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Steve Argyle - www.alteredprints.com (FAT) release #9

MTG Chosen of Markov/Markov’s Servant Altered Art Foil

AlteredPrints is a professional printing company that makes commission card alterations.  Steve orders these cards himself and they are incredibly high quality.

Please read my post about the company here.

I suppose that it is possible that a judge could disallow this card from tournament play since there is no longer a color indicator on the transformed side “Markov’s Servant.”  Whether this card now violates comprehensive Magic rule #204 I can not say, although the color indicator is part of the Oracle text on gatherer.

Copies of this version of this card can be found occasionally non-serialized on ebay.  Recent auction prices have ranged from $15 to $26.

This is an alteration of the original Dark Ascension Chosen of Markov/Markov’s Servant.  Check my post about that card for the rest of its history and my critiques of the illustrations.

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In case any of you were wondering what in the heck Steve has been talking about recently concerning MVP Games, and for the sake of posterity, allow me to describe the item in question.

Above are four images.  The top one is from an eBay auction (which, in light of a copyright violation dispute with Steve Argyle, has been closed) entitled FOIL FULL ART ALTER PRINT F.A.T Llawan Cephalid Empress Torment Great XMAS Gift! by the seller mvpsportsandgames.

On December 12, 2013 I was sent a message from one of the Ascended Minion Project minions regarding an alternate artwork Liliana of the Veil in an eBay auction from the same seller.  That item looks like this.  I assured that minion that the Liliana card was legitimately produced by the company AlteredPrints.  The company is no longer in operation.

However, shortly after, while perusing the seller’s other auctions I noticed that top image.  Due to my familiarity with his work, and the AlteredPrints catalog, I recognized that this Magic card was not one originally illustrated by Steve Argyle.  Also, if you compare this card to other F.A.T. cards produced by AlteredPrints, it lacks the company name, serialization info, and artist credit that the cards made by that company typically have at the bottom.  Also, Steve typically would not likely endorse having his artwork used to cover another artist’s work, even if he had the authority to give them permission to to use the art copyrighted to AEG/Phoenix Interactive (which I’m not certain about.)

The second image is the card before it was altered, illustrated by Mark Zug, from the Magic expansion set Torment from January 2002.  It has never been reprinted.

The third image, Queen-Mother Nyssara, is from the AEG/Phoenix Interactive CCG Warlord: Saga of the Storm.  It is the flagship card of a custom tournament challenge deck that you had to earn the right to play against.  If you win, you got the deck.  So far as I know there is only one copy of the card in existence, it is still in the deck, which is currently in the possession of the President of Phoenix Interactive, Arne Reuter.  This card is where the “Lord of the Kraken” illustration legitimately appears.  It is not an illustration produced for any Wizards of the Coast product.

For the sake of being thorough, the last image is of an AlteredPrints produced Llawan, Cephalid Empress card, credited to Carolyn Laplante, from an ABUGames image archive (a store that sold many AlteredPrints cards before Wizards of the Coast instructed them to stop.)

Knowing all of this, I sent the seller the following message:

"I was wondering if you knew the manufacturing origins of this card. The company that was authorized to make F.A.T. cards, AlteredPrints, is no longer in operation, this card was not in their portfolio, and the artwork is copyrighted to Alderac Entertainment Group which is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast. I have contacted the original artist to inform them of the existence of this card as I do not believe it was manufactured with his permission."

I then contacted Kat Oertli to inform her.

What went on behind the scenes from this point was unknown to me, but Steve had this to say on January 1, 2014.

The seller responded on their facebook page the following day.

Whether MVP Games is at any fault here I do not know, although I never assumed that they were.  Either way I feel it is important that we look out for Steve’s interests (and any other artists if you’re familiar enough with their work to spot wrong-doing.)

Steve Argyle Deckboxes are coming soon!
HoloPrints will begin taking pre-orders for Steve Argyle’s deckboxes!

Another incredibly important update: our first batch of reversible deckboxes will be available to pre-order sometime in the middle of next week. Not only are these deckboxes absolutely gorgeous, but they will probably be cheaper than the deckboxes you already have! We are aggressively pricing these boxes well below MSRP to get the ball rolling.

We will be posting these news updates on our HoloPrints page, so go over and like us! www.holoprints.org. We will be giving free deckboxes and posters to the 100th person liking us!
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New AlteredPrints Steve Argyle products!

