I’ve been reading Simpsons Confidential by John Ortved. Delving behind the scenes of the making of The Simpsons, it’s absolutely fascinating, particularly when it concentrates on the writers who made the show as funny as it was. Two names stand out: John Schwartzwelder and George Meyer, both of whom stamped their personality and humour on the series.
The book mentions that Meyer produced, and Schwartzwelder wrote for, three issues of a self-published comedy magazine called Army Man.
Sam [Simon] got quite a bit of his writing staff from the list of writing credits in Army Man… In a sense, that little magazine was the father of the show.
– Simpsons Confidential
Quite a claim for what was basically a few photocopied pages of jokes and cartoons.
The only rule was that the stuff had to be funny and pretty short.
– George Meyer
After reading about it, I really wanted to get my hands on a copy. Oh! Thank you internet! You can download the whole thing here: Army Man.
It’s rough, and funny, and weird and well worth a read.
And it’s sparked the idea to do something similar. Well… similarly photocopied anyway. So Mr Gus Hughes and I have started work on our own little magazine, with words and pictures and all that good stuff. It’s looking fine in our heads, but we understand that this isn’t good enough and that we need to get some of it on paper. Wish us luck!