I can say in all honesty that basing Tom’s visual look around Bart Simpson is a fabrication. But the eerie similarities were not something I noticed until just recently.

There was no real motivation behind giving Tom a spiky haircut except that it was the hairstyle I wore at the time I did the character models. He wears an orange shirt because orange is the most visible color in the spectrum.

No great mystery, but it’s fun to play with the idea a little.

I don’t have much more to add about The Simpsons Movie except that I recently read this article titled “5 Reasons Why The Simpsons Movie Was Terrible” over at Best Week Ever and I kind of bristled a little bit. I guess as a long time fan, I can’t understand anyone who says that they USED to be a fan and they were let down by the movie. As if the 90 minute running time would magically transport you back to 1995 when The Simpsons were still “good.”

I hate the attitude of entitlement that permeates this kind of analysis. The author can proclaim that it’s something he’s working through in their own mind all they want, but the subtext to me is always “The Simpsons was much more cool when it was less mainstream! MINE! MINE! MINE!”

I look at fandom in very black or white terms. While I don’t exactly disagree with the points he’s making about Homer’s lack of humanity or the Itchy and Scratchy level of over the top injury Homer has suffered of late, to me being a fan is being their through the peaks and valleys. If you love something, love it. If you hate it, hate it. But don’t walk around kicking cans and grousing about something that used to be. If it’s so disappointing for you, read a book.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a sheep. I don’t love blindly. Do I recognize that the last few years of The Simpsons haven’t been the best. Sure. I can admit to that. But it doesn’t matter to me because any Simpsons episode is better than 90% of what’s currently on prime time television. These people would be bitching much more loudly if The Simpsons vanished from the TV landscape altogether.

This isn’t Seinfield or Friends. It isn’t about the actors going on to find new creative challenges or lucrative movie roles. The Simpsons could theoretically run into perpetuity. People who grew up watching the show are now writing for it. New generations could come and go writing episodes for years to come. Some of them will suck. That’s okay. But if you’re a fan, you’re along for the ride.

Incidentally, this philosophy also applies to Saturday Night Live.

I don’t have much more to say about The Simpsons, so be sure to come back to the site on Friday for a comic dissecting this week’s new offerings!

Oh, and as a sidebar, happy August. August is Theater Hopper’s anniversary month and I’m trying to put something together to acknowledge the big day on August 5. I’ll be running a promotion on the site and also hopefully try to stir up a little interest in the blogosphere. I may come back later in the day to write more about it, but I’m also working on a special graphic for the event and I kind of don’t want to let the cat out of the bag until I put the finishing touches on it!

Talk to you soon!

↓ Transcript
You know, I just noticed something about your obsession with The Simpsons.

Spikey yellow hair. Orange shirt. Blue pants and red shoes.

It’s like you modeled yourself after Bart Simpson.

Jared, did you ever notice how much Tom tries to look like Bart Simpson?

Oh, it’s completely intentional. Ask him about the photo he keeps in his back pocket.

Tom, do you keep a photo of Bart Simpson in your back pocket!