Author of Planet Simpson is a Metafilter user December 18, 2005 12:06 PM   Subscribe

So, have I missed that we have given proper tribute to gompa,for writing the recently published Planet Simpson, which is reviewed here, among other places ? More Inside
posted by y2karl to MetaFilter-Related at 12:06 PM (31 comments total)

I see we have had a post about the Planet Simpson blog to which he links on his user page and a comment of oblique reference here. But apparently no one was clued in to the fact that it was his blog when the post was made and Quartermass was rather oblique when he made his comment. From the entries to the Planet Simpson blog and various bits of personal information disclosed in gompa's comments, I think we have a winner. Man, that book is in a bookstore window three blocks from my apartment. That is so cool.

Although, I did find that his missing the back story on the name Troy McCLure a bit disquieting. Nitpickers, rev your engines !

And, he is, from the evidence, one of the most intelligent commentators here. And he has a book out. So, three cheers for gompa!
posted by y2karl at 12:06 PM on December 18, 2005

Two other random thoughtoids:

If a member here was to write a nonfiction book, I can't, in tetrospect, think of a more likely topic.

Man, those Amazon customers are a rough lot.
posted by y2karl at 12:12 PM on December 18, 2005

Wowee zowee, that is way cool. I bought that book as a Christmas present for someone. I'll give you four cheers gompa. She better like it though, or I will retract one of those.

Off topic: what's with the poorly formatted MeTa threads lately?
posted by panoptican at 12:15 PM on December 18, 2005

Well, in regards to all formatting, capitalization, grammatical and spelling errors above, I will say this: D'oh!
posted by y2karl at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2005

Indeed, the only appropriate response. At least your thread is a little better than the two who reside below.
posted by panoptican at 12:32 PM on December 18, 2005

Later in said thread, goompa outed himself, and I made another reference to it within a Calgary meetup thread a week later.

The book is awesome, btw. I highly reccomend it.
posted by Quartermass at 12:39 PM on December 18, 2005

cool! : >
posted by amberglow at 12:44 PM on December 18, 2005

Later in said thread, goompa outed himself, and I made another reference to it within a Calgary meetup thread a week later.

I did not see that. All the same, it deserved wider mention.
posted by y2karl at 12:50 PM on December 18, 2005

I don't know how I feel about outing a member's real name. This act seems utterly sacrilicious.
posted by sciurus at 1:10 PM on December 18, 2005

Congrats on the publication, goompa!
posted by scarabic at 1:28 PM on December 18, 2005

Evidently, we are celebrating International Typos Day today, too.
posted by y2karl at 2:05 PM on December 18, 2005

I totally want to buy the audio download version, which the amazon page lists as on sale for $9.98, but when I click through, I'm taken to Audible and it's $24.95.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:27 PM on December 18, 2005

Gets some very poor reviews.
posted by fire&wings at 4:55 PM on December 18, 2005

It looks fantastic and all the reviews I've seen seem to love it.

fire&wings: can you link to the poor reviews?
posted by vacapinta at 4:58 PM on December 18, 2005

Most of the Amazon reviews are negative, vacapinta, but they all seem to come from people who aren't used to reading cultural analysis; it sounds like they were expecting a book about how great the Simpsons is (which is debatable), and instead got something else.
posted by interrobang at 5:00 PM on December 18, 2005

Ah ok. I was looking through journal/newspaper reviews.
posted by vacapinta at 5:15 PM on December 18, 2005

I totally want to buy the audio download version...

Narrator: Oliver Wyman

I suppose Hank Azaria as Comic Book Guy would have been too expensive. That would have been perfect. Ah, well...
posted by y2karl at 5:30 PM on December 18, 2005

I knew gompa wrote that book when knowing gompa wrote that book was still underground, yo.

possibly by googling him after seeing a mefi reference in the book.

There's a few other people of some level of fame with accounts here, too. Science fiction author John Scalzi, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, and probably others who hide it a little better.
posted by arto at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2005

Adam Savage is a MeFite? Rockin'!

Now test the myth: quonsar's ass is so hard you couldn't wipe it with a jackhammer.
posted by scarabic at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2005

An unscrupulous person might suggest we jam Amazon's review system with positive reviews in order to indulge petty tribalism. Fortunately there are none of those around here!
posted by delmoi at 8:54 PM on December 18, 2005

I saw this book in a store the other day, and I thought it looked amazing. The fact that the author's a mefite makes me want to read it all the more.
posted by piratebowling at 9:43 PM on December 18, 2005

Well, here I am, half-drunk and blushing heavily and ready to toss around I-love-you-guys hugs to all comers.

Moreover . . .

First: I've got no problem with the outing, inasmuch as I link to the book blog on my userpage and I've copped to my offline identity in Quartermass' earlier MeTa thread (with its unfulfilled promise of a Calgary meetup). Plus writing's a solitary profession, and this is as close to the instant gratification of a reading/signing as a fella can get from the comfort of his own living room.

