Monday, 18 February 2019

Musings Magic Special

Editor - Steven Tice
Published by Calliope Comics
Released fall 1996

Musings was a magazine about comic books published by Calliope Comics, which appears to be a comic book store that also did some publishing on the side. I can't find much on them on the internet, but these days their Facebook page still talks about selling Magic cards, so I guess them devoting an issue of their magazine to our favorite card game was a natural fit.

This issue was mostly forgotten to time until someone put a picture of its cover up on the comics section of the MTGWiki's List of Storyline Sources (despite this being neither a comic nor on that list of sources...) Fans have since tracked it down, and thanks to the amazing @stillcary sharing it with me I can now cover it on this blog!

While not an official WotC publication, the magazine has interviews with a bunch of artists and WotC insiders. Among the things they share here are lore tidbits that never made it into anything WotC put out itself, so this is a great source for people interested in what I call "shadow continuity", the things WotC creates behind the scenes that don't end up in any finished product but parts of which tend to get out when creators interact with fans. It's tricky business to handle, as the line between "this is canonical, we just haven't published it yet" and "this is work-in-progress which may change before it gets to publication" is a vague one, and even if something is considered 100% canonical in-house by the current creative team there is no guarantee that future creative teams will agree with, or even know of, that something. So thread carefully when handeling material like this. If you are like me though, and love any snippet of information about all the unpublished work of the Pete Venters continuity era, dive in!

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Magic Calendars

One of the more obscure entries in the Magic canon is the collection of calendars WotC has released over the years. Most of them just have some pretty pictures and nothing else but a few actually contained relevant lore, including the backstory of some legendary creatures and maps of various continents of Dominaria. I had pretty much resigned myself to not covering them, but then the always excellent Magic Librarities website uploaded a whole bunch of scans of them, allowing me to take a look anyway.

The ones that I will be covering here are the monthly calendars up to 1999 and the 1997 "365 days in Dominia" daily calendar. The ones released later (at least the ones that I know off) just show art, so they are not as interesting for lore junkies. I don't know if this list is exhaustive, but we can always do another addendum article, can't we?

Quick note: for a long time I thought there must've been another daily calendar, as Jeff Lee claimed to have taken his info on the Elder Dragon War from one. His description matched the "365 days in Dominia" calendar pretty well, except for the inconvenient fact that there is nothing on Elder Dragons in that one! The later discovery of unused flavor text for Elder Land Wurm which did talk about the War suggests to me that Jeff was misremembering things. I think it is likely that he took info on various legendary creatures from the "365 days in Dominia" calendar but was given the stuff on Elder Dragons by Pete Venters directly, and that he conflated the two when talking about it years later. (If another daily calendar ever turns up though, I'll certainly cover it!)