Van Arno was an American illustrator and figurative painter that created video game box art for the NES and Game Boy early in his career. Beyond packaging illustrations for video games and other media, beginning in the early 1990s, Van began to create heroic figurative works featuring religious and folk heroes from Christian, Mayan and American history. The imagery of religion remained a fascination throughout Van's career, and his interest in ancient mythology segued to the overriding theme of his late work: powerful women in action. For more information on Van's life, see his bio on the website Escape Into Life as well as obituary Artillery Magazine.
OVGA has included Van Arno's full known box art catalog:
- Monster Party (Bandai America, Inc. | NES | 1989) attributed, see comments below
- Hyper Lode Runner (Bandai America, Inc. | Game Boy | 1990)
- Frankenstein: The Monster Returns (Bandai America, Inc. | NES | 1990)
- Zombie Nation (Meldac | NES | 1991)
- Return Fire (The 3DO Company | 3DO | 1995) not the PlayStation box art
For Zombie Nation, Van created both the background illustration and the clay models that make up the majority of the box art. Zombie Nation's publisher Meldac also released Heiankyo Alien for the Game Boy, an ad for which includes sculpted green hands holding a Game Boy that may additionally be Van's work. Separately, Van illustrated pre-release art for Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos; however, the published box instead used art from Mike Winterbauer.
In addition to his video game box art, Van also created artwork for TurboPlay, a bi-monthly, U.S.-based video game magazine that exclusively covered NEC's line of video game consoles, especially the North American models: TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine), TurboGrafx-CD (TG-CD), Turbo Duo (DUO), and the handheld TurboExpress (PC Engine GT).