Tuesday, July 31, 2018


I decided to watch Lucas in order to get the details down to make a mini-set.  First off, it's as cute of a movie as I remembered it to be.  I like that it's a bit of a different take on the teenage high school experience than other films of that genre.

Lucas came out in 1986.  I've used a 1986 Topps football inspired design a few time so that part was pretty straight forward.  I chose to go with the Atlanta Falcons color scheme from that set because the Park High Pirates red and black jersey reminded me of Atlanta's unis.

The biggest challenge for me with this set was what I would call the 'fan accurate' details.  Or, me just being extra anal about my cards.  I always like to have first and last names when available.  I was running into different spellings of Lucas' last name between Bly and Blye.  It was about 50/50 between the two spellings.  It was finally settled when I found some 8" x 10" studio promo pictures on eBay that had the spelling in the picture’s caption as Blye.  Those pictures also helped to confirm the spelling of Cappie's last name.  For whatever reason little details are important to me.  Unfortunately I could not find any additional name info for any of the other three cards in the set.

I had fun with Lucas' football position if you'll notice.  In the scene where Lucas is inserted into the game against Rockford he yells back to Coach asking what position he's playing and Coach yells back "prone".

Monday, July 30, 2018

Goin' Back To Indiana

I came across this picture of The King of Pop and was pretty certain it would make for a fun basketball card.  The image is from the Jackson 5's television special that aired on ABC in 1971 and was entitled Goin' Back to Indiana.  The television special featured comedians Bill Cosby and Tommy Smothers, singers Bobby Darin and Diana Ross, football players Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier, and Ben Davidson, and basketball stars Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, and Elvin Hayes. There was also a soundtrack album released from it.

Being that we're talking 1971, I got another opportunity to use my funkiest design, the one inspired by the 1971-72 Topps basketball set.  It's one of my favorites.  This was the third card I've done in this style, but only the first where I got to use a color photo.  Truth be told, I kind of like how the black-and-white photos contrast against the solid colored rectangle.  

For the color scheme I matched it to the Pacers cards from that set.  Easy choice, right?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Minor Savage

I loved wrestling growing up and, as I said in this post, The Macho Man Randy Savage was my favorite wrestler.  He really was a larger-than-life character.  In that same post I mentioned that I would have liked to do a minor league baseball card of Randy but someone already created a card in the 1974 Topps baseball style of the Macho Man when he was a part of Cincinnati Reds’ farm system.  Whomever made the card did a great job.  No word if there was physical copies produced or if it’s just a digital card, either way it’s pretty omnipresent if you’re researching Randy’s minor league career online. 

1971 Topps baseball
When I was myself reading up on Randy’s baseball career I discovered he played professional baseball for four years starting at age 18 in 1971 through 1974.  Savage (actual last name, Poffo) played Class A ball in the Florida State League, the first three years for the Cardinals and the last with the Reds.  Well, there it is, right there!  There’s room for another custom card without having to simply recreate the one that was done in the ‘74 design.

First I had to find a photo, which I did.  Only problem was that it’s in black-and-white.  Problem easily solved.  I just linked up with the talented Kristian from KCS Designz and he handled the colorization.  This is the 3rd card Kristian has helped out with, the other two can be seen here and here.

A few fun facts about the Macho Man’s baseball career:

Randy was signed by the Cardinals in 1971 being the only player out of 300 in an open tryout in St. Louis... Randy hit .254 in his minor league career with 16 triples and 16 home-runs, and he stole 21 bases and drove in 130 runs in 869 at-bats... Randy played catcher, first base, and outfield... After a shoulder injury to his throwing arm Savage taught himself to throw lefty

Friday, July 27, 2018

Reservoir Dogs

1985 Topps football
Reservoir Dogs is the first movie I think of when I think of movies directed by Quentin Tarantino, it’s also Tarantino’s first feature-length movie (1992).  The cast is an amazing collection of cerebral actors.  It’s crazy to think of how compelling and intense the movie is even though the centerpiece of the plot, the bank heist, is never shown, just the events before and after.  The British magazine Empire name it the "Greatest Independent Film of all Time", and I have to believe that would be pretty difficult to argue against.

I’ve been wanting to use a design inspired by the 1985 Topps football set.  But, it’s a unique design and I wanted a unique subject to be able to compliment it.  Reservoir Dogs is just that.  The bark border goes along perfectly with the dark mood throughout the movie.  I also thought it would be pretty cool to color match the character’s color alias names, which I feel turned out great. 
The ear scene is hard to watch no matter how many times I've seen it.
I list Chris Penn as one of the most underappreciated actors ever.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Mega Powers

In the flesh, baby!

