While something can be great on its own, the idea of mixing two things can lead to interesting combinations. Peanut butter and jelly, rock and roll, the Beatles and Jay-Z ... and soon, The Simpsons and Akira. Cartoonist James Harvey is organizing a full-scale re-creation of Katsuhiro Otomo's popular manga series with its characters replaced with members of The Simpsons.
"Milhouse is Kaneda. Lisa is Kei. Bart is Tetsuo," Harvey posted on his blog. "Let’s do it."
The idea all started when artist Ryan Humphrey posted an impromptu short mash-up of the two, provoking Harvey to take that errant idea and turn it into a full-scale project with different artist drawing different portions of the book. Harvey is taking submissions from artists at email@example.com. He'll choose the artists, and give each a five-page segment of the story and guidelines of which Akira characters match up with which Simpsons characters.
As for the $64,000 question that all of you are no doubt asking, Harvey was upfront about the legality. "Since it’ll be non-profit, parody/satire, crowdsourced and distributed peer-to-peer, I feel like it’s juuust on the right side of the legal grey area it inhabits," Harvey explained. "If not -- let’s do it anyway. I’ll take the rap."
Comic jams have proven to an interesting amalgam of multiple art styles, but never has one been attempted to this scale. If Harvey can get 468 artists, then together they'd be able to do the entire six volumes of Akira.
My one question is this: Who is the Akira equivalent to Ned Flanders?