Julie Hardaker becomes a Simpson

19:54, May 24 2013
Julie Hardaker
'COOL': Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker as a Simpsons character.

She has been the subject of the odd newspaper political cartoon, but now Hamilton City Mayor Julie Hardaker has a drawing of herself she can hang on the wall - in her bright yellow glory.

Ms Hardaker has joined the ranks of Justin Bieber, Ricky Gervais and Elizabeth Taylor and has been Simpsonified.

Dean Rankine, an Australian comic book artist and writer who works on The Simpsons Comic, has drawn the mayor in the style she might appear in The Simpsons.

The drawing will be presented to Ms Hardaker at tonight's Armageddon cocktail party by Lisa Simpson voice actress Yeardley Smith.

Rankine, who will appear at the Armageddon Expo at The Claudelands Events Centre, says Ms Hardaker was "a hoot to draw" but feared for his safety when he had finished the bright-yellow likeness.

 "The biggest challenge with drawing the Hamilton Mayor was the concern that she wouldn't like it, track me down while I'm in Hamilton for the Armageddon Expo and kill me in my sleep. But it's possible I might be over thinking it . . . She kind of reminded me of the newsreader from Futurama."

But the artist need not worry as Ms Hardaker turned out to be a Simpsons fan and said the caricature made her feel special.

"I think it reflects me fairly well," she said. "He's done a great job - it's a caricature and there's a lot of licence - but think the caricature is pretty cool.

 "There's a little bit of Lisa in me. I love Lisa. She's my favourite character, she's a person who likes to do things and get on with things."

Ms Hardaker, who described Armageddon as wonderful event for the city, wouldn't comment on whether she would use the likeness in her campaign to continue as mayor in the upcoming local body elections in October, but said it would take pride of place in her home.

Mr Rankine said the easiest people to Simpsonify had expressive faces and interesting hair.

"Also it's handy if they happen to have a bright yellow complexion, four fingers on each hand, bulging eyes and an overbite. But that's kind of rare."

Mr Rankine will Simpsonify punters at Armageddon, but said his method at the expo would be different to the way he usually works.

"When I'm drawing comics for the likes of The Simpsons, The Dandy or Australian MAD Magazine, I pencil it all traditionally and then ink and colour it digitally. But when I'm sketching at the Armageddon Expo it'll be old school with pencil and markers on paper.

"I just love doing sketches for the punters who come up to my table at conventions. Everyone's always really friendly and appreciative."