A prison officer who spent £6,400 on a huge tattoo of The Simpsons hopes to be officially recognised by Guinness World Records in time for the 25th anniversary of the show’s debut.
Grandfather Michael Baxter, 52, who has been a superfan of The Simpsons since he saw the first episode, now has 203 characters across his back and is in the process of getting recognised as the world record holder.
He said: “I wanted to get something which was unique, which nobody else had or would even think of getting.
“I’m a huge fan of the show. I love the tattoo, and I know lots of other people, including my grandchildren, do too.”
The 25th anniversary of the debut of The Simpsons on American television falls on December 17th 2014.
Mr Baxter sat through through an eye-watering 130 hours of needlework spread over the course of a year.
His tattoo includes all the main characters from The Simpsons and references scenes and locations from Springfield, such as Moe’s Tavern and the famous couch gag. He said his favourite character was Homer.
Mr Baxter is hoping to depose New Zealand man Lee Weir, the current world record for ‘most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on the body’, who has 41 tattoos of Homer Simpson on his left arm.
Although Mr Baxter’s mammoth back tattoo includes lots of different characters, he understands that because all the characters are from the same show, he is eligible to make a claim for the record.
He said: “Guinness have accepted my application, but I have a lot of paperwork to fill out.”
Pictures of Mr Baxter’s tattoo have spread all over the world via the internet. A campaign has even launched in America to persuade Simpsons producers Matt Groening and James L. Brooks to invite him to appear in animated form on the show.
Mr Baxter said: “I’m recognised everywhere. My friends love it, especially the attention it’s now getting. They all think the tattoo’s awesome, especially when they see it in the flesh.
“My wife Sharyn, 50, and daughters Michelle, 31 and Rebecka, 29, love it. My seven-year-old grandson Kohen and my five-year-old granddaughter Milah, think it’s fantastic.”
The tattoo artist who did the piece, Jade Baxter Smith, 31, said: “The attention has overwhelmed me but it’s really nice.
“I’m known now as the girl who did ‘that Simpsons tattoo’.”
Ms Smith, who has been tattooing since she was 18, didn’t take the request seriously when Mr Baxter first told her his idea.
She said: “Michael came to me and said he wanted all The Simpsons characters on his back. I laughed and thought he was joking.”
Mr Baxter, of Bacchus Marsh near Melbourne in Australia, has volunteered to travel with Ms Smith to tattoo expos since the artwork was completed in 2013.
Mr Baxter said: “I’m happy for Jade to use me to promote her work. We’ve got the Melbourne expo this week. I go and people take photos.”
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