Bob Wakelin Computer Game Cover Art

Bob Wakelin is a talented illustrator who has been producing a lot of different artwork for the entertainment industry over the years, for example as a comic artist for Marvel Comics and as an album cover designer. For computer gamers he is probably best known for being the most prolific producer of cover, inlay and advertisment artwork for computer games in the 80's and early 90's. His work was used for many a classic game, mostly for the label Ocean and their sub label Imagine.

Bob can create and sell signed high quality reproductions of some of this old work on demand. I bought four of these for some of my favourite games. They are pictured below together with Bob's own comments for each work.


Click thumbnails for bigger pictures.
Wizball

Wizball (1986) is one of the greatest and most appreciated games on the C64 computer. It is based on a truly original idea mixed with some imaginative craziness, something which shines through in Bob's work for the game.

Bob's own words:
"I never particularly liked this one, but it seems to be very popular! It was done to a very tight deadline, and I didn't see the game - just a few crappy screenshots. It was airbrushed using Dr. Martin's dues. The line work was done with caran d'ache pencils and I used Dr. Martin's white watercolour for highlights."



Wizkid

Wizkid (1992) is the sequel to Wizball and was released for the Amiga and the ST but not the C64. Although not as classic as it's predecessor, it is still a great and original game and even more crazy. I've always thought the cover resembles the style of the famous underground comic artist Robert Crumb, an influence that Bob admits was intentional.

Bob's own words:
"I had a great time doing this. I wanted to do the best Crumb-style possible. I liked to try and imitate my favourite artist's styles occasionally, so I didn't get bored. Ocean did some great giant card cut-outs of sections of the illustration, which I stupidly used for target practice - shot them to pieces. They'd have been worth money now. Oh well... Anyway, it's one of my best jobs. I hated the brown paper packaging that was superimposed around the edges of the finished box. Ocean's art director used to do that kind of thing all the time, fancy borders and stuff, it used to really piss me off. It was drawn with India ink and airbrushed with Dr. Martin's dyes."



Mutants

Mutants (1986) was a good and original shoot'em'up with nice atmosphere and great music by Fred Gray. The cover art is a fitting and good looking but strange piece of work.

Bob's own words:
"I couldn't think of anything to do for this game, so I suggested basing the image on Luis Royo's helmet from the 'Game Over' cover. I got the go-ahead and ripped it off! Naughty me. (Ocean were never concerned about ripping anything off, though.) Airbrush and caran d'ache."



New Zealand Story

New Zealand Story (1990) is an arcade game from 1988 that was converted to the biggest computer formats in the early nineties. The game is a cute japanese platformer, a bit reminiscent of the Bubble Bobble series. In the game you guide a small kiwi bird through lots of levels filled with strange creatures, weaponry and means of transportation.

Bob's own words:
"This one drove me crazy. I hated doing covers with loads of characters, they took too long to work out and got really boring. My mates used to come around and laugh at me when I did 'cute' illustrations, which made it worse. India ink and airbrush."



Buying Prints

You too can order signed, high quality reproductions of Bob Wakelin's work. He even sells the originals for some of these classic images, although most of the really popular ones are already gone. Below are lists of what was available at the time of my order in july 2005.

Prints (Wizball not listed but available)
Original artwork

You can mail Bob at this address .

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