How the internet embraced a 'Simpsons'-'Akira' mashup


In the spring of 2013, Ryan Humphrey was lying on his bedroom floor, searching for inspiration. He had been looking for a way to contribute to the Simpsons Drawing Club, a blog on Tumblr dedicated to unofficial fan art. Run by a tight-knit group of illustrators, it featured colorful, funny and occasionally terrifying depictions of Bart, Homer and the rest of the Springfield populace. Humphrey wanted to be a part of it.

He had, at one point, considered an original story about Ralph Wiggum and a dead body that could somehow talk back to him. But he didn't see himself as a comic book artist and slowly cooled on the idea. Suddenly, he spotted a copy of Akira, "Volume 1" in his room. Inspiration struck like a thunderbolt. He would redraw parts of Akira, the iconic Japanese manga series written and inked by Katsuhiro Otomo, but with characters from The Simpsons. By blending the two worlds, he would create something not only truly bizarre and unexpected but also stylish and instantly recognizable.

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