Matt Groening and The Simpsons: ISBN 978-1-60152-784-4 / eBook: 978-1-60152-785-1
Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy: ISBN 978-1-60152-864-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-865-0
Stephen Hillenburg and SpongeBob SquarePants: ISBN 978-1-60152-866-7 / eBook: 978-1-60152-867-4
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and South Park: ISBN 978-1-60152-868-1 / eBook: 978-1-60152-869-8
Booklist, Dec. 15, 2015
Finally, a biography series about people who really matter to kids—cartoon animators. The titles in the Contemporary Cartoon Creators series not only look at the childhoods, influences, and careers of the creators but also highlight their struggles and determination to turn original ideas into award-winning cartoons. Matt Groening and The Simpsons explains how Groening’s work with comics led to the development of The Simpsons and why the show continues to be successful after 25 seasons. Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy discusses MacFarlane’s evolving role in the creation of Family Guy, including voicing many of its characters, as well as how he has branched out into other cartoons, television shows, and films. Stephen Hillenburg and SpongeBob SquarePants emphasizes how Hillenburg’s early career in marine biology shaped his signature character and the child-friendly innocence of SpongeBob. Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and South Park underlines these creators’ nontraditional work style and the controversies they’ve incited in South Park and other works. Complemented by color photos of the cartoonists and their groundbreaking characters, the books draw attention to the social commentary often seen in these shows and how their creators have responded to criticism and controversy. They’re scholarly enough for serious biography studies yet plenty of fun for leisurely readers.