Eye On Springfield with Chuck BB

eye on springfield

Chuck BB is the artist behind the amazing comic book, Black Metal. Following the adventures of metalhead twins, Sam and Shawn, Black Metal is hilarious and has some amazing art. He’s also the artists and writer behind the Stone Cold Lazy comic strip that is featured in Decibel Magazine each month. I’m a huge fan of Chuck BB, enough that I have his King Diamond cat tattooed on my arm. Needless to say, I’m beyond excited that he was into answering some questions about the Simpsons!

What is your history with The Simpsons?
Ah, The Simpsons and I go way back.  I remember the shorts from the Tracey Ullman show, which are fantastically crude now but I sorta love how Homer’s voice sounds in those.  I was a real young kid at the time the Simpsons went to series, but I loved it.  I along with all my friends had Bart “Don’t have a cow” shirts, and his various other ninja turtle-esque sassy phrases.  Obviously those early seasons are really rough upon revisiting, but they have a certain charm.  The show was in its prime when I was in middle school, I think just entering into syndication – So I would catch The Simpsons airing every night at that point, memorizing jokes and lines and talking to the other kids about the replayed episode the next day.  Every God Damn Day…except Saturday.  Stupid Saturday.

Sadly I don’t watch it hardly ever anymore, I’ll catch a new episode here or there, and it has, without exception a few good jokes, but something’s missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I was addicted to that Tapped Out ios game for a while though, I loved the Halloween themed updates.
Is there a character you see yourself in?
That is a tough one. Is it lame to say Homer?  He’s such a sweet character.  He’s a bit of a dreamer, too, but he’s a good man.  I have to say I do see myself in a lot of the characters in the show, I think that’s the benefit of having such a large cast of characters – you can really take all sorts of human attributes that really we all have, wish we had, or wish we didn’t have and place them on everyone and poke fun at them, or make a positive example of.  Sorry for the terrible answer, but that’s a hard one.
Who is your favorite character?
Jimbo.  He’s got the most casually metal style.  Nelson may be the like sorta Face-Man for the bully crew,  But Jimbo is  my pick.  His name is great too.  Maybe if he was a real guy, he’d probably like Slipknot or something terrible, but in my head he likes Sleep and Electric Wizard. Otto is pretty metal, too, but I can’t relate to a guy like that.  He’s cool to hang out with at a show for a minute, but then you quickly run out of things to talk to him about… so you gotta like keep your distance for awkwardnesses sake.
Do you have a favorite episode?
I always love the Treehouse of Horror episodes, maybe the first one most of all.  That whole thing really works and set the table so nicely for an really fun clever anthology thing you could count on year to year from the show.  The short format really allows for maximum creativity, and you could tell the writers were having a lot of fun with the rules being tossed out the window.  Plus, I just love Halloween, and all the ephemera that surrounds it.  That Raven segment, it’s so good.  It absolutely captures the visual and ethereal quality of the poem, while at the same time being cute, funny and terrifying.  I mean…fucking James Earl Jones?
As an artist, has the Simpsons influenced your work at all? If so, how?
I think it would be impossible for it not to influence me.  I remember loving the show , and I had a teacher who I guess had some knowledge of art and design and he would say “how can you love that show, the characters are so ugly.”  And I totally get what he’s saying now, and they’ve really cleaned up the design over time,  they’re tighter.  However, I think the aesthetic of the time was very different, and the show sort of embraced of a non-traditional style of character design that might have been a new thing to folks.  You know this was like pre-Beavis & Butthead, I don’t think you could have had a show on the air like that (not to mention comedy-wise), or that looked like that without the palate that the Simpsons sort of set forth. To have a show with that indie comix/not coming from traditional animation design houses kind of look, it might have been hard for some to swallow. So while I don’t think that my stuff looks like the Simpsons, I think it’s in my DNA, I grew up with it, it is there somewhere in the deconstruction. Plus, it absolutely shaped my sense of humor, I think I still say things day to day that are Simpsons quotes.
Who is your favorite guest star from the show?
I like when James Woods was a Kwik-E-Mart employee. It’s an older one, and I don’t know why I like it so much.  Maybe it is just the first one that was a little more obscure than a large guest star to at that age, and I actually knew who he was.  Certainly my least favorite is the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The Simpsons has had Metallica and Judas Priest on as guest. Who from the world of metal would you like to see on the show?
I would love to see a King Diamond cameo, which will not happen but isn’t entirely un-possible. But I have to say, speaking of things that are not possible at all, Immortal would be the absolute best Simpsons cameo band, even if there was just a spoof version or something. It would fit so well. But it won’t happen. I’m sure someone has appeared in corpse paint on the show by now, but I haven’t seen it nor am I willing to do the research required to find out if that is true.
I’ve kind of become obsessed with the idea of the Simpsons doing a Treehouse of Horror segment based on ‘Them’ by King Diamond. Are there any other metal concept albums you think would be perfect for a Treehouse Of Horror segment?
I think you’re dead on there. Like I said before, I think the King would be an interesting and maybe perfect fit for the Simpsons, there’s a lot to lampoon and love about his visual and audio sensibilities. I’m not totally a concept album kind of guy, but maybe like Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son? Now that I think of it, I would really like to see all of the various Ed’s in a Simpsons episode. Has he ever appeared in the Simspons?  That seems hugely likely at this point.
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
Sadly I really don’t.  I don’t know what made me stop watching, I mean I was never much of an appointment TV man, so I would mostly watch the syndicated stuff.  I’ve seen a few new episodes here and there, and they’re fine. They do seem to be missing something though, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, there is something not tying it all together. There are a few excellent jokes, and the Homer bits in the episodes that I saw, I laughed out loud for sure – but there was like less heart in it. At least that was my take away.
How would you like to see the series end?
LIke the end of Rosanne, where like, Maggie is actually an adult and had been writing Simpsons slash-fiction for the past few years, Homer had actually died years ago.  And they’re all living inside a snowglobe and all the dumb cliches wrapped up all into one.  And at the end like, Maggie walks to the front door and flips the light switch and it goes black. But then something funny happens.  I don’t know… Probably a compilation of all TV show last episodes would be funny though. Or maybe not.  NO that’s a terrible idea.  Please have the writers of the show disregard my dumb idea.
You can pick up the Black Metal Omnibvs HERE!
You can follow Chuck BB at:

One thought on “Eye On Springfield with Chuck BB

  1. Pingback: Reading Digest: Bands! Edition | Dead Homer Society

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