2/17/2010 StF: "Staging an Intervention"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
I read that last paragraph and couldn't help but think of strong bad: "ARROWED!"
I hope the role of cleavage on Magic cards can be addressed in a future article.  I would love to hear your take on it.  Obviously the huge breasts recommendation comes from WotC, but I think the work of Rebecca Guay flies in the face of that.  I think the lack gigantic anime style boobs with extensive cleavage is one of the reasons (obviously as well as the beautiful work) that Guay's artwork is so popular, especially to the fairer sex.
I understand that smaller breast sizes may be outlawed in Australia, but it does get a bit silly.  I know there are exceptions to this rule, but they are definitely the exception.
Seems like a lot of lands will be vivified in Worldwake... Wink
"Her sword sings more beautifully than any choir."

Fine, it does anthropmorphism but I've always felt as prose its rather clunky. Not great for text for thats about divine song.

How about this simple revision for the next time she appears...

"Her sword sings more sweetly than any choir."

Rhythm, alliteration and brevity. Now thats beautiful... 
The flavour text for Serra Angel they had before was better, IMHO:

"When she flies above the good, they consider themselves blessed. When she flies above the wicked, they consider themselves dead."

Perfectly describes her while having a nice leavening of humour.
I read that last paragraph and couldn't help but think of strong bad: "ARROWED!"


Hehe. Now that you've mentioned it... SPARROWED!!! (a new twist on an old classic)

I hope the role of cleavage on Magic cards can be addressed in a future article.  I would love to hear your take on it.  Obviously the huge breasts recommendation comes from WotC, but I think the work of Rebecca Guay flies in the face of that.  I think the lack gigantic anime style boobs with extensive cleavage is one of the reasons (obviously as well as the beautiful work) that Guay's artwork is so popular, especially to the fairer sex.
I understand that smaller breast sizes may be outlawed in Australia, but it does get a bit silly.  I know there are exceptions to this rule, but they are definitely the exception.


Stop picking on the boobs. They're nice to look at. :P

But seriously, where do you take the presumption that WotC recommends drawing big boobs? Apparently you don't draw yourself, because you would know that practically every artist has a tendency to idealise the human body. If you don't like big boobs, then you should equally dislike huge muscles painted by artists like Parente, Christopher Moeller and Kev Walker. It falls into the same category.

Matt Cavotta did a column way back about the sexiness of Magic art where he admitted that artists are encouraged to make art that's "badass" but not necessarily "sexy". Other then that, artist usually have a lot of freedom and the big breasts are usually their decision (because, again - they idealise the human body when possible).

Other than that, you have to keep in mind that fantasy art is not meant to be an accurate depiction of the real-world. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Fantasy art is meant to warp the real world into a more idealised version. It often coincides with tough, muscular men and beautiful, thin women with big breasts. Actually, since the beginning, fantasy art has carried a strong erotic sub-theme. Just go and watch some classic fantasy art by the likes of Larry Elmore, Boris Vallejo or Luis Royo. Compared to these masterpieces, Magic art is very family-friendly.
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I enjoyed the interviews. I always enjoy hearing creators talk about their work. rk is obviously a legend, and while I didn't know much of Jason Felix' work, he clearly has an excellent sense of atmosphere, especially with that strong, stylised lighting. His perspectives and proportions seem slightly out in places but tbh for a lot of cards, especially in black, that actually works - Ob Nixilis is if anything creepier since he doesn't quite conform to the presupposed measurements of reality!



I like Magic flavour text on the whole, but there's one increasingly prevalent category I can't stand - the po-faced, florid proclamation which sounds like it's coming from the narrator of some terrible fantasy movie like Krull. Consider Rod of Ruin:


"My masterpiece is complete - and so shall be my triumph."
Saldrath, master artificer


This is the kind of thing. Saldrath takes himself so seriously that I can't take him seriously. It just makes me want to give him a firm backhand slap and say "Saldrath, look at yourself, man! It's only a bloody Rod of Ruin! How crappy is your plane that one of them will let you rule it? Have you never heard of Platinum Angels or Darksteel Colossi? You could have fabricated something like that, you know! I just hope for the sake of you and your triumph that nobody on your plane knows how to shatter or disenchant..."

