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Legendary cover artist Bob Wakelin passes away

Farewell to an all-time great.

Bob Wakelin, the artist behind some of the most iconic cover art of the 80s, has passed away.

Wakelin's work left an indelible mark on the imaginations of players in the 80s, responsible for covers such as Contra, Ocean's Batman and Operation Wolf.

During his time at Ocean in the early 80s, Wakelin said he was producing some three covers a week through a fog of weed smoke and bleary hangovers - and when the publishers knew they had a lacklustre game on their hands, they'd ask Wakelin to double down on the art to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere.

Quite often, Wakelin's art would prove more memorable than that which it was selling, and for many players it's Wakelin's art that captures best the anarchy and energy of gaming in the 80s. Farewell Bob Wakelin, and thanks for lending video games your brilliant vibrancy.

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Martin Robinson avatar

Martin Robinson


Martin worked at Eurogamer from 2011 to 2023. He has a Gradius 2 arcade board and likes to play racing games with special boots and gloves on.

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