Monday, April 10, 2006

The End of an Era?

Well, this marks the last of my pieces for the I Am 8-Bit artshow which starts next week...

I'm kind of sad because I loved painting for this show a lot. I really really like video games and I wish that's all I could do all day long, but I do need that day job.

For my last hoo-rah I did one of the greatest video game characters of all time-MEGA MAN (aka Rockman in Japan).

I really am a HUGE Mega Man fan and it was really hard to get a design I was happy with. I really like the original design a lot, even if it is HEAVILY influenced by Osamu Tekzuka's Astroboy...

That's another discussion all together. But here's my first attempts:

As you can see, BORING! Too much like poo for me.

Then I saw the new official Capcom redesign.

It looks kinda cool right? Naw, I have strong feelings about this one! I thought this was an American redesign because of some of the choices made. One thing that really bugs me about American rip-offs of Anime/Manga is our lack of what makes it design appealing in the first place. The original sprite is so great, it's already SD (super deformed), and squat, but not a caricature of a normal guy.

It has its own design, then to ignore a lot of those proportional choices and just shrink the body seemed kind of lazy to me.

When I found out it was directly from Capcom Japan, I was shocked!

Don't get me wrong, the new game is really cool, the animation is amazing and I think they did a lot of cool things to the original game mechanics and level design, but that design...

So, here's mine. I tried to keep his proportions squat, his chest broad. I tried to keep him "cool" looking with expressions and color choices:

What do you think? Do you like the new Capcom design, or thoughts on the new game? You think I'm crazy with these opinions of the redesign? Do you think I should do a series of Mega Man bosses?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your "cuter" eyed Mega Man drawings better. (The official Capcom redesign of Mega Man is pretty neat.)

It will be great seeing all your work on display at the I Am 8-Bit artshow. You do great work!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Chet said...

Nice re-design of mega man.

Yes,I would love to see you so a series of mega man bosses.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Marc Deckter said...

Nice shiny frame choice for that last painting!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Ooh, painting on the tin-top is cool. I'll bet that one lost a lot in the photo.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Dagan Moriarty said...

nice work!
it's funny, i was starting to cook up Mega-Man sketchies as well...
he WAS one of the great video game characters for the ol' 8 bit, so I'm sure he's got TONS of fans! :)
Really appealing re-designs... all of em, sweet!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily mind the new design all too much, but I think your take is definitely unique and equally interesting, and the result is these great little paintings. I too would like to cast my vote for seeing some more paintings based off of the Megaman bosses though.

So much great inspiration in these old videogames, I would be hard pressed not to do up some sketches of my own soon with all of this great material from the 8-bit show being shared all over the net these days.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Scott Warren said...

These are really cool. I've got a Megaman drawing on my blog too. I'd agree that most of Capcom's designs for Megaman these days kind of miss the point.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Gabe Swarr said...

I think I'm going to do some more of these bosses. Are there any MegaMan bosses that you guys like or are your favorites that you would like to see me do?

Not to burst anyone's bubble but, the throwing stars on the Shadowman piece are actually foil tape that I found at the hardware store.

I looked at silver paint, ways of treating the illustration board or even painting on metal, but nothing looked as shiney and crome as this tape. I'm definately going to use it in the future!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

wood man and bubble man from mm2 are awesome and would be great to see. How do you feel about the MegaMan X games?

10:24 AM  
Blogger Jay D Smith said...

cutman, turboman, TomahawkMan, FireMan!

oh and i really like forte as well!!!

oh and do some roll art!!! :)

great stuff!!! i quite like the new design, i dont think it's a replacement to the original design, just kind of a joke thats it's on small handheld like the psp!

anyway thats my theory!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Mark Ackland said...

hey man...thanks for the comment. I've enjoyed checking out your site for a while now...and I caught a glimpse of your Disney short art board when I was down there pitching my own stuff. How's the short coming along?

12:36 PM  
Blogger Rex said...

Hey Gabe, i love checking out your video game art!
i posted a comment a while back, but i don't think it ever showed up. i just wanted to tell you i think your blog kicks ass.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


12:32 AM  
Blogger Leo said...

These are brilliant, Gabe! It makes me wish I was as good as you AND that I knew my Megaman better..but yes, you should definitely do more bosses! =)
Keep up the awesome work!

1:54 AM  
Blogger monkeyfeather said...

Great paintings Gabe. I used to love this game when I was a kid. I think you're absolutely right about the re-design, they lost the appeal of the original. There is just something about the overall shape and proportions of the original that works so well.

9:53 AM  
Blogger TheFuzzyPubes said...


10:08 AM  
Blogger Chet said...


duh duh duh duh

wow,im suprised i remember him seeing how i havent played video games in like 4 years.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Jenny Lerew said...

In general I don't give two shites for these video characters(even if I did love playing DigDug, et al in my youth), but I am fascinated by the reinterpretations...which is the point, I guess! ; )

Anyway, I love this, and the presentation is terrific too--that chrome frame! Genius! I think you immeasurably enhanced the originals. Nice! Have a killer show.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Mitchel Kennedy said...

Oh man! These are so rad!! I LOVE MegaMan!! That new Capcom design is wayyy too generic. All of the NES MegaMan Japanese artwork is great! (the North American stuff is so ugly) Even the artwork from the first three MegaMan X games was great. Rockman EXE, or Battle Network (or whatever it is) is terrible.

I love these! I love your videogame artwork!

1:49 PM  
Blogger :: smo :: said...

mega man is my favorite game character too! i'd really love to see you do something with his crazy knee up jump pose he always does when he's falling or jumpping.

also megaman 3 is the best, good choice!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Gabe Swarr said...

Mega Man 3 is my favorite Mega Man game. I thought it was when they perfected it for the NES. the fact that you had to fight villians from the other Mega Man games was awesome too! Any game where the whole boss doesn't fit on the screen is a plus too!

Mega Man 8 is one of the best too, because it has some AMAZING animation!

I'll be announcing something big tomorrow so be ready...

10:10 AM  
Blogger Brett said...

Snake Man from Mega Man 8 is awesome, and I can't begin to tell you how much a painting of him in his snake level would change my life.

10:01 AM  
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