Old comic book covers paired with videogames is a very specific aesthetic niche, but it’s one that former Rockstar Games artist Mark Scicluna has pulled off brilliantly. There’s so much general nerd art out there these days, I have to admit I’m sick of the usual pop art interpretations of Star Wars or Final Fantasy. The world does not need another Boba Fett helmet done in Andy Warhol’s style. But Scicluna’s art broke through 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 his website dedicated to these videogame X comic book mashups, with even more on Twitter that haven’t made it to the site yet. The better news, if you dig the style, is that he has prints of the covers on sale at Redbubble.
The careful faux weathering on each cover is a big part of the appeal to me: I’m a sucker for something that looks authentically vintage, even if it isn’t. Those little rips in the corners and the worn-down spines really sell the illusion that these could’ve been actual comic books from decades past.
Even if you were a casual comic reader, there’s probably at least one style that will trigger some warm and fuzzies for you. Scicluna’s interpretations include the ’90s toons with ‘tude era, ’80s and ’90s DC and Marvel superhero homages, ’50s pulp horror books, and more. My favorites from the gallery are probably Cuphead, which most reminds me of Carl Barks’ Ducktales comics, and Dino Crisis, which looks straight out of the era I started reading Batman.
Mark Scicluna worked as an illustrator at Rockstar for five years on Red Dead Redemption 2 and several other games. Prior to that, I get the impression that he read a few comic books.