Archive for the simpsons

Chalkboard drawings: The “primetime stars of animation” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , on November 9, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.

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Chalkboard Drawings: The “All Treehouse of Horror” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , on November 2, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.

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In the lead up to Halloween, I drew myself as characters from my favorite episodes of The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror.

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Thrift Store Halloweekends – Barney Gumble, The Simpsons Spooky Light-Ups (Burger King)

Posted in halloween with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

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This week, we’re going to be looking at Barney Gumble from Burger King’s line of Simpsons Spooky Light-Ups from 2001. These toys were a premium given away with the purchase of a Burger King Kids Meal but I bought mine for $3 bucks at a garage sale.

The Simpsons and Halloween have been something of a package pair ever since the second season of the long-running animated sit-com. The Simpsons Halloween Specials (later renamed Treehouse of Horror) have, over the last 25 years, presented viewers with parodies and pastiches of classic and modern scary stories using the assorted citizens of Springfield. It’s something that gets forgotten in this day and age where adult-oriented cartoons are a dime a dozen… but the Simpsons take on Halloween was, in its’ beginnings, pretty damn subversive. These brutal “out of continuity” tales really messed with viewer’s expectations and I can remember some (Season 6’s Nightmare Cafeteria) genuinely putting some scares in me.

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Thrift Store Finds: August’s Half-Off Sale

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

On the first Monday of every month, our thrift store marks everything in the store down to half off. During summer vacation, Ellen and I make a point to go to the store first thing on these Monday mornings, so as to have full range of choice in whatever secondhand wares that strike our fancy. Although we’re about out of August now, I thought I’d rundown our last half-off sale of summer 2013.

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BOOKS –  Lover Boy by Stan and Jan Berenstain was one I grabbed because I had already talked about the sequel to this book, Office Lover Boy, in a previous post. Seeing the husband/wife duo behind the wholesome Berenstain Bears work blue was something of a shock back when I wrote that post… and it’s still a little strange to see now! This book’s falling apart but for a quarter, I figured it was worth it. I also found The A-Team 5: Ten Percent of Trouble, the fifth in a series of novelizations adapting episodes of NBC’s 1980’s action series. I collect novelizations when the mood seizes me and… c’mon! Mr. T! George Peppard! The guy who originally played Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica!

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VIDEO GAMES – I picked up four GameBoy cartridges for $2 bucks apiece: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (LJN), Top Gun: Guts & Glory (Konami), Bugs Bunny – Crazy Castle 3 (Kemco), and Pokemon Pinball (Nintendo). This was a mixed bag of carts. I don’t know why I picked up Top Gun; the Nintendo game was awful and this just seems to follow suit. Crazy Castle 3 is fine; it’s just an incredibly boring game. Terminator 2 is (quite surprisingly considering it was published by LJN, purveyors of the worst licensed games ever) the most fun out of all these, however it’s wicked hard. They only give you one life and I can barely make it to the second board without dying. Pokemon Pinball… I haven’t tried yet. I want to wait until I can scrounge a AAA battery for the Rumble Pak.

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COMICS – Paul Dini’s run on Detective Comics yielded some fun Batman stories but his work was  overshadowed at the time by Grant Morrison’s Batman work. I’ve been going back and checking Dini’s Detective Comics’ work and it’s about as solid as you’d expect from one of the main architects of Batman: The Animated Series. The best of these are a two-parter featuring Scarface as the main baddie and a team-up with Zatanna (one of Dini’s favorite DC characters). The next few issues dovetail with Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P. storyline. Dini’s stories are aided by Dustin Nguyen’s capable artwork. I got these for fifty cents apiece.

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VIDEO CASSETTE – I have the first ten seasons of The Simpsons on DVD and watch them on an endless loop. I probably don’t need a VHS cassette collecting the first two episodes of the first season of the series, which is lucky because despite what the colorful box says, that’s not what I got here. The Best of The Simpsons Volume 1 includes “There’s No Disgrase Like Home” and “Life on the Fast Lane” but the cassette here includes “Bart the General” and “Moaning Lisa.” It’s a weird mistake and a little Googling reveals that the cassette I have is The Best of the Simpsons, Volume 2.

chalkboard drawings: the “risque prime time animated sit-com” edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 27, 2011 by Christopher Pearce


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odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I must be honest and tell you folks this has not been the most illuminating week of teaching I’ve ever executed. I spent three of the last five work days administering a standardized test… and the last two days were my classes playing catch up. I don’t hold out great hope for next week either, which features a day given to taking the 9th grade for hearing and vision screenings, to say nothing of the craziness of Homecoming. Hopefully I can squeeze in a lesson or two at some point before October.

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I thought this was interesting. FOX is trying to figure out a way to make an all Simpsons cable channel, somewhere down the line.

