Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Debbie Harry

As you might have picked up on if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I think women fronted bands are super cool.  To me, there's something intensely badass about a female lead singer.

I got a pretty positive response to the Joan Jett card I did so I definitely had my radar up for another possible iconic female rocker to make a card out of.  That didn't take all that long thanks to coming across a killer 1978 concert picture of Debbie Harry from Blondie.
1978 Topps baseball

I threw the picture into a 1978 Topps baseball inspired design.  I made the back to focus on the particular photo as opposed to doing like a "who is" type write up.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Started From The Bottom?

Unlike most things I've made cards of, I'm not a really big fan of Drake.  I admit he makes catchy songs but to me he's one of the faces of today's hip-hop genre which, as a whole, I don't care for.  It does not hold a candle to the hip-hop I grew up with. /oldmanrant 

For those that may not know, before the rap-singing Drake, a.k.a. Aubrey Graham, starred as Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian teen soap Degrassi.  The character was wheelchair-bound after the storyline had him shot in the back. 

This card is a bit cheeky but wasn't all that hard to make since I already created the template for my Beastie Boys card, so why not?

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Cobra II

When I posted the first Dave Parker card I made to the PCb. Instagram feed it was suggested that I also make a card from probably the most infamous picture of the colorful Parker, that of him having a puff off a cigarette in the Pirates' dugout.  I had actually thought about a card for that while making the hockey mask card.  The card I originally envisioned would have a design inspired by the 1980 Topps set, the year in which the photo was taken.  But, the suggestion to make the card got me thinking in an entirely new direction... the T206 set!

The tobacco card set known as T206 was issued from 1909 to 1911 in cigarette and loose tobacco packs through 16 different brands owned by the American Tobacco Company. The T206 set contains the most valuable trading card of any kind, the Honus Wagner.  A PSA 5 Wagner most recently sold at auction in 2016 for a record of $3.12 million!  The reason for the card's premium is that so few exist and Wagner is an all-time great.  It's estimated between only 50 to 200 made it out to the public whereas tens of thousands exist for other players.  Wagner refused to let the card with his likeness be a part of the set.  The most common reason is that he didn't approve of the card being marketed in tobacco products that kids might try to buy, while another explanation has Honus wanting to be compensated better by ATC for being part of the set.

Nowadays it's odd to see a professional athlete smoking, especially knowing all of the dangers linked to it, 1980 though was a different time.  Back then you could smoke anywhere.  Both my parents smoked so as a kid out to eat I was subjected to the "smoker's section" of restaurants.  Myself, I never got why people smoked. Even as a young kid I fancied myself an "athlete", plus I've always been really pragmatic.  I just didn't *get* it.  I remember thinking "so, you put it in your mouth, light it on fire, then breathe in its smoke??".     

Back to the card.  Being designed after the T206 it's obviously a tongue-in-cheek reference to the former league MVP enjoying a tobacco product... in-game, no less! I tried to make the photo look a bit like a lithograph like the original cards, but I didn't go overboard with it.  I also left the "H" off of Pittsburgh the way it is on the Honus card.  I aged the card back a bit by making the graphic look a little beat up and print off-center.  These are the approximate size of the T206 cards as well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Over The Top

It seems like I do not go all that long before making another Sylvester Stallone card.  If it isn't obvious, he's definitely a favorite of mine.  Over the Top is one that's been on my radar for a little while but I couldn't figure out how I wanted to play it.  That changed upon running across a 1987 Topps football season leader card.
1987 Topps football

When the movie gets to the tournament there's an interesting cast of characters, almost like an 80's pro wrestling roster.  I thought about doing a mini-set like I did for Bloodsport and trying to get each of those a guys a card but ultimately I thought I'd be better served to put my energy into making one really cool card of Lincoln Hawk and Bull Hurley.  Plus, I really dig making cards with multiple persons on them. 

I rewatched the movie, specifically the arm wrestling tournament portion, a number of times so I could really solidify the card's back.  A lot of the same verbiage and details from the movie made it onto the card back.  I numbered the card 213 as an Easter egg to Over the Top's February 13, 1987 release date.

