Don Ivan Punchatz

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Don Ivan Punchatz (September 8, 1936 – October 22, 2009) was a science fiction and fantasy artist who drew illustrations for numerous books and publications, including magazines such as Heavy Metal, National Geographic, Playboy, and Time.[1] He illustrated album covers, and provided the cover art for session guitarist Steve Hunter's debut solo album, Swept Away. Characterized as a "skilled hyperrealist with a penchant for the fantastic and absurd" and "elegantly weird," he produced cover art for books by Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov and others.[2]

Punchatz was born in Arlington, Texas. In 1970, he started the SketchPad Studio there, where he trained dozens of apprentices (known as "the elves") and came to be known as the "Godfather of Dallas Illustration."[3] During 1993, id Software hired him to create the Doom video game package art and logo. The result was named the second best game box art of all time by GameSpy.[4] His son, Gregor Punchatz, has worked on special effects for several movies, and also created monster sculptures for Doom.[1]

Punchatz suffered a cardiac arrest on October 11, 2009[5] and died in an Arlington hospital on October 22, 2009.[6][7]

Partial cover art bibliography[edit]

Videogame cover art[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wilonsky, Robert (October 27, 2009). "From National Lampoon to National Portrait Gallery, Paying Tribute to Don Ivan Punchatz". Dallas Observer. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Heller, Steven (November 2, 2009). "Don Ivan Punchatz, Fantasy Illustrator, Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Heller, Steven (November 2, 2009). "Don Ivan Punchatz, Fantasy Illustrator, Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Turner, Benjamin (July 27, 2004). "Top 10 Best Box Arts". GameSpy. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "DON IVAN PUNCHATZ (1936-2009)". Spectrum Fantastic Art. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
  6. ^ Spangler, Anthony (October 24, 2009). "TCU teacher left his mark in the art world". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved October 25, 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ Good, owen (November 1, 2009). "Don Ivan Punchatz, Doom Box Artist, Dies at 73". Kotaku. Retrieved June 16, 2018.

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