In memoriam: videogame cover artist Greg Martin

News Ryan Lambie
6 Jan 2014 - 14:32

Artist Greg Martin, responsible for a range of classic game covers in the 80s and 90s, including Sonic The Hedgehog, has sadly passed away.

If Greg Martin's name sounds unfamiliar, then his artwork will remain immediately recognisable to a generation of gamers.

Although his box art for the US release of Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive was arguably his most widely-seen piece of work (the blue blur was the mascot that sold a legion consoles throughout the early 90s), his work graced a variety of game covers, from the Game Boy version of Adventure Island, via Taz-Mania on the Mega Drive to Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos on the Super Nintendo.

Martin's artwork was bold, colourful and full of humour - a talent he honed during his tenure at Hanna Barbera, where he worked on cartoons such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Yogi Bear.

It's for his videogame art that he became best-known, and his talent for composition and skilful employment of his airbrush encapsulated a golden era of console gaming. And what a body of work he created - the young gamers filing into shops to buy the latest titles were almost certainly unaware that the covers for games like Snow Brothers on the NES, the Sonic series and Shining In The Darkness on the Mega Drive all sprang from the same artist.

His cover for DuckTales 2 on the NES is a great piece of work, and his designs for the Pac-Man games were so good, they were used multiple times on the games' multi-platform releases.

Martin's sad passing was announced by a close friend named Bronty, a moderator over at Nintendo Age. Martin was, by all accounts, as pleasant and beguiling as his art, and the videogame world is all the poorer without him.

You can read Bronty's moving tribute to Greg Martin here.


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