Still waiting for a medication that treats Attention Surplus Disorder.

BBS ads: a tour of ASCII and ANSI art from the 80s and 90s - Part 8

Date/Time Permalink: 05/03/06 07:12:23 am
Category: ANSI art

BAD Medicine

Well, it's been a week of flashing ANSI renders from the BBS ads at These are the last of the batch that I felt just *had* to be included. Click on any thumbnail to see the fullsize image.

As always, thank you all for your guidance and feedback. To make it perfectly clear, I am not affiliated with I only viewed the public archive, twiddled with rendering the ANSI art, and once I got it right, decided to post shots of it. I do intend offering these renders to the textfiles site, as well, since they do have other ANSI art that's rendered in a similar fashion, but none of these were rendered.

Please send your ANSI/ASCII/BBS work to - that's the archive! Of course, I appreciate your sharing of any BBS-related artwork you have with me, as well. While I was not deep into the Bulletin Board world, I was hanging out on the fringes of it. I was still nearly a kid. I was too busy hacking graphics on a Macbox at the time. If somebody went over to the PCs and later announced that they'd downloaded a game from some board, I'd look up just long enough to nod, "Um, cool, maybe we'll play it later!" When I went to the PCs, it was either to code in BASIC or C (ooooh, the struggle of first learning C!) or in whatever-the-batch-system of the PC was, or occasionally to join the others in gaming, and this was how I was first introduced to the original Sim City, Rogue, Dungeons and Dragons (I spoiled the game for everybody after I showed them how one could dupe items in the vault.) and others I can barely remember ("Captain Comic?" The original Duke Nukem?). Dialing Bulletin Boards and fighting with the crackers was something for other people to do; I just stood by. NOTE: this was PRE-Windows, the PCs I had exposure to mostly ran DOS versions plus things like XTree-Pro/Gold and Quickmenu (the famous ugly shareware Operating System that nagged you to DEATH about registering it and required a hex editor to shut the annoying damn thing up so you could use it without going crazy...bad as it is to have Emporer Gates rule the world, it would have been worse had it been the idiot who wrote Quickmenu instead.) Of course, I had known Tandys and Commodores before the PCs and Macs, but that's early childhood and I would have had no modem access.

That's about all the reminiscences about that time I have... I have enjoyed hearing all of yours!



Night Wings

Partner in Crime


Dead Mans Bluff

Virtual Hell

The Void: Marshal Law

The Morgue

Thirteenth Hour

Class exercise: What influences to the BBS art scene are self-evident from the artwork? Comic books. Heavy Metal music. Science Fiction. The Cyberpunk movement, though obviously an influence from William Gibson's novels just coming out at the time, was at the time helped along and partially evn shaped by the BBS culture. It was the beginning of the information age as far as the popular public was concerned, and nobody knew yet just where or how far we were going; we just knew that nothing would even again be as it was before.

I've been twiddling with doing my own, and may post some if I get it good enough, but as opposed to my other artwork, I don't think I'll stick much with pure ANSI art. It is a *hell* of a lot of work for little result, and the medium is kind of limiting. In the hours that it takes to draw a character-scene, I could have done a real-life image in Blender or POVray. In ANSI art, even if you're the best artist in the world, your finest work will still look about as good as a medium-quality comic book. I find myself typing in all these characters for only so long before I want to shift to doing my own C program to handle lots of details for me. Character graphics and C programs go well together.

The whole ANSI-Art tour:
Can I play too?
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

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