Crash Bandicoot - Artwork - Joe Pearson


The following art and commentary was created by Joe Pearson. Joe was one of the main artists for the game and provided many of the original designs and ideas for the series. A huge thanks goes to him for sending the following pictures and comments.

Joe Pearson says:
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution
Cortex Evolution

Cortex Evolution

As I mentioned in my earlier notes, I did the majority of the initial character sketches for the first Crash game. Once a design was approved, Charles took over and really made the designs work by turning" them in multiple poses and attitudes.

For Cortex, the brief from Naughty Dog was to design a classic evil scientist/brainiac. This is hard to beat as great subject matter for an artist. Villains in many ways are more fun and certainly easier to design than heros.

So I did these initial 10 designs. I'm sure 3 or 4 would have been plenty, but I was having a lot fun. I'm pretty happy with the group of them. They have a lot of variety and in the end, any one of them could have made a strong Cortex.

The consensus at Naughty Dog was that they wanted to see a combination of two of the designs, a fusion of number 1 and number 10, keeping the lower face and beard of number 1, but putting it on the head and eyes of number 10 and the general costume and body of number 10.


Final Cortex

Final Cortex

The combined elements led to the final design which we see on number 11. I'm not sure, but this drawing of number 11 may have been done by me, "after the fact". Charles may have done the first "final" design of Cortex. He might remember... He certainly did all of the hard work, doing the full body turns and attitude poses for Cortex (and all the other characters).

Anyhow, I'm very happy with the final version of our Bad Boy, but I would have liked to have kept the exposed brain pans. Maybe in a future design.


Castle Cortex (monochrome)

Castle Cortex (monochrome)

This was the design I generated for "Castle Cortex". My influences from Tim Kirk and Vaughn Bode were certainly on display in the Crash backgrounds.

Castle Cortex (color)

Castle Cortex (color)

Here's the fantastic color background that was done for Castle Cortex. I did not paint this, but I did art direct it.

Both this piece and the inked version of the Castle are very long horizontal pieces. Click on them to get the full image. Gregg did this beautiful painting. So really this piece was done by two Kirk-influenced artists.


Evolvo-Ray (monochrome)

Evolvo-Ray (monochrome)

Here's another background design that I did for the first Crash video game. It's the evolvo ray which I created for the game and detailed in the "bible" I wrote for the game. Basically it "evolves" any animal that Neo Cortex captures and sticks underneath it. Crash was one of many critters who got the "evolvo" treatment.

Evolvo-Ray (color)

Evolvo-Ray (color)

Here's the color key which was painted for the evolvo ray. I can't take credit for it, but it's a lovely piece and really pulls the design together. Gregg colored it.

Cortex Vortex

Cortex Vortex

Here's a color version of another BG that was done for the first Crash Bandicoot game. I did the drawing, but not the lovely color treatment. The concept behind this BG, The Cortex Vortex" was that the hapless and recently evolved Bandicoot would be raised up into the center of the Vortex which is a mass of hundreds of TV screens and monitors all designed to educate and create the ultimate general for Cortex. Unfortunately, a hundred hours of exposure drove Crash crazy and he was ejected from the Castle as a failed experiment.

Cortex Vortex Interior

Cortex Vortex Interior

Here's the background for the interior of the Vortex.

Rough Character Designs
Rough Character Designs

Rough Character Designs


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