-By Howard Lyon

This weekend I am attending the Magic: the Gathering Grand Prix in Las Vegas.  If you aren’t familiar with an event for Magic: the Gathering (MtG), it is kind of like GenCon or DragonCon, but focused down to a smaller number of attendees, all of whom are very strong fans of the game. 

Shot of the east hall – this shows about 1/10 of the space for the event
A typical Grand Prix might have 1500 attendees.  It could seem like slim pickings compared to something like San Diego Comicon, where 130,000+ people attend, but everyone at a Magic Grand Prix is already a fan when they walk through the door.  It translates in a great opportunity for MtG artists to meet some great people, sign cards and sell lots of prints.
Some of the original sketches I brought to sell from cards I have done artwork for
It is becoming the norm now for a Grand Prix to have 3-5 artists in attendance.  The Las Vegas Grand Prix is not a normal even though.  It smashed the previous record for attendance at a MtG event by more than double.  This weekend there will be 12,000+ fans (there was room for 10k to sign up, but more are in attendance to buy from vendors and artists) and 32 artists!  Here is a list of the artists:

Willian Murai
Thomas Denmark
Raymond Swanland
Drew Baker
Dan Scott
Yohann Schepacz
Yeong-Hao Han
Ryan Alexander Lee
Jeff A. Menges
Eric Deschamps
Chuck Lukacs
Chris Rahn
Howard Lyon
Kieran Yanner
Bryon Wackwitz
Jung Park
Steve Argyle
Thomas M. Baxa
John Severin Brassell
rk post
Jason A. Engle
Ken Meyer Jr
Lucas Graciano
Christopher Rush
Zack Stella
Karla Ortiz
Aaron Miller
Jeff Miracola
Richard Kane Ferguson
Pete Venters

I am looking forward to meeting in person many artists that I have only connected with online and also seeing some old friends that have purchased from me before and hopefully connecting to many more fans of the game.
Shot of Steve Argyle at his booth (you can see him over towards the right)
Today was the first day.  For much of the day, I (and from what I could see all of the other artists as well) had a line with about a 30 minute way and was signing cards for about 9 hours straight with a break for lunch.  I also did sketches on the back of artist proof, or white back cards and drawings on playmats and alters on the front of the cards. 

With a Square reader handy and tip jar out, the MtG fans are always generous and make the trip out worthwhile!

Signing some cards for a new fan of the game

When I get back home, I will update this post with more shots from the event and any interesting experiences I can share so check back in a few days.