Monday, May 30, 2011

Withheld Artwork: Siblings Through The Seasons

As a die-hard fan, I expected a bit more out of Mega Man and Mega Man X: Official Complete Works. Don't get me wrong, both books are excellent, all-in-one sources for official and conceptual artwork, but each lacks in terms of the obscure. For example, where was the Mega Missions trading card art in MMXOCW? The gashapon packaging illustrations in MMOCW? The truckloads upon truckloads of CFC artwork?

A considerable amount of official materials have been left out of both books; which raises the question if Capcom simply lost the original prints, or if they're intentionally withholding materials for future artbooks. Some of the rarest pieces, a series of seasonal themed images drawn by Shinsuke Komaki for Capcom's defunct Cyber Channel, seem to suggest the latter. Being a major MMOCW contributor, it's a mystery why these pics were left out; however, we may yet see them again.

A couple months back, through a bit of phone tag, I came in contact with Komaki. A personal fan of his work, I attempted to see if I could squeeze out some rare goods, using the above pieces as examples. Although honored to have an admirer in the West, he expressed no desire to release his work publicly, at least, for the time being. Komaki let slip that his "unreleased pieces" were currently under review for a new Rockman artbook. He didn't say much else, but heavily implied (through some minor broken English), a new classic series artbook was underway as of February 2011.

We've yet to hear of such a project officially, but with the series' 25th anniversary on the horizon, an influx of homage and tributary related projects are expected. A new artbook would not be surprising in the least; given how successful the OCW books are domestically and abroad, Capcom would be crazy not to put out more books.

We'll watch where this one goes, but hey, I'm all for another OCW, albeit one a bit more "complete."

Image credits: The Reploid Research Lavatory


  1. Heh, for a while I thought that third one was fanart--then I showed it to #20. :)

  2. Professor MegamanMay 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    I say be grateful that Complete Works even exists.

    I've long clamored for a compendium of all of Nintendo's mainstream Famicom-era art. The classic Mario and Zelda art that rocked our instruction manuals back in the day.

    I'd almost go so far as to say that Nintendo won't acknowledge the existence of this art, but they plugged tons of it into Smash Bros. Brawl as goofy stickers. That "art book" they threw in with the Wii Mario All-Stars pack was as much an insult as the game itself.

    Megaman got some great artbooks, and though they may not cover the obscure stuff, at least they exist (and in quite a nice package, too.)

  3. Megaman is awesome but he sucks at painting.

  4. I have to agree with Professor Megaman.

    I, for instance, would love a Pokemon artbook that covers Generation I. I am a fan of Ken Sugimori's artwork from Generations I to II, back before it was 'updated' with a new art style. Especially since there are so many rarer artwork he has done for the first Gen that remain unseen for most people. But of course, Nintendo enjoys being lame by not catering to the fans of their game art, leaving most people having to turn to the internet where the most they can find is his artwork in low quality.

    So yes, I am grateful that Capcom takes pride in sharing their artwork in art books, even if it isn't all of them. And I really hope that they consider a Legends Complete Works too.

    But the news of a possible new artbook is intriguing. If it is released, then I hope UDON will also consider it.

  5. Roll has a figure :3

  6. Somewhat on-topic: As if to reinforce the point, I have never ever seen that second image before! Interesting! I like it! ... but what does this say about the Japanese canon? I think this just means I was right all along about those two. ;3

  7. @anon 1:

    Yes, and Kotobukiya did a great job on it.

  8. After releasing a Legends and ZX OCWs, Capcom could release a "Mega Man Series Official Complete Works", including all art not present in others + MM9-10, Mega Man Universe, and Rockman Online, and other stuff like crossovers (MvC1-3, SNK, Namco, Tatsunoko) and cameos (many...).

  9. Wow. Yay for Roll in that second image :)

    Definitely great stuff. I'd love to see more.

  10. the second one is so sweet.

    I like it when the cast is drawn with NORMAL proportions outside of their armors and such.

  11. Huh... I've never seen that second image before. The characters look a bit older there, though... which is odd, since I don't think robots age. Though, come to think of it, it also kind of reminds me of how they looked in Mega Man 8. Hmmm... I think that might have to do more with the art style than anything else.

    And I do definitely remember that third image. I saw it on Capcom's site a long time ago. This was waaaaaay before it was ever Capcom Unity, though... in fact, I think it was before my parents even had the internet and I saw it on a school computer. Hmmm... ya, late 90s is when I saw that image, I'd say.

    @Professor Megaman: Well, to be fair, I don't think they ever called that thing an "art book", and for what it was, I thought it was kinda neat... buuuuut, ya, I really do wish we'd get something like Mario and Zelda artbooks... especially with Zelda, as I swear I'm one of the only people on the planet that prefers all the pre-OoT stuff.

    @Dr. Jerk: Oh my gosh, I would KILL (not literally) for a Ken Sugimori artbook! Heck, not even specifically Pokemon (but preferably that would be the bulk of it), but I'd definitely want an artbook filled with Ken Sugimori's art! I loooooove his style, and you're right in that there's SO MUCH out there that people haven't seen. I would know, as I actually have quite a bit of it (both Pokemon and non-Pokemon related). I really would love to have a collection of all of his older artwork in some sort of high quality print (that is to say, in an artbook), but as you and Professor Megaman have stated, Nintendo doesn't often seem quite as enthusiastic about anything like that as Capcom has been (and Capcom's been doing it for decades).

  12. DontdeletethismanJune 1, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    It is just me or in the second image you can see Roll's n1pp1e5 if you look closely.

  13. @ Dontdeletethisman


    For goodness sake, they're children! You, sir, are looking TOO closely. o.O

  14. @Dontdeletethisman:

    The hell? Are you looking with a magnifying glass feature or something??

  15. the second picture kind of reminds me of the movie "Titanic"


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