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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Yellow Planet PART I: FROM COUNTER CULTURE TO COUCH CULTURE Chapter 1: "So, We Meet Again, Mad Magazine": Bart Simpson's Comics Ancestors Chapter 2: Three Men and a Cartoon Show: The Birth of The Simpsons Chapter 3: The Simpsons' Road to Success PART II: SPRINGFIELD ON THE MAP Chapter 4: At Home at 742 Evergreen Terrace Chapter 5: A Town Called Springfield Chapter 6: Pop Culture Institution PART III: SIMPSONIZED Chapter 7: The Renaissance of Animation Chapter 8: Merchandising The Simpsons Chapter 9: The Simpsons in Remix Culture Conclusion: The Future of The Simpsons Appendix: 30 Years of Simpsons-30 Landmark Episodes Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Moritz Fink is an independent scholar and librarian, who holds a doctoral degree in American Studies from the University of Munich. He has published on The Simpsons, contemporary media culture, and popular satire. Fink is the coeditor of Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance (2017).


While today The Simpsons is noteworthy for its longevity, librarian and scholar Fink (coeditor, Culture Jamming) goes back to the beginning, illustrating why the animated show was revolutionary when it premiered in 1989. Created by underground cartoonist Matt Groening, the series offered a subversive take on the sitcom, featuring a dysfunctional family who satirized contemporary culture, including viewers' own habits. The Simpsons may have been flawed, but they were lovable, and the expanded cast grew to encompass many fan favorites. There were also enough pop culture references and background details to keep audiences engaged online between episodes, resulting in a massive early Internet community. In this affectionate look back, Fink evaluates the lasting influence of the show, crediting it with legitimizing animated sitcoms. He skillfully guides readers through 30 culturally relevant episodes, demonstrating that The Simpsons was groundbreaking, quality programming. VERDICT Fans of the show will enjoy revisiting classic episodes, and media scholars will find this a useful survey of television's changing landscape. * Library Journal *
"It's time for a new appraisal of the cultural significance of the longest-running scripted prime-time series in television history, and Fink, a media scholar and unabashed Simpsons fan (and critic), is just the guy to write it. . . . Combining scholarship and goofy fun, it's a book that should satisfy The Simpsons' most loyal fans and its harshest critics." * Booklist *
Valuable for both the serious fan and serious scholar of The Simpsons, Moritz Fink gives us a lively, witty, and deeply informed overview of maybe the most influential program in American TV history. He not only provides deft readings of the multiple ironies at play in The Simpsons, he also places The Simpsons within the larger cultural evolution from the pre-digital world of its origins to its central role in the development of digital cultures. A must read for anyone who cares about The Simpsons and the evolution of popular culture over the last thirty years. -- John Alberti, editor of Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture
Mmmmmm ... cultural history. A fun, expansive, and highly recommended telling of the Homeric epic of American television's most important family. -- Jonathan Gray, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies (University of Wisconsin - Madison) and author of Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality

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