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Carl Critchlow is another of my nostalgia artists; when I see his work on Magic: the Gathering, I also think about his earlier work I’ve enjoyed. The Thrud the Barbarian strips from very old White Dwarf issues, plus some great painted artwork in a 2000AD story in the early nineties.
In Magic, Crtichlow’s work appears less often these days than it used to, but his art is always a welcome sight. Critchlow’s art gives significance to even the least relevant Magic card. The sets may have ‘filler’ cards, but Critchlow’s art always carries some weight. Here are five of my favourites:
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava
This character appeared in the Planar Chaos set, and represents an alternate version of a Magic character. In this case a noble white creature has become a fierce green creature.
This card first appeared in Onslaught and has been reprinted several times since, always with the same art. You can see why.
Silvos, Rogue Elemental
Silvos was one of a series of gladiator creatures (note the arena in the background). Of the five, this art was always my favourite. The contrast between the dusty arena, blue sky, and lush forest green of Silvos shows us just how out of place this fighter is.
Rumbling Slum appeared in the original Ravnica block, and shows abandoned buildings given new life through magical animation. The anti-urban mages then send the unwanted buildings against the city which abandoned them! This is one piece where the more you look, the more little details you see.
This is my favourite zombie card art in Magic, and it appears on a token!
Carl Critchlow has illustrated more than 200 Magic cards, you can see them all here, or else visit the artist’s website.
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