Mark A. Nelson is a prolific illustrator, comics artist, concept artist and art director.
He has worked in the comic book field on a variety of projects, with both the independent and major publishers. Some of his credits include: Aliens for Dark Horse Comics; Blood and Shadows, a co-created and creator-owned project with Joe R. Lansdale for D.C.; Feud, a co-created and creator-owned project for the Marvel Epic line; Nightbreed; and Hellraiser. He has also worked for TSR, Dragon magazine, Wizards of the Coast, FASA, and many other publishers, as well as gaming and visual development companies like Raven Software, Sega Games and Pure Imagination Studios.
While Mark’s better known video game work is that which he did for Raven Software, where he was a senior artist from 1998–2004, his earliest known work for games was done freelance in 1989 for Sega/Tonka where he illustrated the Sega Masters System box art for Rastan and Time Soldiers. At the time, Mark was a Professor of Art at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois where for 20 years (1978–1998) he taught courses in illustration, printmaking, figure drawing, and basic drawing. Then-located in Sycamore, Illinois in proximity to the university, ex-Tonka connections from Mark’s early Sega work led to a recommendation and the gig to illustrate the box art for Chicago-based Konami’s 1994 game Contra: Hard Corps. Tucked between soldier Ray Poward’s legs on the box art is an ‘N’ in a small circle, a hidden clue to Mark’s involvement. Mark’s time in Sycamore lives on in his signature MAN-SYC, which stands for “Mark A. Nelson - Sycamore.”
Now based in Missouri City, Texas, Mark runs his own studio (along with his wife, Anita), Grazing Dinosaur Press.
OVGA has included below Mark A. Nelson’s full known box art catalog:
- Rastan (Sega | Master System | 1989)
- Time Soldiers (Sega | Master System | 1989)
- Contra: Hard Corps (Konami | Genesis-US | 1994)