The first part of his big project, released in January 2019 exactly 100 days before MK XI was going to be released, it includes all Characters from Mortal Kombat I- UMK3 / Trilogy


Josef “Jiggeh” Axner is one of the artists I am following since years, he is like myself a big fighting game fan and draws excellent illustrations of fighting game characters for over ten years. 100 days before Mortal Kombat XI was released this year, he submitted the big image you see above out of nowhere and shared each of the characters seen in it as well.

A few Weeks later he kontinued with the second kollage that included all of the new kharacters from Mortal Kombat 4 as well as Sareena from Mortal Kombat Mythologies and even the bosses from Mortal Kombat: Special Forces…they were most likely the best part of that game actually.

This means he drew over 40 character illustrations in around one month which made me rise at least one eyebrow already. When he kontinued again with the Mortal Kombat “3D Era” games and even included kharacters like Mokap and redesigned Kobra to his probably best-looking form ever seen I knew that this project needs to be featured in some way here. 

So I thought a small interview about this art tribute and Mortal Kombat but also about himself and his favorite fighting games might be a kool idea, and yup, Josef liked the idea and gave me some insight about his “Kombat Kontinues”  project. I also can’t agree more about what he said about Virtua Fighter and it being “dead” too long now. Have a good read and also have a good look at his gallery on deviantART here!



What was your motivation to draw just all of the Mortal Kombat characters in such a short time?

I actually started drawing some MK characters (that ended up being the first ones for this project) about two years ago, with some vague idea of drawing every MK character. Of course, I’ve drawn many of them numerous times before, but something about drawing them all in a consistent series just seemed to scratch my itch for compiling some kind of bigger project.

I wasn’t very disciplined though so I fell off pretty quickly, but with the announcement of MK11 I got fired up all over again!

I started wanting to continue the abandoned project, and realized that it should be possible to finish everyone by the time of MK11’s release, so here we are.


Quan Chi, Sareena, Shinnok, Fujin from Mortal Kombat 4 & MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero and even the almost unknown No Face from Mortal Kombat: Special Forces


Mortal Kombat is one of the longest running fighting game series now alongside Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown. But it went through more changes than probably every other big fighting game series. which were some of your favorite changes in the Mortal Kombat games, and are there any features of older MK games you would like to see return?

Fighting games have always been my favorite genre of games going back to the early 90’s and Mortal Kombat is no exception. As I eventually started becoming more serious about learning and understanding fighting games on a more competitive level it became clear to me that the MK games were in fact not “good” games in the competitive sense, in fact I would go so far as to say that a majority of Mortal Kombat games are quite poorly-designed fighting games… but between the characters, story, world, atmosphere and so on, I always loved the games nonetheless.

The fact that the MK series have kept going for over 25 years and have reinvented itself multiple times also gives it a unique appeal – as a creative fan I think it makes it not just possible, but even appropriate, to make my own personal interpretation and twist on the characters.

As far as the specifics of the changes and transformations the series has gone through, easily the most important in my mind is the massively increased sophistication of the overall game design that came in MK9 – finally in the modern NRS era we could get games where the game mechanics were just as good as the rest of the game. The mix of 2D and 3D mechanics is unique to NRS games and feels really great… I think the gameplay gets better with each game, and the current MK games are to me among the most fun fighting games to play these days.

Overall I would say that MKX and MK11 has most of what I like best about the series, but of course, there’s stuff that I think would be great fun to see again. I loved the joke artwork, behind the scenes videos and other fun stuff they used to put in the Krypt in Deadly Alliance and Deception, I really would like to see that kind of stuff back. I also thought the 3D era overall had some very cool stages!

Although the “death trap” system was kind of broken, I would love to see NRS to figure out a way to bring it back, so we could see the return of the Falling Cliffs (maybe the coolest stage in MK history).

On that note, bring back the Yin-Yang Island as well! Actually, that’s the coolest MK stage. Finally, I’d like to mention that in my mind, the photo-realistic characters using real actors was always the strongest defining factor of MK’s atmosphere, and for a long time I was kind of bummed that the MK games had a less realistic look… so I’m very happy that with MK11, NRS have started to reach the point of “real” looking characters in 3D, with the faces clearly based on real people.

If they were to bring back some of the original actors to reprise their roles in a future game, I would really love it!

The Mortal Kombat “3D Era ” Games, Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, Deception and Armageddon + Dark Kahn from MK vs. DC. The majority of the kharacters were redesigned by Jiggeh 😉 


What are your favorite Mortal Kombat characters, and why?

I’m a long-time, old school MK fan, so my favorites are almost all from MK1 and 2. I couldn’t pick a single favorite, but I’ve always loved Sonya, Johnny Cage, Kano, Kung Lao, Jax, Shao Kahn… but honestly, everyone in those first two games are great. I don’t think I could give a good explanation as to “why”, but I think aside from the visual designs, the characters in the first two games had simple but strong and straightforward backstories and motivations, making them more relatable.

Starting with MK3 I felt that many of the characters felt more haphazard and in the 3D era especially so many characters felt extremely bland, with visual designs, fighting styles, abilities and backstories that had little to do with each other.

I do think they did a great job with the newcomers in MKX however! Cassie, Takeda, D’Vorah, Kotal Kahn, Erron Black and Ferra/Torr were all awesome additions that had unique personalities, fighting styles and visual designs that really added something to the MK universe. Of course, with Sonya and Johnny being my favorite characters I guess it’s obvious I would like Cassie in particular :)

Finally all the newcomers with the exception of the guest kharacters from Mortal Kombat X and XI


What are your favorite fighting games right now in 2019? And which fighting game series would you love to see return?

Right now I’m enjoying MK11 a lot! There are too many fighting games coming out these days for me to fully get into all of them, and MK11 is definitely eating up all of my fighting game playing time currently.

But I definitely enjoy watching tournaments for games like SF5, DOA6, Tekken 7, etc. Looking forward a little bit, I am very excited for the return of Samurai Shodown! I unfortunately never played the series all that much, but I have absolutely loved the art and characters ever since the first game, and I’m really glad to have a great opportunity to jump into the series with the new game coming out.

As far as returning series… well, as a lover of old, obscure games, I could give you any number of more or less jokey – if honest – answers (something like Goiken Muyou, Martial Champion, Star Gladiator, Kaiser Knuckle, Breaker’s, Eternal Champions), but truthfully the answer is simple: VIRTUA FIGHTER!

Virtua Fighter has always been my favorite fighting game in terms of game mechanics, and I think the series has long been woefully underrated in the western gaming community. It’s now been 13 years(!) since the release of Virtua Fighter 5, and about 7 years since the game received its last update. It’s definitely high time for Virtua Fighter 6! Please SEGA…


Thanks a lot for the interview, I think it will be the first one of a series with artists that created interesting video game fan art tributes of their own!