WSJ ~ ‘Calvin and Hobbes’: America’s Most Profound Comic Strip by john cheng

Christopher Caldwell, of the Wall Street Journal, did a great write up about Calvin and Hobbes. Read the entire article at WSJ. Oh how I miss the days of reading through these comics.

At its simplest level, the strip is about the friendship between a bright 6-year-old misfit (Calvin) and his pet tiger (Hobbes). Its “trick” is that Hobbes is a lifeless stuffed animal when others are present and a rollicking, witty companion when they are not. So the story can be understood on many levels. It is about the richness of the imagination, the subversiveness of creativity and the irreconcilability of private yearnings and worldly reality. Where Calvin sees a leaf-monster trying to swallow him, Calvin’s father sees his troublemaker son scattering the leaf-piles he has spent all afternoon raking.

Akufuncture: Guan Yu by john cheng

Akufuncture is curating a Gallery opening featuring artworks revolving around Guan Yu at General Lee's in Chinatown. Akufuncture was kind enough to invite me to participate in this awesome event so be sure to show support to local artists as well as to Akufuncture on Feb 20th at 9 p.m.

Guan Yu, or Guan Gong as I know him, holds a very nostalgic place in my heart. Whenever I see his red face, instead of thinking of a great general, I remember the Taiwanese puppet shows that my dad used to take me to see. I remember one time when my dad came home from a business trip from Taiwan and bought a Guan Gong puppet to give to me and play with.

In case you're wondering what a Taiwanese puppet show looks like.

Power Rangers Movie by john cheng

Transformers has been rebooted, Ninja Turtles is in progress of being rebooted and now, the Power Rangers! I totally remember when the very first episode of Power Rangers aired. It was a Saturday morning, my cousin Jessica was staying at our house, and the both of us woke up very early to be sure that we would not miss the very first episode of the Power Rangers.

I was quite obsessed over this series in elementary school. I remember making my own power coins by meticulously drawing the green rangers symbol onto circular paper cut outs that were then taped to two quarters that were also taped together.

I'm very interested to see, some 20 years later, how this Lionsgate reboot will pan out. It will probably fail in comparison to my childhood memories, but I hope it will still be fun none-the-less. Go go Power Rangers!

Kazuya Murata by john cheng

I bought a yoyo from C3yoyoDesigns about a year ago to fool around with and relive my younger years in middle school with i played with fireball yo yos. I was able to pick up a few tricks, but I'm definitely not as coordinated as I used to be trying to keep track of a spinning aluminum piece while not getting in the way of the string.

Kazuya Murata, Yoyo baby, makes playing with yoyos look easy. Watch him go!

Soy Sause Water Bottle by john cheng

Looking back to my childhood, it's no wonder I became a designer. I remember collecting various things here and there from restaurants, things I find on the ground, rocks, basically anything that caught my eye. One of these such treasures was the tiny soy sauce containers that came with bento boxes.

I loved these things! They are shaped like tiny fish, sometimes other animals, and contain just the right amount of soy sauce...well...that is if you're the type of person who likes soy sauce to accompany your food rather than food to accompany your soy sauce. I digress.


Maker of small toys and chotchkies Ehara, made a larger version of this tiny container as a thermos! They run at about ¥800, but if you think you're gonna get one now, you're out of luck. Sold out...but only for the moment I hope.

8Bit Harmonica by john cheng

Feeling musical while yearning for days past of Super Nintendo? You might want to check out Basami Sentaku's 8bit Harmonica. I wonder how you make one for yourself.

8bit Harmonica はファミコンをフーフーして 8bit音を奏でることができるハーモニカです。

Time Traveling Photography by john cheng

Photographer Chino Otsuka has figured out how to travel through space and time! Well, through Photoshop that is. When i saw these images, they blew me away! The detail in her photo manipulation is impeccable as well as the composition. What a great way to remember the past while being in the present as well as juxtaposing the growth both physically and mentally between her younger self and present self. Brilliant!

Noramoji Project by john cheng

The Noramoji Project is one of the greatest undertakings that I've come across. Noramoji are fonts made from the deconstruction of storefront signage found all over Japan. These fonts can't be found in books or type kits, they have to be sought out.

The goal of Noramoji is to find these fonts, deconstruct and analyze the fonts in order to recreate a full set of hiragana or katakana and then returning the letters back to the store owners. You can actually download these fonts and donate to fund their ongoing project. The proceeds are then given back to the store owners that the fonts were found from.

What a great idea!

プロジェクトサイトはこちら → 古い町並みには、洗練されていないけれど個性的で味のある文字がたくさんあります。このプロジェクトは、そんなステキな文字たちを「のらもじ」と名付け、それを 発見 → 分析 → フォント化 を進めていく活動です。