On a side note, this movie has a really cool soundtrack.  Does anyone know how Kenny Loggins is not the richest man in the music industry off of residuals alone? 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Deathstalker II

Okay, so this is definitely going to be one of the more obscure mini-sets I've made, but it's oh so fun.

I was certainly what I would call a "He-Man kid".  I wasn't into Transformers or anything overly sci-fi.  I really dug the heroic fantasy elements of Masters of the Universe.  I was wanting an excuse to use a Topps 1984 Masters of the Universe inspired theme for some cards as a tribute to my no. 1 favorite thing as a child.  But, if you're familiar with that card set the border doesn't exactly scream heroic fantasy ... although the sticker inserts did!

The movie I decided to plug into the design was Deathstalker II (1987).  Yes, a B-movie... sequel.  If you've never seen this movie it's a lot of fun.  The writing is great because it didn't try to be Conan.  There's a light heartedness to the movie that's generally not part of the genre.  Lot's of corny one-liners, a good story and some really decent action scenes.  Plus, it gave Monique Gabrielle a chance to show off something besides her body.  I mean, she does that too thankfully, but she's also really funny in this movie.  John Terlesky is great in it too.  If you like movies that aren't huge budget Hollywood blockbusters, and that don't take themselves too seriously I highly recommend Deathstalker II.

There's 9 cards in this mini-set.  They have a '84 MOTU inspired scroll frame on the front a custom back utilizing Boris Vallejo's poster art for the movie.  All 9 cards have unique movie info on the backside.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Cobra

In 1978 for one at bat, in one game, the 6'5 , 230 lb. Dave "The Cobra" Parker wore a hockey goalie mask for what has to be the most menacing sight ever witnessed inside a ballpark.

From the back of the card:
July 16,1978:  After suffering a broken jaw in a collision with Mets' 
catcher John Stearns on June, 30, Dave Parker returned to the Pirates' 
lineup well ahead of schedule to take on the Padres.  To protect his 
newly healed jaw Parker purchased a goalie mask at a sporting goods 
store.  Parker cut, painted and padded the mask himself to fit the contour 
of his face.  Perhps intimidated by his appearence, the Padres intention-
ally walked him that day.

The hockey goalie mask only lasted the one game with Parker switching 
to a football facemask affixed to his batting helmet that he wore only for 
base running.

I though it would be a cool idea to put the image of Parker in the goalie mask on a 1978 Topps style hockey card.  I thought it made the most sense to go with the color scheme used on the Penguins' cards for '78.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Streets of Fire

Streets of Fire is actually one of the oldest movies I have memories of watching as a kid.  A few things about it from then that are vivid still; the fact the Willem Dafoe's "Raven" character scared the crap out of me as well as how frightening the idea of a sledgehammer fight was.  Another thing that stuck with me too was the love of the song "I Can Dream About You" by Dan Hartman.  It's a great song.  Some songs become synonymous with movie's that they're a part of and for me I can't hear "I Can Dream About You" without thinking of Streets of Fire.  And that was the motivation for me to make this set.  I heard that song and started thinking about this movie and wondering if it would make for a good card set.

I pictured in my head just about all the card sets both sport and non-sport that came out in 1984, and I just couldn't see any of them really lending themselves all that well to this movie.  I decided that being as visually stylish as Streets of Fire is that it could really use a design of its own.  I challenged myself to come up with a design I could see this movie going into had a set been made.

What I came up with was a design that was a hybrid of two sets in particular, 1979 Rocky II and 1985 football, both from Topps respectively.  I've been wanting to make a set with a red border and I think this was the right one to do it with.

The card back is a also a custom-custom.  I used an alternate poster art for the title card because I wanted to incorporate the film's more recognizable movie poster art on the card backs.

There's 18 cards in all, perfect for two 9-sleeve card pages.  There's a title card, 8 character cards, and 9 scene cards.  The first 6 character cards have a quote and trivia fact on the back and the remaining cards have trivia facts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Zeke RC

This card is a bit of a break from my usual shtick.  Not so much of a pop-culture fun card, but a sports card that never was.

