|next thing you'll be saying comics aren't art as they're produced for mass commercial publication.|
No, that's not the approach I take (commercial v non-commercial), and actually I said what I said with my tongue slightly in cheek. However, I made the distinction of "illustration" because I think Magic paintings are primarily illustrating whatever character needs to be depicted on the card - that's their primary purpose and as such they rely fairly heavily on their context I think. I think there are lots and lots of comics that are art. I suppose what I'm saying is that a comic books series is self-contained whereas the card paintings are not, they're flourishes, accessories to a game.
I'm not offended by the accusation of being "a tad elitist" about art, sure it's debatable whether that's the "right" way to be but it's certainly not a loathsome POV, it's not as though I'm being a tad elitist about civil rights or something.