Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Paige Spiranac Card Dump

Although I haven't been posting them, I've been making Paige Spiranac cards and setting them aside over the last few years.  I'll save images and sort of use them as custom card practice.  I've decided to now post all of the Paige cards I've made so far.  The first two are inspired by the 1989 and 1991 Upper Deck baseball designs respectively.  
Inspired by: 1990 & 1992 UD baseball

Inspired by 1993-94 UD basketball / 1989-90 NBA Hoops

Inspired by 1991 UD football / 1988 Topps football

Inspired by: 1992-93 McDonald's UD basketball / 1991 UD football

Inspired by: 1985 Topps First Blood Part II / 1986 Topps baseball

I think this one, inspired by the 1991-92 Skybox basketball set, is my favorite of the lot.  It's such a clean look.  This is one I'd love to one day have signed.
Here's two bonus cards that I made early on and was able get signed.  The first is inspired by the 1987 Topps baseball design and the one on the right is just an autograph card design I came up with.  Paige was pretty good at signing through the mail but as her popularity has grown I'm assuming it's harder for her to keep up with it, which is understandable.


Thursday, November 3, 2022

Sig. Showcase: Rose Namajunas

With my cards, the bulk majority of what sparks my interest is creating cards that are vintage inspired.  The idea is creating cards that look like they could have existed back in time.  I don't go too far past the early '90s, when the companies really started to modernize in their card's presentation with newer technologies.  That was exciting, but for me the passion and artistry is in the older, more dated card designs.  It's all about the nostalgia.

Occasionally I do dabble with designs that are original and a tad more modern looking.  These cards are typically cards I'm making for myself in hopes of getting them autographed.  When doing so I typically draw inspiration from designs from Upper Deck or Topps, not so much Panini -- I find their cards, design-wise, to be bland, boring and redundant.  

I got an idea for a Rose Namajunas card.  I wouldn't consider myself an MMA "junkie", but I am a fan of "Thug Rose" and wanted to create a card in hopes of getting her autograph.  I love Rose's whole demeanor and humility.  I also really like how that humility and her appearance really belies her skill level.  She's an absolute warrior. 

So, I set out to make a card that would have a little more modern appeal as MMA didn't even exist in the time period that most of my cards are designed to emulate. I started by looking for an image that caught my eye.  I knew a good way to achieve and more modern look would be to have the image full-bleed, meaning no border framing the card.  I made the image black-and-white as it helps a would-be autograph "pop".  From there I added some subtle touches that helped identify it as an MMA card, but as to not distract from the image.  I really am happy with the end result and even happier to have it come back to me signed. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022


This 50 card set is the custom set I referenced as a "passion project" back in this post.  I began tinkering on this set at the end of June.  A combination of things; it being a 50 card set and a couple of printing setbacks, stretched this one out for months.  There was no rush because I make these for fun.  I didn't give myself a deadline, so the proximity to Halloween is a ghoulish coincidence.

At 50 cards (52 if you count the promo card and special "Dream Ghoul" card) this is the largest card set I've done.  I learned a lot, most specifically that I'll never do a set this large again. It's just too much for my one-man Mickey Mouse operation.

This set came to be thanks to my son and his repeated viewings of the Blu-ray, which eventually I had to hide.  I can't recall if I've mentioned it on other blog posts -probably not, I try to keep it about the cards- but, my son is on the spectrum.  He's non-verbal, so movies are a form of communication and bonding for he and I.  The only issue is that when he likes a movie he can't just watch it once, or even two or three times.  It's back-to-back-to-back for days or weeks or sometimes months.  He's done the same thing with Cliff Hanger, Total Recall, The Running Man, Return of the Living Dead Part 3, Suspiria,  among other movies.  He gravitates towards the intense action scenes.  

I decided to make a set from Frankenhooker because the more times I watched this quirky movie, the more I fell in love with it.  I've always been fond of the film, but I really started to deeply appreciate the performances, the aesthetic and story.  It's crazy to me that the idea for the movie was originally an on-the-spot ad lib by director Frank Henenlotter after another of his more thought-out movie concepts was shot down by his would-be producer.  

Another pseudo-factor in liking Frankenhooker is that it's an adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  It seems everyone has their favorite Marvel and DC characters (Incredible Hulk and Plastic-Man, respectively) but I'd also be interested to know other's favorite Universal Monster character.  Mine has always been Frankenstein.  

Horror movies (or horror comedies in this movie's case) are my favorite to make sets from.  I just really like the special effects visuals.  Monsters are just fun to create a vintage inspired custom cards out of.  That's also how this set ended up being 50 cards.  By the 87th -give or take- viewing I loved so much about the movie that I wanted to include as much of it as I possibly could.  I wanted the card set to follow the sequence of the movie and present nicely that way in a binder.

I considered a few different card sets looks from 1990, but I felt that a template inspired by the 1990 Topps baseball design would work out best to give these cards a look unique to the movie but still recognizable as a classic Topps design.  Plus, the '90 Topps frames was purple after all... "I'm looking for a tall purple girl.  She's got a black forearm and fresh stitches".  I also wanted a design that would lend well to using captions as is the case with non-sports card sets.  That might have been my favorite part, coming up with the double entendre puns.

The same approach was taken for the card backs.  I wanted them to resemble the '90 Topps with some Frankenhooker flair.  I watched the movie scene-by-scene pausing to get exact quotes for use on the card backs.  There's a few scenes that did not have dialog so those 4 (I believe) cards have movie trivia questions on them.  I also wanted to give each card a fun fact because I personally place great importance on that type of shit of zero consequence, rather than figure out how things like stocks or mortgages work.  It's not enough to like a movie.  I need to be able to annoy others with "did you know?" type information that they couldn't really care less about. 

