Artist Spotlight – Susan Jaekel!

Adventure featured

When I first came up with the idea to house the rebind of RPO in an original traycase, it was the natural step to track down some of the original atari artists to see whether they would be open to contributing to the production.

There are numerous games mentioned throughout the book and there are a few that are integral to the plot (and i’m pleased to say all of those artists are contributing), but there was one particular title that spawned the plot of Ready Player One itself… Adventure

The legendary RPG developed by Warren Robinett for the Atari 2600 was the first known game to include the Easter Egg concept, and was the inspiration for “Halliday’s Hunt“. An immensely popular game for the console, and not least due to the beautifully designed and vibrant cover by the wonderfully talented Susan Jaekel.

Susan was the first artist I managed to track down for this rebind, and she was really enthusastic about recreating the cover of Adventure. She was an absolute dream to work with and has done an incredible job on the painting and the prints look incredible.

Biography

Susan’s love of drawing and reading were always present as a child; she was surrounded by art and inspiration from her art director and illustrator parents. After graduating from San Jose State University, she became a commercial illustrator, focusing on text and trade children’s books nationwide.

Living in Silicon Valley, Susan had the opportunity to do work for Apple Computer’s educational division and other tech companies. In 1977, she showed her portfolio to Atari art director Steve Hendricks. A creative collaboration grew and she illustrated Hangman, Basic Math, Brain Games, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Circus, Concentration and Adventure. The Atari work was exciting and differed from her educational work, being able to work larger and with greater creative freedom.

In 2018 Susan was honored to be included in the “Women in Games” show at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, featured as the one illustrator with several notable women pioneers and designers in the games industry.

Today her focus is on fine art, having the time to spend painting botanicals and pet portraits in pastel. Her work can be found on her website, susanjaekel.com