Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Donkey Kong x Japanese Ukiyo-e

How would some of gaming's most cherished characters look if they had been conjured up during the latter half of the 17th century rather than the late stages of the 20th?

Artist Jed Henry tackles that rather curious question in a recent series of illustrations (like the one below and here) that suggest how, say, Donkey Kong and Mario, would have looked had they been painted or printed in the ukiyo-e style that came to life in Japan in the 1600s.


A number of other classic game franchises are given the same treatment in a series of pieces that can be found in Henry's deviantART gallery. Among them: Kirby, Metroid, Pok√©mon and Star Fox.

See also: 'Looks like I'll have to add Soul Bubbles to my DS wish list'

14 comments:

Kimimi said...

Yay you made a post about them! I'm totally jealous of that guy's talent, his work is just fantastic and I want that Star Fox one on my wall :D

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ack! I completely forgot until you mentioned it just now that you were responsible for turning me on to this guy. Thank you for that!

And, yes, I'm jealous of this talent, too. Here's hoping he comes up with more such pieces -- and soon!

Kimimi said...

No problem, I'm just glad more people will be able to see! :D

Marco Grande Arbitro said...

Very cool! WOW!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Me, too, Kimimi! As many people as possible need to see this guy's stuff :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thanks for the comment, Marco! Glad you liked it, too :)

Sean said...

Those are cool. I have a small collection of Ukiyo-e from the Edo and Meiji eras, they are my favorite type of Japanese art. The colors they have kind of remind me of a pile of Famicom carts.

Also: I love that Edo era Mario!

Bryan Ochalla said...

That's awesome, Sean. I love the style, too -- and the colors! Anyway, yes, the Edo-era Mario is great, isn't he?

Sora Ryu said...

This is amazing. Japanese wood cuts are beautiful.

Reggie White Jr. said...

That is awesome! Even in the 17th century DK is still throwing barrels and Mario is using a hammer. Love it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Sora! I agree. Quite an amazing art style, don't you think?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Reggie: Mario's huge, 17th century hammer is the best, isn't it? Awesome touch, IMO :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I love a great sendup of classic gaming art, and when it perfectly mimics a specific time period and at style, even better.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Agreed, Justin :)