BOX=ART: Retrogamer and modern video game box art history.


Video game box art and artist history database




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BOX=ART copyright ©2013 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.


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 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.

All information on this site is through my own findings and is believed to be correct.  Any corrections, errors or admissions that need to be made, or artists that would like to be involved in BOX=ART, please feel free to contact me.

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Box art index - J

Artist index - J

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Jet Set Radio (ジェット セット ラジオ) by Ryuta Ueda

Japanese artwork.Published by Sega in 2000 for the Japanese Dreamcast market.  

Click to enlarge


ABPA Backgammon | Mattel Electronics | 1979.  

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons | Mattel Electronics | 1982.  

Golf | Mattel Electronics | 1980.  

Jerrol ‘Jerr’ Richardson.  North American box artist from 1979-1983.

As an on-staff employee at Mattel Toys, Jerr would be responsible for the catalogue and packaging artworks that adorned Barbie and various other children’s toys throughout the 1970’s.

In response to the run away success of the Atari VCS in 1977, Mattel Toy’s new subsidiary Mattel Electronics would design its own home console the Intellivision (1979) to compete with it.  

Jerr would be responsible for the consoles box art layout and design which helped early on to give the Intellivision a distinct branding. Layouts would all follow the similar pattern of depicting a main scene of action and then an imposed circular window that would portray another.

The pastiche look to his cover arts would be a popular style in video game box art at that point and may well have been inspired by titles such as Air Sea Battle (1977) and Video Olympics (1977) by Atari artist Cliff Spohn. Jerr’s use of oils would set his box arts apart from Atari’s artist collective though, with a style reminiscing Robert McGinnis’ iconic poster art.

1981 would see the Intellivision peak in popularity and sales. Mattel Toys and Electronics would split that year, but Electronics without a dedicated visual arts department still farmed out packaging duties to Mattel Toys and Jerr until 1983. By then the realities of the US video game crash had left its mark and Mattel Electronics laid off much of its staff (it would close the following year).  

It looks as though Jerr’s box arts stop at this point, with his final possibly being Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin (1983).  

At present, little more is known about Jerr other than he was born in 1928 and died in 1991 aged 63, and that it is probable his illustrative career spanned prior to the 1970’s where he may have been involved in book cover art design.

Jim Fletcher.  North American box artist in 1993.

ZEN: Intergalatic Ninja | Konami | 1993 | NES ver.

ZEN: Intergalatic Ninja | Konami | 1993 | Game Boy ver.

Jean Giraud - see Moebius.

Janet Lopez.  North American box artist from 1981-1982.

Autobahn | Sirius Software Inc. | 1981.  

Borg | Sirius Software Inc. | 1981.  

Computer Foosball | Sirius Software Inc. | 1981.  

Snake Byte | Sirius Software Inc. | 1982.  

John Madden Football by David John Rowe

English artwork. Published by Electronic Arts in 1990 for the European Mega Drive market.  

Click to enlarge


Judge Dredd by Dermot Power

English artwork. Published by Virgin Mastertronic in 1990 for the European market.  

Amiga ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari ST, C64.

Click to enlarge


>Dermot’s debut cover and the one that landed him a job at comic house 2000 AD.  It would be used as promotional material within the Megazine for many months, much to the eventual tedium of the artist.

John Jinks.  North American box artist from 1994-1995.

Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes, The | Electronic Arts | 1994.

Real Deal, The | Mindscape | 1995.  

Julie Bell.  North American box artist from 1991-2005.

Julie’s rise to professional artist in the early 90’s would come from help with Boris. Even though she’d studied at art school, her profession throughout the 1980’s was in fact as pro body builder.

Modelling for Boris would bring them together, and through his teachings Bell’s talent as an artist was realised.  Julie’s fascination with body form, both on and off the canvas, would be evident in her first round of box arts: Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe, Hardball! and Turrican (all 1991). All three would exhibit bulging protagonists painted in fine detail using oils, and would pay an obvious homage to Vallejo’s work, setting the standard for her future cover arts.  

Turrican is of special interest due to its metallic finish. It’s a technique - one her husband had been working on since the 1970’s - she’d perfect and coin as ‘metal flesh’, becoming a trademark of hers (Bell would interestingly better the Turrican original in 1996 with her unused Super Turrican II artwork). Debuting on Heavy Metal magazine’s January cover with a painting called ‘Beauty and the Steel Beast” depicting a woman riding a metal shark, ‘metal flesh’ would also be used on cover art Run Saber (1993). The aforementioned Heavy Metal cover would open further doors for the artist, and by the mid 90’s she would be an established comic book artist producing cover and trading-card artworks for major comic companies.

