Tag Archives: original art

Vs. System Original Art: Liz Sherman.


If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. One of my most cherished memories in all of Vs. System history is the unveiling of Liz Sherman’s Uncontrolled Power.

We learned recently that Mike Mignola and his wife personally gave the green light to the artwork on this myth-busting cardboard masterpiece, although the original Dave Johnson painting was a bit too blue.  Here’s the before and after.  I still can’t believe I was a part of it. Liz never, ever, ever looked like this in the comics or the movies.  Only in our beloved trading card game. Forever.




Filed under Comic Books, Magick, Vs. System

Original Vs. System Art: Mojoverse.


mojoverse    mojoverse1

That card has seen play at the highest level on the Pro Circuit (in Curve Sentinels) and in some seriously sloppy Hobby League action (Ponies!). Now we get to gaze on its original art glory.

Mulletman showcase for the win.

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Filed under Comic Books, Vs. System

Two-tone Tuesday: Daniel Campos.


Can you believe that? With an insanely talented pen dedicated to the one-of-a-kind sketch cards randomly inserted in the Marvel Masterpieces set, Daniel Campos produced a sheet of original drawings that serves as the most mind-blowingly challenging mystery line-up of Marvel Comics heroes and villains the world has ever seen.

How many can you identify? (Click on the image for a closer look.)


Filed under Comic Books, Marvel Masterpieces

Fantastic Friday: Skulljammer.


Can you imagine pulling one of those original drawings from a pack of cards?

Marvel Masterpieces Rules. Especially in the hands of Skulljammer.

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Filed under Marvel Masterpieces

Thursday Thirteen: Wicked Visual Bliss.


Wow.  It has been six entire months since I did a Thursday Thirteen. We are back in the saddle again.  With a vengeance!

One of my favorite things to do on the interwebs is a secret I will share with you today. Go to www.deviantart.com and search for “marvel masterpieces sketch”. You will find hours of wicked visual bliss, I promise. Today my TT gives a little taste.

That first set of hand-drawn cards that were inserted randomly into the packs is from anjinanhut. Let’s count down the characters starting with that first set of nine and showcase their myths with a corresponding Vs. System card, shall we?

1. Shuma-Gorath. Everyone’s favorite pink tentacled Chaos Dimension special move busting giant alien from Marvel vs. Capcom!


2. Doop. My students said they heard him called The Big Green Potato on television. For shame. All the X-Statix DEMAND RESPECT. Especially when they are morphing into Wolverine. Thank you.


3. X-23. Sounds like a spray lubricant. Does she free up rusty bolts?


4. Doop again. No wonder I love this set of drawings so much. Who is he transforming into this time?


5. Whirlwind. Featured on the most beautiful Dave Devries painting in all of Vs. System. Sorry, Chaos Magic, but I love this one with all my heart.



6. Doop for a third time. Steve Rogers, eat your big green potatoed heart out.


7. Constrictor? Sorry, no Vs. System card for you.

8. Fourth Doop, this time Squinty.


9. Deadpool. The man (zombie) who wears Squirrel Girl underoos.  Really, he does.


That completes the first round, here goes the final four.


10. Sentinel Mark IV. You didn’t think I would get throught this list without at least one blast of shiny purple, did you? It is my blood type, after all. That one was painted by gravyboy.


And then there were three.


11. Mysterio. Fresh from the twisted sick inkwell of Narcomics. Gotta love a dude with a fishbowl on his head, even if he doesn’t have any real superpowers. This is all an illusion anyway.


12. Thanos. The glove, the purple face, the utter purity of devotion to death.


It doesn’t get any better than that. Unless I can find…

marvel_masterpieces_3__part03_by_celestial4ever lisa_r_marvel_masterpieces_ii_by_taeha

13. Squirrel Girl! You thought I would say Mulletman? Sorry, I am nuts for the bushy tailed tree rodents and Doreen Green is the most powerful superhero the world has ever seen.

First one from Celestial4Ever, second by LisaR. After I post this, I am scurrying straight up the nearest tree.


Thanks for visiting my return to the land of Thursday Thirteen, your eyes will recover from Wicked Visual Bliss Overload in a matter of minutes. Maybe.


Filed under Comic Books, Marvel Masterpieces, Squirrel Girl, Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

The Gift Beyond Compare.


Yes, that is what you think it is.  The original Alex Garner drawing from the card heard ’round the world.  Longshot, Rebel Freedom Fighter.  Upper Deck’s Vs. System.  The legendary Mulletman.

For those of you that I know and love from our trading card game community, I beg your indulgence today.  I need to explain how special this gift is in a historical perspective for all our friends who have no idea how I got to this moment.

Nina and I had been playing Magic the Gathering for about 18 months when I saw the first announcement of a new game with Marvel and DC Comics superheroes on the horizon.  The game was called Vs. System, published by Upper Deck, and I dove in with all three feet when it was first released in April 2004.  I carved a niche and made a name for myself, much of it on the back of that little alien luckmaster you see in the original art.  I helped build a worldwide community on the message boards, and eventually earned a spot on the official company website as a writer.

We have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as a gaming community, and I have taken my fair share of licks in the process.  I never lost hope, I never stopped being positive and aiming only at the most possible joy for the most possible cardflippers.  Now it has all paid off in a way I would have never dreamed of, let alone asked for.

I pulled the original art from a surprise FedEx package yesterday when I got home from school.  It was a belated Christmas bonus, care of the incomparable Ian Estrin.  This was the note that accompanied it:

Dear Rian,

I can’t think of anyone who deserves or will appreciate this more.  It is the least we could do after all the heart and love you have poured into the game, the company, and the community.  I knew when I first saw the piece in my art director’s office two years ago that the only place Mulletman belonged was in your house.  I am glad it finally made it home.

Long live the mullet!!!

I was speechless for hours, and I still don’t think I will ever find the words to properly describe what I am feeling.  For all my friends in the community that helped me get to this point, thank you.  I couldn’t have gotten here without you.  For Longshot, thank you too.  I have been wearing you on my hat for two years now, and I knew you would bring me luck… but this is ridiculous.  It is a gift beyond compare.


Filed under Art I live with., Vs. System