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 Forum » Collector's Corner » RIP Greg Martin - Seminal box artist of ...

RIP Greg Martin - Seminal box artist of flintstones 2 and dozens more


new pics will be added in the coming days

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 08:57:53 PM 
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Bronty (56)


(Dan M)
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It is with a heavy heart that I announce today the passing of my friend Greg  Martin. Greg was the exceptionally talented illustrator that created the  packaging artwork for Flintstones 2, Jetsons, Bonk’s Adventure, several  Adventure Island games, all of the early Sonic the Hedgehog games, and dozens  more classic covers and many promotional (ads, etc) pieces as well. He was an incredible artist and an even  better person. 
  
I never met Greg in person but we spoke on the phone many, many times. I must  have spent at least 50 hours with him on the phone. Each conversation was special to me  as Greg was incredibly friendly and an excellent conversationalist – actually  that’s probably selling him short! He had a gift for conversation and for  making you comfortable in speaking with him.   We shared an appreciation for many illustrators, comic artists, and fine artists  and would discuss them pretty much endlessly on the phone. I admired his deep  knowledge of artists and illustrators (there was hardly a name you could stump  him on) and while we never specifically discussed this I know he respected my  knowledge as well. As fan and artist we were able to give each other different  perspectives on the work we mutually admired and shared a lot of laughs  discussing art and life too. 
  
Greg was the rare person who both worked in and was a fan of the work of others  in his industry. I don’t think he ever lost that sense of wonder he had as a  teenager for really great artwork, and he was a collector himself of artwork,  movies, art books, and other things. He was a huge fan of Frank Frazetta, Gil  Elvgren, Hal Foster, and dozens if not hundreds of other artists. In fact the  first “big purchases” Greg made when he started to “make it” as a professional  illustrator were Frank Frazetta and Hal Foster original artwork through Russ  Cochran’s pioneering comic art auctions, and through Frank himself directly.  Frank perhaps wasn’t the best caretaker of his own artwork though as he  literally folded the piece in half for it to fit in the package to mail to Greg!  Greg loved it anyway of course – who wouldn’t have. A couple of Greg’s  earliest commercial works, before he quickly found his own voice, were heavily  inspired by Frank. 
  
Greg started his career at Hanna Barbera. He worked on projects relating to  the Flintstones, Jetsons, Yogi Bear and the rest of the Hanna Barbera line up.  It was no surprise then that he illustrated the packaging for the video games  related to these properties later on – he already had perfected illustrating  these characters. Greg told me it used to come in handy at the bars too – as,  in exchange for free drinks, he sometimes had Fred and Wilma doing… things... on  the back of cocktail napkins that NEVER made it onto the product illustrations 

While he was at Hanna Barbera, one of his colleagues a couple of desks over was Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame. Seth typically had a crowd around his desk even then and would have everyone in stitches with his characterizations. Greg also met Jack Kirby at this time, as Jack did storyboards at Hanna Barbera in the early 80s. This was perhaps the low point of Jack’s career and Greg felt Jack, a legend, was unfairly disrespected by some of the staffers at Hanna Barbera. After Hanna Barbera, Greg worked for Nintendo and Sega and many other companies. He produced beautiful 24 to 30 inch airbrushed paintings that took nearly a week to complete. Of course the trouble was he was never actually given a week so there were a lot of all nighters to put out 5 days worth of work in 3 days worth of time. He was one of the very best and most prolific artists in this area and the list of well loved game boxes he had a hand in is incredible. He also worked on many other projects including teenage mutant ninja turtles, thundercats, and, early in his career, movie posters. In recent years, Greg had spent a lot of time painting plein air landscapes. I hope you will all join me in celebrating the wonderful game boxes, below, that he produced with his skill and talent.  (I may have missed some). Greg, my friend, we will miss you.

Little Nemo 1990
 


Marvel Land 1991

 



Woody Pop (Game Gear) 1991





Pacman (gameboy) 1991



Shining in the Darkness 1991





Snow Brothers 1991


 
Atomic Punk 1991


 


adventure island, gb, 1992

 


 Adventure Island 3 (NES) 1992 




Felix the Cat 1992




Jetsons (gameboy) 1992 





Jetsons NES 1992


 


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (genesis) 1992 





Super Adventure Island (SNES) 1992 




Taz-Mania (genesis) 1992


 


Adventure Island 2 (gameboy) 1993


 



Bomberman 2 (NES) 1993





Bonk’s Adventure (NES) 1993


 

Daffy Duck: Marvin Missions (SNES) 1993


 

Dr Robotniks Mean Bean Machine (Genesis) 1993 



Duck Tales 2 (NES) 1993


 


