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  • 10/10 A+

    55 33.33%
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    59 35.76%
  • 8/10 B+

    30 18.18%
  • 7/10 B

    16 9.70%
  • 6/10 B-

    2 1.21%
  • 5/10 C

    1 0.61%
  • 4/10 D+

    2 1.21%
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Thread: R&R Three Men and a Comic Book



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  1. #1
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    R&R Three Men and a Comic Book

    My favourite episode of Season 2, maybe tied with Bart the Daredevil.

    Child centred episodes IMO always seem to bring out the best of the Simpsons (like Bart Gets an F, Separate Vocations, Bart's Friend Falls in Love, Kamp Krusty, I Love Lisa, Lemon Troy, Summer of 4 Ft. 2, Das Bus being but a few examples). This is because the Simpsons is first and foremost a cartoon, and as the cartoon genre is traditionally aimed at a young audience, by using children as the central characters combined with typical adult observation and social commentary the Simpsons shows its roots in the child-centric ethos (both in target audience and human characters) of the cartoon tradition. TMCB is no exception to this rule.

    However, as this is the Simpsons we're talking about, just as Kamp Krusty is not just some straightforward fun-filled vacation episode about the kids going on a dream vacation to meet their favourite TV star and have the time of their life, Three Men and a Comic Book is no happy, feel-good story about three friends buying the much sought-after Radioactive Man first issue and agreeing to share it in peace and harmony. And unlike the majority of season 1-3 episodes there is no happy ending; there are no winners, the comic book is forever destroyed, yet as the boys become resigned to the fact that their fighting has cost them dear, the episode ends on an enigmatic question mark, as symbolised by the ending with the final page in the bird's nest - "Well, the world is safe again... But... for how long?"

    And to top it off this episode is chock full of references - as well as the obvious Batman parodies, Gone with the Wind, The Maltese Falcon, The Tempest, Lord of the Flies, the Wonder Years and probably several others. I give this a 9.5/10.
    Last edited by IAMHOMER; 11-03-2005 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
    something clever grissom's Avatar
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    8/10
    Good episode, not my favorite of the season though.

  3. #3


    One of my favorite episodes, its very entertaining throughout the entire episode.I give it a 9/10.

  4. #4
    Stonecutter
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    10/10. Class. Never get tired of it.

  5. #5
    barts friend
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    8/10

  6. #6
    deserved it HOMR's Avatar
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    10/10 A+
    What's not to like?

  7. #7
    can't talk; coming down Lizard Queen's Avatar
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    I gave it a big, fat B. It's not one of my personal favorites, but it's such a classic.

  8. #8
    back in black
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    Great episode, it's always been near the top of season 2 in my books. I'd definitely put it in the A range for reasons discussed on the very first post, and while it's not perfect, a 9/10 grade sounds fair.
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  9. #9
    El Duderinho
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    Very good episode. Doesn't quite get the top grade though. A

  10. #10
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    A+, one of my favourite episodes

  11. #11
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Nice review, IAMHOMER. You are my favorite new member who started posting after me.

    This episode is one of the top-notch episodes featuring the kids of Springfield. There is some fine "geeky" humor in the comics convention in the first act:the deduction of Casper being richie rich's ghost always crack me up and we meet CBG for the first time. The Wonder Years Homage was classic and it has the classic running gag of Season 2 with bart trying to get Homer's approval by repeatedly asking but with a nice twist with Homer triumphing instead.

    Bart's quest to garner the fund results in a plethora of jokes: his suffering at the hands of Mrs. Quick ending with being paid only 50 cents is sad and hilarious at both times.

    At th end of the 2nd act there is some nice symbolism with a storm brooding as the boys decide who'll take the comic.

    Great gags from the 3rd act include the maltese falcon parody, the geek jokes with treating a collector's issue comic book, Homer's "They are fine" comment, and the destruction of the comic book. The intereaction between the kids were brilliant and the writers did a fascinating job of building up the conflict between the 3 kids. It is also one of the best directed episode with some great use of camera angles and lighting.

    At the end, the world is safe again... But... for how long?

    Another classic from the great Season 2, A+
    It's a bit like having sex with a jellyfish: once might an interesting experiment, twice would be perversion!
    after I told him my name, he beat seven shades out of me and left me in a dumpster with a bar of soap shoved in my mouth and a brush shoved in where the sun doesn't shine

  12. #12
    Stonecutter Veryjammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAMHOMER

    This is because the Simpsons is first and foremost a cartoon, and as the cartoon genre is traditionally aimed at a young audience, by using children as the central characters combined with typical adult observation and social commentary the Simpsons shows its roots in the child-centric ethos (both in target audience and human characters) of the cartoon tradition. TMCB is no exception to this rule.
    Come again?

