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  • John Zeleznik (b. 1965)


    John Zeleznik is a Los Angeles, California-based illustrator and artist with a popular following for his long-running work for the Rifts series of role-playing games from publisher Palladium Books. 

    John Zeleznik created several illustrations for Tengen in 1989 and 1990:

    1. Fantasy Zone (NES)
    2. Rolling Thunder (NES)
    3. Alien Syndrome (NES)
    4. Shinobi (NES)
    5. Hard Drivin’ (Sega Genesis | 1990)
    6. All Points Bulletin/APB (home computer; art unused but included in Tengen ad) 
    7. Xybots (NES unreleased; included in Tengen ad)
    8. Skull & Crossbones (NES; art unused but included in Tengen ad)

    While John’s catalog for Tengen comprises his best known game work, an April 1989 cover for Video Games & Computer Entertainment (issue 3) was likely John’s first game illustration. Home computer box paintings in mid-1989 for Dark Side for Spotlight Software and Sword of Aragon for Strategic Simulations, Inc. also slightly predate John’s Tengen work. While lesser known, John illustrated the boxing game World Champ for NES in 1991.

    1993 saw John illustrate a Shinobi cover for issue 44 of GamePro magazine and poster art for Data East’s Super Nintendo release of Shadowrun. John returned to game work in 1997 and illustrated the box art for MicroProse’s X-Com: Apocalypse. Another decade later in 2007, John’s digital art graced the box of Drawn to Life for the Nintendo DS.

    John is also celebrated for his work for Magic the Gathering, Wacky Packages, and Garbage Pail Kids.

    John Zeleznik

    John Zeleznik (b. 1965)
    Born: February 11, 1965
    Nationality: American
    Location: Los Angeles, California
    Education: Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California (1987)
    Known For : Tengen
    Years Active: 1989–2007

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