If I had a time machine I would of course go back and win a huge lotto.  Part of my winnings would go to seeing that Topps never stopped making basketball cards after their 1981-82 set.  If I'm not mistaken they did so because the interest just wasn't there for basketball cards at the time.  But, looking beck they pretty much missed out on the golden era of the NBA... the 1980's.  After 1981-82 there weren't any major brand basketball cards until Star acquired the license in 1983.  But, Star was not on the scale as companies like Topps, Fleer and Donruss.  They didn't distribute in the traditional manner with boxes of wax packs.  Their cards were in team bags and sold through dealers and at arenas.  It wasn't until the 1986-87 season did another major card brand (Fleer) start making basketball cards and Topps didn't get back in until the 1991-92 season just in time to cash in on the Shaquille O'Neal mania.  Thus, my idol, Isiah Thomas, was robbed of a true rookie card.  I've corrected that.

This card is working with the idea that Topps made a "Traded" set for their 1981-82 basketball set like they do with baseball to be able to have cards of guys on their new teams and the season's rookies. 

I've made two other Isiah Thomas cards before this one but I'm glad I made this particular one now with my skills and know-how being further along than before. 

On the card's front there's a great pic of Zeke during his rookie season.  The one thing I wish was different is the color scheme Topps chose to use for the Pistons.  It's the same as the Celtics cards and being as this photo is obviously taken from an away game at the Boston Garden it makes you think I was trying to pass off Isiah as a Celtic, which for a Bad Boys fan like myself is blasphemous.  I was excited to add Topps' all-star rookie trophy.  I loved those as a kid.  After all, Isiah DID make this all-star team as a rookie and continued to be selected an all-star for the next 11 consecutive seasons.

On to the back... I started by numbering the card "11T", the same way Topps would designate cards in their Traded sets.  A little detail was Isiah's weight.  Throughout his playing career he was listed at 180 lbs., but in the 1981-82 Pistons media guide he's listed at 1985 lb.  Let's assume these cards would have been started after the trade deadline so there wouldn't be a way to list the completed stats from the season, so with that notion I chose to list Isiah's collegiate stats from his two years at Indiana University.  This card is the first PCb. card to list statistics.  Then came some collegiate highlights and the mention of the all-star selection.

My favorite part is the cartoon art.  It's the same as on the reverse of the Magic Johnson card just of course with the years changed.  I think if you're a card nerd like myself these details are really important to have.
1981-82 Topps

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Air Bud

When Air Bud came out in 1997 I had no interest in seeing it.  I was in my late teens and it's a kid's Disney movie.  I was much too cool to see that type of movie.  I've never seen Air Bud (much less any of its umpteen sequels) until right before I started making this card.  I knew I was going all in on this idea so I wanted to be sure I was familiar with the movie so I didn't miss a detail that would help the card out.  I don't own Air Bud so I actually paid to rent it on YouTube.  That's dedication, homes.

The movie is cute, I guess.  As basketball obsessed as I was as a kid had this come out when I was say 9, or somewhere about, Air Bud probably would have been a personal classic to me.  I will say that Disney did a great job of finding an antagonist kid with a 10 on the punchable face scale.

What gave me the inspiration to make this card is the picture used on the backside.  That is actually the "Air Bud" being carried off of the court by Dennis Rodman during a 1992 NBA Playoff game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.  "The Worm" scooped him up after Air Bud stormed the court during play.  I believe the dog was there to do the halftime show that was sponsored by Bud Light.  Yes, Air Bud could actually put the ball in the hoop by bouncing it off his snout. 

There was nothing from 1997 that grabbed me as far as the card's design.  I choose a design inspired by the 1991-92 Skybox because of the court storming incident and because I love the design and have been wanting something to come along that would inspire me to use it and this was it.  I've been working on a signed '91-'92 Skybox set for quite sometime.  The with all the white negative space as part of the design it really helps autographs to pop.
1991-92 Skybox
This card is kind of ridiculous, I admit.  I spent a TON of time on it, too much really.  Even though I'm not a huge Air Bud fan, this card, from a technical standpoint, has got to be one of my favorites that I've done in a while.