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BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2019 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.
Artist index: Qu
Bureau 13 | GameTec | 1995 | NA ver. | MS-DOS.
Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller | GameTec | 1994 | 3DO, MS-DOS.
Ripper | GameTec | 1996 | Macintosh, MS-DOS.
>Box art catalogue
Publisher index: Qu
Founded in 1979 by Nick Lambert, Quicksilva was arguably the UK’s earliest professional video game company. It would take advantage of the success of the Clive Sinclair’s ZX-81 home computer (the UK’s first machine that justified home grown game development) and release QS Defenda to the fledgling video game scene in 1981. A clone of William’s Defender arcade game, QS Defenda is quite probably the first UK video game to ship with a full colour, painterly box art by a jobbing artist (note. QS Defenda was released first on the ZX-80 but without a box art). That artist was Steinar Lund who went on to produce many of the company’s covers and Quicksilva’s QS logo, as well as a slew of box arts for many of the largest publishers throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. QS Defenda along with Steinar’s QS Asteroids & QS Invaders, and Rich Shenfield’s QS Scramble (initially all for the ZX-81) would ship with a full colour artwork, but rather unbelievably without any mention of the game’s title or the Quicksilva name on the front. This could have been seen as a naïve quirk due to the infancy of the industry, and due to a lack of any retail outlet (these first games were shipped through mail order only), and one that the later ZX-81 re-releases would remedy. With these re-releases the original cover layout was redesigned with a now bordered artwork, along with game and Quicksilva title at the top. It was a look that adorned all Quicksilva’s ZX-81 releases. This new layout would also jettison the old way of producing covers - using high quality photoprints - instead moving to more economical, but lower quality paper prints. In addition, Mark Eyles would start to write blubs on the inlays (the first being for Meteor Storm, 1982), giving back story to the game, again, a first for the UK industry.
The success of these early titles and Quicksilva’s savvy marketing in early trade and enthusiast magazines saw an explosion of output and so a new team of people would be brought on board. Part of the new wave were artists Dave John Rowe and Susan Rowe. They would both produce more character based cover arts and for Sinclair’s latest hardware the ZX Spectrum. Box art design now dropped the ZX-81’s colour strip border and went back to the full sized artwork, but with title intact. One of the company’s biggest Spectrum hits was a version of Atari’s Battlezone (1984). It’s original Atari 2600 cover art (1983) by American Chris Kenyon would be used by Quicksilva, a first for the UK publisher.
By summer 1984 Quicksilva was sold off to Argus Press Software and the companies output slowed and now with some focus on licensed properties – see, Strontium Dog: The Killing (1984), Strontium Dog and the Death Gauntlet (1984), Rupert and the Toy Makers Party (1985), Rupert and the Ice Castle (1985), Yabba Dabba Do! (1986), Max Headroom (1986), Elevator Action (1987) and Pac-Land (1988). Elevator Action is worth noting as the only time Quicksilva used an original Japanese artwork. By 1988 the Quicksilva name had been all but put to rest with Pac-Land likely the final game to house it. It was rather fittingly designed by Steinar, who after starting it all for the company would then finish it.
Chess Player, The | 1982 | by David John Rowe | ZX Spectrum.
Elevator Action | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (2)
Frenzy | 1983 | by David John Rowe | ZX Spectrum. (3)
Glass | 1985 | by David John Rowe | Amstrad CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum.
QS Asteroids | 1981 | by Steinar Lund | ZX 81, ZX Spectrum.
QS Defenda | 1981 | by Steinar Lund | ZX 81, ZX Spectrum.
QS Invaders | 1981 | by Steinar Lund | ZX 81, ZX Spectrum. (6)
Space Intruders | 1982 | by Rich Shenfield | ZX Spectrum.
Strontium Dog: The Killing | 1984 | by Carlos Ezquerra | ZX Spectrum. (7)
>Notable box art catalogue