Monday, 24 July 2017

InQuest Gamer #74 (june 2001)

A bit beat up, as 13 year old me wasn't that careful with his magazines. It's a wonder I still have it at all!
On this blog we've looked at all issues of The Duelist, and at all the (somewhat) relevant parts of Top Deck, but those were just two publications in a once thriving market of cardgame magazines. So far I've completely ignored the rest. Partially this is because I don't own many of those issues, and I don't really feel like collecting 131 issues of Scrye, 150 issues of InQuest and whatever else is out there without knowing which issues include lore stuff. But mostly it is because these are all third party publications. Often when they talk storyline it is just parroting things from the novels, and when they go beyond that the canonicity is often in doubt.

I wanted to highlight this problem by looking at this specific issue of InQuest. It contains a hype article for the then-imminent release of Apocalypse that became quite famous in storyline circles for containing the only clear picture of Yawgmoth and (for a long time) the only picture of Karn as a planeswalker. The article was written after consulting with a WotC employee, uses concept art that we also saw in the Apocalypse novel, and the description of cards not yet released at the time is spot on. So far, so canon, you'd say. But when we delve into the storyline tidbits we'll find a number of inconsistenties, making things difficult. But let's first just look at this article, so we know what we are talking about.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

In the final issues of The Duelist we were told that Wizards was moving its magazine fully online. The medium then got a little reprieve in the form of TopDeck, but the move really was inevitable, and with Invasion block we've finally reached the point where there is no longer an official Magic magazine in print. Third party publications like Scrye and Inquest held out a few more years, and over in France Lotus Noir is somehow still going, but for official Wizards of the Coast content we have to go online from this point on.

For us storyline folk this exciting new digital era actually had very little to offer. was at the time little more than a list of product releases. In addition to that there was SideBoard, which catered to tournament players, but if you wanted storyline stuff, or behind the scenes R&D info, you were out of luck. In 2002, around the release of Torment, their website adopted its now-famous daily articles format, with the occasional Arcana or feature article on the storyline. Not until the tail end of Kamigawa block did we get a regular article on flavor stuff.

But that is not to say there was nothing for us at all during that time. We already seen that product pages sometimes contained little stories, like with Nemesis and Prophecy. And for Invasion block Wizards created a whole sub-site! It's very early 2000's, complete with flash animations, looping background music and downloadable wallpapers. But there actually is some interesting Vorthos stuff hidden in here. For starters the Kev Walkers comics we have been look at for Masques, Nemesis, Prophecy and Invasion continue here. More importantly, in addition to that this site also gives us the most complete maps of Dominaria we've ever been given!