[ Retro GIF of the Week ] The Feminine Eye

December 10th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Eye Retro GIF - circa late 1980sClick to see other views of this image: [ Original Size ] [ 2X Zoom ] [ 3X Zoom ]

This eye is more than meets the eye. You probably can’t see it at this size, but click on the “3X Zoom” link above and you might notice a face and what might be a shoulder (or a six-fingered hand) reflected in the pupil of the eyeball. Neat detail.

Unlike many GIFs that circulated back in the day, this one is signed — twice, in fact. In the upper left, we see a small box containing stylized letters spelling “The Mage.” In the lower right, we see “A.H.”

I’ve seen other GIFs with the same resolution and color depth signed “A.H.”, so I assume that is the artist. “The Mage” might have been the name of a BBS that happened to tag the image, or perhaps is was simply an alias of A.H.

When combined with its 320 x 200 dimensions, its odd 5-bit / 32-color color depth reveals that this image was created on an Amiga. That means it is likely that it did not originate as a GIF file, and that it could be older than the 1992 file date. But until I find an older source of the image, I won’t know for sure.

Retro GIF of the Week Fact Box
Source File Name: EYE2.GIF
Source File Date: August 6, 1992
Source File Format: GIF – 87a (non-interlaced)
Dimensions: 320 x 200 pixels
Color Depth: 5-bit (32 color) (Amiga OCS)
Origin Platform: Amiga
Derived From: Unknown
Creation Date: Unknown
Artist: Avril Harrison (Updated 12/11/2012)
If you know more about the origin of this image, please leave a comment.

10 Responses to “[ Retro GIF of the Week ] The Feminine Eye”

  1. Jim Leonard Says:

    I’m pretty sure this is from an Amiga demo. I’ll poke around.

  2. Blake Patterson Says:

    A.H. is Avril Harrison, a noted video game artist who created most of the pack-in sample art for EA’s Deluxe Paint for Amiga.

    Quick DPaint image search:

    He created artwork for a number of games, apparently including the Monkey Island series. A discussion here tells more:

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    Awesome, Blake! Somehow I thought you’d know who he she was. I seem to recall you identifying some vintage Christmas art a few years ago too.

  4. Blake Patterson Says:

    The most famous single image of A.H.’s digital career has to be the then-impossibly perfect looking Deluxe Paint King Tut.


  5. â–“â–’â–‘ TORLEY â–‘â–’â–“ Says:

    Insightful posts and comments like these are precisely why I ♥ this blog! I am experiencing major Amiga flashbacks right now. I’ll always fondly remember learning about 4096 colors in HAM mode for Deluxe Paint!

    I didn’t know who Avril Harrison was before despite having seen a lot of his work in my tender years… now to pursue some more! 😀

  6. â–“â–’â–‘ TORLEY â–‘â–’â–“ Says:

    Thru Blake’s link I learned that Avril Harrison is female, and found more of her creations in this well-organized (in theme!) treasure trove of classic Amiga art: http://amiga.lychesis.net/

    Now my eyeballs are going to be glued here for the next stretch of hours.

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    I guess that makes sense, Torley, as Avril means “April” in French, and it is usually a female name — in the US at least.

    That King Tut image is amazing, Blake, and it is so famous from that Deluxe Paint cover that I wasn’t going to touch it (even though I do have it as a GIF file).

    It’s fun what we’ve been learning from this study of GIFs so far, isn’t it? More fun is definitely yet to come.

  8. Retrocosm Says:

    I spent many hours creating images on the 64 and Amiga. A lot of us used to post images on Compunet and I was thrilled at the age of 14 to be asked to do the loading screen for a motorcycling racing game, name of which escapes me.

    Unfortunately I’ve lost all of the 64 images I created, sigh. Last year I did find a couple of unfinished Amiga images I worked on with Deluxe Paint but that’s all I have left.


    Avril Harrison’s King Tut was the gold standard!

  9. Blake Patterson Says:

    Wow, did not know Avril was female. I guess that makes sense. (Ms. Lavigne, etc…)

  10. matt sarconi Says:

    Just stumbled upon a “retro graphic of the week” illustration of a human eye up close. The captions mentions the AH signature and guesses that is the artist. Her name is Avril Harrison, and for a few years there in the mid to lat 1980’s, she was the queen of game art. Her “Waif”, “King Tut” and other digital drawings put EA’s Deluxe Paint on the map, and showcased the potential of digital art. She was celebrated from afar back in her home town in Scotland, and she deserves due credit for her pioneering artwork.

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