Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Home Alone

Typically I do not make cards with timing in mind.  I just kind of make what I feel like, when I feel like and if it matches up with a season or anniversary it's probably just luck.  With that being said I knew I wanted to make a Home Alone set to release around the holidays for quite awhile now.  The problem was I procrastinated until almost too late.  Well, I jut got this one in under the wire.

Matching the year of the movie's release I did these in the style of the 1990 Topps baseball set.  I thought about a red or green border to make it more Christmasy but went with blue as it reminded me of the movie poster for Home Alone.
1990 Topps baseball

I found that there's tons of little Home Alone factoids so I packed the backs of these cards with those did ya knows.  Theses are more most info rich PCb. card backs to date.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sig. Showcase: Eric Roberts

Along with vintage influenced custom cards I create I also enjoy making trading cards to be used for autographs.  I collect a lot of things, too many things.  Autographs are one of those things, especially on trading cards.

A lot of my autograph custom designs do not have a vintage inspired theme, nor are they part of a set.  Not everything needs a set made.  Sometimes I just want to try and get the autograph on something that looks cool to me.  That's the case with this card. 

The Ambulance (1990) is a severely underrated suspense/horror movie in my personal opinion.  It's got a great cast with Eric Roberts, Janine Turner, James Earl Jones, Megan Gallagher, Eric Braeden, Red Buttons and Stan Lee -- as himself.  I think this movie probably gets lost in the shuffle because of it's horrible movie covers, be it VHS or DVD.  The U.S. cover looks like a 90's Lifetime drama, but if you take a look at the overseas covers I think more people would have been inclined to take it off of the shelf back-in-the-day if it looked like the one to the right.

When I made this card I was toying around with making autograph cards that have a horizontal orientation.  Before with most of my autograph customs were your typical vertical photo to white fade signature area.  Those can be cool, but they're usually not all that unique from a design standpoint, they're more about the picture and have a clean area to be signed.  A horizontal design presents a little more challenge because it doesn't really look that great to put the white fade next to the picture.  You have to be a little more creative and design a whole card.

I came up with the idea to use the equal length cross that used to be really prominent on older emergency medical vehicles -- like on the hood of the evil old Cadillac ambulance in the movie-- as the area designated for the signature.  On the four outer corner blocks I used four movie scenes and gave them a red hue to fit with the sinister ambulance theme.  This card is a little different than most horizontal cards being as the design moves right-to-left instead of the other way around.  The ones I've made since this one go left-to-right, but I just thought this one looked better this way.

I had no luck getting this signed thought the mail but I sent a copy in to The Hollywood Show at the beginning of this month when I saw Mr. Roberts was on the guest list of signers.  As requested he signed in red which I just thought really would look great on this particular design.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


When it's October it's standard operating procedure to watch horror movies.  This past October was no exception.  I did the regulars; Freddy, Jason, and Michael.  I also added Link to the VHS queue.  Sure, Link isn't your typical slasher horror movie, more of a suspense type of horror; add in a maniacal ape.  Plus, you hardly need a reason to watch a movie starring Elisabeth Shue and General Zod.

Link is a movie I've known about for many years thanks to my lifelong crush on Elisabeth Shue.  But, I only viewed it for the first time maybe three years ago, and several times since.  I'd watch the movie even if it didn't have the gratuitous Elisabeth Shue bathroom scene, but that certainly only adds to it's watchability.

While I was watching I thought a Link trading card set could be pretty cool and unique but I doubted I would be able to make one assuming there would be a lack of quality images available being that Link is a bit obscure.  To my pleasant surprise my assumption made an ass out of you and me.  Well, maybe just me, you had nothing to do with it.  I found a decent number of photos online and the only thing left was to commit them to cardboard.

Most of my cards you'll notice have a sports card influence to them.  I wanted this set to have a 100% non-sports card feel.  I couldn't really find any card set from 1986 --the movie's release year-- to match what I had in mind.  So, I went would a non-sports design that was inspired by a look that Topps used at least twice that I can recall.  Once was with the 1979 Incredible Hulk set and the other was the 1984 Gremlins set.

A lot of time and effort went into this and I'm super pumped with the end result.  I think of all the sets I've done this one is right up there as far as being able to pass as an actual vintage set.  A true "phantom" of a card set.

I think the jagged border fits great plus the little link cameo in the lower corner.  I'm just as proud of the card back.  I used sort of a inverse design of the front of the cards and then researched fun facts and quotes to complete the cards.

