You’ve seen all the San Diego Comic Con super special planeswalker cards right? Here they are again:

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The art isn’t exceptional but isn’t horrible. I actually like the Gideon art a whole bunch.

The concept, however, is weak. The ten plus years we’ve been culturally stuck in “zombies are cool” is hopefully coming to a close. It was awesome when Marvel did it in 2005 with Marvel Zombies. It was awesome when The Walking Dead premiered in 2003. I haven’t tuned into the show in almost two seasons after initially being obsessed with it. It’s getting old.

I get that Liliana makes zombies and logically it’s a good fit. Zombies are unaffected by Eldrazi magic. Cool, cool. I get it. I’m just bored of the zombie solution/problem/etc.

Let’s say we’re okay with the concept. Let’s say we like the paintings Eric Deschamps made. When we look at the full art we can see that there’s a sort of full length painting style/beauty to them that commands our attention.


Take Gideon (again, my fave of the bunch) for example. He’s a full body, not a half body. There is detail in his decaying legs, in his leg armor, in his dangling hand (the attached one) that we can’t see in the actual card. Seems like a waste to cut off the bottom half of the image when, in 15 minutes, I was able to design a totally serviceable full art card that shows off the entirety of Deschamps’ painting.


Sure it’s not the most readable, but it would be if WOTC designed it. The full art card makes Gideon feel like a full-bodied planeswalker. Why cut him up when we want to actually see the entirety of his zombified body?!? What’s the point of having a concept like “planeswalker zombies” and then half assing it (or as in this case, no assing it, as all asses are hidden behind the rules text)?!


What if we could see more of Nissa’s flowers?


A more dynamic pose from Chandra “Rejected Character from The Mummy” Flamecaller that shows some of the details of her burnt skirt and steam punk boots?

Why pay Dechamps to make these special paintings—I imagine it’s a pretty big deal for Magic artists to get this commission—and then only show half? Missed opportunities bum me out. Wizards of the Coast generates its fair share of them. I get that like fifty people on Earth will own these and it doesn’t really matter. Still, these promos could’ve looked a lot cooler and felt a lot more special.

Matt Jones is an artist living in Manhattan and working in Brooklyn. He currently has an Unlimited Black Lotus for sale.

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