What I like the most about Bongo Comics as a publisher is their focus on family and kid-friendly comics, even with properties like 'The Simpsons' and 'Futurama', which are admittedly adult-friendly shows. With such a meager children's market in comic books today, it is admirable that Bongo has stuck to their roots in continuing to publish strictly kid-friendly material, even in a comic book market that has been moving more and more towards adult-themes and concepts.
While 'Simpsons' and 'Futurama' creator Matt Groening's signature graces the cover, neither the writing or any of the art (including the cover, oddly enough) are actually done by Groening. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind that is, but I find it to be misleading, and not completely honest with the audience. That minor quibble aside, the art is very true to Groening's style, and unless I read the creator credits, I never would have known any different.
Bongo Comics approaches their titles much in the same way Archie Comics does, the writing and art is very clearly a 'house' style, in that it doesn't really matter who the creative team is, because the strength of the property's familiarity is what this is entirely built around. With that in mind, writer James W. Bates and artists Nina Matsumoto and Ken Wheaton deliver a familiar experience here for Simpsons fans.
In this issue the entire Simpsons family attends the Bi-Mon Sci-Fi-Con in Springfield. While the family has different goals and plans for the show, the issue provides a familiar con-going experience through their collective eyes and ears. Lisa attends the 'Malibu Stacey' panel, Bart is seeking out a replica set of 'Badgerine' claws and Homer spends his time looking for Christmas Ape amongst a sea of non-Christmas Apes. There are familiar settings, situations and themes that will undoubtedly bring back memories for anyone who has ever attended a comic or sci-fi convention of any decent size, and the nostalgia element is what this issue is structured around.
While The Simpsons are a great property to visit in any form, and the convention setting of this issue is one familiar to many who would read this, the issue itself isn't very engaging. I read a lot of children's comics with my kids, so it's definitely not an age-gap thing with the material, but rather a matter of this not being particularly engaging for reasons I'm not quite able to put my finger on. I wish I could give you something more specific, but I can't. I just never found myself able to get into this issue, despite the familiar characters, setting and format. Perhaps it's the shallow level of the content, and the fact that without having read another issue of The Simpsons in almost two decades, I have no context with which to accurately judge this? Either way, I found myself disinterested about half way through the issue.
You could definitely do worse for your $2.99, but unless you are buying this for a younger family member or friend, I think I would recommend a pass on this. Just watch the 'Every Simpsons Ever' marathon on FXX instead.