Category Archives: Behind These Hazel

From Conception to Completion

Over the past week or so, I’ve been plugging away at this sketch of New Zealand-based future wrestling legend Evie.  A short while ago I finally, mercifully finished.  Not that I can actually explain how I shade with so much detail (pretty much completely self-taught), but I grabbed progress pics after each session.  Just thought it might be fun to show it in various stage of completeness here on the ol’ blog.  So here now is Evie, in five excruciatingly long steps.

Evie1

Step One: Just a semi-rough outline with minimal detailing..

Step two..

Step Two: The first section of shading.  Gotta start at the top and left because I’m right-handed & don’t use a glove or anything, so it’ll get messy if I don’t..

Step three..

Step Three: More shading.  Top to bottom, because the lower half is about to get hella complicated..

Step four..

Step Four: Roughing out the folds in the fabric.  So many folds.  So, sooooo many folds..

Step 5: The finished product..

Step 5: Tightened the folds, finished shading dress, tightened up other lines, touched up shading in places, and voila… Done!

And there you have it!  A complete sketch of one of the coolest and most badass wrestlers in the business, in classy mode, I guess you’d say.

That’s all for this post.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…

Gone, but not for Long

Looks like I hit my wall even faster than last year, unless the flurry of posts to close out 2014 count.  But I’ve no plans to disappear until the end of the year again.  Whenever I get around to scanning stuffs again, I’ll have fresh card posts to share.  In the meantime, I’ll see about getting around to more 30 Day Anime Challenge posts, and if we’re lucky/unlucky, depending on what you think of my work, maybe some poetry as well, to bridge the great divide.

I can at least say I’ve even been a little bit productive away from the blog this time out.  I have a bit of fresh art and, shockingly, even a little writing to show for my slacking off here.  The first several hundred words, as well as a new story bible, for Nexus Eternum are under way.

I really should have more to show for it, but you know how easily distracted I can be, even without the assistance of the internet and social media.  Still though, it’s amazing how much free time opens up when you aren’t really even thinking about cards at all for a significant stretch (going on two weeks now).  Once I know for sure if, and/or how badly, my checkbook is wrecked, I will get to work finishing packing up the handful of outstanding deals I have in the works, to be sent out as soon as I am able.

For the rest of today though, I have another hour or so of art in me, and a round of relatively intense cleaning to do.  Maybe I can work in a little food, and maybe even a shower too, if I really put my mind to it. 😛

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll try to be back soon.

Here’s a random card from one of my last major scanning sessions.

Sincerely,

The Patron Saint of Lazy Bloggers

Collection Transactions, Part Whatever of Infinity

Finist Prodigies Yu Darvish..

Finist Prodigies Yu Darvish..

Since I don’t really have anything interesting or useful to add at the moment (haven’t scanned anything since 2/15), but still feel like I should put something on here, I’ll toss up a few scans from January’s COMC shipment that have don’t really have anything to do with anything, and make note of a few updates to the ol’ collection.

First up, now that Robinson Cano has proven playing 82 games a year in a ballpark not designed around his particular set of skills isn’t a hindrance in the slightest, thus strongly negating the Yankee taint of one of the few Yanks I’ve ever really liked, I have added him to the Single Page Sensations page.

The only card relevant to the post.  This is staying on the 2014 Canvas Collection Single Page though..

I’m also adding Kenny Lofton, because he had a stint with the Cubs and is on the all-time underrated team.  He is yet another Hallworthy player that got knocked off after his first shot on the ballot.  Not surprising, since it’s going to be a monumental struggle to get an even better player in Tim Raines in, but still total BS.  Nearly 70 career WAR?  Piss off, jabroni.  Screw the Hall of Fame.

Archives Frank Thomas Triumvirate..

Forget scanned, I don’t even own any pageworthy Loftons yet.  So here, have an Archives Frank Thomas Triumvirate..

