Mick McGinty, the artist behind iconic video game covers such as the SNES version of Street Fighter 2 and the Mega Drive’s Kid Chameleon, has died following a battle with cancer.
“My Dad was an incredible artist, as everyone knows,” he wrote. “And in true artist fashion, he was also never satisfied with his final work. Just a couple weeks ago, he said he needed ‘just one more hour on a few pieces’ in order to ‘really finish them’. We all knew that just wasn’t true, though. Dad would always come visit our house, see some of the paintings he did for us over the years, and would put his nose about an inch from it and say, ‘y’know, Jobe, I wish I would have made those blues a little deeper’, or ‘you know I’d love to just splash a little more shadows on that tree’, or ‘that really needs a fresh coat of varnish on it’.”
Mick McGinty’s artwork for the cover of Street Fighter 2 would go on to be as iconic as the game itself, and his muscular, characterful artwork would also help define other 90s games such as Kid Chameleon, Shining Force and Streets of Rage 2 through his work. McGinty was born in Northeast Nebraska, and during his time as a freelance illustrator he counted the likes of Adidas, McDonalds and Universal Studios among his clients. In 2007, McGinty relocated to Arizona to be nearer to his family, where he continued to work on his own fine art and oil paintings.
“I’ve been an artist since age five, when I remember drawing an airplane better than my older brother,” wrote McGinty of his career. “It was encouraging because up until then, it was the only thing I could remember doing better. I kept at it, and I’m still trying to improve my creative process.
“Now I realise you never really get better than anyone else… just more unique to your own style, and you become the best painter you can be.”