Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Shenmue World: Fan-made Magazine on Kickstarter (Fully Funded!)

The Shenmue Dojo has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and as part of the celebrations a new Kickstarter project was announced: Shenmue World is a fanzine that boasts 160+ pages of full-color fan-created content on Shenmue, packed with contributions from fans around the world,

The creator behind the whole project, Shenmue Dojo co-owner James Brown, has poured untold months of time and effort into designing and producing this magazine, and the result is something that any fan will be delighted to have on their shelf. The project is entirely non-profit, with the costs having been meticulously calculated to cover the costs of ordering a mass print of the items and shipping them to backers globally, all of which is laid out very transparently on the project page.

As the product creation and design has already been completed up-front, then after successful completion of the Kickstarter period the only remaining task is the physical print order.

In the Kickstarter project video (below), James gives a sneak preview of some of the magazine's content, and the high production values of the product impresses. The varied content includes an interview, fan art, cosplay photos, articles, manga... and a lot more that's waiting to be discovered once the magazine is in the backers' hands.

Incredibly, the reward for backing the project is not just the magazine itself, but also a number of Shenmue-themed extras: a music CD of tracks by RyoX, a print hand-signed by voice actor Eric Kelso, an A3 poster of the superb artwork by Kohji Nakazawa as featured on the magazine's cover, and even a set of Guilin picture postcards. A nice additional touch is that every backer's name will also be printed inside the magazine.

A Project that Showcases the Shenmue Community

"Shenmue World" is indeed a very apt name, as this first issue has brought together contributions from members of the Shenmue community from around the globe  (and we're honored to have included a couple of articles from this very blog).

Here is a selection of some of the reactions from content contributors on Twitter!
  • Eren (@echos_eren) - Photographic feature of cosplay & character dolls
"Big news! A wonderful fan-made magazine will be released! In fact, I was greatly honored to have been contacted about it beforehand and I will be featured on a fair number of pages! Some photos are ones I haven't put up on Twitter, so I'd be thrilled if you'd like to back the Kickstarter! I'm looking forward to it!"
"Rumor has it that it may or not have 2 pages of my pictures. The front cover looks really cool (if any fans in Japan are going to make a fanzine like this, I hope they'll reach out to me)"
  • まつもと (@r_wuying) - fan art. Trivia: Matsumoto-san is one of the original "Muecas" members (a club for fans who contributed to the official Shenmue web magazine) and has shared many amazing illustrations on her Twitter feed.
"Shenmue Dojo will be creating an unofficial Shenmue fan book. Apparently my illustrations will also be in there (although really they're just quick scribbles so I hope they're okay, lol), so please have a peek if you are interested."

Project Information Translated to Japanese

Some great news for Japanese Shenmue fans: Hiroaki Mizogami (mizogamy) has taken the trouble to fully translate all the Kickstarter project information into Japanese to assist Shenmue fans in Japan! 

His Japanese translation of the Kickstarter project information can be found here.

Project Fully Funded - Still Time to Back!

The Shenmue community's passion is as strong as ever - the Kickstarter goal for the project was reached in a single day after launch! However, for anyone not yet a backer, there is still time as the project will remain open until mid December.

Also, James has indicated plans to continue the magazine as a 6-monthly series going forwards if the demand is sufficient, and from just the first couple of days it is clear that there is a huge appetite from the community. For those interested in having their own works featured in an upcoming issue, you can express interest over at the Shenmue Dojo forums.


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