Even more game-inspired woodblock prints are on the way


Ukiyo-e Heroes: Boss Fights

It’s hard for me to fathom that it’s been five years since Ukiyo-e Heroes, a series of game-inspired Japanese woodblock prints, sought funding through Kickstarter. I never backed the project or bought the prints, but I sure admired them. And in the time since, I’ve latched onto woodblock printmaker David Bull’s calming, insightful YouTube videos. Straight up, it’s one of my favorite channels around.

(Here’s a great video from 2013 showing the making of the Metroid-inspired “Infestation.”)

This year, David Bull and illustrator Jed Henry are collaborating on another round of Ukiyo-e Heroes prints, with designs drawing from the likes of Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy VII, and Overwatch.

“The artisans working under Dave’s direction have been steadily increasing their skill level, and can now create prints of far greater complexity than was possible for earlier designs in this series,” reads the new, already-funded Kickstarter campaign. “Our previous Ukiyo-e Heroes images were, for the most part, character studies – the images quite ‘classical’ and fairly restrained. We feel we are now ready to unleash the hidden energy in Jed’s brush, to take on quite a different challenge, so we now bring you Ukiyo-e Heroes: Boss Fights. Jed has fully embraced this opportunity we have given him, and has come up with some spectacular new creations – full of energy and conflict, top to bottom.”

All of the designs will be available as 12″ x 17″ giclée prints ($35 each), and certain designs will be offered as 7″ x 9″ woodblock prints ($150). The first of the new batch, the Zelda print “A Trial of Strength,” is scheduled for delivery in November and December as a giclée and woodblock print, respectively. That four-panel Overwatch set, also shipping in November 2017, is just unreal.

It’s worth checking out the full Kickstarter page to see what will be available when and how the pricing breaks down for the different pieces and crowdfunding tiers. I’ll probably just stick to watching more of David’s making-of videos as they pop up in the coming months, but dang, these are so cool.

Ukiyo-e Heroes: Boss Fights [Kickstarter — Thanks, Tony]