Tuesday, March 15, 2011


There's a bunch I have to talk about regarding my last few lost days, but I feel the need to address something more pressing than any of that.  That thing is Japan.

Admittedly I'm late to the party on this one, and I completely cop to not being any good at talking about monumental and earth-shattering events.  Indeed, I usually find myself without the words and I firmly believe that words, for the most part, are inadequate to begin with.  Suffice it to say that what has happened in Japan — or I should say "is happening" — has been devastating to that country and has implications that will be felt globally for some time to come.  My heart goes out to Japan and its people, and I wish there was something I could do.

A month or so ago, I was offered the opportunity to go to Japan for a Magic Pro-Tour event this June.  The event, to be held in Nagoya, seemed like a lot of fun and a chance to see a country I know little to nothing about.  I accepted the offer without hesitation.  I was looking forward to the trip quite a bit.  Obviously, with the quake and subsequent worries, there was some doubt as to whether or not the event would even take place.

Last night, I got an update from the event's organizers.  While the Pro-Tour event that was to happen in Kobe this weekend was understandably postponed, the event in June is currently a go.  Still, I was given an out should I have concerns about traveling to Japan.  At present I have none, though I completely understand that events are still unfolding and that the situation could change enough to cause plans to be altered substantially.  There is no telling if, when or where the other shoe will drop... or even if there's another shoe to begin with.

Some might wonder what the point of something as trivial as a Magic tournament is in all this madness — a reaction I completely understand.  It's hard to see what place a game has in this world when the earth is tearing itself apart.  Heck — why did David Letterman begin broadcasting again within a week after 9/11?  What place does comedy have amidst so much tragedy?  Simple.  Sometimes you need the distraction.  You need some sense of normalcy, something to hold onto.  Sometimes when the world is falling apart, the familiar is the only thing that helps you get through it.  For some, it's a comedy show.  For others it's a game.  Like it or not, life continues to move on, and often it's those little things that help us get back into our groove.

No matter what, I will ride this one out.  If the event in Japan should remain tenable, than I will be there.  It seems to me that the best thing I can do is to go to Japan, sign as many Magic cards as the fans put in front of me, and spend a few bucks while I'm there.


  1. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I hear you Steve. I remember looking down at the Seventh Sea card I was painting as another massive event unfolded on live TV and wondered what I was doing painting a pirate whilst such suffering was occurring - and that was 9-11.

    Similarly when the news began to come out about Japan I was painting a goblin of all things, and had similar feelings.

    But I come to the same conclusions now as I did then. Painting pirates and monster men for games is treading pretty lightly on the earth, and brings much joy to the people who enjoy that sort of thing. And just as you say, it is a necessary part of life. I would dare to argue a very necessary part in times of trouble.

    Good luck getting to Japan, and good for you for still going.

  2. Jon,

    Thanks a lot. It can be hard to reconcile the silliness we do, to be sure. Such "kiddie" things we work on when compared to the "adult" events unfolding around us makes it hard to justify sometimes. I completely agree with your assessment. Any joy I can bring, no matter when or under what circumstances, makes the whole thing worth it.

    I think that none of us should feel shame for what we work on no matter how trivial — especially during events like these. Everyone, everywhere, is just trying to get by in life, and if any of us can put a smile on any other person's face, then it was all worth it.


  3. Glad to hear you both say things like this. I've been feeling really low about doing such "trivial" work in a world where things like this can happen. I still don't know if I have the same confidence in my place here as you guys have found, but it's heartening to read others talking about it.
    I hope you get to Japan, Steve. I hope you bring a smile to some faces while you're there.

    Best of luck.

  4. hey mom read it and she understood the flasj light thing. I hope you get to japan and bring some smiles with you!


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