Monday, June 11

Nintendo characters as Japanese woodblock prints

Illustrator Jed Henry is in the process of making some pretty serious Japanese woodblock prints. When I say pretty serious, I mean Nintendo-serious. He is re-imagining many Nintendo characters as Japanese woodblock prints. Pretty awesomely, too.

What is a woodblock print? It's basically a piece of paper that is stamped by one or many carved woodblocks. Woodblock prints, or ukiyoe (浮世絵), are especially hard for three reasons: (1) the negative space of the image has to be carved, (2) the image will come out mirrored so it's necessary to envision the opposite, and (3) have you ever carved wood?

Maybe you've seen this woodblock print before:
"Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa" by Katsushika Hokusai
Hokusai was a master and included Mt. Fuji in some way in 46 of his famous woodblock prints. Can you find Fuji-san in his print above? I always thought it was part of the wave...

Without further ado, Nintendo woodblock prints by illustrator Jed Henry.
Donkey Kong - notice the cherry blossoms in the foreground

Kirby - an unfinished piece

Link, from Zelda, slaying the dragon

Mario and Bowser from Mario Kart - love the squid

Megaman - love the ink... is the wolf a newer addition?

Samus Aran from Metroid - Google her and see how saucy she is without the suit

Simon Belmont from Castlevania - I always sucked at this game

Many of the guys from Street Fighter - Who can you identify?

Be sure to check out the Ukiyo-e Heroes on Facebook for upcoming debuts!

1 comment:

You should probably engage in some conversation.