This has got to be one of the nerdiest things of all time. (Everyone know being nerdy is a secret exercise in being cool and vice versa).

One mega-fan wanted to merge his love of medieval Japanese woodblock art, known as Ukiyo-e, with his love of modern video games. Because apparently there was a cultural vacuum for this sort of thing and it needed to be filled. So Jed Henry of Provo, Utah, an artist himself, sought out the expertise of another, more-knowledgable person in the field. This would be Dave Bull, a Brit ex-pat illustrator who has spent the last 30 years living in Tokyo. He's become one of the most respected figures of Japanese woodblock carving and has spent the last few years teaching younger artists the techniques of Ukiyo-e. They began turning their ideas into reality, making medieval-styled illustrations from Pokemon and Kirby characters, to pay tribute to video games in Japanese culture.

Of course, they couldn't just stop there. They launched a massively successful Kickstarter campaign for the project. Eventually, the project became so popular it earned more than 30 times its projected goal--$313,341 dollars were pledged to the printmaking duo. Ukiyo-e Heroes, as the project was called was massively successful just for the reward it offered: an original print. Looks like with the number the duo has to make, it will take a long time to get those in the mail.  

The project's description reads, in part: "To celebrate Japan's contribution to video games, illustrator Jed Henry has taken his favorite game characters, and returned them to the ukiyo-e style. Modern costuming has been traded for the medieval, but the essence of each character remains, proving that you can't take the Ukiyo out of these modern pop icons."

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[via Kickstarter]