As was reported a few days ago, artist Greg Martin passed away in May of last year, under the radar of those who obsess over the smallest details involved in the Sonic franchise. Responsible for nearly ever major Sonic the Hedgehog cover in the west through 1995, along with a slew of promotional art, his was the image of Sonic kids across the western world grew to know and love. Who didn’t have that Are You Up 2 It? poster taped to the back of their bedroom door? Who didn’t stare obsessively at ads for Sonic CD, seeing Sonic grabbing that Time Stone out of Metal Sonic’s reach, and plot for hours on end how’d they convince their parents to buy them a Sega CD?
Some time back, Sonic Retro forum member Buyatari was able to purchase a slew of line art from the man himself, and has recently scanned them for all on the Internet to see. We tip our hat to you, for without your efforts, who knows if any of these would have seen the light of day again?
Among the sketches is the iconic cover to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which has been burned into everyone’s retinas by this point, and for good reason. The just as iconic image of Sonic standing in the Green Hill Zone is here too, which would be used for the cover to the promotional comic shoved in issues of Disney Adventures. There’s also an early version of Sonic Chaos‘ cover, with a spring-less Sonic and a quite worried Tails, instead of the super-happy fox we’d see on the final. Rounding out the collection are a couple of images aren’t immediately recognizable, including an image of Sonic and Knuckles ready to duke it out in the Mushroom Hill Zone. Perhaps an unused cover for Sonic & Knuckles? Who knows. Regardless, it’s a fascinating look at the process to a man who should have gotten far more credit than he did, not just for this work on Sonic but his other Sega video game covers, not to mention Namco, Hudson, Capcom, and even VHS covers to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This man controlled our childhood in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and for that reason, we should honor him.