    However, as this is the Simpsons we're talking about, just as Kamp Krusty is not just some straightforward fun-filled vacation episode about the kids going on a dream vacation to meet their favourite TV star and have the time of their life, Three Men and a Comic Book is no happy, feel-good story about three friends buying the much sought-after Radioactive Man first issue and agreeing to share it in peace and harmony.
    Well it would be a pretty boring story otherwise wouldn't it?


    And unlike the majority of season 1-3 episodes there is no happy ending; there are no winners, the comic book is forever destroyed, yet as the boys become resigned to the fact that their fighting has cost them dear, the episode ends on an enigmatic question mark, as symbolised by the ending with the final page in the bird's nest - "Well, the world is safe again... But... for how long?"
    Thank you for the narration.

    Sorry if I sound like a sarcastic bastard.

  13. #13
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    It's a very funny episode with a really great concept for the 3rd act, the whole ms glick thing is a little weak in comparison to the rest of the episode and is stretched out longer than necessary. but as a whole it's an example of how season 2 does have fun playful episodes that would fit right into the rest of seasons 4-8, and isn't just about the subtle character dialouge.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veryjammy
    Come again?
    I don't think the basic concept is that hard to grasp. Sorry I couched it in too esoteric language.

    Part of the appeal of the very best cartoon shows is their seemingly innocent, childlike (not childish) qualities. The Simpsons reinforces this by frequently using child characters doing typically childlike things, things that we recall and still enjoy (or would if we weren't so often embarrassed as adults) doing from our childhood. In doing this the Simpsons shows its roots in the cartoon tradition while still retaining the adult qualities (satire, commentary, observation) true to the show. That is why I think the episodes based around the kids are among the best.

    Well it would be a pretty boring story otherwise wouldn't it?
    I just wanted to give an idea of what makes this episode so great and part of that is its sheer unpredictability, like with Kamp Krusty. Yes these episodes would be boring if they had the much tamer alternative storylines I suggested, but no different from most of kids' cartoon TV.

    Thank you for the narration.
    Er, again I was trying to point out what makes this episode stand out from the rest of Season 2 - the fact that unlike in so many of its companion episodes there is no happy feel-good ending, which the more cynical among us may regard us a cop-out in a cheap attempt to pander to the soft centre of the mass American TV audience. It's no coincidence that I mentioned Bart the Daredevil as another favourite, which also has an unpredictable, somewhat 'dark' ending.

    Handsome Peter, Imperciph, you understood what I was getting at in my original post didn't you?
    Last edited by IAMHOMER; 11-05-2005 at 10:19 AM.

  15. #15
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAMHOMER

    Er, again I was trying to point out what makes this episode stand out from the rest of Season 2 - the fact that unlike in so many of its companion episodes there is no happy feel-good ending, which the more cynical among us may regard us a cop-out in a cheap attempt to pander to the soft centre of the mass American TV audience. It's no coincidence that I mentioned Bart the Daredevil as another favourite, which also has an unpredictable, somewhat 'dark' ending.
    I have to disagree with you right there.Majority of Season 2 episodes have cynical and dark rather no feel-good cop-out endings.

    Simpson and Delilah - Homer loses his hair and and his promotion, making him unhappy.

    Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish -Burns' dream of being a governor is crushed, making him unhappy.

    Dancin' Homer - Homer's 15 minutes of fame are over, making him unhappy.

    Dead Putting Society -Homer has to mow the lawn in his church dress, making him very unhappy because Flanders doing the exact thing is actually enjoing himself while Homer is being humiliated.

    Itchy & Scratchy & Marge - A lot of social commentary is made, but Marge's initial crusade goes to waste. Very cynical ending

    In fact, the endings you are trying to criticise actually takes place in one of your Season 2 favorites, Bart's Dog Gets an F with SLH finally learning out of nowhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by IAMHOMER
    Handsome Peter, Imperciph, you understood what I was getting at in my original post didn't you?
    Yes, you tried to explain what impressed you about this episode.

    Unfortunately your initial comment about Simpsons being a cartoon and actually being aimed towards a younger audience seems to have infuriated VeryJammy. Many Simpsons' fan (me included) consider The Simpsons being someting much more than a cartoon, which is why they detest excessive wackyness and are also highly affronted when someone tells them "Simpsons is just a cartoon, dude."

