The Art of Pop-Monkey

November 28, 2008


Jared Moraitis, aka Pop-Monkey, has a really cool style that often incorporates images from the classic arcade games of his childhood.  I think the Q*Bert one is particularly rad.  Jared said of the piece:

Ah, the arcade classic Q*Bert. One of those fixtures of childhood whose memory is tinged with equal parts joy and frustration. I recall fondly the infrequent trips to the local mall, which meant at least three things: browsing at the toy store, having a rainbow sherbet cone melt all over my hand while I furiously licked away at it, and getting to take another crack or two at Q*bert at the arcade. I was never any good at Q*bert. I never had enough quarters at a time to gain any sort of mastery over it, and my height combined with the awkward diagonal joystick control (which completely clashed with my strict horizontal and vertical instinctive movements cemented by Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger) left me helpless and frustrated in the shadow of Q*Bert’s towering yellow arcade cabinet and alien foul language.

I’ve had a few occasions over the years to take additional cracks at the game, hoping that coming at it from a more seasoned gamer’s level of experience would aid in my quest to help the poor orange fellow finally change the colors on all those doggone pyramids! Well, I certainly am not as bad at it as I used to be, but I’m still no expert. My love for the game and its mix of a simple goal, challenging tactics and bizarre creatures persists, however. I hope to one day own the arcade cabinet so I can perfect my game. I know there have been several console ports and flash adaptations of the game, but I don’t recall any of them being exact reproductions of the arcade, and that’s what I truly want.

Anyway, here’s the final colored version of my Q*BERT piece. As I stated in the previous post, I’ve retooled Q*Bert, Coily, Sam, Slick, Ugg and Wrong-Way to bring them out of the 80′s and more into the Pop-Monkey camp. And, yes, I turned Slick and Sam into pineapples with hands-for-feet. It just made sense to me.

Please check out the Pop-Monkey blog here.

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