Fan art is a weird and wonderful world with laws entirely unto itself. Long-term lovers of comics, film and heavy metal bands (it’s usually these three demographics) with even slight artistic leanings love nothing more than to scribble their heroes onto any spare surface they can find – acetate cells, copy paper and even their own skin. In the field of fan art though, one recent project is head and tails above the rest: Bartkira.
The collaborative illustration project overseen by Ryan Humphrey has existed as a blog for over a year now, inviting illustrators to reimagine Ōtomo Katsuhiro’s original manga Akira with characters from The Simpsons, setting their stories in a town called Neo-Springfield. The submissions have been many and varied, but all compelling in their frantic enthusiasm for two of the world’s most-loved cartoons – even the really badly-drawn ones.
The blog has been so popular that Ryan has recently released a first volume of the project’s highlights; black and white sci-fi comic panels bound in an awesome full-colour jacket designed by Frans Boukas. Get one before they’re all snapped up by collectors.