We fans of Retro video games are having a pretty good run of it of late. It seems like every single day I am reading about a new arcade opening up somewhere, just a few weeks ago on Steam the much anticipated Atari Vault debuted and just the other day it was announced that Dynamite Entertainment was releasing Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino’s 350 page hardcover book celebrating the Art of Atari this October!
I was fortunate enough to see that announcement over on the AtariAge Facebook page and as I read that joyous news I could feel a small tremor of excitement build up from the soles of my feet until it blasted through my brain and I had to fist pump for a couple of minutes to avoid yelling out and waking up my Wife.
In my youth I would always keep the boxes and catalogs from the Atari games…there was something very magical about the artwork used in their advertising. It truly allowed you to be transported into the world of the game universe itself, all from those beautiful images on the front of the game cart box. Sadly there was some miscommunication between my Father and Grandparents at some point because they were thrown away but now thanks to Conte and Lapetino’s hard work I can enjoy looking over those pieces of art once again.
Lapetino and Conte collected artwork from private collectors and museums for their book, representing the past 40 years of Atari’s artwork for not just what was used on those glorious game boxes but the artwork in advertising, catalogs, etc. Plus this tome offers not only a retrospect but an insiders look at the company from those who helped shaped Atari’s Golden Age like illustrators Cliff Spohn (Air-Sea Battle, Super Breakout) and Hiro Kimura (Berzerk, Yar’s Revenge) to name a few.
From the Dynamite Entertainment Press Release:
“Atari is remembered as the pioneer of video games – creating fun, innovative classics like Missile Command, Asteroids, Centipede, and more. But the company was much more than that,” says Tim Lapetino, co-author and Executive Director of the Museum of Video Game Art. “Atari’s creative culture set the standard for Silicon Valley startups, while its art and design-driven approach yielded an amazing body of work in illustration, graphic design, and industrial design.”
“Atari spearheaded a transformation of an entire generation’s consciousness,?? says pop-culture consultant, Robert V. Conte. “As comic books changed the face of American entertainment in the 1930s and 1940s, video games did something more in the 1970s and 1980s. Starting with Pong, the company changed our world forever.”
“This book collaboration with a recognized giant in the publishing industry is important because it showcases the quality and appeal of our brand and our intellectual property rights worldwide,” says Todd Shallbetter, COO of Atari. “We are excited for this book of our rich, iconic history to be added to the collection of our many devoted fans, both new and existing.”
You can hop on over to Amazon right this second and pre-order your own copy!
Have you played Atari today?