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The Art Of The Box

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"Celebrating a more innocent time when purchasing decisions were often influenced by the quality of a game's cover, The Art Of The Box shines a long-overdue light on the talents of legends such as Bob Wakelin, Tom DuBois and Susumu Matsushita, and is a must-have for any self-respecting retro gamer" 9/10, Nintendo Life

Before the days of brand awareness campaigns and digital marketing, a game’s only source of advertising was often limited to the box artwork you’d see on high street shelves. With early game graphics offering little visual interest, it fell to the packaging to conjure up engaging images of deep space battles, medieval knights and wizards, explosive military operations, and monstrous alien creatures. And every cover had to be hand-crafted by an artist using traditional media – often with a short deadline and the vaguest of briefs.

The Art Of The Box features 26 biographies of those artists who, at some point in their careers, found themselves illustrating video game packaging, including Bob Wakelin, Steve Hendricks, Ken Macklin, Tom DuBois, Steinar Lund, Marc Ericksen, Julie Bell and Susumu Matsushita among many others. With information drawn from live interviews wherever possible, we discuss their beginnings as an artist, their inspirations and influences, the games they illustrated, and where their artistic careers have taken them.

Some artists created just a handful of covers over a short period; others were instrumental in developing the look and feel of video game brands, such as Ocean Software, Konami and Capcom. But all have their left an indelible mark on the industry, with sumptuous pieces of original art, many of which now command high prices on the collectors’ market.

With artists from the UK, Europe, North American and Japan, The Art Of The Box encompasses the full gamut of game packaging illustration, from the early days of Atari’s iconic VCS box art, to modern-day collaborations between designers, CG artists and game developers for the latest AAA games. Each biography is accompanied by lavish, full-colour box artwork, supplied by the artists themselves, and each piece is presented without the usual logos and retail elements, so you see each piece as the artist intended.

As the gaming world moves irrevocably toward digital downloads and gaming subscription services, traditional box art will one day become a thing of the past. But a small selection of these vivid flights of the imagination will be forever celebrated in The Art Of The Box.

This substantial and exhaustively researched book is 564 pages in length, with over 100,000 words and more than 350 full colour images. The Art Of The Box is produced to Bitmap Books’ usual high standards, available in hardback format with heavy, gloss paper, incredible print quality and including a ribbon bookmark. 

Note that the free PDF with this book has watermarks on all images.

Featured artists:
Charles Bae, Julie BellGerald BromFrank CiroccoGrzegorz DomaradzkiTom DuBoisMarc EricksenOliver FreySteve HendricksPaul KidbyMichael KoelschDenis LoubetSteinar LundKen MacklinLee MacLeodSusumu MatsushitaRodney MatthewsRoger MotzkusShinkiro and Eisuke OguraStephen PeringerDermot PowerDavid RoweJunior TomlinDudu TorresBob Wakelin and Mike Winterbauer.

Book Specifications

564 pages. 210mm × 297mm. Edge-to-edge high quality lithographic print. Gloss laminated hardback. Sewn binding for enduring quality and the ability to lay flat for ideal double-page image viewing. Bookmark ribbon. Shrink wrapped. Free PDF for viewing on the go. Volumetric weight: 2.5kg.

