Wednesday, March 26

NES Pro Wrestling

I've been blog-incommunicado while I worked up a print for my first show at ZaPow.

I quickly decided -- maybe even immediately decided  -- to make artwork based on Nintendo's Pro Wrestling game. You remember this.

Unfortunately, because the game was so long ago, the characters were stacks of pixels. I found some better reference images and built my art by combining those images.

I also gathered fight posters from boxing and MMA for inspiration. I was trying to squeeze seven guys into one poster and suggest the game's structure: You play as one of a group of wrestlers and work your way through the others to get to one title holder, then defend that belt until you get to the second champion. This was before you could save games, so you had to play in one sitting. We suffered so.

I took reference pictures of myself in the character poses, altering them for composition when needed. I imported those pictures into Illustrator and drew atop them.

When I had my seven guys, I pasted them into a new document and built a poster around them. Again, I wanted eye flow to build the narrative of the game, and I used triangles and arrows. The first poster was close.

But I wasn't happy with the text angles and layers. I also cursed Amazon and Slender for having essentially the same pose.

I flipped Panther and Puma to match the direction of their arrows. I kept a subtle arrowhead under the gang of five and adjusted the colors.

The finished piece is 24 x 36 inches and framed for the show. I had it printed at OfficeMax, the folks who also printed my minicomics. They did a great job with this. I turn it in before the weekend.

And here's the finished piece reduced to lines because I love the way these look.


  1. I found your page while on a nostalgia trip through google thinking about this game. It was one of my childhood favorites. Excellent work!!

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