Thursday, October 10, 2019

Old School MTG: Pen Altering Force of Nature (Maui)

I just got back from a trip to Maui. Everything looked just like the pictures! Of course while I was there I had to look for some old school Magic cards.

I searched Google for local MTG stores. Pickings were surprisingly slim. Maybe all that beach and sea air means that less people are interested in playing games like MTG. But I found a store that said it sold Comics and Cards (Maui Comics), plugged it into Google maps and headed that way.

Ben was driving. Since neither of us were familiar with the area, we followed the directions exactly and ended up in what looked like an industrial/parking area. Ben parked and we walked in a wide, unlabeled entry hallway. Concrete floors, no signs, propped open doors.

I've seen some strange places for a MTG store before, so I would not have been surprised if someone converted warehouse space to have a large enough play area at a small enough price per sq ft to make a profit running a gaming store. As we walked down the hallway, it was marked with signs like, "Emergency Exit Only," and, "Employees Only." That didn't seem right. But hey, we were tourists in Maui. It was turning into an adventure!

Eventually, we emerged into an open-air shopping mall. We had apparently parked in the back, where the employees park. Thanks Google.

I will say that I've never been to a shopping mall with multiple fruit vendor stalls, but I guess fruit is a big thing in Maui. We found a map posted by the "rules of the mall." The rules were surprisingly comprehensive. It's like the warning on your hair dryer about not using it in the bathtub. You know someone tried and found out the hard way that electricity and water do not mix. The rules were like that in the mall: Wear a shirt. Wear shoes.

On and on.

We walk into Maui Comics where a couple of guys are sitting behind a counter. One guy has earbuds in and is watching something on his phone. No other customers are in the store. And I only see rack after rack of comics. No MTG cards. No display cases with singles.

The guy without the earbuds makes himself busy, so I walk up to the guy with the earbuds and ask him about MTG. He points at an open box of Throne of Eldraine boosters on the counter in front of him. Thanks, but do you have singles? He pulls out a (I kid you not) Ultrapro trade binder and sets it in front of me. So, these are the singles? Yes. Hmm. The other guy grabs a 10,000ct box and brings it over. The box is labeled "bulk."

I flip through the trade binder. It's mostly modern stuff, mostly from ELD. Huh. I ask him if people play Magic in Maui and he looks up from whatever he is watching and says yeah, probably.

There were a total of two old school cards in that entire binder. A Revised Force of Nature, which I gladly bought for double the going price, and a Revised Disrupting Scepter.

Once I saw the Force of Nature, I knew I needed to alter it to commemorate my trip. Magic cards are some of the few possessions I have running back 20+ years. It's fantastic to be able to pull up a card I've been using for years and years with all the memories that go along with it. A commemorative card like this is perfect.

I did the card alter with a normal, black ink pen. It takes forever to dry, but it will dry. Just leave it out and put a hairdryer on it for a while. The ink smudges a bit, but you can blot it once it's no longer shiny anywhere. After blotting and double-sleeving, it's good to go. If you have access to an "ultra fine" tip Sharpie, that's even better. It dries faster and doesn't smudge as easily.

It looks like a green deck is in my future. Let's stomp, Maui-style.

For comparison, here are the before and after images.

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