Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpsons and Futurama, has dedicated his design skills to free daily newspaper The Metro. Instead of a paid-for partnership, the title’s entertainment pullout Scene collaborated with the artist to explore Groening’s next big project with his editorial contribution.
Groening used the opportunity to help promote his new Netflix animated series, Disenchanted. He redesigned the paper’s masthead and worked on a cover for entertainment section Scene. The cartoonist, writer, producer and animator offered a more colourful take on the DMG Media-owned title's branding, with it being the only UK title he collaborated with.
Disenchantment has been described as a fantasy-style Futurama set in a medieval environment. It will touch on all the tropes picked up in the work of Tolkien and more, using characters Bean, Elfo and Luci as a vehicle to explore Dreamland. It's Groening's first new show launch in 20 years.
Metro said it was chosen for the partnership due to its comparatively young print audience – when compared to rivals. It boasts a substantial reach as it is freely distributed at public transport hubs and areas of high footfall.
Sharon Lougher, head of features at Metro, said: “Working with Matt Groening and his team has been a process utterly devoid of disenchantment, as has the process of highlighting an animation that tackles such timely themes as mental health and millennial angst – and all with a feisty feminist hero at its heart.
"Today’s reimagined paper is bound to entertain our young commuter audience, most of whom have grown up with Groening as fans of the infamous Simpson family.”
On the collaboration, Groening said: “I’ve been thinking about storytelling with fairytales since I was a kid. I watched the Wizard Of Oz and read The Lord Of The Rings… but it was Monty Python And The Holy Grail that was the real wake-up call that you could actually do something funny and crazy about medieval times.”
The show comes to Netflix 17 August.