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Comix Zone

Comix Zone Genesis BoxComix Zone is a beat ‘em up video game developed by Sega Technical Institute and published by Sega.  Released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive console the game featured a very unique art style for the time.  The game’s environment is set within the panels of a comic book with dialogue rendered within speech bubbles.  The bright colorful sprites and backgrounds along with the dynamic drawing style simulated superhero comic books.

Even though the comic book art style concept has been implemented in previous video games such as Batman: The Caped Crusader in 1988 by Ocean Software the team at Sega taken the idea to a whole new level.  The development team expanded upon the concept to such an extent that Sega applied for and was granted a patent for a “Videogame system for creating simulated comic book game”.

The concept for the game was conceived in 1992 when game designer Peter Morawiec created an animated demo video for the Commodore Amiga titled “Joe Pencil Trapped in The Comix Zone”.  The short demo explored how gameplay could be incorporated with comic book elements to create a simulated comic book video game.

The plot centers around Sketch Turner a starving comic book artist from New York City.  During an unusual thunderstorm, Sketch becomes trapped in his own comic book while Mortus, the main villain of the comic book that he created is transported into the real world.  Inside the comic book world Sketch meets General Alissa Cyan who believes Sketch is a superhero that was sent to save their post-apocalyptic world.  Meanwhile in the real world, Mortus tries to put a stop to Sketch by drawing new villains on the pages of the comic book which come to life in the comic book world.

Players take control of Sketch as he battles his way through the pages of the comic book with the help of his pet rat Roadkill, who was electrocuted during the thunderstorm enabling him to zap enemies.  The game progresses linearly through each page of the comic book, however secret paths and alternate routes through the story can be discovered.

The game received positive reviews upon release praising the development team for the unique art style that recreated the look and feel of a comic book.  The game was ported to Windows 3.1 in 1995 by Sega and to the Game Boy Advance in Europe only in 2002 by Virtucraft.  It has been included in several Sega compilations and a multitude of digital releases on Nintendo, Xbox and Sony platforms.

Comix Zone Logo
Developer(s)Sega Technical Institute
Mega Drive
Media TypeCartridge
ReleaseNA: August 2, 1995
JP: September 1, 1995
EU: October 27, 1995
Genre(s)Beat ’em up
Development TimeTBD
RatingESRB: KA
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
PC – 1995
Game Boy Advance – 2002

Wii – 2007
Xbox – 2009
iOS / Android – 2017

Xbox 360 – 2010
PlayStation 3 – 2010
Genesis Mini – 2019

Game Screenshots:

Concept Demo & History Behind Comix Zone

Peter MorawiecPeter MorawiecConcept
Art Director
A.I. Scripting
Voice Actor (Gravis)
Adrian StephensAdrian StephensTechnical Director
A.I. Scripting
Howard DrossinHoward DrossinMusic
Sound Effects
Voice Actor (Sketch, Mortus, Strigil, Kung-Fung)
Kunitake AokiKunitake AokiBackgrounds
Christian SennChristian G. SennBackgrounds
Profile PlaceholderFei ChengBackgrounds
Voice Actor (Styx the Monk)
Profile PlaceholderThomas TobeyAnimation
Bob SteeleBob SteeleAnimation
Profile PlaceholderRoss HarrisAnimation
Craig StittCraig StittAnimation
Dean RugglesDean RugglesAnimation
Profile PlaceholderTony De ZunigaConceptual Art
Profile PlaceholderAlex NinoConceptual Art
Robert MorganRobert MorganA.I. Scripting
Dean LesterDean LesterExecutive Producer
A.I. Scripting
Deborah CostaVoice Actor (General Alyssa Cyan)
Special Thanks
Sue OrtlipVoice Actor (Mongoria)
Special Thanks
Michael WallisMichael WallisAssociate Producer
Kim RogersKim RogersLead Tester
Profile PlaceholderSean DoidgeTesters
Profile PlaceholderFernando ValderramaTesters
Profile PlaceholderStephen C. WongTesters
David WoodDavid WoodTesters
Profile PlaceholderChris ColonTesters
Profile PlaceholderMarc DawsonTesters
Mike WilliamsMike WilliamsTesters
Profile PlaceholderArnold FeenerTesters
Profile PlaceholderAron DrayerTesters
Profile PlaceholderAbraham NavarroTesters
Profile PlaceholderRoger SommervilleTesters
Profile PlaceholderMichael McCollumTesters
Profile PlaceholderRob PrideauxTesters
Joel BretonJoel BretonTesters
Anthony LynchAnthony LynchTesters
Jeff JunioJeff JunioTesters
Janine CookJanine CookTesters
Profile PlaceholderRey AlferezTesters
Shinobu ToyodaShinobu ToyodaSpecial Thanks
Roger HectorRoger HectorSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderSidd SN SystemsSpecial Thanks
Sheri HockadaySpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderTerry TangSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderJohn DugganSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderTim GedemerSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderMrowa The HouseSpecial Thanks

Genesis (North American Release)

Sega Mega Drive (European Release)

PC (Windows 3.1 & 95)

Game Boy Advance (European Release)

Media & Promotional Material