Flintstones 2 (NES) 1993
 

Flintstones (gameboy) 1993

 

Flintstones (Genesis) 1993 



Inspector Gadget (SNES) 1993


 

Landstalker (genesis) 1993



Milons Secret Castle 1993


 


Ms Pac Man (NES) 1993

 



Pac-Attack (SNES) 1993

 

Pacman (NES, tengen) 1993


 

Pacman (NES, namco) 1993

 

 Pocky & Rocky (SNES) 1993

 

Sonic Chaos (game gear) 1993

 

Sonic Spinball (genesis) 1993

 

Sonic spinball gamegear (note its different than the genesis)

 

Sonic CD (Sega cd) 1993

 

 Speedy Gonzalez (gameboy) 1993

 

Super Bomberman  (SNES) 1993

 

 Time Gal (sega cd) 1993


 

Aero the Acrobat 2 (SNES) 1994

 

Flintstones Sierra Madrock(SNES) 1994 



Jetsons Planet Pirates (SNES) 1994


 

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) 




Sonic: Triple Trouble (game gear) 1994 





Super Bonk (SNES) 1994


 

 Taz in Escape from Mars (genesis) 1994


 

Daffy Duck (gameboy) 1995

 

Pocky & Rocky 2 (SNES) 1995 




Sonic Labyrinth (game gear) 1995 



Speedy Gonzalez: Gatos Bandidos (SNES) 1995 



Taz-Mania 2 (gameboy) 1997 




Aero the Acrobat 1&2 (gameboy advance) 97/98? 

Yogi's Gold Rush




Whirlo



Sonic Adventure:



Sonic 2




Visions



VIsions / Pre release poster for Sonic 2




Visions



Amazing Penguin




Toxic Crusaders




Aladdin





Sonic / Mega Man 




Sonic Mini Comic - 1st app of sonic in comics




Gorilla my Dreams



Pirates of Dark Water




Pirates of Dark Water














-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!



Edited: 04/22/2014 at 02:27 PM by Bronty

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 09:18:00 PM 
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TerrHeel (110)


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Thanks for sharing your story, Dan. Despite being a lover of retro box art, I'm actually totally negligent on who created these things. Many of my favorite boxes were listed by you here. Greg was obviously a tremendously talented guy, and it's really cool that you guys had a close relationship and that he was so passionate about his and others' work. May he rest in peace, knowing that he left behind something to be proud of.
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 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 09:19:39 PM 
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barrelsAndRivets (95)

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Wow, TIL. What an impressive career; so many memories attached to his designs. RIP.
-------------------------


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 09:22:39 PM 
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Bronty (56)


(Dan M)
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Originally posted by: TerrHeel

Thanks for sharing your story, Dan. Despite being a lover of retro box art, I'm actually totally negligent on who created these things. Many of my favorite boxes were listed by you here. Greg was obviously a tremendously talented guy, and it's really cool that you guys had a close relationship and that he was so passionate about his and others' work. May he rest in peace, knowing that he left behind something to be proud of.

Thank you that's very well said
-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 09:34:26 PM 
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Tanooki (185)

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Your friends work is very impressive as was his dedication to it. Looking at the pictures you supplied he created quite a few Nintendo based favorites of mine of the earlier 1990s. A definite loss and sorry about your friend.

Does he have a website at all up with other pieces of work or was it kept offline?

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 09:52:08 PM 
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empire (21)

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He did some of the best covers, the Ducktales 2 one is among my favs.
-------------------------


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 10:55:19 PM 
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1upped (30)

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Legend---very sad but he sure did leave quite a legacy
-------------------------
Hit the slopes of Mount Nasty for the challenge of your life!

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:00:25 PM 
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JHawkZZ (26)

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Oh wow. Thanks so much for sharing this story. Even though you only spoke over the phone and not in person, I'm sorry for the loss I'm sure you feel.
I had no idea one person was responsible for so much incredible artwork. Sonic 2 and 3 stand out as two of my favorite pieces of art.
-------------------------

Join me and my brother as we work to review every NES game ever made!


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:09:44 PM 
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Bronty (56)


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Originally posted by: 1upped

Legend---very sad but he sure did leave quite a legacy





He sure was, or would have been if had been allowed to get public credit for his work. He wasnt allowed to sign them
-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:22:11 PM 
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buyatari2 (29)

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Well said Dan.

While I in no way knew Greg as well as Dan did we did share emails over the years. He was a very kind and giving person who had a hand in shaping some of our most treasured games. He will be missed.

