Magic The Gathering brings so many people together, but who knew that a couple’s love for the game and the movie “Tombstone” would allow the stars of the game, MTGCardsmith.com and actor Val Kilmer to align?
Well, that’s what happened in 2019 when MTG Cardsmith user Messifan91 used the website editor to create a card honoring Kilmer and presented it to him at a “Tombstone” event outside Austin, Texas. The moment is caught on film in the new Val Kilmer documentary, “Val”, which can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
The documentary is a revealing look at the actor, his career that spans four decades, his complex family life from childhood to now, and his recent struggles following his battle with throat cancer that has severely hindered his ability to talk.
At about the 53-minute mark of the film, Kilmer is seen signing autographs at the “Tombstone” event at J. Lorraine, Texas, Ghost Town. Messifan91, or Justin, and his wife, Heather, can be seen meeting Kilmer and presenting him a Magic card. Justin explains that it is a Magic the Gathering card. MTG Cardsmith aficionados recognize this is a custom card, and Justin used MTGCardsmith.com to create it.
“Our favorite movie has always been ‘Tombstone,’” Justin said. “We just loved Val as Doc (Holliday), and (we) even had our honeymoon in Arizona and got to go to Tombstone and saloon hop for a couple of days.
“The little town was a perfect replica of an old west town and Val really mingled with the people there and was so charismatic. There was even an outdoor screening of Tombstone and Val himself introduced it and sat with the crowd to watch. Everyone was given toy cap guns to shoot into the air at certain parts during the movie. It was an absolute blast.”
Justin and Heather paid a little extra for the “Meet and Greet” with Kilmer. Justin brought two different cards he created on MTGCardsmith.com, one for Kilmer to sign; the other as a gift to Kilmer, but the event hosts almost didn’t let him through with both.
“They were like, ‘Sorry, Val will only sign one item per person,’” Justin said, “and I said that one was a gift for him and they seemed pretty surprised by that.”
Kilmer is now in remission, but the movie demonstrates his struggles during treatment and now. And that goes into Justin’s process for making the card.
“As for the inspiration behind the card itself, it mainly just made it as a testament to his battle with cancer,” Justin said. ”As an encouragement, but also as a totem of victory for him. That's why there's that win-con (win-condition) in there. I also wanted to grasp his humanity, and the importance of feeling that victory for him as a person, hence the second ability.”
Making a Magic card for Kilmer, combining their love for “Tombstone” and Magic The Gathering brought everything full-circle for Justin and Heather.
“My wife and I have played MTG for many years,” Justin said. “It's one of the things that brought us together and holds strong in our relationship like glue.”