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BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.
Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.
Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.
BOX=ART reviews one of the great European comic artists who started it all working as a jobbing artist for Virgin Games, Dermot Power.
Of Irish decent and growing up in a family of artists, the young Dermot would move to London in 1987 with the career aspirations of illustrating within the comic book industry.
In 1989 he’d interview with Virgin Games who, unknowingly to the artist, happened to be producing a Judge Dredd home computer game. Dermot’s portfolio of comic art strips would land him the job designing the cover.
His portrayal of Dredd was duly noted by the comic book anthology 2000 AD and within a few months of the games release he’d be commissioned to pen his first comic cover for Megazine prog #699.
It would start an eight year career in the comic book industry where he’d instantly become a much-loved artist depicting not only Dredd but also Celtic axe master Sláine, joining artists Simon Bisley (Gods, The Terminator: Rampage) and Glenn Fabry (Speedball 2, The Incredible Hulk) in immortalizing the character.
Follow up cover for Virgin, Sega’s arcade smash Golden Axe (1990), would stylistically set the tone for much of the artist’s early character art.
Scorned with deep, fissured muscle formations, heavily shaded and painfully bulging, his characters would feed a generation of kids still greedy for the excessive action hero of 80’s movie pop culture.
But the 80’s pomp and glossy sheen of Hollywood (see Boris Vallejo’s box art catalogue) was nowhere to be found in these covers. Dermot’s art would instead glamorize the hard-edged style that illustrators, and influences, Frank Frazetta and Metal Hurlant alumni, Moebius (Panzer Dragoon) and CAZA (Kult, Drakkhen) had popularized, and would help further establish Europe’s most prolific and creative box art period.
Golden Axe| 1990| Virgin Games| The artists second box art and the one that is most inline with his famous character art for 2000 AD’s Slaine.
Realms| 1991| Virgin Games
Judge Dredd| 1990| Virgin Games| Dermot’s debut cover and the one that landed him a job at 2000 AD. It would be used as promotional material within the Megazine for many months, much to the eventual tedium of the artist.
Wonderland| 1991| Virgin Games| The start of the artists long association with Lewis Carrol’s Wonderland characters, that would also see depictions within both TV (1999) and film (2010).
>Golden Axe (EU) Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC.
>Judge Dredd (EU) Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64.
>Supremacy (EU/ NA) Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, NES.
>The Magnetic Scrolls Collection (EU/ NA) Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS.
>Realms (EU/ NA) Amiga, Atari ST, DOS.
>Sarakon (EU) Amiga, Atari ST, DOS.
>Wonderland (EU/ NA) Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS.
>Lure of the Temptress (EU/ NA) Amiga, Atari ST, DOS.
If you like Dermot’s art you’ll love…
Sources and further reading.
>The man himself!
Related BOX=ART pages.
Dermot Power box art catalogue.
Posted - 25/10/16 by Adam Gidney
The 1991 cover for Wonderland saw the artist embark upon a long history of illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland characters that would also take him into TV with the Hallmark series (1999), and into film with Tim Burton’s 2010 offering.
Lure of the Temptress (1992), would be Dermot’s final box art and the beginning of an 18-year hiatus from the video game industry that would be briefly interrupted in 2010 with some design concept work for 2K’s Bioshock 2.
His role on this project would be far removed from the humble beginnings at Virgin, being more akin to film conceptual design, and wonderfully illustrated the complex demands that could be required of the modern box artist.
As was common of the period all of Dermot’s box arts were created using traditional media, specifically acrylic and gouache on Cs2 paper. Today, the artist is very much a digital proponent.
Come the late 1990’s Dermot moved on to design concept work and storyboarding within TV and film, cementing a truly international presence by working on the art team for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (1999). This job opened up his career to other high profile movies such as Batman Begins, V for Vendetta, Alice in Wonderland and the Harry Potter movie series.
More recently the artist worked on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens within the costume design department, along with some contributions to sets and environments.
Sarakon| 1991| Virgin Games. Supremacy| 1991| Virgin Games| The artist’s only box art to be published on a console (NES). Lure of the Temptress| 1992| Virgin Games| The artist’s final box art.
Gods review page