Everything’s coming up Milhouse! Cartoonist and pop culture icon Matt Groening has just announced his first ever trip to Australia.
Matt Groening — the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, as well as his cult comic strip Life In Hell — will headline this year’s GRAPHIC Festival at the Sydney Opera House.
“The most intense Simpsons fanatics I’ve met are from Australia, so I’m coming to Sydney to check out all you lunatics,” Groening said in a statement.
“I’m going to share stories of the making of The Simpsons and show embarrassing home movies and rarely-seen animation, including oddball outtakes and uncensored Itchy & Scratchy cartoons.”
Groening’s GRAPHIC talk will be titled Secrets Of The Simpsons, And A Couple of Milhouse Fun Facts.
He’ll also conduct a conversational session with his longtime friend, revered The Good Times Are Killing Me cartoonist Lynda Barry, called Love, Hate & Comics: The Friendship That Would Not Die.
Other highlights of this year’s festival will include talks by Aussie cartoonists Michael Leunig and First Dog On The Moon and America’s Brandon Graham, and the Australian premieres of Neil Gaiman’s Dream Dangerously and Likely Stories, which Gaiman himself will beam in digitally to introduce.
Oh, and Star Wars fans, take note — George Lucas’ directorial debut, THX 1138, will be given a live re-scoring by Asian Dub Foundation.
“GRAPHIC exists to highlight and champion those singular voices in comics, animation, illustration and contemporary music that are capable of producing great art, but are usually passed over in traditional arts conversations,” GRAPHIC co-curator Ben Marshall said in a statement.
“I think there’s no better embodiment of this idea, dead or alive, than Matt Groening — which is why we’ve been chasing him to appear at GRAPHIC for six years. We can’t quite believe the moment’s finally here and doubly thrilled it’s with his close friend and cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry.
“One of Matt’s many feats has been to smuggle the subversive underground cartooning/idiom of [Robert] Crumb, [Art] Spiegelman, [Winsor] McCay and countless others into the ultimate mass-market vehicle of a TV family sitcom that also doubles as one of the most sophisticated (and warm) critiques of modern life imaginable.
“The huge successes of Futurama, Life in Hell and especially The Simpsons also give the lie to HL Mencken’s cutting line that ‘nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the public’.
“The entire festival’s ticketed and free program is a labour of love by [co-curator] Jordan [Verzar] and me exploring this notion of overground/unground voices striking powerful notes in popular culture — enjoy.”
GRAPHIC Festival 2016 will be held at the Sydney Opera House from Friday 4 to Saturday 5 November. Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday 16 September at graphic.sydneyoperahouse.com.