The Bow on Birdo is run by Drew Mackie (not related to this guy… at least, not as far as I’m aware), and is a Mario picture blog which frequently updates, usually daily, with Mario images from any number of sources, be they official art, fan art, comics, in-game images, or even screen captures from cartoons.
Following are some of my favorite selections:
Remember back when Nintendo told us that the Nintendo 64 graphics would look just like this? I sure do. Didn’t really quite work out that way, did it?
I actually still have this issue of MAD somewhere. Sadly, they didn’t really do as much with Mario or Nintendo as the cover would have one believe.
I seem to recall this being one of my first real exposures to Nintendo, before I even had an NES. This ad was placed in quite a few comics, as I recall, including several issues of Marvel’s Transformers, and perhaps even some Archie titles– maybe even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. Can’t say I had the appreciation for them then that I do now. What’s Mario supposed to be doing with his outstretched hand, anyway?
And finally, my personal favorite…
I have this on a folder, somewhere, that I came across at Walmart a long time ago. It’s an awesome piece, depicting Metal Mario somewhere in the underground of Super Mario 64. Always thought it was an awesome piece, even if the game didn’t look quite that good. And yet, in searching for it online, I could never find it… that is, until now.
In addition to The Bow on Birdo, Mackie also runs a blog about video games and more at Back of the Cereal Box. Among the notable entries there is this interesting composition about the names of many of the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, and various facts and coincidences throughout. For example:
Confusing the issue further, however, is the theory that Mario and Luigi got their names from the Japanese words marui and ruiji, which mean “round” and “similar” respectively. (The former is also related to the name of the Maru Mari, an item in the Metroid series that’s now known as the Morph Ball.) The marui-ruiji theory is probably wrong, but it’s still interesting to consider. Mario does have a bit of a paunch nowadays, though he looked trimmer back when he was first named. (Early video graphics were ill-equipped to portray slight tubbiness.) And Luigi did debut in Mario Bros. as a palette swap — that is, he had Mario’s sprite with a different color scheme.
Incidentally, there is one picture featured that matches up the Koopa Kids with their real-world namesakes… as well as Bowser Jr. I have no idea who his counterpart is supposed to be, though.
And of course, there are many more linked from there. But rather than post it all here, I’ll leave some of the fun of discovery (albeit the same kind which makes people curse links to sites such as TV Tropes, once they’ve lost their afternoon) to you.