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The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis Hardcover – Lay Flat, April 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Two classic animated series are brought together in a comic that offers many surprises, including how well it all works when transported to a new medium. Although both sources are the creation of cartoonist Matt Groening, the broadcast runs of each series referred to the other as works of fiction within their own universes, perhaps seeking to avoid the temptation of an attention grabbing crossover. And yet somehow this assemblage ably accomplishes just such a task while remaining faithful to the source materials. When Futurama's crew from the Planet Express delivery service become trapped in the fictional world of a Simpsons comic book, they must escape from Springfield. But shortly afterward they open a rift that brings the Simpsons characters into the Planet Express world, where the fictional characters must be rescued and returned to the pages of their comic book. Boothby's writing excels at letting each universe and the characters in them maintain their subtly distinct identities even when they blend. The overarching story for the book is designed to easily allow opportunities for affectionate references to comics, to science fiction, and to notable works of fiction. While the Simpsons comics included in the collection are not as strong, the crossover story takes what could have been a simple throwaway gag and instead crafts a funny, intricately detailed story. (Apr.)
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How much satire can you pack into a single graphic novel? Well, you’ve got The Simpsons, with its cutting perspective on culture and family life; you’ve got Futurama, which hits pop culture and sci-fi tropes with Groening’s patented scathing wit; and you’ve got cosmic-scale comic-book mega-crossover events that the Big Two (Marvel and DC) churn out nonstop, which this book sends up from start to finish, right down to its hardbound, slipcased format. The story is suitably epic, as the two casts visit each other’s realities with ensuing chaos that includes a British invasion, a battle with just about every fictional character ever imagined come to life, and a beer-mad giant Homer. Epic, yes, but is it funny? No panel goes by without a flurry of caustic humor, and no page passes that won’t garner a guffaw or two, even from the uninitiated. And the whole thing is taken just seriously enough to provide a heaping helping of enjoyable extras that show exactly how much work it is to design and produce this much fun. Grades 6-10. --Jesse Karp