The Christopher Rush Memorial Sealed Deck

Posted in Event Coverage on April 17, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Two months ago, the Magic world stopped for a moment as we read the news.

“Magic lost one of its pioneers yesterday with the passing of Christopher Rush. Christopher was an important member of the Wizards of the Coast family, and his comic book–inspired style helped create the look and feel of Magic: The Gathering from the very beginning. His work has appeared on many of the most powerful and memorable cards in the game's history, inspiring countless artists, players, and fans. His laughter will always be missed, but the joy he brought to the game will live on with smiling players around the world.”

Christopher Rush was one of Magic’s most iconic artists. As the artist of the mana symbols, Rush lives on in every game of Magic we play. Cards like Lightning Bolt and Black Lotus, both originally illustrated by Rush, are everlasting images that conjure nostalgia for millions of Magic players around the world.

Today, a memorial event for Rush is being held here at Grand Prix Albuquerque where all the proceeds will go to the Christopher Rush Memorial Fund.

I had the opportunity to speak with Christopher Rush’s daughters, Sierra and Madeline, to learn more about the man who created the art that’s been such a big part of our lives. We have such a myopic view of Rush, knowing him through his art. I was hoping to learn more about who he was as a human.

Sierra spoke about her father, “People always tell me how kind my father was and it’s important to me that they know it wasn’t just costume he wore in public; That’s who he was. He loved playing video games and going to see superhero movies. He always wanted to be a comic book artist and what he ended up doing became something so much bigger. He used to tell me stories about he and my mother skipping school to play Dungeons and Dragons. This was his calling. He was devoted to bringing the fantastic to life.

He knew that he was a big part of Magic history, but I don’t know if he would have expected the outpouring of sympathy that came after his death. Wizards of the Coast and all of his fans have been unbelievably supportive through this whole process. Without their help, I’m not sure what I would’ve done.”

Christopher Rush’s Daughters - Sierra and Madeline

A Sealed Deck tournament is an interesting kind of memorial, but one that Rush probably would’ve been happy with. Instead of mourning, players celebrate his life by playing the cards that he’ll forever be immortalized on.

Rush’s art lives on. It unlocks a place in our minds that calls us back to childhood wonder. Each piece of art crafted by Rush is a snapshot of a world, object, person, or adventure that’s endowed to us so that we can expound upon it with the endless depths of our imaginations.

Click here if you’d like to contribute to the Christopher Rush memorial gofundme.

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