This one goes out to all of you who collect things. Joe Peacock is one of you. He has spent 20 years collecting production art from the ground-breaking animated feature Akira, ultimately amassing the largest private collection of said production art in the world. Now, thanks to some hard work and collaboration with the good people at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, the Art of Akira Exhibit can be viewed and appreciated by anyone who visits through July 18th.
If your particular area of geekdom leans to anime, you’re probably already drooling in awe and jealousy. Even if anime isn’t your thing, in Joe’s words, here’s why you should care:
First, it was the first ever 24-frame-per-second, full cinemascope animated film. Second, it single-handedly created the anime craze in America. Third, it’s one of the greatest artistic achievements of our time. Lastly, it’s just plain awesome.
Come on, now Joe. Show your math!
Set the story in “futuristic” neo-tokyo. Mix in dangerous biker gangs fighting on hyper-fast superbikes, psionic warfare, a military coup taking over the city, incredibly deep plots involving Will to power, forced maturity, loyalty vs. duty, and a massive space laser which gets taken out by an unstoppable psychic tyrant who then mutates into an unstable tentacled blob which is going to eat the whole city…
Then, animate that story at 24 frames per second with ZERO cel reuse (individual, highly-detailed art for each and every cel) for two hours twelve minutes, 100% hand-painted by the greatest artists in the world.
It’s pretty awesome, I’d say.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. If you’re still not impressed, consider just one stop on the tour Joe has been making to talk about this exhibit:
I presented some of my collection and a talk about Akira at Pixar in June. It was pretty much the highlight of my life. Nearly half the company showed up to see the talk, and the animators and artists were so thankful that I let them actually examine the art up close (it was all protected by cel bags and protective folders). To stand there in the midst of the greatest animation production company in the world and talk to those guys about Akira was incredible. They even fed me.
Pixar – you know, that Pixar? The Toy Story, Up, little lamp-dude in the splash screen Pixar? I’m guessing they don’t buy dinner for just any geek with a giant anime collection. This must actually be pretty cool, huh?
See for yourself:
All photographs courtesy Joe Peacock and may not be copied without his permission. Visit his official homepage for the forty thousand various ways to contact him and find him on the Internet. Read his blog. Follow him on Twitter. He’s good people. Aside from being a giant anime and comic geek (no really, don’t even front if you don’t get his tattoos), Joe is the author of 2 completely different books titled Mentally Incontinent and designer of many things web, including the mighty Fark.com.