I don’t know if something like this is likely, or just an idea that FOX executives are kicking around. I will say it make me think about the current state of Simpsons syndication, which absolutely annoys the hell out of me. I don’t know what the syndication package looks like when it’s offered around, but there are over 400 episodes of The Simpsons right now. That’s more than enough to air one Simpsons episode a night for a year and never have any repeats. Yet, for some reason, our local FOX affiliate seems dedicated to airing only episodes from the last two or three seasons.

I understand the reasons why this might be done… the older episodes probably don’t look as good on HD TVs, they’ve already been aired a million times, DVD sales and whatnot… I get all that. Still, it seems like SUCH a wasted opportunity… especially going into October. At this point, you could air almost a full MONTH of Treehouse of Horror episodes for Halloween!

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I was excited to read that Hard Case Crime, the beautifully presented crime paperback series, will be returning to stores this week with four new books. HCC’s book designs are top shelf, featuring  all the hyperbolic copy and lurid artwork that defined the genre for many years.

Although crime fiction has gone somewhat upscale, these books are fondly fashioned to resemble the genre’s paperback heyday. I was a little concerned when I began to see some of the Hard Case paperbacks show up remaindered in our local Big Lots, but it looks as though this was just a temporary setback on the part of publisher Charles Ardai.

I am guessing the most popular (or at least, the most well known) Hard Case Crime paperback was a one-off that Stephen King did called The Colorado Kid.

I wasn’t a tremendous fan of that book, but Hard Case has gone out of its’ way to publish a ton of new authors as well as some genuine classics from Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, and Mickey Spillaine. If I had to pick a favorite book out of the series though… if I had to pick just one of these for you to sample… I would choose The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins.

Quarry (the protagonist’s nom de plume) is sort of a blue collar hitman. Collins fashions him as a no-nonsense guy who just wants to do his job and get paid… and in The Last Quarry, he doesn’t even really want to do that. He’s semi-retired. I imagine that the Quarry series found some new life through Hard Case Crime; Collins had penned several stories featuring the character over the years, but did several full-length books through HCC with the character, working backwards from The Last Quarry to The First Quarry onto Quarry in the Middle… and now HCC’s releasing Quarry’s Ex this month!

Worth reading. They’re great, trashy fun.

odds & ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , on May 27, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Although I might be a little late in commenting on it, I was quite surprised to see FOX’s seminal prime-time animated family, The Simpsons, tackle New York City’s highly debated rubber room this past Sunday.

The rubber room is a euphemism for the reassignment center where problem teachers of all shapes and sizes are taken out of their classrooms for reasons legitimate and not-so legitimate.

The rubber room subplot was used as a device to pull Bart’s teacher Mrs. Krabappel out of her classroom so that she could meet Ned Flanders and the two could begin a romance.

I thought the subplot was a missed opportunity for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s been shown that an awful lot of teachers who land themselves in NYC Department Of Education’s rubber room are guilty of nothing more than falling on the wrong side of a principal or trying to enforce school policy. Showcasing that aspect of the problem would have been a nice way to highlight the unfairness of the situation. Instead Edna goes to the rubber room for a legitimate reason- she hits a student, something I’ve NEVER seen the character do in two decades of watching The Simpsons.

I’m sure bringing focus to an issue was NOT foremost on the minds of the writing staff of The Simpsons when this episode was made, but I still thought the problem could have been handled more delicately. It certainly could have been done in a way that went against almost every characterization of Mrs. Krabappel I’ve ever seen on the show.

Secondly, New York City just did away with rubber rooms last month …so, not very timely. Of course, the vagaries of production of an animated series preclude The Simpsons from being a timely commenter on most news events, major or minor. Still, the timing was unfortunate.

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I just finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

I’ve enjoyed Fey’s work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, but I wasn’t entirely excited about her book. Too many comedians have disappointed me by cashing in their celebrity for a buck with a quickie book. They’ll rewrite their routines slightly, include a bunch of pictures in the middle pages and call it a day. I should have cut Tina Fey a LOT more slack, seeing as she was an award winning writer before she was a performer.

There’s some genuinely hilarious stuff in Bossypants. My personal favorite chapter was the ode she writes to her father, but everything in here’s worth a read.

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Say hey boys and girls, I’m on summer break! I thought I’d clarify my posting schedule a little over the next few weeks. Sometimes I just think about closing up shop for the summer, but I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The schedule is, as follows:

Mondays: Overheard in the Halls- Comic strips featuring student conversations.

Tuesdays: Family journal comic – Comic strips with my wife and kids.

Wednesdays: Sketchbook posting – I’m going to try to do a little more sketchbook work over the summer.

Thursdays: Free day… I haven’t quite decided what, but I’ll have something new up.

Fridays: Odds & Ends (as usual)

Saturdays: Thrift Store Finds (as usual)

Sundays: Student drawings of me!

Of course, being summer, that schedule is subject to massive change. I already know that I’ll be on vacation mid-July and at the beginning of August.