Those of you who have been following for a while have seen the Steve Argyle cards produced by AlteredPrints.  I’ve been following their facebook store waiting for this announcement (they gave me a hint about it a while ago… but I was sworn to secrecy.)

Here’s their announcement.

and here’s the facebook page for HoloPrints!  If you like it you might be eligible to win free goodies.  They announced that their Steve Argyle product samples will be up in two weeks!

[PLEASE BE AWARE] - until further notice AlteredPrints has been shut down by Wizards of the Coast.  Any information contained in this article regarding availability of their products is no longer valid and is retained here for reference only.

Steve Argyle’s Magic: the Gathering artwork is usually seen on the card.  Steve offers prints of his work on his website and at appearances, but he also offers some excellent foil alterations of his Magic cards.  These cards are made by AlteredPrints.

This company produces high quality foil alterations of genuine Magic cards.  Many sellers on ebay offer cards in this alteration style but do not enjoy the level of quality offered here.  Even more importantly, AlteredPrints has direct contact with their clients.  Steve Argyle seems to be one of their most advertised clients, judging from even a cursory review of their facebook postings.

The cards they produce are actually authorized and ordered by Steve Argyle himself, making them a genuine collector’s subset!

I have attributed my own numbering system based on a combination of when they appeared in the AlteredPrints catalog and when they first appeared in MTG.  The cards themselves have no AlteredPrints internal numeration upon them.  Some of their cards are available in serialized form and are numbered of 200.  The serialized cards appear to be autographed by Steve Argyle as they are made and are available from him directly at public appearances.  As they advertised on facebook on May 4, 2012, some are also available for sale this way from places like abugames.  The non-serialized versions often are available from AlteredPrints on ebay.

They also advertised on February 7, 2013 that they would be starting direct sales through their facebook page.

The alteredprints versions are printed directly onto the original cards.  There are some variations available of the older cards in their catalog.  Their discontinued 2.1 process is measurably heavier and has a high gloss even foiling of the entire card surface while their newer 3.0 technique only prints, foils, and coats the altered parts of the card leaving the areas like the name line and text box as “naked card face.”  This video explains their new process.  The results look incredible.

There are a number of things about this subset of cards I want to cover once.  First there is the issue of legality.  All of alteredprints ebay auctions include a disclaimer regarding the legality of their altered cards in sanctioned play.  Here is a forum on mtgsalvation regarding the FAT technique’s legality.  Here is an article from Wizards regarding the entire topic of altered cards.  It’s a minor issue, but be aware that it may come up if you are collecting these cards for play.

The company redirected its online operations to facebook on April 1, 2012.

Here is a list of the cards that Steve Argyle illustrated that appear in their catalog with my own numbering system.

They posted images from their then-current catalog on facebook on February 13, 2012.  These cards exist in the 2.1 and the 3.0 technique.

1 - Chandra Ablaze (version 1) (original art)

1.5 - Chandra Ablaze (version 1) (original art) (serialized of /200)

2 - Chandra Ablaze (version 2) (MIXI art)

2.5 - Chandra Ablaze (version 2) (MIXI art) (serialized of /200)

3 - Liliana of the Veil (alternate art)

3.5 - Liliana of the Veil (alternate art) (serialized of /200)

They posted a comment on facebook regarding a special alteration of an entire deck of “Devour for Power” from Commander, including the oversized cards.  Therefore Damia, Sage of Stone in both sizes exists as an AlteredPrints alteration.  Good luck finding these rarities in the 2.1 technique.  They were included in the catalog update on November 16 with the others.

4 - Damia, Sage of Stone

5 - Damia, Sage of Stone (oversized version)

They added more cards to their catalog on November 16, 2012.  There is a special alteration of Child of Alara included in this update that they made to donate 50% of the proceeds to the Foster Kids Charity.  While Steve Argyle illustrated the original card art, he did not illustrate this charity card.

6 - Slave of Bolas

7 - Bloodbraid Elf

8 - Jace’s Ingenuity

9 - Chosen of Markov/Markov’s Servant

10 - Deadly Allure

11 - Killing Wave

12 - Somberwald Sage

13 - Bloodfray Giant

14 - Deathrite Shaman

I will keep this list updated as new work becomes available.

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