Friday, October 22, 2021

Arnold's In The Outfield

It's plain to see that this image of Arnold Schwarzenegger and long time California Angel Brian Downing needed a custom card made out of it.  It's ripe.  The only issue I ran into was finding nearly no context for where this photo came from.  The only thing I found was that it was suggested it was circa 1986.  That would fit from the stand point of Downing being with the Angels throughout the '80s.

With not much to go on but idea that this would look great as a 1987 Topps style 'Team Leaders' card.  The '87 Topps woodgrain is always a crowd pleaser.

If anyone can shed some light on what this picture was for be sure to leave that info in the comments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Sig. Showcase: King Vidiot

Lately I've been making custom autograph cards and the throwback custom card sets have taken a bit of a backseat.  The thing I really like about these types of cards (outside of the prospect of completing the card with an autograph) is creating designs of my own.  This card, for example, is an original design of my own and not a recreation of a classic card design.  I admit that the look of the card is influenced by early '00s Upper Deck but the design itself is not a retrofit of any particular template.

If you're unfamiliar with Joysticks (1983) I would categorize it as an early '80s sex comedy centered around 1980s arcade culture.  Movies with malls or arcades as a central theme I tend to look upon with great affection.  These days if you want to make yourself seen you spam your social accounts, whereas back then you had to get up and get your ass down to one of the aforementioned locations.  Arcades are a dodo bird and I think the conversation of "how long will the remaining shopping malls be a thing?" has been a topic between most Gen-Xers.  It's just kind of wild to put yourself in your own mind all those years back and think about these veritable temples culture and commerce would be relics in the not-too-distant future.  I think it would be like being told that we'll someday look at Amazon as this quaint way we used to shop.  It sometimes seems that unfathomable, but I guess for every Titanic there's an iceberg waiting for a dark and fateful night.

Okay, back to the card. 

This is a design that I've come up with and used, and refined, a number of times over the years.  It's the type of thing I go to when I'd like an autograph of something in particular but not up to committing the time required to cultivate an entire, albeit "mini", custom card set.  Joysticks is cool and fun but I don't know that a card set is necessity at this time.  That could change the more times I watch the movie, but as of today one or two character auto cards will do.

The set up for this design is three part.  The top is for the main image.  Of course a crisp, larger image is preferable.  An autograph panel separates the top and bottom.  The bottom is used for a secondary image and usually a logo of some sort.  Depending on the images I want to use I can alter the space allocation of the top third and bottom third by moving the autograph panel up and down.

I'm a VHS collector and I'd recently ponied up for a copy of Joysticks.  This is a tape that has had residency on my wantlist for quite some time because it usually commands a bit of a premium as it's a cult classic these days.  Well, I was finally tired of not having it in my physically media library.  

I remember seeing this movie a loooong time ago (probably on cable).  I didn't remember much about it other than it took place in an arcade.  I knew Jon Gries -a PCb. favorite- was in the movie but I didn't quite recall that he, as "King Vidiot", pretty much owned the movie.  Jon is such a great character actor.  To me a number of his character performances enhance their movie to the point where I start to think of them as 'starring' roles because of how memorable and integral he was.

I was pretty excited about the final look of this card.  Obviously it had to have an old-school video game feel to the design and I think it really does.  Joysticks doesn't really seem to have a prominent font logo so I made a custom one that fit in with the colors and old digital looking font on the artwork for the movie poster and VHS cover.  Speaking of that artwork I had an uncompromising commitment to using the two girls at the game art somewhere on the card.  It took awhile but I finally settled on a way to incorporate it that I thought complimented the overall look of the card.

One thing I really love is the '80s punk rocker aesthetic.  I do realize that it's a highly commercialized version of how punkers really looked as most coifed themselves in simple black and white.  But, as for me, I love the idea of using all that color for an edgy counter-culture image.  There's also a sentimental component for me.  It's kind to say that I come from a lower middle class upbringing.  When I was younger, specifically of elementary school age, there was not a lot of money for non-necessities.  Halloween costumes fell under that heading.  For maybe three or four straight years my sister and I were punk rockers for Halloween.  The only real expense was the colored hair spray.  Once we had that an older cousin would supply a beat-up old leather jacket, add to that some ripped up old clothing and safety pins for good measure and violà, you've got an adolescent rock neerdowell.  