(Unless of course he was talking about his old Triumph motorcycle, and the Rod of Ruin happens to be just what he needs to fix it ;)  )

Seriously though. Other examples are Armored Ascension, Berserkers of Blood Ridge and Zephyr Sprite - they're just too pompous, and trying so hard to be profound or authoritative or whatever. Sometimes it works for the character, of couse. Jace's half-mystical, half-scientific quotes are pretty cool. But one of my least favourite things about fantasy in general is the tendency to make people speak as if they were travelling magicians or somesuch.



omniszron, you are correct about the portrayal of the human body, and of course it would be foolhardy to expect the fantasy genre to suddenly start portraying regular people overnight, but it doesn't mean one has to like it. I guess it's the same thing as my own dislike of OTT phraseology. It's a staple of the fantasy genre, and I understand it's not going away any time soon, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to express my dislike of it ;)
Really interesting article. Congrats, Doug.
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I like Magic flavour text on the whole, but there's one increasingly prevalent category I can't stand - the po-faced, florid proclamation which sounds like it's coming from the narrator of some terrible fantasy movie like Krull. Consider Rod of Ruin:


"My masterpiece is complete - and so shall be my triumph."
Saldrath, master artificer


This is the kind of thing. Saldrath takes himself so seriously that I can't take him seriously. It just makes me want to give him a firm backhand slap and say "Saldrath, look at yourself, man! It's only a bloody Rod of Ruin! How crappy is your plane that one of them will let you rule it? Have you never heard of Platinum Angels or Darksteel Colossi? You could have fabricated something like that, you know! I just hope for the sake of you and your triumph that nobody on your plane knows how to shatter or disenchant..."


That made me chuckle. Good one.
omniszron, you are correct about the portrayal of the human body, and of course it would be foolhardy to expect the fantasy genre to suddenly start portraying regular people overnight, but it doesn't mean one has to like it. I guess it's the same thing as my own dislike of OTT phraseology. It's a staple of the fantasy genre, and I understand it's not going away any time soon, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to express my dislike of it ;)


Yeah, sure. I'm not saying you have to like it. If you don't... well kinda sucks for you, because that's what fantasy art is all about, but you don't have to like it. ;) My post was more about the fact, that the other poster claimed that Wizards "recommend" painting big breast to their artists, which is IMHO (and after reading Mr. Cavotta's colums) total bollocks.

After reading your post (especially the line about "portraying regular people overnight") I was also thinking about the possibility of fantasy art evolving into more natural proportions. It dawned on me that that would actually defeat the purpose of creating fantasy art in general. As soon as you start painting fairly regular people in fairly regular surroundings it stops being fantasy. You might as well take your sketchbook to a LARP gathering and start drawing the participants. It might "look" like fantasy, but there sure isn't anything fantastic about it.

Looking broadly, I guess that Magic art and the current wave of fantasy art is actually the closest you can get to staying family-friendly, politically correct and at the same time remaining fantastic.
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If I hadn't stopped raising my eyebrows about boobinization when Kamigawa's rats and snakes* came along they would have reached the sky now.

(*that's Nezumi and Orochi for you ordinary folks out there)
A personal favorite is the clever analogy, especially one that attributes something physical to something abstract, or that anthropomorphizes an object, a la Serra Angel's "Her sword sings more beautifully than any choir."



i hate this kind of flavortext. it sounds pretentious and silly to me.

The decorative, Yodalike sentence



lol. i agree with you here about this kind of thing.

Interestingly, there's a power-level effect on people's perception of names. A name is often regarded highly if it's on a card that's known to be powerful



yeah, i think this is definitely the case, since "path to exile" is a really stupid name.

I like Magic flavour text on the whole, but there's one increasingly prevalent category I can't stand - the po-faced, florid proclamation which sounds like it's coming from the narrator of some terrible fantasy movie like Krull. Consider Rod of Ruin:


"My masterpiece is complete - and so shall be my triumph."
Saldrath, master artificer


This is the kind of thing. Saldrath takes himself so seriously that I can't take him seriously. It just makes me want to give him a firm backhand slap and say "Saldrath, look at yourself, man! It's only a bloody Rod of Ruin! How crappy is your plane that one of them will let you rule it? Have you never heard of Platinum Angels or Darksteel Colossi? You could have fabricated something like that, you know! I just hope for the sake of you and your triumph that nobody on your plane knows how to shatter or disenchant..."



lol, but also i agree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY. it's the worst when it seems to clash so badly with the card. take a look at the 9th edition flavortext for verduran enchantress:

"Graceful? Yes. Beautiful? Absolutely. Harmless? Definitely not."
-Fyndhorn elder"

i mean, arguably she's not harmless, because you could draw a burn spell or something from playing an enchantment. but arguing that she's not mechanically harmless in a roundabout way doesn't take the silly out of calling a 3 mana 0/2 anything but harmless. even hedron crab manages to harm your mind, and he costs 2 less! i think my big problem with this card's flavor text is her stats and ability are 100% non-confrontational. they do nothing directly to your opponent.

