Let’s Speak English, The Book

I wasn’t aware of the web comic by Mary Cagle that this Kickstarter book project draws from, but from what I’m seeing on the Kickstarter page, it looks like a real fun series (as evidenced by the strip above). We are definitely many to have experienced the joys of teaching English in Japan (I did it for years, and it’s what gave me the time to develop my writing skills through my blog) and so it’s great to see something that celebrates and has fun with the activity, instead of just being negative about it. Found via Daniel Feit.

Koya Bound, the Website

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You’ll of course remember Koya Bound, the beautiful photography book that Craig Mod and Dan Rubin recently Kickstarted, covering one of the annual (or is it bi-annual) walks that Craig likes to do. Part of the Kickstarter promise was to launch the content of the book as its own website, and that site has now launched. It’s a beautiful thing, with an animated map slowly scrolling as you read about their journey and view the many photos.

Launching Koya Bound

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It’s been great following Craig‘s work on the Koya Bound book, from Kickstarter campaign, to getting the thing printed, to the massive task of signing and stamping all those books, to finally properly launching it this week at an event held at the Leica Salon in Ginza. A big otsukare to both Craig and Dan on a fantastic project.

Koya Bound on Kickstarter

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Last month I mentioned Craig Mod and Dan Rubin‘s upcoming photography book, Koya Bound, while pointing out a great interview with them that was published in The Japan Times — a talk about the walk that inspired the book. Today marked the launch of a Kickstarter project to get the book printed, and to also finance a few ancillary projects, including what sounds like a fantastic website companion that will act as the digital version of the book.

Craig was one of the early users of Kickstarter — for the book Art Space Tokyo, which I blogged about back in 2010 — and he even wrote a fantastic essay that same year with tips on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign (and no, I don’t hate Craig).

Astro Boy: Edge of Time

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I wrote about my experience playing the demo that was released alongside the just-launched Kickstarter campaign for the Astro Boy: Edge of Time digital card game, but I wanted to bring it up here as well as a project that I want to highlight. I liked the demo (more of a tech test of the gameplay) and really hope the game gets funded so we get to play the whole thing. Also, my friend Nayan Ramachandran of Playism is heavily involved in the project (he’s working on the story aspect of the game), and he even pops up a bit in the Kickstarter video. I love Tezuka Osamu’s creations — I watched a lot of the Astro Boy anime when I was a kid — and want to see what they’re going to do here, bringing all these characters together in one world.

Astro Boy: Edge of Time (Demo)

This has just launched as a Kickstarter campaign, and what’s really nice is that they’ve released a demo that you can check out, that gives you a try at the card gameplay (a tech test of sorts). As I just wrote, I love card games, and I love the creations of Tezuka Osamu, and so this sounds like it would be just up my alley. Playing the game, I had a lot of fun, and it’s given me the urge to play more, and to experience the story too – yeah, just because it’s a card game doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun story too, and the premise is pretty interesting (it’s the end of the world/universe, and Astro Boy has disappeared). They’ve gotten a ton of fantastic artists to do art on the cards – in fact, that’s what the Kickstarter is for – and the music is really groovy. I really hope this gets funded.