Aug 29, 2015



                                            But wait,  ...who played on an IBM?

Seriously, Take a look anyway, because Vince and Paul really laid it out trying to rescue the son of an important politician, 
( IS there such a thing?)...and following a time warp that …wait, what? ...Really?  …A TIME WARP?!
Click on any image to enlarge.

Anyway, they struggle to survive an onslaught of deadly terrorists, strictly for your entertainment back in 1990, and deserve to be remembered today.


Sadly for me this game art was relegated to the outer reaches of the market, and really very few players are even aware of its existence today. I hope you will find this bit of retrogame trivia entertaining, and educational, because it is one of only a couple of my game covers for which I can document for you with original sketches, the pathways of art direction that played out, the dance executed by the illustrator and the designer/art director when this box was produced 25 years ago.

The sadness of only a Polaroid reminder of lost art.

I found this little old polaroid at the
bottom of a dusty Flat file drawer.
The game was introduced to me by a group of designers in the South Bay ( To us San Franciscans that meant Silicon Valley) named The Graphics Factory. I surmise that from the 408 Prefix on their fax replies relative to my sketches. My log notes for March of '90 talk about the fee, and the contact (3-6-'90), naming a designer named Brent, and my invoice dated 4-4-'90, and the two thermofax sheets which you will see here. End of evidence. Of the original art, only a polaroid remains:

"Let's see a quarter turn and lean back, like he's taking a punch!"

Carl Buell (left), Darryl Chan (right) and a third model (center) pose for action sequences.
The designers had requested a wild and wooly shootout, with hot brass flying, knives whipping around, explosions, tanks, choppers, and the rescue from  abduction of a young boy (In this case my son Richard.) and oh yeah…More explosions. My sketch was sent in based on my photoshoot of various models, including my sidekick Carl Buell  and amazing stuntman Darryl Chan, about whom my readers already know.


The creative process in illustration usually requires a series of directions followed by a series of sketches. Amazingly, I found two faxes in the rabbit warren I call 'my collection'. They were the return replies to the sketches I sent Brent and his boss, evidently named Kent. I know, right? What's up with THAT? Brent 'n Kent?

This model gave me a great pose, but the client said he
looked too 'Determined' and asked me to open his mouth.

And the Hot Brass flies!!

My son Rich EMOTES!

"C'mon Rich! Lemme see that you're scared Buddy!! 
Somebody's trying to grab your arm!  LOOK OUT!!! click.

My kids grew up modeling for me, and they would show their friends the box art to prove it;)

OMG!!! WATCH OUT!! Here My younger son Rich plays the terrified rescued youngster, while my older son Christian provides an arm to hang on to.


As you can see here, Brent had definite input, and that's exactly what an illustrator expects. Changes are part of the game, and the sketches serve that role. In this case there was also plenty of positive reinforcement, and I'm sure he telephoned in to me his approval of the basic layout. The creative approach always requires movement on both sides, and gratitude is always part of the dialog:

"Thanks for giving me this job, I'm really jazzed and will do my best "…"We're so happy you could fit it in, and we know your work. We are looking forward to seeing what you come up with!"

That was the template for conversation in 95% of all the freelance illustration of all sorts that I have been involved with over my entire career. (see I have always been grateful for my experiences, and grateful for the attitudes that prevailed. Of course there were those who would generate bad vibes with power trips, but they were mostly fringe players, and a tiny minority of the bent that you can find anywhere in life.


In the final fax, we see Kent sign off on, and instruct me to do what we called 'go to final'. As you can see we had agreed to lose the belt feed, and went to a regular assault ammunition magazine on the weapon the hero is firing in the foreground, and I made my son look younger. I added the chopper, (which I had completely forgotten), And shot a few more photos for a more powerful punch in the middle background.


Luckily I found a really beautiful sealed game for this SNK's Ikari Warriors III The Rescue game online at Ebay and it has joined my collection of the games for which I had so much fun doing art. I have to say this is indeed one of my faves, because I was able to do it with my sons.

Thanks again for dropping by! 


Jordan said...

Great breakdown of this - honestly - masterpiece of retro game art. I can't imagine how you could put more macho in this!

Unknown said...

Thanks Jordan! It was great fun to produce, the clients were a dream,and the budget was excellent. That the game was for the IBM was the only drawback, but my illustration finally seeing the light of day here. Your comment means a lot to me.


Best, Marc.

Ze [] said...

Just found your blog, is great.
+1 sub.
Rad artwork.

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