  16. #16
    Taint Misbehavin' BloodE's Avatar
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    7/10 B, one of the best of the season.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperciph
    I have to disagree with you right there.Majority of Season 2 episodes have cynical and dark rather no feel-good cop-out endings.

    Simpson and Delilah - Homer loses his hair and and his promotion, making him unhappy.

    Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish -Burns' dream of being a governor is crushed, making him unhappy.

    Dancin' Homer - Homer's 15 minutes of fame are over, making him unhappy.

    Dead Putting Society -Homer has to mow the lawn in his church dress, making him very unhappy because Flanders doing the exact thing is actually enjoing himself while Homer is being humiliated.

    Itchy & Scratchy & Marge - A lot of social commentary is made, but Marge's initial crusade goes to waste. Very cynical ending

    In fact, the endings you are trying to criticise actually takes place in one of your Season 2 favorites, Bart's Dog Gets an F with SLH finally learning out of nowhere.
    You're right Imperciph, there are quite a few 'dark-ending' episodes from Season 2 (you also forgot One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish which you mentioned in the 'favourite endings' thread). I guess my abiding memory of S2 is coloured by such happy-ending episodes as Bart Gets an F, Bart vs Thanksgiving, Bart Gets Hit By a Car, Bart's Dog Gets an F, Old Money, Lisa's Substitute, War of the Simpsons, not to mention the somewhat sappy episodes that preceded them from S1, like Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, There's No Disgrace Like Home, Life on the Fast Lane and even the great Krusty Gets Busted. I tend to think of Season 2 not just as a season in its own right but in the context of other seasons in the history of the series. But like you said, the S2 episodes with dark and/or cynical endings probably outnumber the ones with happy feel-good endings.

    However, I must take issue slightly with two of the episodes you mentioned. Both Simpson and Delilah and Two Cars in Every Garage etc. at least have Marge comforting a dejected Homer in bed in the very final scene. Three Men and a Comic Book and Bart the Daredevil don't even offer that sort of reassurance. In these two episodes both the resolution and summarization are negative.

    Unfortunately your initial comment about Simpsons being a cartoon and actually being aimed towards a younger audience seems to have infuriated VeryJammy. Many Simpsons' fan (me included) consider The Simpsons being someting much more than a cartoon, which is why they detest excessive wackyness and are also highly affronted when someone tells them "Simpsons is just a cartoon, dude."
    I didn't say anything about the Simpsons being aimed at a younger audience, you misunderstood me there. I was alluding to the earlier cartoon shows that the Simpsons draws many of its influences from, which were by and large aimed at kids. However, part of the very appeal of the Simpsons is the way it mixes both child AND adult like qualities. It's well known that the Simpsons was one of the first, if not THE first animated shows to depart radically from the mainly child-targeted cartoon stuff coming from the likes of Disney, Warner Bros and Hanna-Barbera. Yet the Simpsons still has its roots in such a cartoon tradition, but expands on it with typically adult satire and social commentary. I was making the point that by using children as the central characters doing childlike things (like in the episodes I mentioned in my original post) the Simpsons manages to recapture the innocent, childlike appeal of the older kids' cartoons while still being the intelligently written, adult Simpsons we know and love. Watching episodes based round the kids often (for me at least) creates a feeling of nostalgia for the cartoons I watched in my childhood, but with a far deeper, subtler undercurrent than these cartoons ever had which I can fully appreciate as an adult.

    I doubt VeryJammy was infuriated by my earlier points, more that he couldn't quite understand them. Allthough he could have had the courtesy to actually rate and review the episode like the thread asks rather than simply nitpick my original comments.
    Last edited by IAMHOMER; 11-06-2005 at 11:22 PM.

  18. #18
    Junior Camper
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    My favourite episode of season 2, man i can relate to Bart's love withy comics i would go crazy for the very first issue of Spider-man just like he did with Radioactive man 1.
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  19. #19
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    I love this episode. Not the best of Season 2, but close to it.

    4.5/5
    Last edited by Zeus; Today at 12:00 PM. Reason: to fuck with you

  20. #20
    Formerly Mladen Rest your giant head's Avatar
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    9/10 Great,Jeff Martin is a genius!!!
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  21. #21
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    Wow. I loved this, mainly because I understood all of the comic book references (I seem to be the only one who noticed that the Busman cover is a parody of a famous Conan the Barbarian cover). Anyway, my geekiness aside, this was a good episode anyway. We had great humor (several minor gags, Bart working for the lady, the WWI flashback, Comic Book Guy, Homer put in some good lines, the entire third act, etc.). I can completely relate to Bart due to being obsessed with comics myself. Aside from the humor, this episode may have had the best animation direction of Season 2. The animation and pacing of the third act were high above Season 2 standards and it was all quite a dramatic masterpiece. The first appearance of Comic Book Guy is golden, and the storyline is solid. It still doesn't have the classic feel to it, so I will give this an A or a 9/10. It is episodes like these which show why Jeff Martin is my favorite writer.

