In 1989 The Simpsons were still on the drawing board, an cartoonist Matt Groening was a freelance illustrators, and Apple was a rising company whose ungainly, boxlike beige computers boasted lordly hard drives of 40 mbs.
Yes, the world is a little stunned by the announcement of Matt Groening quitting Life In Hell. It isn’t like this hasn’t been threatened though. Back in November of 2009, roughly two and a half years ago, the Chicago Humanities Festival had a panel on the declining market for Alt Weekly comics. Groening was there. Lynda Barry was there. Chris Ware was there. Jules Feiffer was even there. And back then, Groening was already talking about quitting.
Bongo is the successful comics publishing company that nobody knows about. Although it will celebrate its 17th anniversary this year, and has mastered the periodical-to-trade business model, and has been happily plugging along publishing essentially creator driven comics for all that time….no one in the comics industry EVER talks about Bongo. Sure, publishing Simpsons comics seems like a no-brainer…but do you think the books would have lasted this long as a licensed title at DC or Marvel?
Well, now there have been some changes. And some new branding. It has a new logo to start with—three’s a trend! And long-time art director Nathan Kane has been promoted to Creative Director, replacing Bill Morrison, who, we’re told, has joined Simpsons creator (and Bongo owner) Matt Groening to work on secret projects.