Wednesday, December 27, 2017


I wanted to do this post before Christmas to coincide with people watching Jingle All The Way as a perennial holiday watch, but I had a lot going on so I didn't quite make it.

While looking for a photo for the Kevin Nash college basketball card I did I came across this photo above of David Adkins, better known as the comedian Sinbad.  Unbeknownst to me the 6'5" Sinbad played college basketball for the University of Denver.  I couldn't find too much on his college basketball career.  There's not a lot on his time as a Pioneer forward but I was able to find out that he was there from 1975 to 1978, and that average 4.5 points and about as many rebounds in the 50 games he appeared in.

I used the same same 1977-78 Topps basketball inspired design seeing as the year fit.

Own a copy of this card from the PCb online store.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Is That Goal Regulation Size, Or What!?

For the longest time I didn't make any cards featuring Adam Sandler despite all of his classic sports related movie roles.  I just didn't think there was a good chance at getting any of my cards signed.  That all changed because now I know a guy who knows a guy who can get me some Sandler sigs. Once that relationship was forged I went to work and churned out 7 Sandler joints as they say in hip-hop circles.

The one above is by far my favorite of the lot. Sandler has some fun movies, but I have to think Happy Gilmore is the best. It starts out right away on a hilarious note with Happy trying out -unsuccessfully for at least the tenth time- for the semi-pro (I'd presume) Waterbury Warriors. That whole scene is classic, and now has a card devoted to it.

Happy Gilmore was released in 1996 but, like I have with almost anything released after roughly 1990, I plugged it into a more vintage inspired design.  For this one I used a 1984 Topps hockey inspired design.  For the record, I f***ing love this design and have used it any time it has made sense to me to create a number of really fun cards. It screams 1980's card design to me. I love the rounded two-tone frame and the secondary picture.

I used the Warriors' team colors for the two-tone frame of course.  My favorite part might just be the "team prospect" text.  Every so often you'd see text like that reading something like "traded to the ..... ".  I always assumed it was a last minute thing when a guy would be traded but it was too late to re-do his card.  Since Happy never officially made the Warriors' roster, well, he's a team prospect.

Now, I'll just wait with bated breath for some Sandler autographs. If you'd like to own a copy of this card it's available in the PCb online store.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Game. Blouses. II

I'm not sure why making this card didn't occur to me to make this card when I made the Jr. High basketball Prince basketball card.  Nevertheless, here's a fun one inspired by that famous Dave Chappelle skit.

This card is in the style of the 1987-88 Fleer basketball.  I wanted to use a design that had a team name but not a logo, although coming up with a basketball logo for the "Blouses" might have yielded a hilarious result.  I liked that the team name calls for a two-tone so I can use two different shades of purple.  When it comes to prince you really can't have enough purple.

I've opened an online store that I'm going to be playing with and stocking in the weeks to come.  If you'd like to own a copy of this you can get one here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Game On!

I think when Wayne's World came out in 1992 it was pretty much everyone's favorite movie at the time.  I know it was mine.

These Wayne and Garth cards are a couple that I probably should have made quite awhile ago.  Better late than never.

For these I chose to make them in the 1986 Topps style design for a couple of reasons.  For one, I already had it ready to go having first used it for my Cameron Frye card.  The other reason is that the 1992 Topps hockey is kind of blah.  In '92 Topps used the same basic design for all four major sports.  Plus, I wanted these to have a more vintage feel.  Although I'm not a huge hockey guy, I do really like the Blackhawks logo so I wanted a design that called for a logo.  I think it's one of the best looking logos in sports, all political correctness aside.

*You may notice that the name team name Blackhawks is two separate words which is how it was spelled until 1986.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Oh Well. Whatever. Nevermind.

Christmas came a little early for me in the form of a TTM success yesterday from Washington state.

