Street Fighter II
All are Airbrushed Acrylic on Illustration Board
Dad was probably most known for his work on the Street Fighter II campaign. I had always known this was a big deal in the gaming community, but it was only after his passing that I became shocked at how widespread his influence was when it came to these works. Emails, Facebook messages, and tributes poured in from all over the world. People who had never even met him were messaging me offering condolences and telling me about how his artwork on those video games from their childhood inspired them to get into art. It wasn't just about the video games, but it was about imagination, creativity, and seeing something that inspired you. As a fine art painter in his final years, I know he probably wasn't the most jazzed about being most known for video game covers, but if he had only known how those covers inspired young kids to become artists...that's a legacy he would have been amazed by.
I have a list of articles and tributes to Dad below, because truthfully, a lot could be said about these art pieces, but so much ink has already been spilled over them already, I'll let you explore some of those articles for yourself.
Links to Various Tributes...
Interview and Dad's Own Words...
Here is a link to an interesting interview he did for fightingstreet.com. He answers fan questions and shares stories and insights about the work he did for Street Fighter II.
Here is an excerpt from a different interview he did on the topic, commenting on how he got the job:
Well, it was totally by chance. I was freelancing starting around 1983... and one of my first and best clients was a guy named Denny Moore.
[The first Super NES cover] was a real simple project where Denny said, "Hey I've got this game." And at this time, I mean, I don't think Denny knew how big of an impact Street Fighter was gonna have. He just said, "Hey I've got this company, Capcom, and they've got this game called Street Fighter. Here's some screen grabs."
And all I got from Denny and from the company was someone took Polaroids of some screens. I wasn't a real realistic painter, but I could do this exaggerated realism. I could kind of give an American slant to the characters and the things they were trying to accomplish with that game. Because I think the first thing that they realized was that they weren't going to be able to sell these games very well if they had the original Japanese art — which at the time, I didn't like. Anything I saw, it was just too foreign to me at the time. But now, 20 or 30 years later, I really love their work. It's just nice, edgy, colorful, action-filled — it's just cool stuff. And I think the American buying public, they don't have a problem with it now.
Blanka was Dad's favorite character illustrate. He ended up painting him more than others, and the character really grew on him. This famous pose, affectionally called the "Raise the Roof" Blanka by fans, was used as an in-store standee to place advertisements.