I was the beneficiary of help from friends in Italy, Singapore, Croatia, Japan and the U.S. recently, and it resulted in me being lucky enough to add Paolo Parente’s Masticore to my art collection.

I wrote a nostalgia trip/thank you/article about it, which can be found here:


I love the direction Magic has gone in general, and would never want to go backwards. But damn - Masticore was one of the first cards I ever played with and the pure feeling of lore it evokes is like nothing else.

While it's still fresh in my memory I might as well write down somewhere how I went from an offhand comment to an actual painting.

The sole and starting lead from Nick was: "I reached out to Parente about Masticore original art, the only thing he remembers it's that he gave it to a store in northern Italy 20 years ago". Turns out that our monthly Vintage league organizer Giampiero Ronzo (you might remember him from Menendian's articles as 2009 BoM winner) recalls it being displayed in the Bluesbrothers flagship store in Milan.

Bluesbrothers was a franchise that pioneered hobbies and especially LGSs in Italy back in the days before it went bankrupt, the general owner would have been quite hard to contact, all I had was an inactive phone number.

At Nebraska's War Tournament I talked with the old guard Milan players, all had not encouraging informations like the man having moved abroad and such, apart from Alessandro Cattani that gave me an e-mail address of someone that "used to be at the store as the ..." rest of the sentence being covered by the speakers announcing pairings.
At the event I met also Antonio Rama that works for Lucca Comics&Games (a con on par with the S. Diego one), they used to deal with BB franchise owner and rumor had it that he had recently surfaced at some historical wargames gatherings.

I went to browse some forums and surprisingly stumbled into a post where the man introduces himself and lists his contacts in hope to get people from his area to play some games. All I needed was some sort of connection, to not reach to him out of the blue unannounced (supposing that he does not like to be "found"). My dad makes historical dioramas as a hobby and I found out that one of his peers had recently sold an army of Romans to the guy.

With high hopes I went to make the call and sadly discovered that all my efforts where for naught, since he barely remembered the painting and didn't know for sure where it might have ended up. Nick thanked me for my efforts saying that what I had done was already enough and that was it.

Then after some time, while watching a Vintage stream struggling to get some sleep I remembered about the e-mail address, thought that there was no harm in trying and went on to write a message. Got an answer the very next morning, turns out that the one I mailed was the owner of solely the actual store in Milan and more importantly was on the receiving end of Parente's gift 20 years ago and still had the piece, all I had to do was to put him in contact with Nick and it was over.
Message me if you need anything from Italy, I guess!

last edited by Log

@log Raffaele, I cannot thank you enough. You did what nobody else could do, and you did it with virtually no information. I am in your debt.

@Prospero get back to play Vintage then!

last edited by Log

Wow guys, what a story!
I don’t know why, but reading this reminded me on old TMD and quality of articles I found there first time I discovered it.
I feel that voting system embedded on this forum, while totally in line with online technology trends and nowadays user habits, somehow downgraded our community in terms of lack of comments and quality feedback on such great stories.
@Log thx for your side of this great story, I totally felt atmosphere while reading.
@Prospero Excelsior!

wow congrats Nick! i am a big fan of Masticore and even it got antiquated it is still one of my favorite creatures of all time. I was wondering 3-4 years ago where the original art could be as it is maybe my favorite MTG artwork of all time (but of course i can't afford it); it turns out it is alive and well and now in your very capable hands..again congratulations Nick

Reading this made me feel warm inside. Gave me goosebumps just looking at the picture of that magnificent masterpiece hanging on your wall. Gave me a bit of hope, knowing maybe, just maybe some day I, too, will acquire the pieces I seek. (Probably not that Morphling, though, lol) Wether it be cardboard or canvas.
This is the kind of articles i remember reading on TMD, not too long ago. Thank you, Nick.

last edited by Ten-Ten
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