Latest on SNOW

So what’s the latest on SNOW? I guess two new developments art that I added a dedicated Twitter feed, and also created a Facebook fan page. The Twitter feed is mostly just automated with new articles from the site — because some people actually prefer that over RSS feeds these days — but I do keep an eye on it, and will reply to questions and comments. The Facebook page is just another way of putting the site out there, and should be a good way of informing members of SNOW-related events as they happen.

Regular content updates have also continued over the past week, with a few new guest columns and my regular news items. Here’s a list of what you may have missed over the past few days.


Meta Web

SNOW Magazine, A Week Later

So here we are, almost a week since the launch of SNOW Magazine. How have things been? Well, it was a bit of a rough ride for the first couple of days, mostly because I wasn’t happy with the way I had set up the domain (a lot of people will recall that you could only see “” in the URL bar no matter the post, because I was just using forwarding/masking), and so I struggled a bit with this, but I can’t thank enough the man who always comes to my rescue when it comes to web-related problems, Patrick Benny (he’s helped countless times on this site as well). Do check out Patrick’s first column for SNOW as well, covering the launch of Yasuharu Konishi’s new label, READYMADE V.I.C.

So I think things should be running relatively smoothly from here on out, although do continue sending feedback if you encounter weirdness. The feed should also be working fine, so please subscribe to make sure not to miss any new content.

Also, here’s a quick list of the recent posts that went up on the site, in case you missed anything.



SNOW Magazine Is GO

And we have ignition. SNOW Magazine is launched: I’ll post more later, but wanted to just put this out there, and invite everyone to take a look. Subscribe to the feed too!


SNOW Magazine Part 4

And now we get to the best of all these teasers for my SNOW web magazine (see parts one, two, and three), looking at the aspect of this project that really has me the most excited, and that’s the guest columns. As I talked about earlier, it was always my intention to make this magazine something that was more than just a re-purposed venue for my editorial coverage. I really want SNOW to act as a voice for a lot of the interesting people that I’ve come to know over my years as a Tokyo resident, and I’m doing that with the inclusion of guest columns.

The idea here was to get all of these people to contribute short monthly columns (or posts, or articles, or whatever you want to call them) covering topics that are near and dear to each of them. Some of these will be themed columns, some will be all over the place, some will be visual, I just promise that it will be a fun collection of content that I think needs to be shared.

Below, all of the people who have agreed to contribute to the site. Some have already determined exactly what they’ll be covering (and have even already sent me their first column), others are still not sure and we need to discuss things more, but you’ll be seeing their contributions on the site in the near future.

  • Andrew Lee: Currently editor at Kodansha International, but also the art director of a little book I was involved with called Arcade Mania.
  • Alin Huma: Photographer, zine maker, barista, and the man you need to talk to if you want to get a custom bike built for you.
  • Audrey Fondecave: Artist, co-founder of OK Fred magazine, and of course my co-host for Radio OK Fred.
  • Bianca Beuttel: Kyoto-based designer and essayist who will be continuing her coverage of Japanese package design, something she did brilliantly at PingMag.
  • Claire Tanaka: Writer and translator based in Tokushima, whose byline you probably remember from PingMag and PingMag MAKE.
  • David Marx: The man, the myth, founder of N√©ojaponisme, and currently Tokyo city editor at CNNGo.
  • Hiroshi Egaitsu: Professor, thinker, freelance writer, and a man who has made you shake your ass at many a club event.
  • Hiyoko Imai: Amsterdam-based designer and illustrator, and also a partner in a new project I’m involved with (but more on that later).
  • Ian Lynam: Graphic designer, art director, typographer, professor, dancer…
  • James Kay: Game developer and founder of the Tokyo-based Score Studios.
  • Jeriaska: Contributor to many a game coverage site, who tends to focus on the music side of the games industry.
  • Johan Prag: Art director who just can’t help but create beautiful things.
  • Johnny Strategy: If you aren’t reading his site, Spoon & Tamago, then head there now.
  • Josh McKible: Illustrator and, more and more, papercraft enthusiast and creator of NaniBird.
  • Mari Kojima: Photographer who will get your body moving in her guise as member of Mammal.
  • Marie Iida: Writer, translator, soon-to-be filmmaker, and all-around project booster.
  • Masao Tamoaki: Founder of the online select design shop TokyoMade.
  • Micke Thorsby: You know him as PMKFA, the graphic designer extraordinaire.
  • Mark MacDonald: A true veteran of the world of games editorial (EGM, 1UP), and current localizer of some of Japan’s biggest games.
  • Paul Baron: Co-founder of Tokyo Art Beat — a site I can’t imagine having to live without — and designer at Tokyo-based web studio AQ.
  • Patrick Benny: No one has followed the Japanese indies music scene as long or as closely as him, and he’s also founder of the still amazing Tokyo Recohan online select shop of used Japanese CDs.
  • Remo Camerota: Filmmaker, art director, comic creator, he’s also the author of the terrific Graffiti Japan.
  • Shane Lester: Designer and art director at W+K Tokyo, member of the W+K Tokyo Lab, and the person you’re least likely to catch up on while biking.
  • Sophie Knight: Freelance writer and zine fanatic, who creates her own as well.
  • Yoshi Tsujimura: The founder and editor-in-chief of OK Fred magazine, a freelance contributor to many a publication, and my fellow co-host of Radio OK Fred.

