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The Fighters Generation proudly presents our exclusive feature: Fighting Game Artist Profiles! A tribute to the legendary 2D artists who have contributed immeasurably to the success of the fighting genre. Beginning in the early 1990's, and for decades to come, the incredibly talented illustrators of fighting games blurred the line between "Video Game" and "Art". Game companies such as Capcom, SNK, Namco, and Arc System Works were able to vividly distinguish themselves, their games, and their characters... advertising and promoting their upcoming games primarily using ARTWORK.

Charismatic character illustrations, memorable promotional posters, and beautifully unique collages would define the "image" of the early fighting genre... inspiring arcade-goers, gamers at home, future and present game developers of a variety of genres, and fellow 2D artists alike. Still to this day, the brilliant illustrators you'll meet here play a major role in the ever-growing interest, appreciation, and inspiration behind fighting games and beloved fighting game characters.

The artists featured here are forever appreciated and credited for creating some of the most impactful and memorable video game illustrations of all time! Right here on TFG's feature, you'll learn about each artist's history, background & distinguishing traits, read interesting fun facts about them, and enjoy a small sampling of their works! Be sure to check back soon... this page is updated often!
   (Updated: 7/10/2020)

 
Shinkiro
      
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Toshiaki "Shinkiro" Mori was born December 14, 1962. He started working for SNK in the early 90's as an illustrator and conceptual artist. Shinkiro created character designs and many cover illustrations for a wide variety of NeoGeo games, including: Art of Fighting, The King of Fighters 94-2000, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, Metal Slug, Last Blade, etc.

Shinkiro was laid off in the year 2000 due to SNK's bankruptcy and was almost immediately thereafter employed by Capcom! He began doing cover art for a wide variety of Capcom titles, including: Capcom VS SNK series, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Resident Evil: Dead Aim, Dino Stalker, Final Fight One, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Dead Rising, and Devil May Cry 5. Shinkiro has also done cover art for American comics such as Spider-Man Unlimited and UDON's Street Fighter comic series.

    
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Shinkiro's art style is immediately recognizable due to the "realistic" airbrush technique Shinkiro uses when drawing characters. Shinkiro has used this photo-realistic style to create individual character artworks, as well as group posters & collages, while also experimenting with different coloring techniques such as cel-shading. A face drawn by Shinkiro has always been easily recognizable, as he uses the same general format/shape for drawing most male and female characters. However, Shinkiro has demonstrated how dynamic he can be by illustrating amazingly realistic-looking monsters, dragons, effects, and backgrounds with ease.

 
 
Akiman
    
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Born July 21, 1964, Akira Yasuda works under the pen name "Akiman" and began working for Capcom in 1985. After illustrating characters in 1989's Final Fight, Akiman began working on the Street Fighter 2 series, and quickly became one of the most influential fighting game designers of all time. Akiman has created iconic characters and artwork for some of Capcom's most well-known games, including: Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter III, Final Fight, Warzard, Star Gladiator, Power Stone and Captain Commando.

  Social Media Links: Twitter: @akiman7

    
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Aside from bringing life to many characters in the fighting genre, Akira was also involved with working on anime such as Gundam and Overman King Gainer. He left Capcom in 2003 and started working as a freelance artist (but returned to work on future Capcom games). He also appeared in the Initial D live action movie as a Red Suns Member and in Tomie: Rebirth as Waiter.

Akiman invested heavily in the growth of his successors, making significant contributions to Capcom's graphics and animation patterns. Akiman was responsible for editing Capcom's Street Fighter Anatomy Reference Guide, which was used to teach other Capcom artists since the mid 1990's. He currently works as a freelance illustrator, character and mechanical designer, and as a manga artist. Here's a must-watch mini-documentary about Akira Yasuda, below!

 

 
 
Bengus (AKA CRMK)
Bengus has worked for Capcom as an illustrator and character designer since the beginning of the Street Fighter series (1987). Bengus played a huge part in designing the original Street Fighter cast, along with the Darkstalkers cast. Bengus's art style quickly became iconic and defined "Capcom style" early on, portraying characters with disproportionately large, defined muscles and big hands & feet. This visual style was a distinguishable aspect in Capcom's most defining fighting games, with the limbs of characters easier to see thanks to the extra large hands and feet. However, Bengus has shown he can also draw in other more " realistic" and "anime" styles.

  Social Media Links: Twitter: @bengasu

   
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In addition to working on a wide variety of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers titles, Bengus is also known for his work on games such as: Final Fight 3, Alien Vs. Predator, Power Stone, Red Earth, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara, Star Gladiator / Plasma Sword, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, MSH Vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Onimusha, Devil May Cry 5. More recently, Bengus worked on Street Fighter V's story artwork & promotional posters.
  
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  Popular comic book artists such as Joe Maduera, Jeff Matsuda and Humberto Ramos have also borrowed from Bengus' style. Professional illustrators Jason and Heather Martin have stated that Akiman and Bengus are some of their biggest influences. The artists at UDON Comics also model the Street Fighter characters closely to how Bengus drew them in his prime. Bengus is without a doubt a legend and one of the best video game artists of all time. Capcom fighting games simply wouldn't have been such a huge success without the influence of Bengus. 

 
 
Dai-Chan
Dai-Chan (also spelled Daichan) is a 90's Capcom artist who became well known for his work on: Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Super SFII Turbo, Darkstalkers 3, Red Earth / Warzard, Resident Evil 2, and Dino Crisis. One of Dai-Chan's most distinguishing features about his artwork is his use of traditional oil painting in many of his works.
Dai-Chan's "Ryu Versus Akuma" illustration from Street Fighter Alpha 2 is one of his most memorable and impactful fighting game illustrations of all time!
 
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Mick McGinty
  
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Mick McGinty started as a freelance artist in 1983. He began working on the North American cover art for the Street Fighter II series by chance. During the release of SF2, Capcom USA's marketing department decided to follow gaming trends by "Americanizing" SF2's art style. After being given some Polaroid photos of SF2 from his client Denny Moore, Mick began creating the iconic box art for the SNES and Genesis versions of SF2. In Mick's words, "I wasn't a real realistic painter, but I could do this exaggerated realism. I could kind of give an American slant to the characters and the things they were trying to accomplish with that game. Because I think the first thing that they realized was that they weren't going to be able to sell these games very well if they had the original Japanese art which at the time, I didn't like. Anything I saw, it was just too foreign to me at the time. But now, 20 or 30 years later, I really love their work. It's just nice, edgy, colorful, action-filled it's just cool stuff. And I think the American buying public, they don't have a problem with it now."  McGinty is perhaps best known for drawing the magnificent box art for SF2: World Warrior,  SF2: Special Champion Edition, and SF2: Turbo. There's no doubt that every Street Fighter II fan from back in the day can immediately recognize Mick's memorable Street Fighter II cover artwork.

 
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