Sonic, Pac-Man Game Box Artist Greg Martin Dies

Sonic, Pac-Man Game Box Artist Greg Martin Dies

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 cover

Game box artist Greg Martin was behind the art for Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man.

Greg Martin, the artist behind some of our favorite game box art, died last week, according to his friend "Bronty" on Nintendo Age. Martin created iconic art for the early Sonic the Hedgehog games, Pac-Man, and others.

Martin began his career at Hanna-Barbera on projects for The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Yogi Bear. Martin's friend notes that Martin met comic book artist Jack Kirby at Hanna-Barbera while Kirby did storyboards in the early 1980s. At this job, Martin also met Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy.

Martin moved on to work for Nintendo and Sega, as well as some other companies, where he worked on the game box art many of us immediately recognize. He created 24 inch by 30 inch airbrushed paintings that each took about a week to make. "Of course the trouble was he was never actually given a week so there were a lot of all nighters to put out 5 days of work in 3 days' worth of time," Bronty wrote.

Game covers are a part of what sells the image of the game, and Martin's covers are held among favorites even now. From Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Duck Tales 2, Martin's art represents an era of games. Visit the Nintendo Age forum to view dozens of examples of Martin's work from 1990 to 1997.

Source: Nintendo Age via CVG

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Well that makes me really really sad.
I have the original box casing for all the Sonic the Hedgehog games that were on the Genesis (Megadrive) and I love how they looked.

That's unfortunate. Maybe I was just a stupid kid but a large part of why certain games were bought by a child tippy2k2 depending greatly on what the cover looked like (and if chosen, the back of the box determined the rest).

The only thing I have to wonder about is:

roseofbattle:
Martin moved on to work for Nintendo and Sega, as well as some other companies, where he worked on the game box art many of us immediately recognize. He created 24 inch by 30 inch airbrushed paintings that each took about a week to make. "Of course the trouble was he was never actually given a week so there were a lot of all nighters to put out 5 days of work in 3 days' worth of time," Bronty wrote.

I understand crunch time is big in the industry but is crunch time necessary for game box design? Seems like you could have given him a bit more a heads up, don't you think game industry?

God, that is tragic. =( Looking at the old covers, some of these were part of my childhood. I never knew one man was behind so many covers. You will certainly be missed, Greg Martin.

Man, there is a lot of youth sentiment amongst all those covers. From where I'm sitting, I can actually see several of them on my shelf and if not there, I remember seeing pretty much every one of them on store shelves back in the day.

My thoughts go out to Greg's family and friends and I hope they may find some small comfort knowing his work is loved and enjoyed by many to this day.

Aww man... that's sad to hear. Gonna look at my boxes with his art on for a bit.

RIP.

I used to have that Sonic 2 cover as a large poster in my room, it was a defining piece amongst the others in my room. Very sad to hear, firstly that he passed, and secondly that I had never thought to consider the illustrator of so many iconic works which often defined characters far more than their in-game portrayals did. He truly defined a large segment of my childhood with his illustrations and characters. The Sonic, Sonic 2 and Sonic Spinball designs in particular I recall so clearly.

I actually would still buy those covers in a framed print copy of the original pre-box artwork if I could find them. Sad, really sucks. RIP sir, your artwork brought me lots and lots of joy due to impulse buys as a kid.

Those covers were pretty iconic and even now bring back a surge of nostalgia when I look at them. RIP Greg, your work lives on in our Memory

 

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