26 panels in 7 days = A wall of Bartkira
A little while back artist Ryan Humphrey (@Ryan_Humphrey) created an inventive mash-up of Akira and the Simpsons! (Jeez! Geeks will mash any and everything together! J) Those pieces can be found here http://ryanhumphrey.co.uk/Bartkira and are definitely inspiring because Comic book Artist and Designer James Harvey (@jamesharveytm)took the original idea and ran with it! Expanding it into the monster I signed up too.
Bartkira – a complete remake of Akira with all the characters exchanged to be Simpsons characters.
Here’s the brief!
“A comics event where every participant takes five pages from the original AKIRA manga, to collectively redraw the entirety of Akira, in our own styles, with characters from The Simpsons.
I saw Ryan Humphrey’s incredible Bartkira piece and realised ‘ok, this needs to be a whole book’. So I took this idea to him, he gave it the go-ahead. Milhouse is Kaneda. Lisa is Kei. Bart is Tetsuo. [sic]
I figured it all out. If you’re down, email the address below. In a few days, I’ll send you the cast list (which character from the Simpsons is which Akira character, though the minor characters will be left up to you) and I’ll tell you which 5 pages you’ll be working on. You can request a particular page, but it’s first come, first served.”
I was happy to see I wasn’t the only lunatic in town, because in no time 468 artists signing on for the task!
Checking out the #Bartkira hashtag on Tumblr reveals a group of artists from every quarter and level of skill. Something that was an instant confidence boost, I would be surrounded by other artists simply attempting to do their best to make the project happen.
I’m guessing many of the artists joined the Bartkira project out of love of both or either source materials. And as James’ brief suggested the project would be fun and good exercise to attempt to merge them together, either faithfully or with a personal spin.
But I had other motives. I have been a massively lapsed artist, locked away from the thing I love. For years I haven’t been mentally able to put pen and pencil to paper. Bu with help I’ve recently been able to unlock some of those mental blocks and have started drawing again. To say its been therapeutic would be a massive understatement!
The reason for doing this project was two fold: Firstly, I’ve always wanted to be involved in making a comic since I was a kid. Creating and drawing a whole one, is currently beyond me, but surly 5 pages isn’t!? Secondly, through working on this project I wanted to test my ability to create a large batch of work to a deadline and keep a consistent style across that work.
So why did I think drawing 26 panels on individual A3 sheets was a good idea? Pfft! I have no idea! It was probably alcohol related! J So it worked out to be 26 panels in 7 days! No surprise that I also delivered it late then!
Ridiculously long blog-story short: Through attempting this project I’ve ticked quite a few boxes and put to rest a number of ghosts! Ultimately its simply just another step on my road to recovery, but also a step that allowed me to rediscovered my passion for drawing comics. I also now have 26 pieces of art to turn into prints, t-shirts and other stuff!
Thanks to Ryan Humphrey and James Harvey for creating this project and the 468+ other artists who contributed, because when this project comes together, its gonna be an EPIC read!
*Also here’s hoping Katsuhiro Otomo-san and Matt Groening get involved!