‘Middle Earth’ a ghost from the past

   I’m used to being asked to sign ‘Magic the Gathering’ cards and have done so many times over the years, but recently new requests emerged which reminded me of some lost artwork I did 20 years ago.

I managed to get a gig creating artwork for the card game ‘Middle Earth’  back in the heady days of 1998. The game was an official ‘Lord of the Rings’ trading card game licensed from Tolkien Enterprises and published by ‘Iron Crown Enterprises’. I was commissioned to do about 5 cards for them before the company went under taking my originals with them. Subsequently I didn’t see the artwork ever again and I had only made a copy of one piece (A Few Recruits), which is actually one of my favourite pieces.

Eventually some fans of ‘Middle Earth’ approached me to sign their cards. This was exciting and had only taken 20 years to happen!, but ment that I could actually see the fruits of my labour. When I did these cards the Peter Jackson movies hadn’t been made so I was drawing reference mainly from ‘Games Workshop’ art and my own psychadelic brain. Because the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies were being anticipated I presumed that this was going to be a lucrative gig with plenty more work, but my hopes were dashed by the untimely demise of ICE.

I can gain solace in the fact that my illustrations are being kept safe and sound at Tolkein Enterprises and now at least I do have some proof that they were actually used. Many thanks to Alf Rost and Emmanuel Risser for sending me the original cards to sign. Their efforts as collectors helped me reconnect with my lost artwork.

Some Middle Earth card art can be seen HERE

Steve