When I was in eight grade there was not a single day that went by that I didn't listen to either Nevermind or In Utero, usually both.  Every day, after school.  I don't know that I was angsty so much as I loved Nivana's music.  I even remember Scotch Taping photcopied pictures on a folder and writing song lyrics all over it and this burnout girl offering to buy it from me... no sale.

This card was inspired by the 1973 Topps baseball set.  It's design that is easily customizable, so I use it when I'm trying not to be really year or era specific.  It's clean and has a vintage appeal to boot.  The maroon/purpley color comes from the In Utero album cover since the picture is clearly one taken in accord with the album's release period.  I added a bass guitar clip art to the area that featured  different positional baseball player silhouettes on the original '73 cards.

Since Nirvana disbanded in 1994 follow Kurt Cobain's death Krist Novoselic has kept busying contributing his musical talents to a number of bands, as well as becoming a political and social activist.

Not only did Mr. Novoselic graciously autograph my custom cards for me be he also included a number of really great items as pictured below.  So cool!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sensei Kreese Is My BFF

Like I've stated before, I started making these cards to entertain myself, so even if I was the only one who dug them that would be cool with me. They're cards I'd want to own even if it wasn't me making them.  Along the way I've had some really positive feedback from lots of different people about my cards, which is so cool.  I never really bargained on that.  What I really didn't plan on was gaining a celebrity fan along the way, especially if said celebrity had a lead role in my all-time favorite movie!

When I first started making my custom cards I just wanted to send them out in the mail and cross my fingers that they come back signed.  I've had my fair share of successes, but none like the responses from Mr. Kove.

I've actually met Martin Kove twice, both times at the Motor City Comic-Con.  My first time going to a Comic-Con was 2014.  I went with a couple of buddies who were Comic-Con vets, but I still personally did not know what to expect, especially since I'm a tad awkward when meeting new people.  I just knew that being the Karate Kid fan I am, I had to meet Martin Kove and William Zabka.  I was blown away at how personable and gracious they both were.  Mr. Kove told me his son's name was also Jesse and we chatted a bit about old westerns seeing as my dad, the western fan he is, got my name from Jesse James.

Not only did they take a real interest in everyone's item and exactly how they would like it signed but they also chatted nearly everyone up and were happy to take pictures.  There is no doubt that they wanted their fans to leave with a great experience. As I found in subsequent trips to the Comic-Con that that's not always the case.  Some guests merely sign and "next" to the person behind you and are sure to let you know what will cost you extra.  I get the business side of it, but at least make an effort to make that part of it not so overt.  Definitely not the case with Kove and Zabka.  Both of those guys are genuine.  I was so impressed that when they returned the next year (with Ralph Macchio) that I again paid for an autograph and got a chance to make small talk with a couple of my childhood heroes.

My standard practice when I send cards to celebrities in hopes of an autograph is that I always include a copy for them to keep as a token of my gratitude.  When I got my return from Mr. Kove let's just say he appreciated the gesture.  Instead of my 6.75" self addressed stamped envelope I got a legal sized manila envelope chock full of signed and personalized 8x10s and of course my 1984 and 1989 Topps-style Sensei Kreese cards. Most all of the photo's inscriptions had something to do with the cards.  I really couldn't believed that he liked them that much.  He was even requesting more to give to his friends and family.

Each time I would send Mr. Kove more cards I would try to work on a new one of him, and every time he was as complimentary as the first time. Not to mention emailing me the picture above of him signing my cards.

I cannot wait until next year when the Karate Kid sequel - entitled "Cobra Kai" - comes out on YouTube. I'm not 100% sure if it will feature Sensei ...but I sure hope it does.

1984 Topps hockey inspired

I was always and forever be a "Martin Kove guy".  Anyone who takes that much time and is as complimentary as he has been to me automatically has my loyal fanhood.

1989 Topps baseball inspired
1987-88 Fleer basketball inspired
1984 Topps baseball inspired
1975 Topps baseball inspired

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Teen Wolf

I've had a lot of fun recently making cards using the old Star Co. NBA design.

