Groening - Reference below

Matt Groening

Born: February 15, 1954

Matt Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon and never had a particular love of school. As a result, he turned to drawing, and that's where his love of animation began. Groening moved to Los Angeles in the middle of the 1980s and began to write and publish his own comic strip entitled "Life in Hell", which depicted a pair of anthropomorphic rabbits living an adult lifestyle. The comic strip grew in popularity, and Groening eventually began to work at the Tracy Ullman Show in 1988. Producer James L. Brook was looking for someone to create a series of animated shorts to act as filler material for the show. In Brooks' office lobby, Groening sketched out a few crude drawings of a yellow-skinned family named after members of his family: Homer, Marge, and Lisa (except for Bart, which was an anagram of the word "Brat"). It was here that "the Simpsons" was born.

A snippet of "Life in Hell" - Reference below

The series of animated shorts was eventually commissioned into an entire series of half-hour episodes. The show eventually boomed in popularity, quickly becoming one of the most popular shows in modern history. Although Groening is popularly believed to still be very active in the Simpsons production process, his actual contribution is debatable. Despite receiving first billing during the end credits, Groening himself has had very little actual input during the series' run; his biggest contribution was the creation and conception of the characters. This misconception has drawn the ire of many of the show's writers and show-runners, who believe Groening is taking credit for more than he actually deserves. Despite this, Groening continues to be credited as an important influence on the series, and he himself maintains that he adds beneficial input to the production process.

Cartoon Groening - Reference Below
Cartoon Groening - Reference Below

Sources of Information/References:
  • Ortved, John. The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. New York: Faber and Faber, 2009. Print

Picture References:
Groening - http://ca.askmen.com/celebs/men/entertainment_250/268_matt_groening.html
Life in Hell - http://www.xtimeline.com/evt/view.aspx?id=53398
Cartoon Groening - http://www.animationmagazine.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/gal_simpsons_g_matt-groening_himself.jpg