Good morning everyone, and welcome back to another art-filled article here at Coast Hipsters. We may be in the midst of Dominaria United preview season, but that’s never stopped the Secret Lair train from chugging along the tracks. Like us, it’s time to clean up the layers that can hide behind the scenes and in high resolutions of this newest offering. This time we have another showcase from the yet-to-be-released Dominaria United, a couple of artist series, a few other surprises, and to top it off, none other than the return of Magic legend Dan Frazier!
There is some really stellar art right behind those doors; it’s Secret Layers of Secret Lair: August Super Drop!
Showcase: Dominaria United Textured Foil Edition
Much like the first Dominaria set in 2018, the stained glass windows of Benalia were a showcase for this latest return to the world in the main expansion. Thus, this Hidden Lair reimagines the oldest and most powerful dragons in the world in the same style. This is the long-awaited appearance of Eshpur, a full flex from Benjamin Ie, the second card for Ivan Shavrin and the very first cards for Lisa Heidhoff and Nino Vesia.
They are simply stunning and should look absolutely stunning in textured foil. Whether it’s your first look at these legends or a complete nostalgic journey through your first days with the game, these five will make a statement.
Memories: Jaya Ballard
The death of Jaya, who was seemingly killed off-screen and off-screen, was a big part of this Dominaria United preview season, and the Wizards even created an In Memoriam website and ran an obituary in the Seattle Times. This secret lair is dedicated to her time in Magic, from her Planeswalker card to numerous displays of the pyromancer’s raw power and the handing over of her points.
Five different permanent Magic artists were invited to the event, and Jaya is proud of them. It’s never easy to lose a Planeswalker, especially one that’s been around for so long, but the good ones are always taken too soon. Rest in peace.
Series artist: Niels Hamm
Niels Hamm has been with Magic since 2007 and is very close to 200 cards. Now he’s joined a handful of other Magic artists who have released their own series of artists, and what a unique little collection he’s created. What we see is his Byrne (of the likes of Gilder Byrne and Glimmer Byrne) fascinated by classic stories as the real world lyrics return to the Magic text. Our little friend travels through the multiverse of literature and finds himself in curious and inspiring situations!
Nils’s touch of whimsy and wonder, which is especially evident in his personal work, resounds here and is true, perhaps more so than ever. I love these artist series both for what they give to artists and for the end product that enriches the magic they become.
Series Artist: Victor Adame Minges
I first met Victor at his very first Grand Prix in Washington DC in 2016. I have watched his art grow and flourish over the past six years and this series of the artist’s work is a crescendo of what his technical prowess and creativity has become. These secret lairs of the artist series give people the opportunity to fully open up, and here we even see how he draws on his personal sci-fi-inspired work alongside the high fantasy we know and love.
Sometimes when the publicity lets the artist run wild, the result is more amazing than intended, and that’s what we see here, four brilliant works by a brilliant artist. Victor Adame Minges is an artist that I will be talking about for a very long time and he is just getting started.
“Imaginary Friends” by Jeannie L. Pasquet
Ginny Lynn Pasquet works under the title “Outdated World” and creates wonderfully light, often humorous and completely unique illustrations of the world as she sees it. She brought this traditional style to Magic to reimagine some of the strangest monsters and the Imagination King himself in the Feast and his ever-faithful companion Gnasher. It’s like straight out of a storybook, and a beautiful simplicity that just works. The choice of cards was perfect for her particular style, and I really hope that we will see her return again.
Dan Frazier is back again: the mascots!
Dan Fraser first returned to Magic last June for Secret Lair’s All Natural, Totally Refreshing Super Drop, reimagining ten Ravnica symbols in a style similar to his signature Moxen from thirty years ago. They’ve proven incredibly popular with players and art collectors alike, and now he’s back again to give the same artistic treatment to the Talisman cycle!
All ten mascots from all over Mirrodin (and Modern Horizons) received the same mainstream media coverage and turned into fantastic trinkets in front of multiple backgrounds. All of them are suitable for retro frames, they should be equally good; Welcome back Dan!
This August Super Drop started a few days ago so you have time to get your order. This is also the first time there has been an available discount for large purchases, so be sure to take advantage of it. if there is anything that tickles your fancy. Between reprint value and impeccable artistic quality, this is one drop you literally can’t go wrong with, from a gorgeous stained glass window to one of Magic’s earliest artists.
Next time at the Hall of Mirrors it will be Grand Art Tour time for Dominaria United, and damn it, I need to cut a few things to get to my usual ten or twelve. There are some really impressive inclusions at the moment, and while I’m writing this, we still have a few more days to go!
Remember to see the original #mtgart and other #vorthos stuff follow me on Twitter. Feel free to ask questions or retweet to keep the conversation going. Thanks and see you next time!
Donny Caltrider has been playing Magic since 2002 and has been collecting original Magic art since 2017. He holds a master’s degree in museum science from Johns Hopkins University and loves to tell stories about art, objects, and the intersection of fantasy and real life. You can find it on Twitter talking about #mtgart, museums and other benefits associated with #vorthos. Follow the news and keep in touch!