For the non-trading card geeks out there, Topps stopped producing NBA cards after the 1981-82 season.  This left a basketball card void seeing as how Topps was the only brand making cards for the NBA.  Star Co. stepped in producing NBA cards starting in 1983.  Star cards were made in much more limited quantities than the other traditional major sports card brands.  They also took a different distribution route.  They were sold in clear poly bags by team or subset instead of in boxes of wax packs.  They were available mainly through independent dealers, some hobby shops and sports stadiums.  They were produced from 1983 through the 1985-86 season when Fleer obtained the license to produce NBA cards.  If you think of some of the all-time greats that entered the league in that span of years I bet Topps wishes they had a mulligan on the decision to discontinue their NBA product.

As a kid I loved baseball first as a fan/collector, but my love soon shifted to playing and collecting basketball. It helped that the time frame coincided with the Detroit Pistons' steady rise to eventual championship glory.  As far as collecting goes, Star Co. cards for me had been a unicorn.  I heard about them and occasionally seen them in Beckett magazine, but never owned any or knew anyone who did.  That changed in 1993 -around this time of the year in fact- when I went into a local card shop and right there in the display case was both the Isiah Thomas 1984 All-Star checklist and his regular AS card.  My mom had given me a $20 to buy a single pack of the Classic NCAA basketball cards (I was hoping to get a Chris Webber U of M card). She was expecting a lot of change back.  The Isiah Thomas cards were marked at $10 each.  I literally panicked.  I mean, what if someone else got them while I waited to save up enough allowance? When would I ever see any again?? I had to have them, and the guy behind the counter even let me slide on the sales tax!  My mom, who was waiting in the car, was pissed. I knew she would be.  But, what was I supposed to do?  Through heavy panicked breaths I tried to explain the gravity my predicament, but she just didn't get it.  Thankfully she saw how much they meant to me and didn't make me take them back in.  I just got the silent treatment for a couple of days and I didn't complain about anything my mom asked me to do around the house. That to her was probably worth it because I never wanted to do the dishes and stuff like that.

If you're familiar with the Star Co. you know that the design didn't change, they just switched up the color from one year to the next. For me that adds a great deal of versatility in being able to use one design for anything from 1983 to 1986.  And I've used them quite a few times since creating the template.  I just love them.  The design to me is unmistakably vintage.

With these Teen Wolf cards I started with a Michael J. Fox basketball card.  Then I wanted to make a Chubby card and from there a fifteen card mini-set just snowballed.

I got lucky that I was able to find decent images to get all the scenes I wanted to have as part of this mini-set.

Small confession, I'm indifferent at best about Michael J. Fox.  I just find his characters always to be a little too high pitched and overly dramatic.  But, I recognize him as an absolute '80s icon.  I love Teen Wolf.  It's got a Werewolf, basketball, and a shirt with the phrase "dicknose" on it.  What's not to love?  So, it bums me out to know the MJF didn't think too much of the role, so little in fact that he declined the sequel.  That does nothing to endear Mr. Alex P. Keaton to me, but I digress.

I hope you the reader enjoy these custom cards as much as I did in creating them.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Phantom Cardboard Gets Munsoned

"Pressure?  Yeah there was some pressure, I mean I didn't wanna lose to a guy with a hook."

A couple of weeks ago I popped in my VHS copy of Kingpin with the sole purpose of entertainment.  Between laughs I got the bug to turn this movie into some custom cards.

Kingpin was made in 1996, the height of the Farrelly brothers putting out instant comedy classics, but also years past the period in time that saw me collecting every type of card I could get my hands on.  I think I was still collecting basketball cards around this time but then it was all about UV coating, foil stamping, and insert sets.  In other words, nothing like cards in the '80s.

