Matt Groening Fesses Up

Our guest columnist just admitted that “Springfield” is Springfield, Oregon, which we knew all along, since we grew up next door in Eugene and he grew up in Portland. Here he’s responding to a request for comments about a notorious daily panel cartoon featuring a family of single-nostriled aliens. Do you know how fucking cool it was to have a font of your own comic lettering in 1992?

June 22, 1992

Dear [Nojo],

Your letter just floated to the top of the pile of mail sitting on my desk, and since I have a couple of minutes to spare at the end of a long day before I take off for one of them Hollywood parties you’ve read so much about, here’s a rare reply from me.

Of course I read Family Circus… every day. It’s part of waking up, morning coffee, bleary eyes, runny eggs… and has been for as long as I can remember. Bil Keane’s cartoon is a daily porthole into an alternate universe of sweetness and gentle humor… The oval macrocephalic shape of the characters’ heads used to bug me when I was a kid, but now I dig everything about Keane’s style… It’s consistent… It’s designed and drawn masterfully… It’s got a dog named Barfy… The Sunday spreads can be wildly ambitious… It’s been a secret pleasure of mine for years… I didn’t admit my love of Family Circus to anyone until a few years ago, when I was doing a co-interview with Lynda Barry, who defended the cartoon to a sneering young punk of a journalist, and these days I get a secondary thrill from Family Circus since the kids in it talk about Bart Simpson from time to time.

If you need anything more, give me a call.

Best wishes,

Matt Groening

Matt Groening Reveals the Location of the Real Springfield [Smithsonian]

Inset: Emergency Horse, Eugene, Oregon, Autumn 1992

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