Book Review: Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History

A text book for adult animation entrepreneurs.

We get one or two of these a year. Usually an illustrated behind the scenes look at an animated series. Efforts in the past have included heavy-hitting contributions from the likes of Archer and Rick and Morty, and with great fan-fare. The producers of Family Guy, took this bar, and raised it to another level with Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History. 

Yes, Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History serves a purpose as a standard coffee table book about one of the longest running animated comedies in prime time. It’s heavy, with TONS of pictures, and costs $34.99 which is actually a bit better than most books in of this ilk when you stop to think about it. When sifting through the book, it’s an excellent way to see just how much the production value has improved for the series over the course of the last twenty years and it’s quite remarkable to see and get additional insight for these nuances and why they happened. Fan favorite episodes are also focused upon, my personal favorite sections being the ones focused on the “Road to” episodes including the brilliant “Multiverse” episode that probably has set the standard for genre that would later see similar efforts from the likes of Rick and Morty with great success.

But that’s not all. Let’s say you want to get into producing your own adult animated series. I’m pretty sure Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History @ $34.99 is probably just a good an education as anything you’d get at CalArts, if not better. Reading the pages of Family Guy history is beyond fascinating. We get deep knowledge-based anecdotes from all aspects of creating a series whether it’s voice, animation, the importance of music, production, and pretty much the entire gamut of what it takes to keep a show like this in business. It’s a show business diary/blueprint on how to get a show to #1 every Sunday Night in the 18-49 male demographic at it’s time-slot.

And then there’s Seth MacFarlane. The recent Hollywood Star inductee gives us as much of an autobiography as you’ll probably get from him in the near future. Seth takes us through the proverbial rollercoaster of getting picked up, putting together the pilot, getting cancelled, getting picked up again at the same time as he’s launching American Dad, and it’s a trip. It’s his work-life with incredible detail of the highs and lows of becoming a man right before our very eyes, all under the guise of a book about Family Guy. It’s a venerable treat, and one that shouldn’t be missed. Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History deserves a spot much higher than a coffee table. For the animation student, it should be required reading that never leaves your bag.

John Schwarz

John is the Chief Editor and Founder of Bubbleblabber.com. While at first a part-time project, Bubbleblabber quickly grew into a full-fledged operation and officially became a company in 2014. When John isn't running a business full-time, he likes to go to concerts with your mother.

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