By the late 90’s, as was the case with many traditional painters, box art duties started to dry up as the industry favoured computer-generated art (CGA). This would almost be the case for Julie with her final solo effort, the rather poor PC title, A Fork in the Tale (1997).  It would exude her usual bombastic character art, melding a humorous side to the buxom warriors depicted.  

As a firm believer in traditional paints and the flexibility of using oils, the artist has affirmed her lack of interest in CG art. This is further evident in her final cover art to date and her only collaborative box art venture with Boris; Ryl: Path of the Emperor (2005).   It’s humanity and tonal warmth would be a breath of fresh air in a period when CG artists were producing high-end box arts that could appear clinical in comparison.   

Outside of cover art duties but still within the industry, Bell created unused concept art for Doom II: Hell on Earth (1994) and recently BioShock 2 (2010, with Boris).

A Fork in the Tale | Any River Entertainment | 1997.

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver.  

Defenders of Oasis | Sega | 1992.

Demon’s Crest | Capcom | 1994 | EU/ NA ver.

Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls | Tradewest Inc. | 1994.

Eternal Champions | Sega | 1993.

Hardball! | Ballistic | 1991.

King of Dragons | Capcom | 1994 | NA ver.

Natsume Championship Wrestling | Natsume | 1993.

Run Saber | Atlus USA Inc. | 1993.

RYL: Path of the Emperor | Planetwide Games | 2005.

Splatterhouse 3 | Namco | 1993.

Strider II: Strider Returns | Capcom | 1992 | EU/ NA ver.

Super Valis IV | Telnet Japan | 1992 | NA ver.

Turrican | Accolade | 1991 |  NA ver.

Warrior of Rome II | Micronet Co. Ltd | 1992 | NA ver.

Wolfenstein 3D | id Software | 1993 | EU/ NA ver.

Brandish 4 | Falcom | 1996.

Jun Suemi.  Japanese box artist from 1989-2011.

Graduating from the Musashino Art University as an oil painter, Jun produced his first commissioned artwork for novel Galaxy Crusade in 1983.  

Novel cover arts would be a staple in his career with artworks appearing in long running series Guin Saga and Makai City Blues among many others.

He would debut in the video game industry as a monster designer for the Famicom/ NES version of the long running RPG series Wizardry in 1987.  It would be a series he’d carry on being attached to from a design perspective for many years providing two box arts: Wizardry: Llylgamyn Saga and Wizardry: New Age of Llylgamyn (both for PS1).

While not primarily known as a mecha designer his earliest box arts - Veigus: Tactical Gladiators (PC Engine, 1990), Fire Hawk: Thexder the Second Contact (MSX, 1989) and Slipheed (Mega CD, 1993) would show his talent in this genre and reminisce veteran mecha illustrators Yoshiyuki Takani (Phalanx, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake) and Shigeru Komatsuzaki.

Starting with the box art for Brandish 2 on the PC-98, Jun’s distinctive look of strong, slender and eroticised women accompanied by equally slender, handsome and armour-cladded men would be established.  

The cover art would also depict an artistic style he would adopt throughout many subsequent box arts; instead of a detailed background Jun would paint coloured swirls of mist and bellows of dense fog surrounding his characters

The sense of historicity in his illustrations would be complemented by his skillful use of oils giving his art its aged look (see Asuncia and Brandish 4) that would be complimented by characters rife with Middle Age design traits.

He’d carry on through the 1990’s producing excellent cover arts for Nosteratu (Super Famicom, 1994), Renny Blaster (PCE, 1995) and Asuncia (PS1, 1997) as well as for sequels Brandish 3 and Brandish 4.  Closing the decade he’d become involved in a new series; Zill O’ll (PS1, 1999).

Into the millennium Jun would carry on with the Zill O’ll and Wizardry series’ and character design for the PSP game Rengoku (2005).  He would also be in demand throughout this period as a collectable card game illustrator for games such as Battle Spirits, Monster Collection and Culdcept Saga.

Joe Cirocco.  North American box artist.

8 Eyes | Taxan USA Corp. | 1990 | NA ver.