Second: "recently published" is half-right. US and UK second editions are just out this fall, but the first editions (including the handsome US hardcover) were out in the fall of 2004. It's been out long enough that I'm well over the first flush of excitement and now just wishing I hadn't had to learn about Troy McClure's provenance from a damn Calgary Herald reporter.

Third: mathowie, I'm told the audio version has some truly appalling Simpsons character impersonations. Hope it's reasonably well done otherwise. (Still haven't got around to listening to the damn thing myself. A fine line between professional duty and bald narcissism or something.)

Fourth: For those who don't want to read the thing (even though it's in stores now and makes a lovely Xmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift), I mention Metafilter and my sporadic participation herein in the context of arguing that The Simpsons was a key influence in the development of the default tone of much internet discourse. I cite the example of "I, for one, welcome our new _____ overlords." Forgive me.

Fifth: I'd like to heartily endorse delmoi's brilliant idea. (Particularly because the first wave of savage Amazon reviews came almost immediately after I received an email in which I was accused of hating America for daring to criticize George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, and I've got a suspicion these two events are related.)

Finally, for anyone ready to take the Amazon reviews to heart, I'll see you and raise you this review from the Times (UK), which accuses me of illiteracy toward the end. It was the first major-media-outlet review of the book published (UK edition came out early), and I felt no pain after that. (For the record, the majority of the reviews were positive, and I got two raves in The Guardian. The Village Voice, however, hated it almost as much as that Times prat.)

But I've said far too much. Many thanks for the shout-out, y2karl.
posted by gompa at 1:47 AM on December 19, 2005

That Times UK review is The Bullshit: the reviewer is just another wannabe Cultural Gatekeeper getting his knickers in a twist over what he deems 'Low Culture'... as in, 'This is just a silly cartoon-- how could anyone take it seriously enough to write a book about it?'

Yes, it's an Animated Show. No, that doesn't automatically make it crap. The whole High Culture v.s. Low Culture divide is ridiculous: instead of being snooty & snobby, tilt your nose downwards and as Homer would say, 'enjoy all the meats of our cultural stew.'

As for gompa's book, it's Truly Excellent. He's a buddy of mine, so I was nervous when the book came out: "Uh-oh, what if it's no good... what'll I say?" Then I bought it and started reading it on the streetcar: the opening was so damn good it brought tears to my eyes.

And as gompa points out, it makes an excellent gift.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:42 AM on December 19, 2005

Let me join the Buddies of Gompa Bandwagon (TM). The book is excellent. Fuzzy and I have known the author for about the same amount of time, and I had the same trepidation he did when it came to reading Gompa's book - and then I devoured the thing in 24 hours.

As for the negative reviews - there was/is a whole lot of axe-grinding going on.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 7:29 AM on December 19, 2005

I have a question that I'm, erm, asking for a friend. Let's call him Mr. Snrub.

Like gompa, Mr. Snrub is a MeFite who has published a book recently. Mr. Snrub has already linked to the book's PR site in MeFi Projects. If Mr. Snrub mentioned his book in this thread, too, would I-- I mean, would he come across as a total PR whore?
posted by yankeefog at 9:49 AM on December 19, 2005

I'm on that bandwagon, theinsects. Thecardcheat, sound off?

I've read the book four times in various permutations and chapter combinations and it's still truly superb. I would certainly have rushed the stage at Amazon if I hadn't been paralysed by conflict-of-interest. In any case I encourage the running-not-walking to said online bookseller (those of you who have read it, and like it, mind) to stack the deck in favour of PS. You can hate the big guns of retail, but they sell the books that pay the mortgage, yo.

Way to go, Goompa old man.
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 9:50 AM on December 19, 2005

If Mr. Snrub mentioned his book in this thread, too, would I-- I mean, would he come across as a total PR whore?

I'd say you -- I mean, Mr. Snrub -- should go for it. I, for one, would be interested in hearing about it. If Matt thinks otherwise, I guess he'll bring out the Thunderbolt of Deletion.
posted by languagehat at 11:15 AM on December 19, 2005

I have a question that I'm, erm, asking for a friend. Let's call him Mr. Snrub.

Is that you, Srehtims ?
posted by y2karl at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2005

Hey, gompa, word to the wise on that Troy McClure entry: Company's in town. Maybe a little dusting is in order.
posted by soyjoy at 9:32 PM on December 19, 2005

Languagehat (and anybody else interested), the book is The Government Manual for New Superheroes. It's a handy manual that provides simple, common-sense advice on such everyday issues as designing your costume, building your secret headquarters in the heart of a major metropolitan area, and keeping the hate alive in your relationship with your archenemy.

We have another book coming out in the spring: The Government Manual for New Wizards.
posted by yankeefog at 1:24 AM on December 20, 2005

I'm way late to this thread (I was off "sick" from work the last couple of days), but let me add my voice to the choir praising gompa's book, intelligence, MeFi stardom and all-around good guy-ness. Here, here!
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:57 AM on December 21, 2005

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