All that was left was the signature.  Most times that's a crap-shoot.  But, Jon Gries is very gracious and good to his fans so I knew there was a better than average chance of this card coming back with a great looking autograph on it.  For that reason I make it a point to always support any projects Jon is involved with and would implore you to do the same.  Great guy.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Zapped!

I recently did a re-watch of  Zapped!  I don't know how long it's been since I'd seen this movie, but we're easily talking decades.  I believe Zapped! is in the same category as Revenge of the Nerds in the way it was made as a lighthearted teen comedy by '80s standards, but doesn't adhere to today's social conscience. 

I was watching it just to watch a zany '80s movie with no intentions of making any trading cards from it.  What spurred my interest in making cards was the brief baseball scene.  Plus the fact that the film was released in 1982 which gave me a chance to revisit some of the 1982 Topps baseball inspired templates I created for the Ridgemont Series II set.  

I didn't have the urge to do an overly comprehensive custom set, and I'll admit you don't get a great feel for what the movie was actually about with just these 3 cards.  I was originally just going to do a play on the baseball scene of the movie but I also wanted to get the Bernadette and Jane characters on a card somehow.  The "Senior Prom" card came about because I really just wanted an excuse to use the Emerson High Penguins logo which was made possible by using 'team leader' card design from the '82 Topps set.  

This set may get a few more cards using the 'in action' subset from the '82 Topps so it's a little better represented.  I didn't do them this time around just because my enthusiasm for the project was only about an 8 of 10 and I moved onto some autograph card designs I wanted to try.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Mikayla Demaiter

Mikayla Demaiter is former hockey goalie turned model.  If that doesn't scream Phantom Cardboard card then I don't know what does.  Custom trading cards are a visual medium and Mikayla is quite a vision.  

I've had Mikayla on my custom card radar for quite some time now.  Back when I first became aware of Mikayla I couldn't find much info on her to be able to fill up the bio portion of the car back.  Recently I checked back and there's more of that kind of information available on the interwebs.  So, it was finally card time.

For this card I went with a design inspired by the 1990-91 Upper Deck hockey set.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Happy Birthday Lzzy!

One of the best things for a trading card nerd like myself making his own cards is that I get to make cards of the things that interest me.  That's very appealing seeing as not everything gets an official trading card these days.  If you've been a reader of this site for awhile you'll know that Lzzy Hale is my favorite musician.  I've written about it before, but the cliff notes are as follows; she's an ultra talented rock 'n' roll badass.

I'd done a few Lzzy Hale card singles but back in May of 2020 I did a mini-set devoted to her.  The set design is of course inspired by the look of vintage trading cards but it is my own original design that I am very proud of.  In my eyes it really has the look of a trading card set that could have been produced in the late '70s / early '80s.  

With anything that's a "favorite" of mine I never hesitate to 'right-click --> save-as' when I see an image that turns on my creativity and love for card making.  Since making that first "All Hale" set I've accumulated a folder full of rad Lzzy images.  

In honor of Elizabeth Mae Hale's 38th trip around the sun I'm busting out "All Hale Series 2", complete with a puzzle back!  

I've decided this'll be an ongoing project.  I already have a Series 3 ready to print and a Series 4 in the works.



 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Stone Cold

To this point I've made custom cards of most of the things I wanted cards to exist for.  So anymore I rely on stumbling upon images that inspire me to make cards.  That's the setup for this particular card, seeing the image of a fair-haired Texas Rattlesnake as a high school football stud.

The exact year of the image I couldn't find with any degree of certainty but through a little research though I did find out that Steve Austin (née Williams) graduated from Edna High School in 1983, so I went with a 1983 Topps football inspired design.