See Early Sketches for The Simpsons

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 21 2014 5:32 PM

See Early Sketches for The Simpsons

For Simpsons fans, David Silverman is great fun to follow on Twitter. The animator and director has been with the series since the first Tracey Ullman Show shorts—and even directed The Simpsons Movie, in addition to dozens of classic episodes—so needless to say he has access to a treasure trove of Simpsons artifacts. (He was also immortalized on the show as the animator who draws Poochie.) And every so often he will provide behind-the-scenes looks at the show.

But over the weekend he went on an unprecedented spree of posting sketches for early episodes.

He posted some of the earliest sketches for Milhouse, from before he’d even appeared on the show:

Advertisement

This “turnaround” (a turnaround is a series of drawings used in animation to demonstrate what a character looks like from all angles) was drawn up for the show’s second episode:

Here is the original Mrs. Krabappel (not for sale, by the way):

An early “Why you little…”, from the Tracey Ullman shorts:

And another, from the second episode of the series:

Silverman shared his sketches for the classic “Land of Chocolate” sequence (which he storyboarded, to ensure that the skipping was perfect):

And this early “turnaround” for Marge, from Season 1:

Since Sunday was Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, he posted sketches for the show’s spoof of “The Raven” (which he directed), from the first “Treehouse of Horror”:

Going back a bit further in his feed, here’s another first, from Season 2:

Maggie, when she had nine points:

And because some things never age, here’s an early Grampa, from the first season of the Tracey Ullman Show:

If you’d like to see more, follow David Silverman on Twitter.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?