I love the Rocky movies.  What guy doesn't?  Hell, I don't even hate Rocky V all that much.  If I was forced to pick a favorite in the franchise it would be Rocky III.  Mr. T was great as Clubber Lang and who could forget the The Ultimate Male, Thunderlips!?

I really like how the Randy "The Ram" Robinson card came out in the 1985 WWF inspired design so I was itching to give that template another try. Who better to do that with than The Ultimate Object of Desire?

I thought this went so well I decided to make a card for the other half of The Mega Powers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Shining

The idea for this card started with the Wendy Torrance card.  This was a character I thought of when I was thinking of movie characters that used baseball bats ... just not for baseball.  That idea also spawned this card, and this card, and this one too.  I originally made a stand alone card of Wendy Torrance in a 1980 Topps baseball inspired design -- the year The Shining was released.  But, I couldn't just really stop at Wendy, there would need to be a Jack too, or what would even be the point?  Then I got the idea why not put all three of the Torrance family members on one card in a design that mimics the Future Stars subset!
1980 Topps baseball

Monday, July 23, 2018

Scranton Hoops

The episode entitled "Basketball" (Season 1, episode 5) was the first episode of The Office that I ever saw.  Not a bad introduction to a series, eh?  It remains one of my three favorite episodes of The Office, the others being "Christmas Party" and "The Convict" for anyone wondering.  No need to wax poetic about how genius the show is so I'll get right into the cards.

The Office of course is a newer show and the episode for which these two cards are based on first aired in 2005, not all that vintage.  That being the case it was a matter of using what I would deem to be the funnest basketball template to put the cards into.  I briefly considered creating a design inspired by the 1990-91 Fleer basketball cards.  I've not used that base card but I did use the Rookie Sensations insert set for this card.  But, I was thinking I wanted to do a team card for Sales and Warehouse instead of individual cards which brought me to the iconic 1980-81 Topps basketball inspired design.  I had a feeling that they would be pretty sweet done in that style.

Since it was a pick-up game I wasn't to concerned with positions but I did have a little fun with the Michael and Dwight card.  If you're not familiar with the episode Dwight asks Michael if he can team captain and Michael shoots him down saying that he's the team captain.  Dwight them tries for Michael's permission to be team manager, Michael shoots him down again claiming the manager role as well.  So, Dwight tries again, this time for assistant team manager and Michael finally acquiesces to assistant "to the" team manager in keeping with the show's running Assistant to the Regional Manager joke.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Rookie Of The Year Turns 25

Yesterday the movie Rookie of the Year turned 25 having been released in theaters on July 7th, 1993.  In recognition of this I wanted to share two of my favorite autographed custom cards.

The first is special due to my interaction with Mr. Henry Rowengartner himself, Thomas Ian Nicholas  -- with the awesome "Go Cubs!" inscription that was signed at the 2017 Motor City Comic-Con.

The second is my Chet "Rocket" Steadman custom card done on the matching 1988 Donruss inspired design.  I was lucky enough to get Gary Busey's autograph on it through the mail and then got in touch with Mr. Nicholas to complete the dual signature.  I love having my cards autographed and multiple signatures are like holy grails to me.

Happy 25th, Rookie of the Year.  Now, have some hot, stinky cheddar on me!
always cool to get that ^^

Sunday, July 1, 2018

John Elway

You may (or may not?) know that John Elway was a two sport athlete coming out of Stanford University. His most notable exploits came on the football gridiron but he also played for the Stanford Cardinals’ baseball team in 1980 and 1981. Elway showed enough raw talent to have Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner totally enamored with the prospect of having Elway's services in right field for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees used their 52nd overall pick of the second round to draft Elway in the 1981 MLB draft. Elway received a $140,000 signing bonus and in the summer of 1982 played for the Yankees' short season affiliate Oneonta Yankees in the New York–Penn League. Then the 1983 NFL draft came around and the Baltimore Colts selected Elway as the #1 overall pick. That’s when the drama started because Elway wanted no part of the Colts so he leveraged his baseball career to force a trade. At the time it looked like a prima donna move but looking at it now it was a shrewd move with the Colts not being the stablest of franchises and him going on to cap his 16 year career in Denver with back-to-back Super Bowl victories.

I came across some good quality pictures of John Elway playing baseball so naturally I wanted to do a card of him. I quickly also found out that Topps themselves did an Elway baseball card in 2014 using their 1981 template. Undeterred I just went a year earlier since he did play Stanford baseball in 1980. I used the color scheme that was used on the New York Yankees that year for reasons I assume are obvious if you are on this paragraph by way of the one above it.