Pretzels GOOOD

The set ended up being 48 cards, which with being that close to 50 didn't sit quite right with me.  So, I made two checklists which is ironic because I'm not planning on parting specific cards from the rest, so if you have the checklists, you have the rest of the set.  But, it gave me an excuse to use a couple cool behind-the-scenes shots that otherwise didn't have sequential story context.  Which begs the question of why didn't I just just cap the set with a couple of behind-the-scenes cards instead of checklists?  That is a pretty good question actually.  I don't know.  It's just what I did.  Consider it just a homage to set collecting where the checklist let you know which cards you needed to complete a set, like back in 1990.

The Dream "Ghoul" card is a play on the Dream Girl cards I do, which of course are a play on the Dream Team subset from the 1991 Score baseball set.  In the time it has taken to produce this set I've plugged upwards of 20 or more images into the Dream Girl template.  Patty Mullen was such a babe and a brilliant choice to play Elizabeth as she had a great look (1988 Penthouse Pet of the Year) and had the comedic chops to soften a character that is essentially a prostitute monstrosity. 

I also made a promo card for the hell of it.  In the early '90s I remember promo cards really coming into vouge, especially with non-sport card sets.  I totally marked out to those oddball type of cards.  They were the epitome of rare and special to me.  You couldn't get them in packs.  Sometimes they were dealer exclusives or sometimes they'd be a magazine premium.  Either way, I was in awe of them, so I thought it'd be cool to recreate that with this set. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Pizza The Hut And Vinnie

I was cleaning up my camera roll so my phone has enough storage to do an update and came across this card I made awhile back but never shared for some reason.

This of course is Pizza the Hut and Vinnie from 1987's Spaceballs.  Being that Spaceballs is a Star Wars spoof I did this faux sticker in the style of the stickers from Topps' 1980 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back -- specifically the Boba Fett / Storm Trooper sticker.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Fast Times 40th Anniversary

In August my favorite movie -one of them anyways-, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, celebrated its 40th anniversary.  Watching the movie once again made me want to pay a trading card tribute to it.  The only problem I've almost exhausted all ideas that make sense, but I was pretty dogged in the idea that I had at least another Fast Times card in me.  Turns out I had three.

I began thinking of the different card designs that were out in 1982, the year Fast Times was released in theaters.  I've used a number of the sports card designs on the movie, so I thought about non-sports options.  That's when I landed on the design for one of the biggest blockbusters of the 1980's, E.T.  I started out by making a Linda Barrett die-cut sticker insert.  I thought her iconic red bikini would popped with the red of the sticker border.  The design it self is pretty recognizable as it also used for the 1977 Topps Star Wars set stickers.  Then, because the only thing better than a new Phoebe Cates card is two new Phoebe Cates cards, I went ahead and made a card inspired by the E.T. base set design.  For this card I thought it would be fun to replace the E.T. silhouette with one of Linda Barrett the moment before she unhooks her top in Brad's fantasy.  For the card back I did another silhouette of that famous pool fantasy scene that ruined so many rental tape copies back in the day.  For S&G I also turned that graphic into a sticker because I just cannot help myself.

I had thought in the past of making a Brad Hamilton baseball card with him in his Cleveland Indians jersey.  I think the reason I held off  before was because the jersey is worn during kind of a touchy scene when Brad unknowingly gave his younger sister Stacy a ride to the abortion clinic.  For myself I can't really separate the jersey from the scene.  But, even so I thought it could still make for a good custom baseball card.  Since I used the '82 Topps design for the two series of Fast Times movie cards I wanted to use one of the designs from the other two major companies; Donruss or Fleer.  
Since, in my opinion, the 1982 Donruss design is completely horrendous it was going to be Fleer.  The 1982 Fleer baseball design is kind of generic looking but I think that also gives it charm and versatility.  On the back I used Brad's work resume in place of baseball stats and added a few Brad Hamilton highlights at the bottom.
It would have been nice to pair these with the Spicoli card I made back in July.  That card was one the few times I was able to time a card with a date being that I wanted to put it out around the Fourth of July.  I was more more disciplined in doing that these newest card would have been done around the time of the anniversary date, but having them out in the same year is good enough for me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Paige Spiranac And The 2022 NFL Season Kick Off

I thought today would be a good day to post this new card with the 2022 NFL Season kicking off tomorrow, with the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams taking on the Bills.

Typically I don't put enough forethought into the cards I make to time them to dates of any certain significance.  I just make them when the inspiration hits me and post 'em up.  I've got a bunch of pictures saved that I eventually want to make custom cards out of.  This image of Paige Spiranac, a self professed Steelers die-hard, is one of those images.  I've had the picture in my "cards to-do" folder for quite awhile now, but I collect inspiration at a much greater pace than I make cards.  To even that out I'd never be able to get up from my desk and my work probably wouldn't consider that enough of a reason for calling off.  So, what I'm saying is that it's more of a coincidence that I'm posting a football card coinciding with the start of a new NFL season.

This card is inspired by the 1991 Upper Deck football set.  This is a design that has found a home with my cards.  It's clean and straight forward.  

Though I've only posted one other Paige Spiranac card here, I've actually made quite a few.  Since she's a sports personality I've stumbled upon numerous images that lend to custom card making.  I'll eventually get around to posting a collage or something of those on here.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

New Dream Girl Cards Wave 2

As was mentioned in the last post, I'm working my way through a backlog of new additions to the Dream Girl custom set.  Here is the second wave of six cards.  

I noted that there's a few of the girls in the new additions that'll be featured on two cards with my inability to chose one photo over the other.  This time around it was Emma Watson.  My cards, my rules ;)