Good morning everyone, and welcome back to the Mirror Gallery here on Hipsters of the Coast. Today we have a special guest of sorts, a product review of something I first experienced back in October of last year when I interviewed a half dozen of their artists in two parts. That’s right; Alter Sleeves is back with something brand new and a fantastic Kickstarter campaign to share with the world. They’ve sent me a few samples and I can’t wait to show you. Let’s check them out.

The Campaign

On April 27th, 2021, Mythic Gaming and Alter Sleeves launched a brand new Kickstarter campaign for Mythic Frames, a new series of inner sleeves offering complete and cohesive Alter Sleeve designs suitable for an entire Commander deck!

The way this campaign works is backers are given a number of “credits” based on the quantity of sleeve packs they’ve pledged for. These credits are used to vote on one of the available sleeve designs, and any design needs minimum of 200 votes to be produced. As more total dollars are pledged, more options became unlocked; as of the writing of this article, all twelve designs were going to be available for voting!

At the campaign conclusion, backers will vote on which design they want, and if for some reason one design does not receive enough votes, they’ll get to re-vote for another. Based on the attention and traction of this project, I see no reason why all the different designs won’t be in the running for final production.

The Art

The sleeve designs available were created by both Alter Sleeves alterists AND working Magic: the Gathering artists. Each artist was paired with an MTG content creator to collaborate on the designs build a story behind their frame. From fire and flames to mechanics and metal to psychedelic concepts out of this world, each frame set is completely different and a unique, a concept born of collaboration and rendered exclusively for this product.

Alter Sleeves was kind enough to send me sample of each of the four Magic artist’s frames, and I in turn was able to catch up with each them to get a bit more insight into their process and hear about their experience. Let’s hear from the artists.

Aaron Miller & NissaCosplay—Team GreenSpirits

First up today is team GreenSpirits, comprised of Magic artist Aaron Miller and cosplayer NissaCosplay. Together they’ve made a frame that literally glows on the table. When I asked Aaron about his inspiration, I was taken on the most wonderful collaborative journey. Let’s begin:

Well it was less inspiration and more teamwork with Nadine. The idea was to pair an artist with a content creator to help envision their deck, and it really helped to focus the concept and make sure the project had the diversity needed for the player base. I, as usual, am swamped with work so asked if she had any ideas. And she already had sketches!!! So I’m like ‘Let’s GO!!!’

She liked the idea of the vines and Art Nouveau, and I’ve always liked Art Nouveau so that was my hook. I realized I never really got a chance to work with it. Once I started on finding designs I liked to inspire a direction for the whole thing it just took off.

This (image above) is all I needed. I knew I could make the rest work from there. It was a wild ride for me creatively.

One of Miller’s cards in the “Non-Creature” frame

Seeing what the other artists did really inspired me. They were just making some killer stuff, and the rest of the artists cheering each other on and sharing progress was really heartwarming especially after this last year.

Titus Lunter & Spice8Rack—Team WizardImmortal

Titus and I talk regularly, but when I asked him about this project and what he and his team had put together, a cold breeze swept through my office. The lights flickered, and strange music began to play in the background. Out of the darkness, a low voice spoke of what I held in my hand, artifacts of the Wizard Immortal:

In the ancient ruins of the archives on Dolsab a creature awaited the Wizard Immortal. In their hand, a fragment of reality and death itself. Theirs for the Wizard Immortal to take, if, they could beat the creature in a strange game of cards. And so it was that the Wizard Immortal laid eyes on cards decorated with the Archives themselves.

Now you too can infuse your cards with the ancient wisdom hidden on Dolsab and join the Wizard Immortal on their quest through space.

Wizard Immortal is a personal project started by Lunter, and this is his first public and published artistic foray of this brand new world. These frames bring a beautiful and otherworldly cohesion across one’s deck, transporting you to world’s unknown and unexplored within the Magic multiverse.

Do you dare follow in the footsteps of the Wizard Immortal?

Jeff Laubenstein & Zenaide Beckham—Team GoblinBlade

Jeff Laubenstein illustrated 25 cards for Magic: the Gathering in the late 1990s; prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he was a regular at Grand Prix and MagicFest events, signing cards, designing playmats, and interacting with players. He’s a man of the players, and has brought his classic style to this new project. Let’s hear from him about his collaborative creation:

I was approached to work on the newest Alter Sleeve Project—MYTHIC SLEEVES a few months ago. Teams of cosplayers and artists were being assembled to create sleeves for new themed decks. I was teamed up with Zenaide Beckham (ZBexx). As I have been drawing a daily goblin during lockdown—and had painted several goblins for MTG—a Goblin Deck seemed the way to go.

We discussed equipping the cards with crazy bladed weapons, snakes, thorns, a few goblins and some bones came to mind—as did our commander. Krenko, Mob Boss was our choice for leader of the gang and I painted a goblin appropriately with a blade crowned fedora, rings, and even a flower on his lapel to complete his Gobfather guise. There’s one more commander in the wings and I’ll be painting him soon. It’s been a fun project and I’m anxious to see the results slung out onto tables. We’re dressing the cards for victory; just remember as you leave your opponent, Krenko wants the cannoli!

Milivoj Ćeran & MTG Muddstah—Team NordicMistform

Milivoj Ćeran has become known for his Norse knotwork outside of Magic: the Gathering, so it’s no surprise to see those motifs brought in for this project. I was able to catch up with him just before he headed to the countryside for a family holiday.

My inspiration was Norse knotworks and Viking/Celtic art which I study for almost two decades. Work on my Norse Mythology book a few years ago helped me really a lot, and also a lot of knotworks I draw and explored for my upcoming book “Gate to Valhalla.”  So after drawing so many knotworks, it is really like wonderful play.

Creature frame

I combined animal characters with knotworks in Creature sleeve design, and Vikings arms & armor elements in the Non-Creature sleeve design.

Non-Creature frame

I am very happy how it turned out, and how it looks combined with Magic cards!

Milivoj was also one of (or perhaps the only) artist to create their Mythic Frame set traditionally, and you can watch his work unfold on the “Land” Frame in the slideshow below

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Wrapping Up

Again, that link to become a backer is here, and as of the publishing of this article, you’ve only got about a week to get you pledge in!

Alter Sleeves has been on the cutting edge of creating innovative products that players and collectors are asking for, and have really come through with something especially exciting in these Mythic frames. The quality is fantastic, the designs inspired and collaborative, and the end result nothing short of incredible. It’s another way to customize your deck, for the first time your entire deck, all while keeping your cards safe.

Make Mine Mythic, and don’t miss out on this most excellent opportunity to customize your Commander deck! Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

Donny Caltrider has been playing Magic since 2002 and collecting original Magic art since 2017. He has an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and enjoys telling stories about art, objects, and the intersection of fantasy with real-life. You can find him on Twitter talking about #mtgart, museums, and other #vorthos related goodness. Follow along and continue the conversation!

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