Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sync Log: Matt Groening

I'm not out at the San Diego Comic-Con this year, which is fine by me. The last time I went (2004) I was completely exhausted by the middle of the first day. And I must say that last time was sorely lacking in that San Diego magic; those wonderful syncs that used to pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm at that con. Here's one of my favorites from 1998...

I was flying out with my main man, Kenny K. We'd just published our comic, Rivets & Ruby, and were out to promote it. On the plane, Kenny and I were ranting about The Simpsons, which was then at its peak. I told Kenny the thing I loved most about the show was how they'd pull out all of these obscure, anachronistic phrases from early 20th Century Americana. Though it was usually Mr. Burns who got these lines, the example I gave was Moe saying to Bart, "We hear all about your monkey shines." To make a long story short, we arrive at SD, go up to the hotel room and turn on the TV, and lo and behold, there's that very same episode of The Simpsons!

So, that night they held the Eisner Awards. And who do I run into in the lounge afterwards but Matt Groening. I tell him that story and he gets a big laugh. My old roommate is a director on The Simpsons, and there had been some confusion amongst my friends about a similarly named director, so I was able to settle the controversy with the big boss himself. Then I went off to mingle before I outlasted the man's courtesy.

However, syncs can cut both ways. Kenny and I were promoting Rivets & Ruby, but Matt Groening was promoting Futurama, which was uncomfortably similar to our project. Unintentionally, mind you, but it kind of killed any hope we had of ever selling R&R to an animation studio...