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School Is Hell Paperback – July 12, 1987

5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Contains 48 more glimpses into Matt's all-too-true view of things. Note: 12-copy counter display available (ISBN 394-75382-8).

About the Author

Matt Groening's weekly comic strip "Life in Hell" appears in more than 250 newspapers around the world, and has been collected in eleven books, most of which have the word "Hell" in the title. Groening is also the creator of the animated TV series The Simpsons, and founder of Bongo Comics Group, which began publishing in 1993. He lives in Los Angeles with his radiant wife, his son, and more pet ducks than you can shake a stick at.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (July 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394750918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394750910
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Groening, creator and executive producer of Fox's Emmy Award®-winning series The Simpsons, made television history by bringing animation back to primetime and creating an immortal nuclear family. The Simpsons is the longest running primetime animated series in television history and is currently the longest-running comedy on television, having aired more than 400 episodes. In July 2007, the highly anticipated feature film The Simpsons Movie opened in theaters with worldwide grosses of more than $525 million to date.

Originally brought to life in 1987 for The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons was Groening's amazing entry into the television animation world. Previously, he was best-known for his "Life in Hell" cartoon strip, an irreverent portrayal of love, work, school, life and relationships that currently appears in more than 250 newspapers worldwide and in a multitude of books.

Groening's other Emmy-Award®-winning creation, Futurama, launched on Fox in March 1999 and ran for five seasons. Last year Fox released the direct-to-DVD full-length original feature Futurama: Bender's Big Score. Three additional films will be released and the entire series with new episodes will air on Comedy Central this year.

In 1993, Groening formed Bongo Comics Group, where he serves as publisher of The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, Simpsons Episode Guides, Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson Comics, Radioactive Man Comics, Simpsons Comics Treasure Trove, the annual Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, Futurama Comics, more than 36 comic compilations, as well as instant classics including Bart Simpsons Guide to Life, The Simpsons Handbook, and The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album among others!

In addition to the many awards bestowed on his creations (including Emmys, Annies, and the prestigious Peabody Award), Groening was personally honored with the Rueben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest honor presented by the National Cartoonist Society. To date there are more than 14 million copies of books from HarperCollins in print throughout North America, the UK, and Australia based on The Simpsons, Futurama, and Life in Hell.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like all the other "Life in Hell" books, "School is Hell" is a hilarious satire; in this case the target is education at all levels. I can't write much praise that hasn't already been written. The "Hell" series has much of the sly wit of Groening's more mainstream "Simpsons" TV series, but is presented in more blunt, less subtle manner. Though characters are drawn simply (often generally described as "abstract"), the "Hell" series is among the most realistic and honest post modern creations.
In "School is Hell", Groening takes us through the awkward, difficult experiences of school and growing up familiar to everyone in an accurate, funny, fatalistic manner. In this context, Groening's unrefined technique actually accentuates his stark words. The underlying theme of all his "Hell" books is that life isn't meaningful and we're just deceiving are ourselves when we try to think that it is. Though this view isn't exactly an epiphany, Groening is brilliant because he manages to make such a stark, potentially depressing realization comical. Here's an example of Groening's poignant humor: After college graduation, Binky (protagonist) receives congratulations for, "spending your whole life jumping through petty academic hurdles for meaningless rewards. Now, you will embark on a career in a massive beaurocracy where nothing you do or say will ever matter." This book is filled with such funny moments that resonant with painful honesty.
All of Groening's "Life in Hell" books are an entertaining read; just as funny and painfully honest. It's this unapologetic honesty that gives this series it's emotional resonance.
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By A Customer on September 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've always had a love hate relationship with school. I LOVE LEARNING despite enough years of school that I should be a doctor. Groening hit the nail on the head though, that school is about everything but learning. Conformity is king. It kind of makes me sick.
I have a degree in art education, taught school for one semester. Love teaching, love the kids. Hate the system. I don't want to go to "school" the rest of my life. Ironically, I think I picked this up at the end of that semester. I just picked it up and read it from cover to cover a few years later. A wicked gift for someone in education considering a change of career...
His actual diary from elementary school should be "required reading" for anyone in education.
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By RLD on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Matt Groening is right on the money with his take on school. His sarcastic treatment of the subject is both hilarious and true. For all Simpsons fans, this book, and his other Life in Hell books are necessary reading material. While this collection of comic strips was written well before his Simpsons days, the show's humor is present over each page. You will find yourself laughing out loud constantly, and it is just as funny when you decide to read it again. If you disliked school at any point in your life, this book is for you. A brilliant, witty, and hilarious book that will be enjoyed for years. I strongly urge you to check it out.
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Format: Paperback
"School is Hell" was a very disturbing book for me to read because of "Lesson 18: The 9 Types of College Teachers." In the grand Aristotlean tradition Matt Groening has devised classification systems for types of teachers for grade school, high school and college, as well as for students at the first two levels. So, of course, I tried to figure out which category applied to me and so far I have narrowed it down to two uncomfortable possibilities. The first is "The Genius From Another Dimension," because I think the loony and entertaining advantages apply, but the warning of turning students into believers just does not apply because I do not believe in anything enough to pass it on. The second is "The Singe-Theory-To-Explain-Everything Maniac" because irony is the master trope of the reality, but I already know that parroting is not learning. Maybe there is a hole in Groening's theory, but that does not seem right since he seems to touch on every other aspect of education in this mini-jumbo compendium of hellish cartoons.
Within the pages of "School Is Hell" there are 48 cartoons from Groening's syndicated "Life in Hell" comic strip circa 1982-87. The main attraction are the 21 lessons of the "School Is Hell" educational miniseries, but there are also the eight parts of "My 5th Grade Diary" ("I decided I'll never be prez of the U.S. so I think I'll stop now"), several pages of "Parental Brain Twisters" ("What's wrong with you?"), and assorted fillers such as "Lies My Older Brother and Sister Told Me" (e.g., "The Alphabet Trick"). Not all of these are school related, but they do feature Bongo, the young rabbit with one ear who has to endure the trials and tribulations of the educational system throughout this volume.
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Format: Paperback
School Is Hell is the kind of book you can flip thru and say to yourself-'Hey! I've been there!' What M.G. describes fits the personal feelings of almost any kid, teenager, or young adult about their education. It's a book that helps you laugh at yourself while laughing at the comics! I HIGHLY RECOMEND!
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