The stories behind the stories

Bart Simpson #77

“The state should have taken their comics away!” — Comic Book Guy

“For a Limited Time Only”

Bart partners up with Larry H. Lawyer and sues a comic book company over truth in comic book advertising, and that’s just the beginning of a civil suit that’s anything but civil!
Published by Bongo • November 28, 2012
Written by John Jackson Miller

Pencils by James Lloyd

Inks by Andrew Pepoy

Lettered by Karen Bates

Colored by Nathan Hamill

Cover by Jason Ho and Mike Rote

Edited by Nathan Kane and Terry Delegeane

Includes “Good Cop, Bart Cop” by Ian Boothby and John Delaney

I probably had more fun with this story than any I’d written in a long time. As a longtime comics collector, I knew that reading the old ads was one of the charms of checking out back issues. What might happen, I wondered, if Bart managed to force the publishers to honor the prices in those old ads? Naturally, he’d collapse the world economy!

About the only change that was suggested editorially was that Larry D. Lawyer should advise Bart, as Lionel Hutz hadn’t been used since Phil Hartman‘s tragic passing.

There may be more in-jokes in this one issue than I can remember putting in anywhere, so let’s get started…

“This Kwik-E-Mart is not above the law.” — Apu

“The state should have taken their comics away” paraphrases a line I said once about a comics magazine coworker who kept classic Silver Age comics crumpled in the trunk of his car.

“Diamelle Distribution” is not my joke, but is a play on Diamond Comic Distributors, which was the sole distributor for comics when this issue was released.

Somehow I managed to work both Star Wars, my one obsession, along with Statements of Management, Ownership, and Circulation, my other obsession, into the same dialogue balloon. I publish data from those forms at my Comichron website.

And, yes, there’s a “Good-bye, Norma Jean” joke uttered by Comic Book Guy. I guess we may infer that Comic Book Guy is an Elton John fan.

“Captain Code” is a play on “Mr. Zip,” the post office’s one-time mascot. For some reason, I have used Mr. Zip in a variety of memes online over the years, often implying that the mascot met a bad end.

“P.S., You must be stupid, stupid, stupid” comes from The Rainmaker, where it’s the line that gets an insurance company in trouble with the lawyer who’s the title character.

“This Kwik-E-Mart Is Not Above the Law” comes from Richard Nixon, via the Federation president from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which is probably where most people today heard it!