Bongo Blog

Mark your calendars! Here are the dates on which you can find the following issues in comic book stores. Newsstand editions are generally available about 3 weeks later.


Milhouse #1 — May 2nd

Simpsons Illustrated #2 — May 2nd

Simpsons Comics #190 — May 16th

Bart Simpson #71 — May 23rd

Futurama Comics #61 — May 30th

Summer Shindig #6 — May 30th

By Lay, McGreal, Rankine, Simone, Smith, Delaney, Kazaleh, Lloyd, Matsumoto, Davis, DeCarlo, Pepoy


Bart Simpson’s pal Milhouse takes center stage in the next of our series of Simpsons Comics One-Shots. Take a look at the world of Springfield through the eyes of Bart’s bespectacled best friend, second banana, and juvenile delinquent wannabe, and the fantastical things you see through his thick lenses might surprise you.

When Creative Director Nathan Kane saw the cover for Milhouse #1 coming together, he was excited to expand upon the idea of Milhouse's rich fantasy life as a savage barbarian, and decided we would create an action-packed pin-up for the back cover. I was given the assignment and a lot of freedom to come up with a fun idea...Nathan just wanted to make sure it was an exciting and dynamic image.

I came up with a rough concept of Milhouse the Barbarian battling an assortment of monsters and beasts with an exotic backdrop. At this early stage, I put my ideas on paper quickly and crudely, but if you compare this to the final image, you can see that the basic elements were established early on.


I then moved on to a cleaner version of the drawing, to decide what was and wasn't working:


• In the upper right you can see an indication of the barbarian woman from the front cover battling with an evil sorceress. I really liked this struggle playing out in the background, but it just felt like this was stealing focus from Milhouse.


• The dragons silhouetted against the moons in the upper left were just eating up too much space and not adding much.


• The ogre holding up his shield in the lower right was taking up too much space, and again, stealing focus.


• As I envisioned it, Milhouse is supposed to be whirling around, slashing at enemies with both his swords. However, the position of his left-handed sword was obscuring the shape and motion of his body.


The problems were identified, so it was time to come up with some solutions:


• I took the dragons and the barbarian woman out of the mix, and flipped the position of the cliff and moons. With the sorceress on the other side, i positioned her in a commanding stance, and had her flanked by two ferocious dire wolves to tie her into the action in the foreground.


• I pushed the ogre towards the 'camera', which not only opened up some space, but helped create a greater sense of depth in the image.


• Now that I had more visible background, I added a menacing horde of silhouetted foes to threaten our savage spectacled hero. 


• Most importantly, I changed Milhouse's posture so that he would be charging and leaping into the fray, rather than twisting his body. Note how he has a clear silhouette for a more striking image


At this point, I started refining the forms and prepared to finalize the drawing.


Bongo Comics joins with other comic publishers and the finest retailers throughout North America and around the world to participate in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 7. 


Take the plunge into a treasure trove of Bongo Comics with our brand-new, exclusive, one day, one-shot collection of stories featuring Bart Simpson and Milhouse Van Houten’s efforts to play a new video game (courtesy of Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer); Ralph Wiggum’s unpredictable run-in with the school bullies (by Jesse Leon McCann, James Lloyd, and Andrew Pepoy); and a Springfield Elementary field trip to the circus  (as chronicled by Sergio Aragonés).


Several of Bongo’s artists and writers will be appearing around the country on Saturday, including: Bill Morrison and Jesse McCann (signing at Comics Unlimited in Westminster, CA from 11 AM to 1 PM), Andrew Pepoy (signing at Third Coast Comics in Chicago, IL from 1-3 PM), Phil Ortiz (signing at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA from 12-4 PM), and Evan Dorkin (signing at Comic Book Jones in Staten Island, NY).


To find a comic retailer participating in this year’s event, check out the Free Comic Book Day locator site


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