So there you have it, the amazing group that will help give life to SNOW, and that I again must thank publicly for agreeing to join me on this crazy project. This is also the last of my pre-launch teaser posts, and the next time I mention SNOW will be to announce its launch.


SNOW Magazine Part 3

Continuing with my coverage of my soon-to-launch web magazine (see parts one and two), this time let me get into what exactly you can expect to see in terms of content.

As I’ve mentioned before, all the art/design/culture news bits you’re used to seeing here will show up on SNOW, but I’m upping the frequency, and the design of the new site will let me show off great images more than I could here. I also plan on eventually including the occasional feature and interview, but first I want the site to be running smoothly with all of the regular content.

All this also means that what you used to see here will change drastically, and yes, I know that will probably mean a drop in traffic, but I’m fine with that, especially if SNOW can get the attention I hope it will get. This site will now be more what you would expect someone’s blog to be, with coverage of all the things, projects (of which I have many, including further SNOW developments), and events (like PauseTalk) that I’m involved with. I imagine I’ll also cover things that my friend’s are doing that I don’t feel really fits in the magazine. If anything, things should get more personal here, which is something I’ve actually had a lot of requests for over the past few years (as content here tended more and more towards art/design news). I’ll also be able to talk more about what’s going on with SNOW, behind-the-scenes.

Another thing is that I’m very happy to announce that SNOW will be featuring posts from N√©ojaponisme and the English side of the newly re-launched Papersky website. You’ll find excerpts of all articles, with an invitation to continue reading on the respective sites. It’s my way of highlighting some terrific content that may get overlooked. Also, this content will be clearly label as so on the front page.

And then there are the guest columns, but more on that in the next post.


SNOW Magazine Part 2

Continuing with my look at the soon-to-launch SNOW web magazine, I’d like to start by doing something I forgot to do in the previous post — I’ve of course made a quick and easy iPhone wallpaper with the logo, which you can download here.

So why launch a web magazine? It’s an idea I’ve long had — taking what I’ve done over the years with my own blog (this very place) and turning into something a bit less personal, and more magazine-like. I’ve always felt that a site named after a person and set up as a blog has certain limitations in what it can achieve. Yeah, yeah, no need to remind me that the name I’ve chosen for this new project doesn’t exactly stray far from what I have now, but to me it does — I wouldn’t have chosen it if my family name could not double as a common noun.

But more than just the name, it also comes through in the presentation. As you’ll see when SNOW finally launches, it was important for me to have a design that doesn’t just feel like a constant stream of titled posts in chronological order — even though it will still be powered by WordPress — and something that also allows me to be more flexible with image size.

Here’s where I address the most important component of this project though, and what will really set it apart from what you’re used to seeing here. I’ve long been tired of seeing so-called “Japanese experts” get a lot of attention for “finding” what amounts to the worst of Japanese culture, as well as all of the attention that the “this is my life in Tokyo, what a wacky place” blogs all get. I want to not only create a web magazine, but also have a place where a group of people (everyone I’ve invited to participate for the launch) can form a community — strength in numbers, as they say.

SNOW will have regular news items by me — the sort of art/culture/design-related stuff I currently cover on my blog — but the new thing, and what I’m hoping will help built interest in the site, is that a whole bunch of people I respect and like will contribute a monthly column to the site. Some of them will be thematic, some of them visual, and some of them all over the place, but the idea is that they will all somehow work into the “Tokyo/Japan” scope of the site.


SNOW Magazine

I finally announced it in my big year-end post, and now’s the time to start revealing more details about my soon-to-launch web magazine, SNOW. I don’t want to give an official launch date — it sort of depends on when everything is ready to do go — but I can tell you that it will indeed be “soon.” In the meantime, I’ll be writing a few posts here over the coming week to explain what exactly this project is all about, why I did it, what I hope to achieve with, and what you can expect from it.

I’d like to start by revealing the lovely logo for it, designed by my good friend Luis Mendo, an Amsterdam-based art director whose work you can also see featured at the entrance of Cafe Pause right now.

Funny story about this design. What you see now is very close to the initial sketch that Luis first sent me — he produced a few more options, but I kept going back to this one, and one thing that was so strange was how the “O” matched exactly the very first hanko I had when I first came to Japan (I since had to change it because it wasn’t legal, and had to replace it with one that has “SNOW” written in English). Just a coincidence, I know, but one that touched me.