Pacman has inspired more spinoff pieces of art than I can name, but none have been so extensive as this print that fits a wide variety of characters – 48 to be exact – into the shape of Pac Man ghosts.
While you may not recognize every single character on this chart – and you definitely might not care about some rather generic inclusions like Kirby and Sonic – there is definitely something for everyone in this work of art by Ryan Coleman.
Currently, my favourite game is Minecraft, so I was pretty pleased (or rather, unnerved) to find a creeper staring at me from the second row. I’m also happy to see that he used the sprite of Link from A Link to the Past as the basis for that particular icon, as it looks great inside the ghost outline – and of course, the game it represents is an all-time great.
Other perennial but less-known favourites such as Rorschach from Watchmen and Kevin Flynn from Tron are also depicted, albeit looking a bit wonky. The eclectic cast is joined by some rather unlikely choices like the Reddit alien, Waldo of “Where’s Waldo” fame, and two characters from Pulp Fiction.
I really like how some of these characters look perfectly suited for their new life as Pacman ghosts – the Metroid is particularly accomplished, and the helmets on characters like Master Chief, Darth Vader and Megaman also look quite convincing. Zoidberg, being quite tentacly himself, hardly looks different from the way we normally see him. The characters who have had their feet turned into the ghost wisps also look excellent – Batman and Superman are prime examples of this technique being put to good use.
My only gripe about this piece is that the artist should have used a pixellated style for all of the aliens, not just the ones from retro games. Still, it’s definitely worth taking a close look at this piece and seeing how many of the characters you can recognize.
Other artists have had similar ideas, creating pieces of art that are very similar in style and form but depict different characters. For example, this Mario-inspired print features a variety of random brands, pieces of software, and even atmospheric phenomena stamped on the same Super Mushroom template. This series of Star Wars helmets rendered in a triangular pixel style also follows the same design concept as the mushroom print.