Immediate release– 18 May 2009

Two former DMU students have been awarded a guest space in the forthcoming‘Darkstalkers Tribute’ art book to be published by the people who brought us Street Fighter comic books.

Martin Lewis and Pete Popham set up Kuma Studios at De Montfort University’s Innovation Centre in Leicester in February 2008, a year after achieving 1st class honours degrees in graphic design and illustration. They beat stiff international competition and were shortlisted from over 2,000 artists to create the computer game inspired illustration for the book, featuring alongside international comic industry leaders.

Darkstalkers, or Vampire as it is known in Japan and Asia, is based on a series of games for the Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn and Dreamcast, and is a favourite with fans of games and anime worldwide.

The Darkstalkers Tribute book follows the success of last year’s 20th anniversary Street Fighter art book from comic entertainment company, Udon Entertainment and global video game developer, Capcom Games. Udon is releasing the Darkstalkers Tribute book to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Darkstalkers game franchise.

The tribute book comprises artwork that has been specially created by many of the top artists in the video games and comics industries, as well as a limited selection of work submitted by fans internationally. Pete and Martin will be sharing space in the book with all of the Udon artists, including their artist heroes Omar Dogan, Arnold Tsang, Joe Ng and Chamba as well as Mark Brooks, Jo Chen, Adam Hughes and Yasuhiro Nightow, a world-renowned manga and anime creator.

Martin Lewis said:“When we were accepted into the art book, it was like a dream come true. I've played Street Fighter and Darkstalkers since I was a kid. I used to stare for hours at the instructions and game box art. The characters just blew me away. They were like nothing I'd ever seen. Capcom inspired me to draw and be creative, but also gave me the drive to be original and make work that is dramatic, surreal and unusual yet still endearing. Pete and I are really pleased because, not only is our work being published in the same pages as our heroes, but this is the first time we've had the opportunity to showcase our artwork to an international audience.”

Kuma Studios recently received a bursary from Creative Leicestershire which enabled them to expand their computer hardware making it much easier to participate in projects like this.

Martin added:“It's great to have the capacity to work on bigger, more interesting projects. We're currently working on an animated TV ad alongside Media Renegades (a video and photography production studio, also at the Innovation Centre). We're hoping to continue this success and are now looking to find more inspiring projects to work on in the coming months.”

Stuart Hartley, Programme Manager for Business Incubation and Enterprise at DMU, said:“It’s great to see the creativity and innovation of former De Montfort University students being turned into successful business start ups with the help of the University’s Innovation Centre resources. Pete and Martin can feel very proud of their achievement and we wish them every success.”

The book will be available online and through specialist retailers from September.


Notes to editors

For more information or to arrange interviews with Kuma Studios, please call DMU’s Press and PR Office on 0116 250 6244.

Image shows an example of Kuma Studios’ work.

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