Hold onto your doughnuts and prepare to say ay, caramba! more than once, because the Sydney Opera House has a huuuuge headliner for this year's GRAPHIC festival: Matt Groening. The comedic cartoonist genius responsible for The Simpsons and Futurama will make his way to Australia for the very first time to speak at the two-day festival this November, which celebrates pop culture and graphic storytelling, animation and music.
Considering most of us probably acquired the large majority of our pre-Internet knowledge on global popular culture from Groening's work (well, when we could wrangle watching The Simpsons instead of the 6pm news), it seems like a brilliant full circle that we're now able to see him speak IRL as adults. He will deliver a talk titled Secrets of The Simpsons, and a Couple of Milhouse Fun Facts, which will delve into the making of the show, include hardly-seen clips and apparently even some full-frontal cartoon nudity. He will also join a session with his friend and fellow cartoonist Lynda Barry.
"The most intense Simpsons fanatics I've met are from Australia, so I'm coming to Sydney to check out all you lunatics," Groening said. "I'm going to share stories of the making of The Simpsons and show embarrassing home movies and rarely-seen animation, including oddball outtakes and uncensored Itchy & Scratchy cartoons."
Other highlights from the GRAPHIC 2016 program announced this morning include a screening of George Lucas' 1971 sci-fi epic THX 1138, which will be re-scored live by Asian Dub Foundation. There will be a heap of free talks from cartoonists including Leunig and First Dog on the Moon, as well as two film premieres from Neil Gaiman, who has previously called the festival "the smartest, wisest, most cutting-edge festival and celebration of narrative literature and its intersection with culture in the world".