It is a sad time for me to bring this news to you as the gaming world’s legendary artists Wayne England and Christopher Rush have passed away.
The news of Wayne England’s passing was first announced on Facebook by a friend of the family. Wayne England is known for his works on Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering. His death is also felt within the Magic community of which I am also a part of and it really is so sad to think that the artist who brought to life beloved cards like Cryptic Command, Ghostly Prison and Worldgorger Dragon, all of which made a huge impact on the game, has passed away. I remember the very first attempt at creating a constructed deck out of a mish mash of a card pool. While I was not yet very crafty with the mechanics of Magic, my basis for choosing cards at the time were through which artwork I thought was the coolest and one of my first choices was the White aligned Bird Soldier, Battlewise Aven.
Today, his contributions to the Magic community have made such an impact on players casual and competitive alike or some players like me who just appreciate really good artwork. If I told you that his artwork of Cryptic Command evokes mystery and hidden power just as it’s card counterpart shares similar attributes, you would most likely agree if you have ever been on the receiving end when this card is suddenly cast.
Thank you for your work, Wayne England. You will be missed.
Christopher Rush was an icon as much as his most famous work the Black Lotus, is iconic. Christopher Rush was a freelance illustrator and has since worked on hundreds of cards for Magic: The Gathering. Format defining is the best way to describe how Christopher Rush’s artwork would shape the gaming world. He probably did not know it then that cards like Lightning Bolt’s raw power in it’s imagery would strike fear into foes from all formats of Magic: The Gathering back then and even to this day. From Legacy, Modern and once in Standard, every player knows the significance of the accomplishment of his works together with Wizards of the Coast.
His death was announced on February 10, 2016. One of the pioneers that started to capture our imaginations with his beautiful art, gamers will mourn his passing. I’m sure most of us in the community would have wanted to meet him and good for you if you already have. If I could have met him, I would probably say the same thing that many people have been telling him and thanking him for the way he enriched our lives with the work that we love dearly. He would probably be tired of hearing it but it wouldn’t make it any less true.
Rest in peace, Christopher Rush.
Magic is a game of inevitability. In the end somebody has to give and just like real life, we all have to face that same truth. Wayne England and Christopher Rush may have left us but their legacy remains alive and very well loved by the community and will continue to be loved for generations of to come.