Creator of 'The Simpsons' OKs mural in Springfield

SRPINGFIELD, Ore. - Homer and Marge Simpson and their three children - Bart, Lisa and Maggie - live in the fictional town of Springfield.

But because "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening is from Oregon, the fictional Springfield is often held up for comparison to Oregon's Springfield.

Now the City of Springfield has partnered with Groening to commission an official Simpsons mural on the side of a downtown building.

"We've been looking for ways to celebrate Matt's Oregon connection with our Springfield for several years," said Mayor Christine Lundberg. "We thought public art would be the perfect venue and Matt agreed."

Mural artists will find a request for proposals soon on the city's website.

The proposed canvas: the exterior of the Emerald Arts Center at 500 Main Street.

A city committee will choose the artist, with final approval from Groening.

"I plan to sneak up in the middle of the night and sign the mural," Groening said. "I hope I don't get arrested."

The mural is scheduled to be completed by mid-September.

There was no word yet on whether Hell, Mich., would seek approval of an officially sanctioned Akbar and Jeff mural. The fez-wearing duo were characters in the weekly cartoon "Life In Hell," a pre-runner to "The Simpsons" that continued until 2012.

Homer and his family first appeared in "bumper" cartoons on "The Tracy Ullman Show." "The Simpsons," which premiered in 1989, is now the longest running scripted show in television history.