Coming soon on VHS… on Flickr.
Working on the BARTKIRA covers gave me flashbacks of the first time I saw AKIRA on VHS.
1990: I was a 6th grade geek spending every Wednesday at Mint Condition Comics in Port Washington, NY. A mysterious VHS, with an arrestingly simple cover, appeared suddenly behind the glass counter below the cash register. I was already aware of manga/anime [Robotech, Nausicaa, etc…], but Epic Comics’ AKIRA seemed like an anomaly since it featured distinctly asian characters. Until seeing that VHS in the store, I had NO idea that an animated adaptation existed!
I spent weeks saving up my modest allowance to purchase the astronomically-expensive $40 video, excited only by my shock of an entire movie created from (what I thought was) an “obscure” comic. I was fortunate to have over a month pass as that exotic VHS tape remained un-purchased by the superhero fans of Long Island.
I finally spent my small fortune and zoomed home on my bike. That first viewing was one of my scarce “veil-lifting” moments. The visceral experience of seeing Akira with no context has stuck with me to this day (although I was probably WAY too young to be seeing it).
1990 was also the year that The Simpsons’ first season took the world by storm. So this BARTKIRA mashup, concocted by talented artists Ryan Humphrey and James Harvey, is a hilariously nostalgic trip for me. I salute them for galvanizing me, and the hundreds of other artists, to take fanboy tributes to ridiculous heights.
PS: I promise this VHS butchering is the LAST Bartkira drawing I post! Thanks again for all your “likes” and reposts.
PPS: The original AKIRA release is the only VHS tape left on my shelf. The original Streamline Pictures dub holds a special place in my heart.