Joining the ever-growing legion of creative professionals raising money for disaster relief efforts in Japan is Periscope Studio, whose stellar roster of illustrators have produced brand new work to be auctioned off starting today. Dustin Weaver, Colleen Coover and Ron Chan are just some of the members the Portland, Oregon-based art collective whose original work you can purchase on eBay, with all proceeds going to help the victims of the recent earthquakes and tsunami.The denizens of Periscope Studio frequently challenge each other to produce new artwork based around a common theme. The results are usually outstanding and are occasionally featured here on ComicsAlliance, like the studio's Mad Men and Miyazaki-themed sketch challenges. Along those lines, the studio members have initiated a Japan-themed challenge, the main difference being that all the work will be sold off and the proceeds donated to Peace Winds Japan care of MercyCorps.

Acclaimed for his work on Marvel's SHIELD with Jonathan Hickman, Dustin Weaver paid homage to Akira, the legendary graphic novel and anime by Katsuhiro Otomo. Weaver discussed the piece on its eBay auction page.

I considered doing a piece directly related to the tsunami and everything that's happened there but it seemed so depressing. I turned to the idea of Japanese pride. I thought about all of the amazing and super cool things Japanese culture has brought to the world. I actually felt as though Japan itself was going to look at what I did and judge whether or not it was in the right spirit... I'm not sure what that means, but it made me think of the end of Akira (the manga).

At the end of Akira, after Tetsuo has been killed and the UN can finally reach the shores of the devastated Neo Tokyo with supplies and medical aid, Kaneda is there. He's clearly assumed a leadership role-- after all, he was always a leader-- and he tells the UN essentially to beat it. We don't need your help. Just then Kei rides up on Kaneda's bike. Kaneda hops on, they ride off into the city, and you get to see these two strong characters finally joined together. Maybe things are going to be okay. What can stop these two? The ghosts of Kaneda's friends, Yamagata and Tetsuo, appear riding along side them. They zoom out ahead and vanish and we see the city start to rebuild itself. The last shot is of Kaneda and Kei riding into a perfectly reformed Neo Tokyo as the last bits of debris fly back into place. It's a beautiful and hopeful ending.

In addition to Weaver's amazing Akira illustration, live now are auctions for work by Ron Chan (homaging Lupin III and Cowboy Bebop) and Colleen Coover (homaging Final Fantasy VII).

Coming soon will be auctions for Paul Guinan's excellent Lone Wolf & Cub print, which he created digitally, as well as Dylan Meconis' beautiful recreation of Mike Clarke's memorable press photo of a young girl in an evacuation bus.

For more on Periscope Studio's auctions for Japanese disaster relief, stay tuned to their Tumblr blog and Twitter feed, where you will be sure to see all updates as they happen.

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