Retro Game Box Art: Celal Kandemiroglu, from Turkey to Germany

Between the end of the 1980s and the mid-1990s Europe saw the birth of many software houses, which rode with enthusiasm the enormous diffusion among the general public of 8bit computers (Commodore 64 and Spectrum in the first place) and then of 16bit evolutions, like Amiga and Atari ST.

In particular, Germany was home to many successful labels, including Rainbow Arts, Thalion, Magic Bytes, which continuously churned out video games, some of which were memorable for technical quality and playability (see Turrican) and others for copyright issues (read The Great Giana Sisters).

Retro Game Box Artist Celal Kandemiroglu, Turrican, X-Out - - 80s and 90s Arcades, Retro Games and Classic Video Games

It is in this panorama that Celal Kandemiroglu made his bones as illustrator. Born and raised in Turkey in the 1950s, graduated from the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts, he moved to Germany already with a substantial portfolio of works, including numerous comic strips published daily in magazines.

One of its strengths was its versatility. He could make great illustrations on almost any subject, moving from classic to comics. Taking inspiration in some cases from already established artists such as Vallejo or Roger Dean, he was able to realize finished projects of excellent quality in a very short time (seven – ten days, record times for completely hand-made works). These times were perfect for German software houses, which made him the official artist throughout their period of greatest activity.

Moreover Celal never stopped growing his skills, becoming among the first illustrators in Europe to use both traditional and digital techniques (Deluxe Paint before, Photoshop after), collaborating not only in the creation of the box art of the games, but also of the title screen and in some cases in-game graphics and sprites.

Celal Kandemiroglu illustrator artist of retro game Biing !, Sex Intriger a Skalpelle produced by Re-Line in 1995

Celal shows up in the titles of the funny-sexy game “Biing !, Sex Intriger a Skalpelle” produced by Re-Line in 1995 and illustrated by him.

illustration of retro game Biing !, Sex Intriger a Skalpelle

Among his most famous box art we remember that of Turrican, Turrican II, Turrican III, X-Out, Z-Out, Katakis, Legend of Faerghail, DragonFlight, Spherical, MUDS, Volleyball Simulator, Atomino.