Don Ivan Punchatz: The Realistic Look of Magic

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 29, 2009 in Pulp Fiction, Videogames |

Don Ivan Punchatz: Illustrator of the first Doom package

If you came of age reading science fiction in the late 60s, 70s or 80s you may have come across the illustrations of Don Ivan Punchatz who sadly just passed away. Punchatz’s illustrations were best known in the fantasy and science fiction genres and graced quite a few paperbacks, although his work covered other genres and he even did a cover or two for Time magazine (which is as good as you can get). Videogame fanboys however might best know him for his package art for the original Doom game (shown above), although his paperback cover art for the Isaac Asimov Foundation triology was my first encounter with his artwork:

Don Ivan Punchatz: Illustrations for the Foundation Trilogy by Asimov

Illustration for the cover of Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for the cover of Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl

Illustration for The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, 1968:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for The Moon Pool By A. Merritt. 1968

Illustration for The Fully Automated Love Life of Henry Keanridge by edited by Playboy, 1971:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for The Fully Automated Love Life of Henry Keanridge by edited by Playboy. 1971.

Illustration for The Man In the Maze by Robert Silverberg, 1969:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for The Man In the Maze by Robert Silverberg, 1969.

Illustration for Nightwalk by Bob Shaw, 1970:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for Nightwalk by Bob Shaw, 1970

You’ll notice that Don’s style changes a bit over time, his work in the 80s starts to become more realistic and less abstract which also reflects the fashions of the time. Although what I admire about Punchatz is that he works in a wide range of styles and does them all well. Here’s an illustration for The Green Brain by Frank Herbert, 1979:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for the Green Brain by Frank Herbert, 1979

Illustration for The Magic Labyrinth by Philip Jose Farmer, 1981:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for The Magic Labyrinth by Philip Jose Farmer, 1981

Illustration for The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer, 1983:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration for The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer, 1983

Detail of an illustration from The Gods of Riverworld, by Philip Jose Farmer:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration detail from The Gods of Riverworld

Illustrations for Harlan Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin” Said the Ticktockman, 1978:

Don Ivan Punchatz: Illustrations  for Harlan Ellison's 'Repent, Harlequin' Said the Ticktockman, 1978

Editorial illustration for Crisis in Psychoananlyis:

Don Ivan Punchatz illustration

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