This update is overdue! I thought it was only a short time since my last update, but suddenly its mid-April and I haven’t posted in a month and a half! Where does the time go? Here are a few updates on what’s been going on:
The Book of the Hakutaku
I’ve been kept busy mainly by work on the book. The text was finished in March and it was sent off to my editor, yokai expert and manga translator Zack Davisson. In the meantime, I am working on the final illustrations for the book, such as the chapter headers, and other details like that. You can follow the progress on the Kickstarter page.
Your last chance to become a backer through BackerKit is also quickly approaching! The BackerKit pre-order store will close at the end of April! So if you want hardcover collector’s editions, slipcases, bookmarks, or yokai clothing, you only have a short time left to order them! After the BackerKit pledge manager is closed, you will only be able to buy paperback and Kindle versions of the book.
Patreon & Yokai.com
Of course, I am always busy working on my Patreon project, bringing more and more yokai to yokai.com! February and March saw the creation of a bunch of new paintings, and very recently I put up an entirely new site template on yokai.com, one of my campaign goals for the Patreon project! The new template is streamlined for various devices, and is smartphone friendly, which has been something I’ve wanted for a long time. Many people have asked for an app for yokai.com, but a smartphone-friendly version has always seemed like a better solution for viewing the website on your phone or tablet, as it saves the time and effort (and money) involved in maintaining a series of apps in addition to the website.
Here are the new yokai posted since the last update:
If you’d like to get regular updates, monthly postcards with hand drawn yokai doodles, help choose the yokai I paint, or even original yokai paintings every quarter, please consider supporting yokai.com on my Patreon page! I don’t run ads on the site, and it is entirely supported by backers who pledge as little as $1 per month to keep it running. If you enjoy yokai and want to keep reading more, I do need your help to keep making them!
Other Yokai Updates
Now that winter is over, the time for outdoor events has begun. I visited the Mononoke Ichi down in Kyoto a couple of weeks ago. Mononoke Ichi is like a miniature Comic Con for yokai lovers which takes place a few times a year. It is located in “Yokai Street,” an area of Kyoto which used to be the northern border of the old city (remember how yokai live in the border lands?”). The shops and residents of that area have banded together to make the area yokai-themed in an effort to increase local PR, and they have really done a good job. They run a number of events, including Mononoke Ichi, but also Kyoto’s very famous “Yokai Train” which runs during the summer.
This was my first visit to Mononoke Ichi, but it definitely won’t be my last! I had a blast, and I hope to go next time as a booth presenter instead of a customer. Here are a couple of photos of me with yokai cosplayers at the event, and if you’re involved in my Patreon project you can even watch a walkthrough video I took while I was there!