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The History of Nintendo from 1887 -1970 as a Comic Book

ComicsAlliance spent the weekend at the Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland, and throughout the week we’ll be featuring some of the best stuff we found at the indie festival, starting with possibly our favorite: Bill Mudron.

A quick look through his online galleries reveals an amazing ability to mimic the style of everyone from superhero artists to Charles Schultz to the Simpsons animators, and a cornucopia of fun shoutouts to geek favorites like “Firefly” and “The Venture Brothers.” Oh, and Nintendo. Lots of Nintendo.

You can buy “Dead Marios” (above) at his store, but far more interesting to us was the 10-page comic he was selling at Stumptown, “Nintendo History System: Prologue 1889-1970.” It is what it sounds like: a comic book version of the history of Nintendo that begins in the 1800s. And it’s awesome.

Basically Mudron has completed the first 10 pages of what he hopes will be a 100-page graphic novel about the history of our favorite video game manufacturer, and as a fan who is chock full of useless facts about Nintendo — did you know that the Mario “Boo” ghost characters are called “Teresas” in Japan, named after the wife of a game designer who seemed shy but could quickly become ferocious? — I thought I knew a thing or two about the company. But 10 pages of Mudron later, I found myself completely schooled.

Did you know that Nintendo started out as a playing card company? Whose products were a favorite of everyone’s favorite Japanese gangsters, the yakuza? Or that for a while Nintendo dabbled in managing love hotels, running taxis and selling instant rice meals? Or that their first foray into the world of toys happened via a giant mechanical arm (“Ultra Hand”) that a Nintendo repairman built on a whim? It is all true, and I would like some more, please. Will a publisher please give this man some money so we can see the rest?

In the meantime, I’ll be reading the “Lost” minicomic (official title: “Oceanic Airlines Safety Manual” that I picked up from Mudron at the show:

And framing his awesome “Arrested Development”/”Peanuts” mashup print:

And dreaming of what yet may come:

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