Games featured

2020 Super Baseball / 8 Eyes / A Sound of Thunder / Adventure Island / Adventure Island IV / Adventure Island, The: Part II / Adventures of Bayou Billy, The / Aerobiz Supersonic / After Burner / Alcatraz / Alien Legacy / Alien Storm / Alien vs. Predator / Alpha Mission / Android Assault: The Revenge of Bari-Arm / Ant Attack / Archipelagos / Arcus Odyssey / Armalyte / Art of Fighting / Art of Fighting 2 / Art of Fighting Anthology / Ashen Empires / ASO II: Last Guardian / Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök / Asteroids / Athena / Attack of the Mutant Camels / Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe / B.A.T. / B.O.B. / Back in 1995 / Bad Company / Bad Dudes / Baku Baku / Baseball Stars / Basketbrawl / Batman / Batman: The Caped Crusader / Battle Arena Toshinden / Battle Clash / Beach Head II / Benefactor / Berlin Wall, The / Bill Elliot’s NASCAR challenge / Bill’s Tomato Game / Bionic Commando / Blades of Steel  / Blazing Chrome / Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 / Borobodur: The Planet of Doom / Bounces / Bubsy II / Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind / Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, The / Burai Fighter / BurgerTime / Cabal / Castlequest / Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse  / Castlevania: Bloodlines / Chariots of Wrath / Chase H.Q. / Chase H.Q. Secret Police / Chess Player, The / Chiller / Choplifter! / Computer Chess / Continental Circus / Contra / Corporation / Creatures / Creatures 2: Torture Trouble / Cybernator / Dandy / Darius+ / Dark Sun: Shattered Lands / Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager / Death Bringer / Death Wake / Deathloop / Deathscape / Defender / Defender of the Crown / Defenders of Oasis / Delta / Delta Charge! / Demon’s Crest / Demon’s Forge, The / Demon’s Tomb: The Awakening / Derby Stallion ‘96 / Diablo II / Discworld II: Mortality Bytes! / Dishonored / Dishonored 2 / Dishonored: Death of the Outsider / Disintegration / Distraint Collection / DOOM / DOOM Eternal / DOOM II: Hell on Earth / Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls / Double Dribble: 5 on 5 / Dynatron Mission / Déjà Vu / Earthworm Jim (25th Anniversary Redux) / Earthworm Jim 2 / Earthworm Jim: Special Edition / Eidolon, The / Elevator Action / Elfaria / Emperor of the Mines / Empire of Steel / Enter Digiton: Heart of Corruption / Epic / Escape from Monkey Island / Eternal Champions / Evil West / Evil Within, The / Extreme / Eye of Horus / F-15 Strike Eagle II / Fatal Fury / Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final / Fatal Fury Special / Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 / Feud / Final Fantasy Legend, The / Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest / Final Fight / Final Zone / Fist II: The Legend Continues / Flying Shark / Friday the 13th / FROG X BIRD / Fury, The / Fu’un Super Combo / G-LOC: Air Battle / Galactic Blitz / Galaga / Gemini Wing / Ghost Pilots / Ghouls ‘n Ghosts / Golden Axe / Golf / Gotham Knights / Great Escape, The / Green Beret / Guerrilla War / Gun.Smoke / GunForce / Gunship 2000 / Haunted House / Hawkeye / Head Over Heels / Heavy Barrel / Heretic / Herzog Zwei / Highlander / Hockey / Horde, The / Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road / IO / Iridis Alpha / James Pond 2: Codename: RoboCod / John Madden American Football / Judge Dredd / Karnov / Keys to Maramon, The / King of Dragons, The / King’s Bounty / Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle / Kristal, The / Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos / Laser Squad / Last Blade, The / Last Ninja, The / Last Resort / Legend of the Mystical Ninja, The / Legends / Leisure Suit Larry’s Greatest Hits and Misses! / Lethal Enforcers / Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters / Lords of Thunder / Lure of the Temptress / Mageslayer / Magnetic Scrolls Collection, The / Majik / Maniac Mansion / Maximo vs. Army of Zin / Mega Man 2 / Mega-Apocalypse / Metal Combat: Falcon’s Revenge / Metal Slug 3 / MetalMech: Man & Machine / Midnight Resistance / Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen / Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen / Monkey Magic / Moon Alert / Motor Toon Grand Prix / Mr. Nutz / Mutation Nation / NBA Jam 2002 / New Adventure Island / NewZealand Story, The / NHL Stanley Cup / Night Driver / Ninja Taro / North and South / Ocean Ranger / Odallus: The Dark Call / Operation Thunderbolt / Operation Wolf / Othello / Out of this World / Outer Worlds, The / P.O.W.: Prisoners of War / Page 255 / Paladin’s Quest / Pang / Pirates! / Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor / Populous / Power Blade / PowerSlave / Psycho Soldier / Pulse Warrior / Pulsoids / QS Defenda / R-Type / Raider / Rampage / Rastan / Realms / Red Scorpion / Renaissance / Renegade / Retrograde / Ricky Woods / Rise of The Dragon / Road Rash: Jailbreak / RoadOut / Rolling Thunder 2 / Rolling Thunder 3 / RPG Maker / RYL: Path of the Emperor / Samurai Shodown / SAMURAI SHODOWN (2019) / SAMURAI SHODOWN Anthology / SAMURAI SHODOWN II / SAMURAI SHODOWN NEOGEO Collection / Saturday Night Slam Masters / Seas of BloodSecond Samurai / Sentinel, The / Serious Sam: The Second Encounter / Shadow Master / Shadow of the Beast III / Shadow Warrior 3 / Shadow Warriors / ShadowCaster / Shadowgate / Shadows of the Tusk / Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues / Sid Meier’s Civilization V / Side Pocket / SideWinder / Silent Service / Silkworm / Slap Fight / Snake’s Revenge / Snare / Soft Aid / Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos / Spaceward Ho! / Speedball / Splatterhouse 3 / Star Control II / Star Wars: Return of the Jedi / Star-Blaze / StarFarce / Steel Talons / Steelrising / Steeplechase / Stellar 7: Draxon’s Revenge / Stellar Assault / Street Combat / Strider / Sun Star / Super Adventure Island / Super C / Super Castlevania IV / Super Soccer / Super Valis IV / Supremacy: Your Will Be Done / Target: Renegade / Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles III: Radical Rescue / Tempest / Temple of Apshai Trilogy / Tempo / Teocida / Terra Cresta / Tetris / THE KING OF FIGHTERS XV / Thunder Force II / Times of Lore / Tiny Barbarian DX / Top Gun: Guts and Glory / Transarctica / Trouble Shooter / Turrican / Turtles IV: Turtles in Time / Twylyte / Ultima IX: Ascension / Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds / Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss / Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny / Ultima VI: The False Prophet / Ultima VII: Part Two – Serpent Isle / Ultima: Quest of the Avatar / Ultima: Runes of Virtue / Ultima: Runes of Virtue II / Underworld Ascendant / Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 / Vectorball / Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider / Vexx / Video Checkers / Vikings: Fields of Conquest – Kingdoms of England II / Warlords / Warlords III: Darklords Rising / Warrior of Rome II / Wasteland Angel / Way of the Exploding Fist, The / Wing Commander / Winter Sports / Wizball / WolfChild / Wolfenstein 3D / Wonderland / World of Warcraft / Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire / Xenon / Xybots / Zany Golf


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Reprint Updates

This first edition may have received minor updates when reprinted. If not specified here, these changes will not be significant, and likely be small text amends.

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