Ahead of the game

Con­sole kid An old-school game artist ex­plains why his work is en­joy­ing a resur­gence in pop­u­lar­ity

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation News - www.win­ter­bauer­arts.com.

Michael Win­ter­bauer cre­ated cov­ers for a string of cult­clas­sic games, and now his art is find­ing a new au­di­ence among gam­ing afi­ciona­dos.

The il­lus­tra­tor cre­ated art­work for video games such as Gameboy’s Ninja Taro, Sega favourite Wolfchild and Wing Com­man­der for the Su­per Nin­tendo. Over the past cou­ple of years, he’s sold al­most 50 pieces to col­lec­tors around the world.

The rea­son the old art­work in­spires such feel­ings of nos­tal­gia, Michael says, comes down to the pro­duc­tion process: “They were cre­ated with real brushes and real paint on a real il­lus­tra­tion board.”

The work has a lo-fi qual­ity, hark­ing back to a sim­pler time in both aes­thetic and game­play. While tech­niques have changed, Michael says the cov­ers aren’t all that dif­fer­ent to mod­ern coun­ter­parts.

“They are very sim­i­lar in theme and con­cept,” the artist says. “The dif­fer­ence is the new game art has a su­per-slick CG feel, while the early game art has a more clas­sic, tra­di­tional style.”

To see more of Michael’s art­work, old and new, visit

Cult clas­sic video games such as Wing Com­man­der ben­e­fit­ted from Michael’s brush.

Michael cre­ated the art­work for 1991 ac­tion­ad­ven­ture game Ninja Taro on the Gameboy.

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