Author Topic: Art of Atari - book and help needed  (Read 1487 times)

Offline lapetino

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Art of Atari - book and help needed
« on: January 09, 2014, 16:17:54 PM »
Hi, all.

I'm brand new to this forum, but on the advice of a great mod here and fellow AtariAge member, I thought I'd post here about what we're doing. I've been part of this scene for quite a few years, and am very passionate about Atari. I wanted to tell everyone about a project that has been in the works for a couple years already -- to share what we're doing, and to hopefully enlist some help here in the greater classic gaming community.

I am researching and writing a book about the Art of Atari. We are focusing on the art, illustration, and design of Atari -- specifically and mostly the home console part. I've interviewed more than a dozen artists, graphic designers and others who worked at/for Atari back in the day, as well as Nolan himself. It's my opinion that the artwork of Atari was more than just a way for the games to stand out on the shelves, or to help sell cartridges and consoles. It's art in its own right, and has a unique tie to the company, the games, and the memories of our youth. And unlike today, the amazing art helped inform the gameplay, because it served to augment the imagination when combined with much-simpler graphics of the time. I want to highlight the unsung heroes of Atari -- artists, designers, art directors -- and show their important and unique contributions to the games we love.

My team and I have been collecting production slides, negatives, and in some cases shooting original artwork owned by some in our community here. I was able to acquire some negatives and slides that were once used by Atari for creation of their printed materials, and I've also gotten scans of work from the artists themselves. We are trying hard to gather as much production-quality art as possible, to make sure that this final book is big, comprehensive, beautiful, and shows the artwork in the best possible way. (And to answer the question, yes, we need a higher quality for printing than just scanned boxes, though we'd done a lot of that as well for context within the book.)

So, we could really use your help. If you have original artwork (or know someone who does), or slides and negatives, or unique production sketches (industrial design will also be a part of the book), I'd love to talk with you. We are also looking for other large, printed pieces, like unique posters, mobiles, flyers, etc that show off the art and graphic design of Atari. Still looking for high-res scans of some of the rarer Atari games (think Crazy Climber) too. Attached are a couple samples of pieces we've gathered already. I'm also considering selling some of our duplicate negatives and slides in order to fund additional research, but I'll post about that soon.

I've already done some interviews about the topic, and here are a couple:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/19/4716444/how-atari-box-art-turned-8-bit-games-into-virtual-wonderlands
http://www.edge-online.com/news/the-art-of-atari-the-masters-who-brought-early-games-to-life-by-filling-in-the-blanks/

We are in talks with 2 different publishers, and even though the bankruptcy of current Atari has slowed us down in terms of licensing, we're confident all of the legal and business parts of this will be buttoned up, and that we'll have a solid deal soon.

So, thanks for listening, and let me know if you're willing or able to lend a hand. I'd love for this part to be a bit of a community effort, and I'll happily give public credit in the final book to anyone who is able to help us in even the smallest of ways. I'm making this book for all of us who love Atari and want to see these great memories and art preserved. Thanks!

Offline TL

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 16:31:36 PM »
Hi Lapetino and welcome to RVG! This project sounds superb and something I am incredibly interested in!

I can't help much with the artwork side of things I am afraid but if you need any written content then I would be happy to help. I am a freelancer writer for Retro Gamer magazine (among others) and wrote a large amount of the Atari 2600 content here.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 19:35:33 PM »
Hi lapetino!  Glad to see you join RVG!  This is such a nice project and a no-brainer purchase once it is completed.  I do not have any art to offer but if there is any way I can help, let me know.  I can review text for you or help with editing or writing. 

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Offline zapiy

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 20:28:37 PM »
Welcome to RVG fella, we have interviewed many gaming greats so we have a few contacts but i suspect you have contacted all those we have anyway.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 20:30:46 PM »
Quote from: "zapiy"
Welcome to RVG fella, we have interviewed many gaming greats so we have a few contacts but i suspect you have contacted all those we have anyway.

There may be useful information in our interviews, though.  So worth checking out.  :)

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline zapiy

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 21:06:51 PM »
Agreed, i will look through them also.. I am sure we can help you find some pieces..
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 20:11:36 PM »
Hey lapetino, any updates on the project?

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Offline lapetino

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 16:14:38 PM »
Thanks for the help in finding pieces, zapiy!

And TrekMD, updates:
-I'm writing an article about the art of Atari and our efforts for the new RETRO magazine. Not sure yet when it will appear.
-Soon to be getting another handful of negatives of artwork from former Atari artist Terry Hoff (he did Star Raiders and many others)

Will be continuing talks with one of the publishers we're talking to, hopefully next week.

Thanks, all!

Offline TL

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 16:54:19 PM »
Is this just going to be Atari 2600 art?

Because if not I know somebody who did box art for a load of Atari ST and Atari 8-bit games.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 22:45:56 PM »
Thank you for the update! 

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Offline zapiy

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 06:45:17 AM »
I wonder how this is coming on?
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Offline Greyfox

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 15:02:10 PM »

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2014, 19:33:27 PM »
Quote from: "Greyfox"
Seen this and had to add it here..simply brilliant..enjoy ;)

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Offline Greyfox

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 19:46:34 PM »
Quote from: "TrekMD"
Quote from: "Greyfox"
Seen this and had to add it here..simply brilliant..enjoy ;)

Omg your right, I thought it was sorta familiar , look, I'm putting this down to me being over 40, but yes, I stand corrected and we can look at this as a bump lol.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Art of Atari - book and help needed
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2014, 21:17:05 PM »
What's wrong with being over 40?  I'm certainly quite up there.  LOL  Nice bump for the thread. 

Going to the final frontier, gaming...