-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:
Ryan Alexander Lee
Jeff A. Menges
Thomas M. Baxa
John Severin Brassell
Jason A. Engle
Ken Meyer Jr
Richard Kane Ferguson
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.