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MTG’s Two-Headed Zombie Art Was Based On Tom Cruise And Ted Danson

There’s a new YouTube channel that launched a week ago called The Gathering is the Magic that’s been uploading short interviews with some of Magic: The Gathering artists. The interviews will apparently be part of a new feature-length documentary that explores "how MTG fosters friendships, builds a community, and inspires people to gather and share the love of gaming."

They're also sharing some fun secrets about Magic cards. For example, artist Josh Hass likes to sneak "all kinds of funny things" into his artwork. He based his illustration for Dead-Eye Quartermaster on his wife, and for 2019's Two-Headed Zombie, he actually based each half of the undead abomination on two Hollywood stars.

"Two-Headed Zombie is Ted Danson and Tom Cruise combined together. So that's pretty good," said Hass. "Sometimes I tell people about that stuff, but there's all kinds of funny things hidden in the artwork that gives it more meaning to me."

Another video reveals the interesting origin of one of Magic's most iconic creatures, Birds of Paradise. Artist Mark Poole revealed in his interview that the beautiful birds drawn in his illustration were initially a huge mistake. Poole was initially contracted to draw two different versions of the Island card, which are traditionally plain landscapes. That tradition didn't exist when Poole was contracted to draw Magic's first cards, so he drew one with a Pegasus and the other with a colorful flight of birds.

He had to go back to the drawing board with Wizards of the Coast said the Islands can't include any creatures in order to avoid confusion with actual creature cards. However, Richard Garfield felt Poole's initial drawings were so beautiful that they had to be used in Magic's Alpha set. So, Garfield created two cards: Island Sanctuary for the island with a Pegasus, and Birds of Paradise for the gorgeous flight of birds flying over a tropical island.

Keep an eye on The Gathering is the Magic for even more interviews, which seems to be getting updates weekly.

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