MegaBites has just learnt of the passing away of Greg Martin, who died on the 21st May 2013. As a prolific and gifted artist, Greg was the man behind the EU/US box art of Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic CD, as well as a host of countless other multi-platform video game classics.
Beginning his career at Hanna Barbera, Greg worked on shows such as the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Yogi Bear and numerous other shows by the US animation studio. He was also credited as the creator and illustrator of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series’ characters. Amongst numerous high-profile colleagues with whom he worked, most notable was Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame.
In his later career, Greg worked for Sega, Nintendo and other video game developers, where he was responsible for some of the early-to-mid 90’s most iconic cover art designs. Each artwork was painted and airbrushed, measuring a huge 24–30 inches in height, taking just a week to complete – some in only 3–5 days!
Remember the cover for Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Sonic Spinball and that giant fold-out Sonic poster that came with numerous Mega Drive/Genesis releases? They were all Greg Martin.
A truly great tribute has been made by Bronty – a friend of Greg’s and moderator of the NintendoAge.com forum, who writes:
“I never met Greg in person but we spoke on the phone many, many times. I must have spent at least 50 hours with him on the phone. Each conversation was special to me as Greg was incredibly friendly and an excellent conversationalist – actually that’s probably selling him short! He had a gift for conversation and for making you comfortable in speaking with him.
We shared an appreciation for many illustrators, comic artists, and fine artists and would discuss them pretty much endlessly on the phone. I admired his deep knowledge of artists and illustrators (there was hardly a name you could stump him on) and while we never specifically discussed this, I know he respected my knowledge as well. As fan and artist we were able to give each other different perspectives on the work we mutually admired and shared a lot of laughs discussing art and life too.
Greg was the rare person who both worked in and was a fan of the work of others in his industry. I don’t think he ever lost that sense of wonder he had as a teenager for really great artwork, and he was a collector himself of artwork, movies, art books, and other things. He was one of the very best and most prolific artists in this area and the list of well loved game boxes he had a hand in was incredible.”
RIP Gregory James Martin (14/10/56 – 21/05/13)
Notable Sega works by Greg Martin: