Wizards of the Coast, the Italian excellences

Wizards of the Coast, the Italian excellences

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, in addition to being two of the most popular games in the world, have another element in common: they are both published by Wizards of the Coast. This is not a novelty, after all these two titans of the play world are known outside the play world, also thanks to costume phenomena such as Stranger Things and Critical Role, responsible for having contributed to the greater diffusion of the game.

When we talk about D&D and Magic, however, we do not immediately think of Italy (although both are localized for the national market), but we automatically think that these are mainly American publications. It is partly true, especially from an authorial and editorial point of view, the core of the project remains firmly anchored in the United States, however it is possible to find a piece of Italy even within these products thanks to the incredible work of extremely talented artists.

We wanted to make this article to celebrate the Italian artistic excellence that contributed to creating small and large masterpieces printed on the pages and cards of these games.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons fantasy lends itself naturally when it comes to unleashing artistic creativity, with a respectable arsenal made up of fantastic and non-fantastic creatures, enchanted places and atmospheres ranging from classic Greyhawk fantasy to worlds with more modern influences like Eberron or scary like Ravenloft and his Domains of Terror.

Although the presence of Italian artists in Dungeons & Dragons is a relative fact recently, the mastery of the artists involved does not go unnoticed.| ); }
Some of the illustrations in the most recent manuals are brought to life by Katerina Ladon, Francesca Baerald and Marco Bernardini.

Katerina Ladon

Katerina Ladon, whom we will also find in the section dedicated to Magic, she is a freelance artist and concept artist whose collaboration with Wizards begins in 2020 with the manual Candlekeep Mysteries. He later makes some illustrations for Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (available for online purchase), The Wild Beyond the Witchlight (available for online purchase) and Fizban's Treasury of Dragons (available for online purchase). >
In addition to the collaboration with Wizards of the Coast Ladon has also collaborated with Paizo and MS Edizioni.

Francesca Baerald

Marco Bernardini

Marco Bernardini is a fantasy cartographer, who before joining Wizards of the Coast worked for Keith Baker (creator of the world of Eberron), Paizo and Beadle & Grimm. Its debut under the aegis of Dungeons & Dragons will coincide with the release of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, which will feature a highly detailed poster-sized map of the Rock of Bral, the campaign's main quest hub.

Magic: The Gathering

Since 1993 Magic: The Gathering has been a real international showcase for hundreds of artists from all over the world, including Italy. After all, Magic is a game in which the visual component has always been a fundamental part, as every single card is accompanied by one or more versions of the same illustration. Whether it is evocations, artifacts, lands or other the art of Magic adapts to bring to life a very recognizable imaginary, defined by almost 30 years of play.

Bringing the colors of Italy high we find Katerina Ladon, Lorenzo Lanfranconi, Luca Zontini, Massimilano Frezzato, Mirko Failoni and Paolo Parente.

Magic: The Gathering is available for purchase online

For this expansion Ladon has created the Welcome to Gala Committee cards and Kros, Defense Consultant.

Lorenzo Lanfranconi

Lorenzo Lanfranconi is a Concept Artist and Background Artist who arrives in Wizards of the Coast following several personal and professional projects with, among others , Tatai Lab, Epic Games, and Riot Games. The collaboration with Magic starts in 2020, with the Zendikar Rebirth expansion.

For Magic Lanfranconi has created the Celestial Enclave Geopod (Zendikar Rebirth) and Unexplored Oasis (Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty) cards .

Luca Zontini

Luca Zontini is a freelance illustrator whose work has been published by Wyrd Edizioni, Upper Deck, Lucca Comics and Games, Salani Editore, Blizzard Entertainment and Sergio Bonelli Editore. The collaboration with Wizards of the Coast takes place from 1999 until 2007 and during these years he creates many illustrations for the card game, including Bottled Cloister (Ravnica: City of Guilds), Dragon's Perch (Assault), Anti-Alarm intruder (Eighth Edition) and Spirale Tessimagie (Mirrodin).

Massimilano Frezzato

Massimilano Frezzato is a cartoonist best known for I Custodi del Maser. In addition to this saga, Frezzato has made many other productions, including his version of Pinocchio and a Wolverine story for Marvel.

For Magic, Frezzato has made the Culmine della Desperazione cards between 1999 and 2001 ( Seventh Edition), Pellegrino della Virtù (Odyssey), Minare (Invasione) and Appetito Perverso (Eighth Edition).

Mirko Failoni

Mirko Failoni is a freelance illustrator and Concept Artist, known in the world of role-playing games for creating Historia, an illustrated book in which he imagined a dark renaissance populated by anthropomorphic animals. The book was then adapted in the homonymous setting for the Fifth Edition of D&D by Mana Project Studio.

For Magic Failoni he created the cards Kami of Transmutation (Alchemy: Kamigawa), Undercity plunderer (Alchemy: Kamigawa) and Arms of Adar (Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate).

Paolo Parente

Paolo Parente was among the first Italian artists to establish himself in the world of fantasy illustration. Since the 1990s, his illustrations appear in various role play manuals, thanks to his collaboration with Stratelibri, the first Italian publisher of Magic.

The collaboration with Magic takes place from 1997 to to 2006, during these years he created many illustrations for the card game, including Impulso della Forgia (Darksteel), Golem of Micosinti (Quinta Alba), Leyline del Fulmine (Pact of the Guilds) and Elven Champion (Seventh Edition). >

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