This was one of three commissions I received to design Hareruya player cards. This is the head honcho himself, Tomoharu Saito. You can win this series of player cards from their lucky pack dealio by scoring a B (or higher, I imagine).
Here's what the background looks like. I always think its neat to see the stuff all out of context. I really had fun with the front branch, oddly enough. The trees were tedious but fun, too.
Easter Eggs: My favorite mana symbol in the clouds.
And here are our pencils. The brief was to reference his old Stompy days, so we were to reference the old Might of Oaks of that era. I even worked the squirrel in there.
This was our third Hareruya comic for our Fear series. This was in the grey audition piece area. It's been so long, I don't exactly remember what the situation was, but I believe I wanted to see if we could churn one out on a timely theme again, this time about the impending retirement of MTGO V3 and the horrific status the website was in and still is in now as of this writing (4/7/15).
This is what the raw inks looked like.
Fun Facts: The game state is actually taken from the match in question. Some obnoxious guy was playing all his cards upside down in an exceedingly cute way that assumes his opponent has no knowledge of the game to meet him in a feature match, so he is helpfully letting the opponent so freely access the information his cards coyly protect when viewed from traditional angles.
Here are the pencils.
Not to give his opponent a pass, she was playing with lands in front as well, though with the traditional degree of dirtbaggery that doesn't involve 180 degree card flips of help to no one and which no one asked for. So they should all be DCI-banned, is what I'm saying.
This is the thrilling pen I was using for Inktober 2014. This was also one of the first pieces I did with it. I'm not entirely sold on them, but I do love the feel of the G-Pen, and I imagine it could be a main weapon given more practice and comfort. For now, I feel a little shaky or just like I'm forced into uncomfortable or unnatural strokes, but that might be due to not having much space to maneuver my drawing surface. I also have that constant nagging worry I'm going to smear the just-dropped ink (no nightmare scenarios yet, though).
I drew this in my smaller "mobile" sketchbook and the ink works well with such sturdy paper, but as I would later learn, it would be a bit harsher on my softer desk-sketchpad paper.
This girl looks like someone who'd be working at the Yale Herald, hence the name.
Drew this to mess around with my new copic sketches in concert with my new fuda-pen, I guess they call it? Was thrilled to see the ink didn't smear. I inked the entire thing with that pen, no fine-touch copic inks. So all and all a successful experiment.
Also it's called Cowabunga cuz I was listening to this a lot while drawing it.
This is the very second comic I made for Hareruya, for our Fear series! I don't have any process shots because I had to just jump straight to inks and then tones to hit deadline, but this was also just an audition piece. However, at the time we we're sure if we would have this one go to print or not, since the first one was more clearly a "Can you actually draw comics?" kind of thing, but this was more like a "Was that a fluke? Should we just print it?" sort of thing.
So to help my chances, and also just personally to see if I could still do a timely "political cartoon," I decided to do a "current events" piece about the then-standard (RTR-Theros) mono-black menace of turn one Thoughtseize, turn two Pack Rat, game. That versus monoblue devotion with Master of Waves, plus Elspeth, Sun's Champion and her tokens to complete the trio of Standard monotony.
People were aching for an upcoming block called Khans of Tarkir, which had everyone's hopes of a shaken-up format riding on it.
Anyway, they pondered the samples for a bit and I got the gig, but by that time, it was no longer timely so we decided to go with something else.
I created #SaitoWayfinder many centuries ago after being asked to come up with a fun hook for a then-upcoming deck-building feature the Boss wanted to do. I made a list of ideas we could use, which involved poring over every card in Standard at the time (full RTR-M14-Theros).
He chose three he liked and asked fans to pick the final name we'd use. And thus #SaitoWayfinder was summoned.
I was surprised to see the namesake Satyr Wayfinder so soon reprinted in the same Standard's M15, but once Tarkir came out, I thought we could revamp it to something relevant to the latest block--though also pleasantly surprising was that the green mulcher became a Standard staple--so I pitched #SaitoDeckspeaker. It didn't go anywhere, but I thought it was a neat idea, though of course mixing messaging isn't without its own perils.
Maybe the hashtag will outlive the card? Maybe they'll constantly reprint it, plane to plane, and we can keep the party going? Only one way to find out.
Drew a sketch of Nakamura "Nakashu" Shuhei for Inktober 2014.
I actually got to play him once when the Boss let me draft with them before PT Theros. That was the first time I felt physical fear playing someone. In his customary black-clad, blue-striped silence, he literally knew what I was going to do before I did. It was Yu-Gi-Oh!-esque in its unrealness. What an experience.
Got murdered. Just murdered at triple Theros. I remember he had a Hammer of Purphoros and with blistering speed and razor precision, he sac'd lands with not a trace of hesitation or non-assurance. Not a nanojoule of wasted effort or superfluous movement. This dude knew what he was doing.
So this started with some sketching practice from some cool photos based on a cool new deck name called "Saito Black," probably the coolest deck name I've heard in a while, possibly ever.
When it came to putting these together, I thought of an old interview I translated where everyone describes their dream, and it felt so One Piece. One guy wants to be the greatest player in the world, but one guy wants to be the greatest deckbuilder in the world. So cool. So, what if they were rivals? Or a team? And the world revolved around Magic, like how the world revolves around whatever the anime/manga is about?
I happened to have some rejected treasure map art on me, so we merged them and a neat little concept was born.
I saw this photo on Twitter one day and knew I had to draw it. I need to practice extreme expressions, and try out some new hatching stylings, so I was excited to give this a try--it's MTG pro Tomoharu Saito!
This was the very first comic I ever made for Hareruya, as an audition piece. It was about a giant GP in Chicago were even excellent-performing players just got murdered purely on tiebreakers. We hadn't even named the series yet, but I wanted to call it Fear, though we settled on Fear and Removal.
From the get go, one of my goals with the comic was to represent girls in Magic. All the guys are throwaway characters for the most part, but I wanted the comic not to be able to function in any meaningful way if you took out the female characters.
After this one, they asked for another sample, so I imagine we'll show that one soon enough, but this has never been seen by any human aside from the core editors. The turnaround time here was like two days, so I didn't even get to scan the pencils, just a photo and off to inks.
By the sig, it looks like this was drawn 6/14, but we're logging it for 6/13 on 2/19/15!
I knew I was getting rejected so I just vomited out every design I could think of over two days until I was physically exhausted. I had no idea what they were looking for so I just jammed and designed over 100 thumbnails!
This was a set I particularly liked based on the signature tropes of the different colors of Magic.
I liked this assignment as basically just an exercise, just for the pure mileage, because it pushed me to think of new things I never would have just soloing, driving me to try stuff I would normally be afraid of.
And to my surprise--you'll never guess which one they picked...