Old comic book covers associated with video games are a very specific aesthetic niche, but it’s one that former Rockstar Games artist Mark Scicluna has nailed with flying colors. There are so many general nerd art out there these days, I have to admit I’m sick of the usual pop art renditions of Star Wars or Final Fantasy. The world doesn’t need another Boba Fett helmet made in the style of Andy Warhol. But Scicluna’s art broke my mashup fatigue with pitch-perfect reinterpretations of vintage comics, paired with games that lend themselves surprisingly well to the style.
Scicluna has a gallery on its website dedicated to these X video game comic book mashups, with even more on Twitter who have not yet arrived on the site. The best news, if you like the style, is that it has prints of the covers for sale on Redbubble.
The neat faux weathering on each cover is a big part of the appeal for me: I’m a sucker for something that looks authentically vintage, even if it isn’t. Those little tears in the corners and worn spines really sell the illusion that these could have been actual comic books from decades past.
Even if you were a casual comic book reader, there’s probably at least one style that will trigger warm and fuzzy feelings for you. Interpretations of Scicluna include the 90s toons with ‘tude era, homages to DC and Marvel superheroes of the 80s and 90s, pulp horror books from the 50s, and more. My gallery favorites are probably Cuphead, which most reminds me of Carl Barks’ Ducktales comics, and Dino Crisis, which looks like it’s straight out of when I first started reading Batman.
Mark Scicluna worked as an illustrator at Rockstar for five years on Red Dead Redemption 2 and several other games. Before that, I feel like he read a few comics.