So, I thought I'd use the 1987 Topps baseball cards design once again.  If you've read my previous posts on cards inspired by the '87 Topps you know they hold a special place with me being the first sports card wax packs I ever busted open.  I thought they would make sense with the wood grain seeing as there's wood grain on a bowling alley, right?  Then it dawned on me, why not replace the baseball bat grain with actual an bowling lane design?!  I think that was a strike (bad pun alert).  So, my customs became even more customized.

"Ten frames, that's for Quakers"

Outside of the of shying away from the wood grained design in the past there was also the issue of needing some sort of logo as a part of the template.  Like I did with in replacing the logo on my Sara Underwood card with baseball clip art, I added a bowling ball to fill the space.  I really like the way it looks.

I started making the cards that I guess you would consider "base cards". Then it occurred to me how well the movie could be lent to the different subsets that the '87 set featured, and I really started to fall in love with this Kingpin mini-set.

1987 Topps baseball

Ish is perfect as a "Future Star" being Roy recognizes him to be a young bowling savant that he could make into a champion, the champion he himself was pegged to be in a different lifetime.  Miss Claudia opportunistically joins on to help Roy co-manage Ishmael's career, and it's safe to say her business savvy is in a balance to Roy's vicarious hunger for money and glory and in helping Ish to not end up "Munsoned".  So it made perfect sense to slap the "Manager" tag on her card.

As a kid I loved the "Turn Back The Clock" subset. I would fantasize about how boss it would be to own not only the TBTC card, but the vintage card it featured.  I never did.  So, I wanted to "turn back the clock" to 1979 when Roy bested "Big Ern" in the 1979 Iowa Amateur Championship of bowling. Before he was "The Plastic Man", Roy was on his way to making "Munson" to bowling what DiMaggio is to baseball.   I've already used the 1979 Topps basbeall design for my Warriors cards, so paying homage to Ocelot Iowa's favorite son was already halfway in the bag.

Last up was the all-star subset.  I'm not sure if there's all-stars in bowling, but if there is Ernie McCracken would be one.  I mean, c'mon, he's "Big Ern"... he's the greatest!

To say I'm happy with how these cards came together would be a gross understatement

Monday, December 4, 2017

Shitter's Full

'Tis the season, right?  Favorite Christmas movie, no hesitation, Christmas Vacation.  So many classic scenes and lines that have been part of every Christmas since 1989.

Chevy Chase is brilliant in this installment of National Lampoon's Vacation.  "Sparky" Griswold, the put-upon family man that despite genuine best intentions everything just ends up backfiring in his face.  All too relateable to yours truly.

These cards are inspired by the 1989 Topps football cards.  It really was a toss up between the year's football and baseball release, both of which I had templates ready to go.  The football won out because it's clean and a bit easier for me to work with; which was a factor seeing as I set out to make a mini-set.

These cards might not be quite as awesome as a one year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club, but I would place them a close second. The set could have been larger had I come across quality images of a few more of the "jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse", but I did get all the characters that I considered 'must haves'.

UPDATE: Awesome TTM success!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Avoid The Noid

Here's one any '80s kid could appreciate! While I'm not a fan of Domino's Pizza, The Noid is too nostalgic not to love.

The Noid, for those who don't know, was a advertising anti-mascot of sorts for Domino's Pizza and we were all instructed to "avoid the Noid".  I was never quite sure what a Noid was outside of something that rhymed with "avoid".  

The Noid campaign lasted from 1986 to 1989.  The end of the Noid resulted from a rather odd incident when a mentally ill man named Kenneth Lamar Noid thought that the advertisements were making fun of him personally and to get even he held a couple of Atlanta Domino's employees hostage for five hours making them make him a salad and pizza while making demands such as $100,000 and getaway transportation.  I made none of that up.

The card is different from most I do in that it's really just a card made to be autographed without a vintage trading card design theme.  I was lucky enough to have it autographed by Domino's founder Tom Monaghan and the voice of the Noid, Pons Maar.  Pons is more notable for playing the nightmarish lead Wheeler in 1985's Return To Oz.  Pons was nice enough to add an "avoid me" inscription.