So this episode starts out a bit rough and on sort of a negative topic, I'm sorry for that but it should be discussed. It recently came out that Wizards hired a new person as the Senior Franchise Narrative Designer, and it came up that said person had some troubling stuff in their past. We're mostly trying to set the record straight here though, we don't know when he was hired and has been in his position long enough to deal with the dominaria story issues.
Second while his book "Girls" is not currently in publication, as it was published fifteen years ago and was a version of his Master's Thesis for Brown University, the bits that rise to the surface quickly are uncomfortable at best, "narrated by a composite of middle-aged male voices - all wealthy and powerful - who have one thing in common: a desire for pubescent girls." From the Interview with Nic Kelman by Jill Adams. Nic has since been quoted as saying that he wrote the book to avoid becoming like the men in it, but I don't know if that really makes it better.
It's best to remember that this was 15 years ago, and he has certainly had time to mature and change, it however made us really look into his credentials to supervise a massive franchise narrative, which is where we found our real issues. We mostly referred to his interview with Gathering Magic where he makes it quite clear that what is important in his creative department is that a story is told and that it's done by either larger authors who can bring an audience with them, or by new authors who will have to come to Magic to build an audience. To facilitate this he sees the characters as at best archetypes, a piece of the story that new writers can use as they see fit, not as a character. Essentially it highlights exactly our concerns with Magic story. Nic has taken the wrong lesson from superhero comics, thinking that the audience wants to see the spiderman origin story again every time a new author takes over. No there's a reason MCU spider man needed no introduction, you can find a five year old who know the story of uncle Ben. What we need is author's to respect what came before, or in the case of Dominaria, actually be told what came before, and then take a character.
With that rant over, I promise it's a much shorter part of the show than the paragraphs make it seem, we move on to Commander 2018 cards. We made it one card in before we ended up on a tangent examining the art for Aminatou, and then getting even more focused onto the artist themselves. Turns out Seb McKinnon does some of our favorite art we forget about too easily. Plus we're three days to late to plug his very successful Kickstarter to run play mat printings of several card arts.
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