Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Many Faces of Pac-Man

I'm still in a Pac-Man state of mind (isn't that a Billy Joel song?), so I'm going to meander more about him today. Please be patient, as I'm going to talk about a 1980s pop culture phenomenon, and in doing so, I sometimes get high on the 80s goodness, being a young child during that glorious decade.

One thing I've always noticed about Pac-Man is the different looks he's sported in different pictures. Of course there's the usual.





Then there are attempts to make him more 3-dimentional. To wit:


Here he has arms and legs, which really help in the ghost hunting department. Notice the eyes shaped like little Pac-men.




Here he looks much the same as above, but he now has a nose and boots. The better to run after and...smell ghosts?




AAUUGGHH! THE 80S! IT'S TOO MUCH 80S IN ONE SHOT!! MY HEART CAN'T TAKE IT!! AAUUGGHH!!




Here we learn two things about Pac-Man: he's much more lean that any of us expected (got to be all that marathon running)--and he really needs a dentist.





This is one of my favorite depictions of the man they call Pac, from his early 80s ABC Saturday morning cartoon show. The boots are back, along with a fedora (inspired by Indiana Jones, perhaps?) and a bright smile. You'll be seeing more of this incarnation in the future. Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks (oooh, blog tease).




Here is the same character design as previously seen, but for a print ad for the Nintendo version of the game rather than the cartoon show. This was when Nintendo's first home game system was the hottest thing out there, dating the ad at about 1987-89. I find this interesting, as the cartoon was off the air for a few years before this ad came out.




I love this image! It's a fan's dramatic representation of the game action, as the good guy Pac-Man (here an actual human) is chased by the fiendish ghosts, with only Pac-man's pellets to save him. Good stuff!



AAUUGGHH!! 80S!!! 80S!!! HOLY CRAP, MORE 80S!!! I'M GONNA EXPLODE!!! AAUUGGHH!! AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!




This is a funny illustration of Pac-Man by freelance artist Andrew Bell. The picture becomes downright hilarious when you learn its title: "You Said No One Would Get Hurt." Genius!



Finally, here is the Pac-Man image I've found the most unique, especially since it's from the very thing that started it all--the original arcade game version. Here we have legs, which is not uncommon, but he's more oval than round, plus, he has red eyes! Sleepless nights from being chased by ghosts, I guess? I 've always found it ironic that this console is Pac-Man's origin, yet has artwork that differs the most from the game version. Does anyone else think about these things? No, of course not, just me.

Thanks for being patient through this long-winded (for me) post. Coming up next: part 10 of the Saturday Matinee! See you then.

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