omniszron, you are correct about the portrayal of the human body, and of course it would be foolhardy to expect the fantasy genre to suddenly start portraying regular people overnight, but it doesn't mean one has to like it. I guess it's the same thing as my own dislike of OTT phraseology. It's a staple of the fantasy genre, and I understand it's not going away any time soon, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to express my dislike of it ;)



my problem with the attitude that "it's ok for fantasy to idealize people" is not that i think it's not ok for fantasy to idealize people. it's that i don't think they ARE idealizing people. their "ideal" is this bizarre tradition that's been handed down and i don't think it accurate depicts what the majority of men really want to look at (nor is it what most women want to look at). it's certainly not what i want, anyway, and the two of us are definitely entitled to demand what we want (which is different than making some kind of point about the "right" or "wrong" of big boobs and extremely thin women) because this is capitalism! we can demand what we want as customers, and hope they give us a bit of it (like they do with psychographics). if they can give super johnny drastic revelation and dragon appeasement, they can give me some bigger sized regular looking ladies with normal boobs.

and i agree that magic isn't as RIDICULOUS and SILLY as boris vallejo. i hope it stays that way.


Yeah, sure. I'm not saying you have to like it. If you don't... well kinda sucks for you, because that's what fantasy art is all about, but you don't have to like it. ;) My post was more about the fact, that the other poster claimed that Wizards "recommend" painting big breast to their artists, which is IMHO (and after reading Mr. Cavotta's colums) total bollocks.

After reading your post (especially the line about "portraying regular people overnight") I was also thinking about the possibility of fantasy art evolving into more natural proportions. It dawned on me that that would actually defeat the purpose of creating fantasy art in general. As soon as you start painting fairly regular people in fairly regular surroundings it stops being fantasy. You might as well take your sketchbook to a LARP gathering and start drawing the participants. It might "look" like fantasy, but there sure isn't anything fantastic about it.

Looking broadly, I guess that Magic art and the current wave of fantasy art is actually the closest you can get to staying family-friendly, politically correct and at the same time remaining fantastic.



I dig that. I mean, personally, I'd rather see people who did look more natural, but at the same time I guess that sentiment is overshadowed by the number of people who enjoy the more outlandish proportions and 'idealised' bodies, and I can regonise that my own preferences aren't necessarily what's right for the genre or for the game. And of course one of the first rules of art is that one draws what people expect to see, not what they would actually see.


my problem with the attitude that "it's ok for fantasy to idealize people" is not that i think it's not ok for fantasy to idealize people. it's that i don't think they ARE idealizing people. their "ideal" is this bizarre tradition that's been handed down and i don't think it accurate depicts what the majority of men really want to look at (nor is it what most women want to look at). it's certainly not what i want, anyway, and the two of us are definitely entitled to demand what we want (which is different than making some kind of point about the "right" or "wrong" of big boobs and extremely thin women) because this is capitalism! we can demand what we want as customers, and hope they give us a bit of it (like they do with psychographics). if they can give super johnny drastic revelation and dragon appeasement, they can give me some bigger sized regular looking ladies with normal boobs.



While it might seem like I'm contradicting what I just wrote in reply to omniszron, I also agree with this. I don't want to look like John Cena and I don't want my girlfriend to look like Lara Croft, and I don't know many people who do. A girl with boobs the size of her head yet also a waist I could fit my hands around - that kind of thing just isn't sexy imo. A bit of exaggeration is to be expected in the fantasy genre because as omniszron said, without exaggeration it wouldn't be fantasy. But too much, as with art which is jammed on ALL BADASS, ALL THE TIME, is dull. I quite liked Garza Zol, Plague Queen because facially she looked like a regular person (well, a screaming dead person, but you know what I mean) rather than some plasticy model.
That's why I like artists like Rebecca Guay or Scott M. Fisher. They don't need "badassery" or cleavage to convey the fantasy in their art. Plus, it's refreshing to look at when you just went through cards by Kev Walker, Raymond Swaland, Paolo Parente, Daarken and Wayne Reynolds (I love these artist, but they're all on the badassaery train).

Also, I just went through the visual spoiler of Worldwake and seriously - there is really not that much to complain about.

Sure, Thada Adel may be super thin, Ruthless Cullblade has huge ****, Kalastria Highborn is basically topless and Haribaz Druid sure has a nice big cleavage but look at Halimar Excavator, Jwari Shapeshifter or Stoneforge Mysitc. They could all be easily "sexied-up", but aren't. And all the other cards are basically neutral.
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