Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Dawn of Monkey Island


So I've been invited by Telltale Games to create an illustration for their Special Pre-Order edition of Tales of Monkey Island, a five episode series of adventure games coming this summer from Telltale. It's fun to get a chance to reconnect with Monkey Island since it was one of my first jobs at LucasArts, and I was fortunate to contribute artwork to various Monkey Island projects several times throughout the years.

I'm sketching the concept right now and I will plan to document the progress in stages. I'll have to wait until we are closer to the official unveiling of the cover to let you know what I'm up to but in the meantime I'll post some ancient concept art from the original games. Here's the sketch for my first Monkey Island cover done in 1990.
Pencil on Tracing Paper 8.5 X 11

--Starchie

41 comments:

LuigiHann said...

Cool!

I assume you've seen LucasArts's... parody of it, for the Special Edition remake?

niceguy said...

I'd say "parody" is still overly generous.

Sam said...

Awesome! Since all this wonderful Monkey Island comeback, I was really looking forward you having a part in it as well.

Zombie said...

Wow, it's wonderful to see behind-the-scenes of an image I have so many fond memories tied to.

Any chance we'll see you in San Diego this year?

thatguy said...

Just 10 hours ago I ordered that boxart as a poster.
Funny coincidence.
I love your work.

Starchie Spudnoggen said...

Zombie -- Yes I'll be in San Diego. Check Telltale Games Comic Con schedule when it gets closer because I'll be at their table part of the time.

thatguy -- MY boxart as a poster? Or is it the revised "LucasArts Special Edition" version. Just so you know, I didn't do THAT new one.

Junaid said...

Good stuff man, I'm looking forward to the sketches of the TMI one!

Also, let's just act as if the Special Edition cover "art" never happened ...

Mike said...

Love your artwork on the Monkey Island series! Kinda hoping you'll upload some large pictures of the originals, or put them on the collector's disk that comes with the Tales of Monkey Island :)

Ryan said...

I had the original art for the covers of MI1 and 2 printed as posters that now adorn my wall. Good stuff.

thatguy said...

Well it is not an official poster.
There is one guy making HQ versions of old Lucasarts boxart.
There is also MI2, The Dig and more.
I chose SoMI and ordered at a poster print service.

http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=195492

I don't really like the new one.
It doesn't feel right.

Joop said...

I think everyone knows you didn't paint that new cover.
If you ever get to the Mixnmojo forums you'll see that everyone's badmouthing that travesty.

I like the fact that they're making a special edition. But I think it'll never be the same.
For instance, some of the backgrounds in the original just have Purcell written all over them.
Like the mushroom hell and the navigators head.

thatguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thatguy said...

Actually there is Purcell written on that pirates scarf. :)
And I seriously need an edit button.

Carl said...

I can't tell you how excited I am that you are posting old Monkey Island work. I can't wait!!

Vujovic said...

Yes! I love and hate Monkey Island. I hate it because it makes me go all fanboy and embarass myself around people with anti-social behavior.

Oh well, at least it's not World of Warcraft.

By the way, although I can see why they wanted to re-do the cover for the re-release of SMI, they kinda butchered it. I'd much rather see it done in the style the original cover was in - especially cause the original game is sorta based on that kinda style, just really low-res.

Hey Steve, are you gonna be at WonderCon by any chance? I missed tickets for ComicCon this year :( :(

Jonathan said...

Sweet! I was wondering if you'd be showing us some monkey love...errr...ummm. You know what I mean.

Carl said...

I hope this is okay to ask... but would it be possible to get a higher resolution scan of your MI sketches? I'd love to be able to print them out and frame them.

Nicholas Gazin said...

How long were you given to finish the box art?

I love that original box art and the original game graphics for those old games. This new aesthetic is hideous and strips the game of it's atmosphere.

I felt like the switch to 3D graphics with the fourth Monkey Island game was a huge mistake. There was a lot of black used in the composition of the original screens and now everything appears to be made out of plastic bathtoys.

gamusino Javi said...

its a great new Steve, a great new. That image of MK1 is a little part of my life

spino said...

Love it...

RobC said...

Steve, hope you can stay true to the original cover art - your art is integral to the Monkey Island experience, for me.

Oliver Kurth said...

Arrr, that's wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I've always been a huge Monkey Island fan. Can't wait to see your new artwork.

I think Telltale will do a great job, though it's hard to live up to the expectations. The Lucasarts thing doesn't look any good, but at least it will be awesome to hear the dialogue spoken! But it will be hard to ignore the annoying new graphics ... Can't they just include an option to play the ORIGINAL game with the NEW audio?! I will miss the pixels ...

Ahoy from Germany

Starchie Spudnoggen said...

Oliver Kurth --
I believe LEC IS including the option to play Monkey Island with the original graphics.

DAGO said...

I pre-ordered the game just to have the special cover you are painting.

Could you post this picture you just linked with higher quality?

crithon said...

wow, that's amazing man.

Laserschwert said...

I've seen that drawing in the "Rogue Leaders"-book pulbished a little while ago...

What's the deal with Elaine being pasted over on a separate piece of paper? What's beneath that?

Mitch K said...

Awesome! But why on tracing paper? I'm surprised tracing paper survived over these years.

Starchie Spudnoggen said...

Laserschwert --
I must have revised the Elaine that was under that layer of tracing paper. I was wanting a Marion Ravenwood kind of gal if I remember correctly and I'm sure I was struggling with it the whole time.

Mitch K --
I traced the image a couple of times hence the tracing paper. I never meant for the sketch to last into the 21st century. But actually there are plenty of surviving Toulouse Lautrec drawings that look like they were drawn on deli paper.

RAWLS said...

Awesome!!!

MissingLinkRecords said...

amazing, can't wait to see what you come up with for this!

fizzymitsu said...

I love it! I can't wait to see what you come up with for ToMI!!

AndyBundy said...

Monkey Island has some true magic. Look at the comments. I can't remember that Steve got that many comments on a pic. Now the Monkey Island series comes up and... woohooo can't wait for it. Just got to the information today and look at all those people commenting the blogs and pictures about that topic. This is so awesome.

Marcos Gp said...

beautiful thanks for sharing it!

unkiedev said...

Will you be offering new merch at San Diego this year, Starchie?

gilau said...

*T* i most pre...order, as usual to mush for my happines, im wishing to see the progress, thanx for uploding this 8D.

Dave said...

Just thought I'd leave this here for you to see, I don't know how you feel about your own artwork being permanently etched into somebody's skin, but this is what is slowly eating up my left arm over the next few months!!

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/3525/halfsleeve2.jpg

Laserschwert said...

By the way, Steve, have you ever thought about releasing an art book? "The Art of Steve Purcell" would get a nice spot on my shelf ;-)

niceguy said...

Yes. Art book. I want.

Karimi said...

I wish I could buy some of this stuff.I'd pay a grand or two for that Lechuck-Guybrush deal one a few pages back :(.

Rafa González del Castillo said...

The 3 magic kings. the Three Wise Men have just left in my house the Monkey Island Special edition game. And your picture is on it. Congratulations. I love it!

Rafa González del Castillo said...

the Three Wise Men have just left at my house the Monkey Island Special edition game, and your picture is on it. Congratulations. I love it!