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:33:32 PM 
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m308gunner (50)

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The artwork for Little Nemo was always a favorite of mine, and will take on new significance now that I know more about the man who created it. Thanks for posting about this.
-------------------------
 

 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:39:01 PM 
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Bronty (56)


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I knew I missed some. Yogi Bears gold rush just came to mind.
-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


 Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:40:24 PM 
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AlveinHero (0)
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You forgot Sonic 1.

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 12:27:14 AM 
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doner24 (263)


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Wow, pretty much most of my favorite box art, sorry for your loss Dan and RIP Greg.
-------------------------

WTB: Please help me find the following items
Pocky and Rocky 2 manual, Final Fight Guy manual
Wacky Races Poster, 3 Ninjas Poster

 


 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 12:31:59 AM 
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MyNameIsEarl (62)

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RIP Greg.
-------------------------
Do good things, good things happen. Do bad things, bad things happen.

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 12:45:49 AM 
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Infamous Lunchbox (26)

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I had no idea so many of my all time favorite pieces of box art were from the same talented hands. Thank you for sharing your loss with us, and alerting us to the passing of what I will consider a legendary artist. The world lost a great artist, and a good man today. I hope his family and friends all do well in the coming days.

Thanks again.

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 12:59:26 AM 
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Little Nemo (101)


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Thanks a lot for sharing Dan. I hope that Greg knew how much his art was loved by so many. I look at these awesome illustrations, and I can't help but think how much his talent helped with sales for these games/companies. Some of these games you have listed above I rented/bought as a kid when I knew next to nothing about them... had it not been for the incredible drawings on the front of the box to catch the eye I may not have been interested.

Edited: 01/04/2014 at 01:00 AM by Little Nemo

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:12:06 AM 
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K.Thrower (95)


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Such a great artist and contributor to our hobby, it is a shame these people aren't revered as they should be. It is taken for granted in today's marketplace, but in the days of most of his work, the cover was the main selling point for things like music, movies and games. Everything else played second fiddle, plain and simple. RIP Greg, thanks for the memories.
-------------------------
apple-pie the floor, clean the appliance ... ... These are the little things we do aggregate in one's power.

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:35:17 AM 
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Bronty (56)


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Well, its not too late. I had always planned on sharing what I had learned about Greg's work with the world, but somehow the timing was never quite right and today well sadly its too late for him to have received his just recognition in life. Perhaps he can receive it now. I think he would have been moved to know that many people appreciated his work.
-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:41:18 AM 
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Bronty (56)


(Dan M)
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I thought I would point out that I listed the covers chronologically on my first post so that you can see the progression of style. IMO he only got better as he went along (even though he was plenty good right off the hop).   Couple I missed earlier.


Yogi Bear's Gold Rush




the rare spanish exclusive Whirlo




-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!



Edited: 01/04/2014 at 01:44 AM by Bronty

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:44:58 AM 
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qixmaster (114)


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Wow, Thanks Dan. Sad to hear this RIP Greg.
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^ Our Website! (not quite finished)

eBay listings here

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 01:53:38 AM 
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ookii_risu (60)


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Thanks for sharing, Dan, and I'm very sorry for your loss.
The Little Nemo box art is one of my favorites. It's nice to know who was responsible for such amazing work. RIP, Greg.
-------------------------
 


 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 02:00:54 AM 
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the man who made us all think a game with a total of 12 different colors would be as fun to look at as any cartoon. Greg, we salute you for your honesty!
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I buy everything even if I have 5 of the same. I currently have 45 madden 03, I'm going to make them rare. --Dochrohan

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 02:02:34 AM 
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Bronty (56)


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Originally posted by: ookii_risu

Thanks for sharing, Dan, and I'm very sorry for your loss.
The Little Nemo box art is one of my favorites. It's nice to know who was responsible for such amazing work. RIP, Greg.

Thank you.   I think he would have liked knowing that people appreciated Little Nemo because it was the first game box he did, and because as a collector himself he had a thorough understanding of and tremendous appreciation for the Winsor McKay source material, which is incredibly beautiful in its own right and IMO the best illustrated comic strip of the early 1900s.    I suspect he probably felt like a kid in a candy store getting paid to illustrate a Little Nemo product.    Its the sort of project that would have been very meaningful to him.

Winsor McKay, for the uninitiated:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikip...

He was thoroughly familiar with images like these, and they no doubt were the inspiration for the NES cover








-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!



Edited: 04/19/2014 at 03:45 PM by Bronty

 Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 02:10:59 AM 
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NESMASTER14 (22)

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Wow, that is one heck of an artwork catalog! Thanks for sharing! Was not aware this one guy was affiliated with all those legendary titles. Awesome.

R.I.P


-------------------------

Limited Edition DarkNES Physical Release with nes-style packaging


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