The Simpsons Folder

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Fan Interview: Jon Hillier

This document is done

Could you tell who are you, where you live and how old are you?

I’m Jon Hillier and 17 years old. I mess around with the Internet in spare time, but my passions are art/media and politics. I’m currently living in a small village called Sandwich, in England.

How did you become a Simpsons fan?

I’ve always enjoyed animation, and the Simpsons stood out to me as a kid. My parents bought me one a Bart “eat-my-shorts” T-shirt in 1991, and I guess this must have been my first exposure to it. I remember watching my first episode, “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”, after hearing all the hype about it, and realising it was far better than I had expected. I was hooked from there on.

What is your favorite Simpsons episode and why?

I don’t think any fan could choose just but one, but it would probably be a toss up between Flaming Moe’s or Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment. I’m not totally sure why these two leap out at me, but I certainly would rate these as two of the highest. I like well written storylines, and these two were prime examples of such.

How do you see future of The Simpsons?

I’m optimistic, the show as it is, with such amazing support isn’t going to finish anytime soon. The episodes are slowly improving, so I see no reason why they can’t carry on making us laugh. My one wish for the future is that the writers remain true to the fundamental theme – an average American family. We’ve had enough of the wacky adventures – lets leave that to Family Guy.

You have website dedicated to Mr. Burns on the net called Serious Burns. Who/what inspired you to create it?

I’m sure my story is much the same as others. I’d sat and watched the Simpsons for years, so I felt like giving a little back. I had originally intended to create a general Simpsons site, but felt that what could be done, had been done. The website, “A Burns for all Seasons” was what originally inspired me to create it. I felt character sites still had a whole lot more to gain, so I set about working on my own. I never expected it to be a long-term project, but four years later, I’m still here.

Are you a huge Mr. Burns fan?

Of course, I couldn’t continue running my site if I wasn’t. I love Burns’ old-fashioned approach to the world, his ruthless and self-centred attitude, but also the compassion he occasionally displays. Mr. Burns represents every selfish, bitter old man unashamedly, and that’s why I like him.

Quick quiz question: What is Mr. Burns favorite lunch?

I believe that would be a pillow of shredded wheat, steamed toast, and sometimes the occasional Dodo egg.

You’re current design at Serious Burns is quite clean and doesn’t have any flaws on it. How long process is to create good website?

Thanks for the compliment! For me personally, the whole process of creating a design can take several months. I love being able to try something new, if only to impress myself. I’d deem myself a perfectionist, so the majority of my time is spent reworking a basic design until I’m happy with it myself. I’ve seen site after site with the same style, colours and graphics, so I think it’s important that people take their time deciding what they want their site to become. A site won’t get anywhere if it’s indistinguishable from another, so the majority of my time is spent trying to think of unique methods of presenting content differently.

What are your tools for your website?

The majority of my designing is done in PSP, but I’ll often transport designs over to Photoshop to fine touch them. For the coding, I just don’t have the time (or patience) to learn html off by heart. So, for the coding… I confess, I prefer working with Dreamweaver – it’s just the obvious choice.

You have this Burns on Location competition running on your website. Could you tell me more about it?

The idea is simple. Visitors print off our poster and take a photo featuring it in a strange, unusual or amusing location. I did it last year, but thought it would be better saved for a latter date. This year, it’s got some rather good prizes as well – mostly Simpsons toys, books and CD’s – it’s the winner’s choice of which they want to take. If you haven’t entered yet, make sure you do!

What do you think about today’s simp-sites on the net?

People always take sites for granted – so whilst the sites are around, we complain about them, but when they go, we complain that they’re gone. On the most part though, I think there’s a lot of potential. We’re in the phase where some of the guys are a lot older, and their sites are disappearing with them, opening the space up for younger talents. Personally, I think today’s sites could do with a real boost in individuality. If you’re thinking about starting your own website, for god’s sake, be original, strive to be different!

Do you have any favorites?

The folder of course! Other than that I’m a big fan of Springfield Weekly, Simpson Crazy and Eye on Sprinfield.

What about worst Simpsons site you have visited. Are there any?

Ooh, cruel! I shouldn’t name names, that’s unfair, but basically I base my feelings on first impressions. Any site that’s untidy needs sorting out – I consider it a sin to own a cluttered website. Oh, and contrary to popular belief, I kind of like cloud backgrounds.

Any defunct Simpson’s site you miss?

New Springfield. It was simply superior to the majority of sites out there, in both content and design. Further back, I enjoyed visiting the Simpsons Sourcebook.

How do you see future of the simpsons community?

The community will exist for as long as The Simpsons does. Hell, it’ll go on long after it. I can’t predict the future, but I hope there’ll be a few more big-time legendary sites. We’ve had a few of them (Evergreen Terrace etc…), so I’m sure there’s time for another.

Name 3 people from the community that you could also meet in real life.

Alex S, Jouni and Jon Levin.

Describe your desktop. What do you see around your computer?

Sheesh, it’s a real mess. Let’s see… several cans of Coca-Cola, many music CD’s, and of course a dying pot plant.

Any final comments?

Stupid sexy Flanders!