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:

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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. 

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