"Back in the early 1990s, when anime was still called “Japanimation” and 'The Simpsons' still featured Phil Hartman, no one could have conceived of 'Bartkira'. Yet 23 years later, in Neo-Britain, artist Ryan Humphrey gave life to the unimaginable. His original pages for the mind-bending crossover-comic ignited a fire in the mind of comic artist James Harvey, who proposed the impossible: to redraw in its entirety, Otomo's 2146 page epic 'Akira' with Simpsons characters! It has taken 768 artists, each contributing five pages, to redraw the full six volumes of Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterwork. A monumental group comic project unlike any other inspired working illustrators, comics professionals, and even some who had never drawn a comic in their lives!"
In celebration of its near completion Floating World Comics recently hosted an exhibition showcasing some of the project’s original artwork in a special gallery space, and also released a 96-page exhibition book, including 80 page preview of the project, as well as 16 full-colour gallery pages.
The 'Bartkira' exhibition catalogue is exclusively available via Floating World Comics: www.floatingworldcomics.com/shop/art-books/bartkira.
We've got our fingers crossed that one day we'll see 'Bartkira' published in its entirety, assuming Groening and Otomo would grant such permission, but truth be told, this exhibition catalogue might be your only opportunity to grab a fragment of this mammoth project in physical print. Whilst we're waiting, there is a plan to published every page sequentially online, starting this summer. Keep an eye on www.bartkira.com for future developments.
The two original 'Bartkira' 'zines illustrated by Ryan Humphrey, that sparked this entire project, are still available to purchase directly from Ryan's online store: www.withapencilinhand.bigcartel.com