Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80’s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

Silence Television

Silence Televison

It’s been a couple of months since my last article so time to unplug the cryogenics, thaw out and get writing. A few special features lined up this month, including an exclusive interview with a certain Swedish Sci-Fi Illustrator, but to start with here’s a close up on the super slick work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known by his monicker Silence Television.

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

A selection of work from the late Scottish sculptor and artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (7 March 1924 – 22 April 2005).

Paolozzi has always been a favourite of mine, particularly his beautifully composed, ultra-vibrant graphic screenprints. This post was sparked when I recently picked up a copy of “Paolozzi” a 1999 paperback publication that gives a chronological overview of Eduardo’s work. Here is the back page synopsis, note that I’ve embellished this slightly, altering present to past tense.

Eduardo Paolozzi (of Italian descent) was one of the major figures of postwar British art: A father of Pop Art a creator of key icons of

Special Feature: Mondo

Mondo - Empire Strikes Back

Mondo - Holy Mountain

Mondo - The Thing

Mondo - Alien

So then for this piece I’ve grabbed just a taster selection from the Mondo back catalogue, I’ll add some notes on those in a moment, then run the Q& A kindly supplied by Mondo’s creative director Justin Ishmael. First up though here’s some background information…

Mondo is the collectable art boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse. If you’re not familiar with the theatre, it’s a world-renowned cinema eatery and has been named the “best theatre in America” by Entertainment Weekly. The Alamo Drafthouse is based in Austin, TX and there are currently 10 theatres in Texas and Virginia, with plans to expand nationwide. The Alamo Drafthouse derives its reputation from its incredible programming. Mondo creates the poster artwork for special Alamo Drafthouse events (see the examples from the nationwide Rolling Roadshow tour, a yearly event

Osamu Tezuka (1)

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Hi-No-Tori

Osamu Tezuka

A belated start to November here begins with a guest contribution from London based designer and illustrator John Rowley. John got in touch recently to suggest a feature on “The Godfather of anime” Osamu Tezuka and in particular his Phoenix series, which is less well known than Tezuka’s famous “Astro Boy” creation.

John supplied me with several scans taken from the various volumes, I selected the most abstract of those and posted above, really beautiful pen and ink work… here then are John’s notes:

Osamu Tezuka is considered ‘the god of manga’, an accolade he deserves for the quality of his work and the volume of it. During his career, he drew over 150,000 pages. He is most famous for his work ‘Astro Boy’ outside of Japan but within Japan, he is more famous for creating Jungle Taitei

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