Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Vast Explorations of Mark Zug

Ever since I found out he did the art for the card of the same name as this web log, I have been a fan of Mark Zug. It didn't take much, just a casual perusal that quickly led into finding everything I could by him.

Today, TheStarkingtonPost had a link to a small writeup Zug did on "breaking in" to the world of fantasy and speculative fiction art.

If you have never seen his work en-masse, forget peering at card art on the Gatherer and check out his full web page here.

When I was a youth, one of best presents I remember getting was a box of old Asimov's my aunt and uncle had gotten ahold of. Each one of them were packed to the gills with strange and interesting stories…all the kinds of stories I loved to read…surrounded by descriptions of every form of culture and environment the human mind was capable of dreaming up.

And on the cover was always the real deal…a fully realized world in 2-dimensional form. I don't think he has ever done anything for Asimov's, but his art certainly fits the bill.

One of the things I don't really like about the Magic "multiverse" is the limited scope. Every "dimension" only seems to be about the size of a planet. A single planet, usually with a relatively monotous geography. Although Zendikar was somewhat different in this regard, as it had both tundra, jungle and desert all in one go. But I hunger for worlds where there are planets orbiting each other…where the action is not limited to one thin crust of dirt.

Dungeons and Dragons did it with Spelljammer…and so I have full faith a plane could be constructed where wizards made the same voyages and the spacemen of my favorite sf stories. Zug is already in the mind set, spread out among his works you will find celestial body after celestial body, ready for exploration.

Once again, check out the man's web site. It is amazing.

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