Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Panels Part 3: Magic, Jim Lee, and The Sandman

1) Magic: the Gathering

This year, Wizards of the Coast celebrates Magic: the Gathering's 20th anniversary! Yay! The panel consisted of Mark Rosewater, Mark Purvis, Jenna Helland, and Dave Guskin. One of the celebratory things is the upcoming From the Vaults: 20 that rereleases a card from each year that changed Magic in a significant way. Unsurprisingly, the most coveted and expensive card is Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which made standard play hell for its entire run. I was most excited by the alternate art to Akroma's Vengeance and Guilded Lotus.

Other cards in the set include Hymn to Tourach, Dark Ritual, Green Sun Zenith, Chameleon Colossus, Kessig Wolf Run, Char, Chainer's Edict, Fact or Fiction, Tangle Wire, Thran Dynamo, Wall of Blossoms, Fyndhorn Elves, Swords to Plowshares, Cruel Ultimatum, Venser Shaper Savant, Ink Eyes Servant of Oni, and Impulse. You can buy this for about $200 online or at a local game store. They talkd about the new versus deck, Heroes vs. Monsters, which plays into their new set. They also mentioned that a new Commander preconstructed decks would come out November 1st. These decks feature many reprints of older cards and 51 brand new cards, including this one:

Then they moved on to the upcoming set in a new block: Theros. It's heavily influenced by Greek mythology (which I love! It makes my nerd heart sing!) and features 3 main factions: gods, monsters, and heroes. Here is some of the gorgeous art of this set.

This last art is my absolute favorite. No cards were spoiled, but the new border for some of the cards was revealed and of course it's beautiful.

For the prerelease, events will give players packs in a way similar to the faction packs from Return to Ravnica except they will be monocolored and are different paths for the hero (you) and each pack comes with a different hero card that can be used to fight a hydra on game day.

I can't wait for this new set and I'm so excited to find out about the different cards. Not many cards have been spoiled yet, but I hope all the gods are enchantment creatures, which hasn't been common before.

2) Jim Lee

Jim Lee is a comic book artist for Marvel comics and Image comics. This panel is a live demonstration of his art. I expected it to be mildly interesting, but he was hilarious. He talked about his life, his family, and his art. His family really wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer when he was growing up. He talked about choosing the name Jim (after James T. Kirk) when he moved to America from Korea. There was no real organization to anything and he just commented on what he drew or whatever he wanted while he drew. He called up 3 people from the audience to help him fill in some areas in black and then gave away the art using a bizarre method of serial numbers on money. Here are the completed works that he gave away. (Sorry for the bad pictures. His hands moved a lot.) This first one is of Death from The Sandman.

This next one is of the Joker from Batman with very scary teeth.

This last one wasn't completed, but it was of Superman bursting through some boulders. There were lots of jokes about the sleep-like face and the fascist arm position.

The panel was unexpectedly delightful and I will definitely go see it again next year.

3) The Sandman: 25th Anniversary and Beyond

The Sandman series has been completed for quite a while and this year marks its 25th anniversary. Recently, it has been announced that a prequel will come out. Most of the panel was dedicated to looking back on The Sandman and the great many comic book covers for the artists, author, and others to reminisce. The panel consisted of Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Todd Klein, and J. H. Williams III. The interesting thing to note about these mixed media covers is that there was no photoshop then. It's an amazing feat to create them anyway, but when limited to actual photographs and drawings that can't be easily resized or manipulated in photoshop is even more amazing. Here is one of my favorites.

The new Sandman comic is called The Sandman Overture, written by Neil Gaiman and J. H. Williams III. The first issue will be released October 11, 2013. They showed the cover art, an alternate cover art, and then the first couple of pages.

I can't wait to read this, but I will probably wait for the trade paperback just because I don't have much room for individual comic books.

That's all the panels! I count myself very lucky to have gone to so many.

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