Famous Videogame Characters Done in Traditional Ukiyo-E Style? Game On!
By Cassandra Khaw
What do you get when you combine Mario Kart with traditional Japanese art? Why, you get Ukiyo-e Heroes, of course. Ukiyo-e Heroes is a “parody art project that follows the long tradition of popular art in Japan,” and a celebration of Japan’s contribution to the video games industry.
There are twelve designs in illustrator Jed Henry’s Ukiyo-e Heroes project, all of which feature legendary characters such as Mario and Donkey Kong. While all of the pieces of art are absolutely stellar, some are just plain better than others–his portrayal of Kirby as a pink, saw-toothed monstrosity is pretty much genius incarnate.
But, if the designs are already completed (and available for perusal online), why the Kickstarter campaign? It’s because Jed Henry wants to have these snazzy designs available as hand-made woodblock prints. These prints, in turn, will be created by the project’s resident woodblock printmaker, a chap named David Bull who has been in the business of woodblock making for thirty years.