re having fun, because this year has flown by like a highly-caffeinated super cheetah wearing a rocket pack! In fact, so much has been happening in the Bongoverse that I haven’t even had time to attend to the delicate matter of my love life.
Normally, I wouldn’t even mention such things, but it is Valentine’s Day, after all. The perfect time to reflect on the greatest love there is. I’m not talking about romantic love, filial love, or any of the other types. I’m talking about the love of COMICS! Let me take a moment and share with you some of the reasons that I absolutely love working for Bongo Comics.
Our office in sunny Santa Monica. The California weather is phenomenal, and we’re just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. There’s absolutely nothing to stop me from going deep-sea diving on my lunch break…except for my debilitating fear of kelp and kelp byproducts.
The Bongo Comics original art archives. Consisting of over 400 issues, it’s 20 years worth of awesome “Simpsons” and “Futurama” art by some truly inspiring artists. I get to see stuff most people will have to wait decades to view in some museum celebrating comic art of the early twenty-first century. Take that, future art lovers!
Any time Sergio Aragonés visits the office. He’ll regale us with amazing stories of his world travels, his days at MAD, and on occasion teach us the proper way to construct a marionette.
The greasy-spoon burger joint down the block. It’s a family-run business with the greatest French fries I’ve ever tasted. I shudder to think about the calorie count, but since we walk there, that makes it slightly healthier, right? Right?!
The creative process. I love seeing artwork and stories materialize almost magically right before my eyes. What begins as a germ of an idea, eventually becomes a full-blown comic book. Yesterday’s offhand pitch idea can become tomorrow’s Eisner® award-winning story. It’s amazing to see this happen day after day.
Secret sojourns to the FOX studios lot. Every now and then, business takes us to the studio lot where you can usually catch a peek of a television production in progress. There’s nothing like walking down a snowy New York street in the middle of Los Angeles during July.
The comics. After months of hard work, the final product arrives hot off the presses. It’s a veritable four-color feast for the senses! And with Bongo producing so much stuff, it’ll only be a week or two before another new issue arrives. How’s that for instant gratification?
Convention season. There’s nothing like taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of popular culture. As an added bonus, I get to mingle with people who really appreciate and understand what I’m doing with
my life. Which, incidentally, is the polar opposite of holidays spent with family.