  22. #22
    Come back, Zinc!! Sniper Squirrel's Avatar
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    Great episode, I especially love the wonder years tribute and the first ever appearance of CBG 9/10
    I'm just like Krusty!
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  23. #23
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Although season 2 and below are definitely more cynical and down to earth than the rest, I wouldn't call them depressing either. I can't explain it, but they oten left on a tangent that left me with a good feeling as a kid. I guess its because they felt like random exaggerated snippets of regular life but honestly I can't say why really.

    Anyways, this is one of my favorites of the older episodes. As a kid I just thought it was a lot of fun, and I associated with it a great deal. But even now watching it later I think it was a very well made episode...with a poignant message not shot into your face but easy to see for everyone, and some very classic Simpsons humor. I remember laughing forever at Homer being so non-chalant to Bart and Milhouse fighting in the treehouse. XD

    I really wish the writers had chosen to use Bart, Milhouse, and Martin together more often after this. I though they showed great potential chemistry. Martin's quiet, sensible and sometimes irritating, but most of the time correct (before being a lot more narrowed in use) character with Milhouse's enthusiastic but hilariously clueless and spazzy temperment and Bart's saucy and full frontal mentality I think worked really well together. We've only seen it a handful of times since then though, . Ah well, whatever the case its a great classic.

  24. #24
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    One of the best in S2 for sure. My favourite joke being The Wonder Years reference. Great Episode. 10/10

  25. #25
    Junior Camper Smell ya later's Avatar
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    A very clever episode that is especially entertaining for fans of comic books. Ironic ending. 9/10 or 4.5/5.
    Last edited by Smell ya later; 07-13-2006 at 06:53 PM.

  26. #26
    Junior Camper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smell ya later
    A very clever episode that is especially entertaining for fans of comic books......
    Truer words were never spoke. A classic. 5/5.

  27. #27
    Dial M for Moe Moe Nopoly's Avatar
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    I read and like comic books a lot, but i never really liked this episode. Imo the story is too predictable and not so funny. But of course not a bad episode, just not one i like. 4/10


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  28. #28
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    Homer: Hey, when I was your age, fifty cents was a lot of money.
    Bart: Really?
    Homer: Naah.

    This is one of my favorite episodes. I've always loved comic books (manga mostly, but I'm always up for a good western comic like Blankets or Maus, not to mention the French comic Persepolis) so I admit I liked some of the more "nerdy" humor in the comic book convention. I particularly like the Q&A session with Buddy Hodges (Fallout Boy), because he's just so catty, it's hilarious. And of course, there's the Wonder Years parody and Mrs. Glick's senile behavior... XD Hell, the whole episode was hysterical, IMO. Season 2 is known for it's more understated, "quiet" humor, but this episode really made me laugh hard.
    Kiyo mentioned how Bart, Milhouse, and Martin have a really good chemistry together, and I agree. They balanced off each other really well, and the scenes in the treehouse demonstrate that. There's such a contrast in Bart's cynicism, Milhouse's "spazziness", and Martin's somewhat-irritating intelligence, that the whole conflict is a lot of fun to watch.

    But one of the best things about this episode to me, is the conclusion. At the end, the boys realize that they could've easily savored the comic book if they learned to share. I like that there's no "outstanding" moral; the boys just subtly realize what they did wrong, and that feels really real to me. In a lot of shows, kids will often learn their lesson and there's some hopeful connotation to it. In "Three Men and a Comic Book", it's really a quiet and subtle revelation, as they're not really denying or accepting the reality of their situation. It fits with the more cynical tone of this season, and I really like it.

    Anyway, a 10/10 from me. A+
    "Alright, alright, if it will make you happy, I'll overthrow society."

  29. #29
    Junior Camper
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    I remember watching this episode as a kid and I loved it, so its always been one of my personal favorites..I can remember as a kid if I wanted something kinda expensive for myself like a football card or something I would sit around and try to figure out ways to make money, I think thats why I always liked this episode, I guess you can say it inspired me as a kid. IDK Lol...just a good episode

  30. #30
    ricin beans gonzo's Avatar
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    5/5.
    One of the few episodes that sum up the words "Classic Simpsons"



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