The Art and Artists of MagicCon Philadelphia

Nick Wolf • February 24, 2023

PHILADELPHIA -- With the first MagicCon of 2023 in the books, attention now turns to Minneapolis. The next MagicCon on the calendar is in the Twin Cities, slated for only roughly 70 days from now, and the dust's hardly settled in Philadelphia.

It was a whirlwind weekend for attendees, with the marriage of a Pro Tour and a full-fledged convention dominating multiple floors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. While final attendance numbers are not known at this time, it's estimated that 20,000 were on-hand to celebrate all things Magic. The event featured a number of attractions created to entice all manner of Magic player, from tournament grinders and Limited aficionadoes to fans of art, lore, and the Gathering part of Magic: the Gathering. 

Below, check out some sights from the event's Artist Alley, which featured nearly 30 Magic artists from the game's past and present.

Chandra (cosplayer TappyToeClaws) invites all attendees to check out a chemistry set/libation stand.

Artist Tyler Jacobson is credited with more than 120 cards, including Commander menace Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and was busy signing all weekend.

Tyler Walpole works on an artist proof sketch during Saturday's mayhem in the Artist Alley. Walpole's art for The Ur-Dragon was revealed to be included in the upcoming Commander Masters following the weekend's festivities.

Speaking of Ur-Dragons, Justine Jones signed plenty of her version of the card, featured in a past Secret Lair.

Newcomer to Magic art, Maxime Minard, chats with some new fans on Friday at MagicCon Philly.

It was German artist Dominik Mayer's first time in the United States, and he kept busy with plenty of signing requests throughout the weekend.

From tormenting Standard to Elk-ifying MagicCon attendees, Oko (cosplayer Christina of CantripCosplay) was in attendance to push the "All Will Be Elk" agenda.

Michigan native Phil Stone doesn't leave home without his signature pipe. Stone's artwork will be featured on showcase treatments of recent mythics Tyrannax Rex and Sword of Forge and Frontier.

Cosplayer Mythic Mikaela was flitting about the Pennsylvania Convention Center as Xira, the Golden Sting.

Illustrator of Commander staples Return of the Wildspeaker, Guardian Project, and the ubiquitous Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, Chris Rallis had plenty of fans frequenting his booth during the weekend.

Artist Andrea Radeck signed cards and chatted with fans about her comic, Caelum Sky.

With more than 150 cards illustrated, Ryan Pancoast went through plenty of pens signing cards throughout the weekend.

Eric Deschamps, one of the few Magic artists to have reached the 200-card milestone, was a fixture for fans during the weekend.

Operating a booth at a MagicCon is not a job for just one person, and artist Jeff Laubenstein enlisted his daughter Lucy to help greet fans and keep the lines moving.

Illustrator of Commander-table menace Drannith Magistrate, Kieran Yanner signed plenty of copies of the hatebear during MC Philly.

One of Magic's original 25 artists, Mark Poole is a fixture at in-person events, signing old favorites as well as new illustrations, like recent saga The Brothers' War and showcase treatments of Panharmonicon, Sylvan Library, and Gemstone Mine.

Campbell White was available throughout the weekend signing copies of Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa for anyone lucky enough to have acquired one in time for MC Philly.

The Temporal Pilgrim himself, Teferi (cosplayer TeferiMagic) puzzles out a time conundrum in his off-time on Friday.

Cosplayer Olivia Gobert-Hicks welcomed fans to snap photos with her in her special throne.

Artist Wizard of Barge flew to Philly from Los Angeles to participate in a Secret Lair panel and sign cards for fans.

It wouldn't be MagicCon without a threat of Phyrexian invasion, led by Elesh Norn herself (DarkPactCosplay).

Dan Scott signs plenty of Ponders, but that's just one of his more than 300 cards he's illustrated, including Commander staple Arcane Signet.