There are 17 numbered cards and to top it off there's a card sized sticker to really give it that vintage non-sports set finishing touch.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Paige Spiranac

Here's yet another custom card inspired by an early 90's Upper Deck baseball design.  This is done in the style of the inaugural 1989 Upper Deck baseball set with a bit of a golf tweak to suit the subject.  That subject being the incredible Paige Spiranac. 

Paige is a pro golfer as well as a model/media personality.  In the same mold as the other woman I've made cards of recently using the UD designs she's got the game to go along with the good looks.  Paige, to me, looks like a real life Barbie doll, and I mean that in the best way possible.  I'm not much of a golf enthusiast really but I would make time to check it out if she was playing.  Shameless, yes, I'm aware. 

In spite of being a pro golfer Paige really doesn't have much of a trading card presence outside of inclusion in Topps' multi-sport 2018 Allen & Ginter set, so I decided to make her a proper, albeit unofficial, rookie card.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Ali Mills

In my never ending quest to come up with excuses for making new custom Karate Kid cards, I present to you my latest creation.

This Ali Mills "Heart Breaker" card is a play on the 1984 Topps football "Record Breaker" subset.  The photo is either a behind the scenes shot or a deleted scenes shot, I'm not 100% sure.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Michelle Jenneke

I've been having fun with early 90's Upper Deck designs as of late.  When I posted the Allison Stokke card on Instagram it was suggested in the comments that I also take a swing at a Michelle Jenneke card.  Well, it was actually suggested a few time, because you see, you simply cannot look up Allison Stokke or Winifer Fernández without Google recommending that you also check out Michelle Jenneke.  World class athletes in three different sports, but they have the common thread of being internet viral level hot.

Australian Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke caught the world's attention with her pre-race warm-up dance.  While some may describe her warm-up routine as "sexy" I think it's, pardon the language, fucking adorable.  She's infectiously cute and bubbly.  Personally, seeing it puts me in a good mood.  It's the kittens and puppies of warm-up routines.

For Michelle's card I went with the 1990 Upper Deck baseball inspired design.  It's simple, clean and distinctly early 90's Upper Deck.  I tweaked the top border a bit to give it more of a track and field feel.
1990 Upper Deck baseball

Friday, November 1, 2019

Garbage Phantom Kids

My love for trading cards started with Garbage Pail Kids.  My introduction to the gross-out Cabbage Patch dolls parody came in 1986 the the series' third installment.  From the very first .25¢ pack I was completely hooked.  Flipping through a stack of vintage Garbage Pail Kids these is about as nostalgic as it can get for me.  What I've come to realize that I really didn't as a snot-nosed kid was that I genuinely love the artwork.  Guys like John Pound, Tom Bunk, James Warhola and Jay Lynch are legends of my childhood.

I think it's pretty darn cool that the GPK franchise was revived for a whole community of man-kids like myself to enjoy, plus any younger collectors that may stumble upon them.  There's also a great new crop of artists carrying on the Garbage Pail tradition.  I was lucky enough to link up with one of those artists to help in creating the PCb. brand's second trading card.

Back in the early part of the summer I brought a concept to Mark Pingitore to bring to life for a Jackie Stalegum Garbage Pail Kids inspired card.  Mark has signed a few of the Garbage Pail cards he's done for me over the years and I knew him to be extremely gracious with his fans.  Actually, I find all the artists to be that way for the most part.

What I asked of Mark was for this card to be a mixture of 3 main inspirations.  First was the Jackie Stalegum character, the second was the infamous 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken F*ck Face "error" card, and lastly was the Garbage Pail Kids' Series 5 Hot Rod (#205a) by John Pound.  I've always loved the artwork on that particular card and I'm drawn to the colors in the background.  In my mind that mashup had classic GPK written all over it.  A couple of ancillary details I asked for was for PCb. to be on the bat's knob like the Ripken card and to have Jackie's bubblegum bubble to be revealing part of a skull face.

I had a slight bit of trepidation when commissioning the piece because it was to be done in marker.  Unlike a digital rendering it's pretty much a one shot deal.  There's zero hyperbole when I say I could not be more pleased with the results.  It is better than I would have imagined, and Mark NAILED everything I asked for.  As soon as I stopped drooling all that was left was to make it into a trading card.  If you would have told me as a kid that I'd have a chance to have a brainchild of mine turned into Garbage Pail Kid art I would probably also assumed I lived in a giant mansion and was the star of television shows and professional sports teams.  I'll take the one out of the four.

  • Jackie Stalegum 2a card (#'d/50)
  • Jackie 2au Pingitore auto sealed in UV protected Ultra Pro one-touch (#'d/12)
  • 2b Jim Mint sticker (#'d/50)
  • Garbage Phantom Kids die-cut sticker combo
  • 1.25" button