11 things we learned from Matt Groening and Lynda Barry at the Sydney Opera House

Lifelong friends and comic book creators Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Futurama) and Lynda Barry hit the Stage at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday for an insightful ninety minutes where the pair reflected on their careers, the nature of the “image” and Donald Trump.

Here’s 11 things we learned from the special event “Love, Hate & Comics”, that was part of GRAPHIC festival, and one of the most entertaining talks I’ve ever had the fortune of attending.

  1. Lynda Barry had “a fascination with false teeth in the way that other little girls have a fascination with My Little Pony“.
  2. Matt’s favourite character is Ralph Wiggum
  3. His favourite line he’s ever written for Ralph is the iconic “My cats breath smells like cats food” which was actually “written as an example of the sort of thing that Ralph would say”, for the writers.
  4. Matt can literally draw Marge Simpson with his eyes closed. He showed us!
  5. Lynda gets inappropriate crushes on everyone – especially on baristas.
  6. Simpsons “predicted Trump” in a 2000 episode, “…because it was so ridiculous”, said Groening. But he’s “pretty confident Trump will lose”.
  7. Though it was confirmed on the internets a few hours beforehand, Groening used the event to officially reveal, from his own lips, that The Simpsons would air for at least two more seasons, until series 30.
  8. The “Will and Abe” comics Groening created, quoting his two boys, are “the favourite things I’ve ever done”. It was immensely enjoyable hearing Matt and Lynda read out these comics.
  9. How do you create an iconic cartoon or comic character? They say that its head has to be “instantly recognisable in silhouette”. Think of Cartman, Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson… you don’t have to see much to know the character.
  10. Christian clown “Rusty Nails” served as the inspiration for Krusty The Clown.
  11. And Lynda appreciated that Australians didn’t make her “feel like an asshole just because of my accent.” You’re welcome Lynda!

“Love, Hate & Comics” was part of the GRAPHIC Festival at the Sydney Opera House on 5th November 2016. Photo provided by the venue.

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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