99+1 Japan

99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.

Where They Create: Japan

A new book to lust over, Where They Create: Japan is a collection of what looks like fantastic photo shoots of creative spaces by photographer Paul Barbera. You get a peek inside the studios and work spaces of creatives like Anrealage, Kengo Kuma, Wonderwall, Nendo, Tadao Ando, Tokujin Yoshioka, and Toyo Ito. You can order it here — and here’s a radio interview with Barbera from Monocle.

Beams Beyond Tokyo

Not only does the new Beams Beyond Tokyo book from Rizzoli look fantastic — a celebration of the brand’s collaborations through the years — I’m also happy to see that my buddy W. David Marx is one of the contributors. These Rizzoli coffee table books tend to be incredibly well made (oh, you know, like that Tokyolife: Art and Design book), and this looks like another one I’d love to pick up.

Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien

Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt are a power couple when it comes to the localization game, and on top of all those books that Matt wrote in his Attack series (that initially shared the same trade dress and publisher as Arcade Mania), the two have now collaborated on a new book, Japandemonium Illustrated, that takes the form of a proper translation of the yokai encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien. It looks like a fantastic book, and is available through Amazon.

Our Time Capsule

On top of these great illustrations (Mother, Dragon Quest) I’ve been sharing by Amelicart, please note that the illustrator has also recently released an art book called Our Time Capsule (Bokura no Taimu Kapuseru). You can order it online here, and they also support overseas orders.

White Owls

Some great news today with the announcement that lovable game dev Swery65 (Hidetaka Suehiro) has launched his own development studio, White Owls, with the slogan “From Osaka to all of YOU around the World.” It looks like he’ll be using White Owls to produce more than just games — he mentions a mystery novel here — and that makes me happy.

Interactive Story and Video Game Art

A few years ago I had the great pleasure to include game developer and academic Chris Solarski in one of our PechaKucha Night events in Tokyo — where he did this presentation about his book Drawing Basics and Video Game Art. He has a second book out now, Interactive Story and Video Game Art, which I’m sure is just as great.