I made quintet of new set additions to my Single Page Sensations wantlist: 1996 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallions, 2014 Topps Upper Class, as well as 2015 Topps Spring Fever, purple Toys ‘R Us parallels, and Gallery of Greats.  I’m also making my need of a page apiece of base for every year of Panini Golden Age (non-baseball subjects preferred) a priority, so if you got a pack of any of them laying around, hit me up, I might be able to use some of them.

After getting my hands on a couple, my lone full set addition I’d like to get my hands on is the 40-card, Walmart Exclusive Sting insert set from 2015 Topps WWE.

Gallery of Heroes Vladdy..

Gallery of Heroes Vladdy..

Finally, the big one.  Taking a page out of Gavin’s playbook, I want cards of any and all players named Caleb, as well as any variations on the name (Kaleb, Onterio McCalebb, etc).  There are a surprising number of players and a couple non-sport cards bearing the name, but none who have really done anything of note at the pro level, so this shouldn’t be a hard collection to do.  The reason I’m finally breaking down and doing this, without going into details, is a neurotic, therapeutic one.

The only players I know I have a card or two of are Gindl, Clay, and the aforementioned Onterio.  I have no set limitations or expectations on this collection yet.  I’m just going to wait and see where it goes for now.

Ending on a sexier note, with two very talented NXT gals on very different trajectories..

Ending on a sexier note, with two very talented NXT gals on very different trajectories..

And that’s all I got for now.  Will try to be less half-assed in the future.  Thanks for stopping by!

Gonna fly now…

One of those Nights…

It’s a cold, lonely night

And I’m stuck in the past again

Lost in memories

Of what I thought could have been

Can’t stop replaying

All the things I should have said to you

Everything I felt back then

You know it all still holds true

It never was

I know it never will be

No matter what I say

No matter what I wanna see

But I still lose all my senses

Rehashing our brief passing

And all the times you smiled at me

Make my lonely heart

Still want to believe

And I guess life goes on

Even when you can’t let the past go

No amount of pain

Can halt time’s unending flow

I cling to fading shadows

In the dying light

Of another sleepless night

I know I never had a chance

But I’m sorry I never tried

And when I’m at my weakest

It kills me deep inside

I keep chasing something

I know was never there

But when I’m missing you

The signs are everywhere

And I guess life goes on

Even when you can’t let the past go

No amount of pain

Can halt time’s unending flow

I cling to fading shadows

In the dying light

of another sleepless night

And I guess life goes on

Even when you can’t let the past go

No amount of pain

Can halt time’s unending flow

I cling to fading shadows

In the dying light

of another sleepless night

Just another damn sleepless night…

DIGITAL CAMERA

My only eBay Purchase of 2015 so Far

That’s right, most of my money has gone to COMC this year, with a little to loose retail packs of 2015 Topps and a couple repack boxes.  I’ve only bought one thing on eBay in 2015, and it wasn’t even a card.  It was this:

Raven comic book backing board sketch!

Raven comic book backing board sketch by Jose L. Rodrigues..

I picked up this great addition to my Raven art and sketch card collection for a whole $9.99 (shipping was free, but it was nicely protected) back in January.  As the caption states, this fantastic piece is drawn on the non-glossy side of a comic book backing board.  Looks good at the end of my sketch card binder with the rest of my larger Raven art. :)

Random aside: I’m considering drawing something on the other blank backing board that was in with this to protect it and sending it back to the seller, lol.  Maybe they can try to sell it too.

Haha, anyway, that’s it for this post.  Thanks for stopping by!

Take my hand, with all your might… ♫

30 Day Anime Challenge: Day Three

30DaysOfAnime

Day Three wants to know your favorite male character.

First up, some honorable mentions to, amongst others, Inuyasha‘s lecherous itinerant monk with a black hole in his hand, Miroku, the titular Kenshin, as well as Sanosuke, from Rurouni Kenshin, Kawabara and Kurama, Yusuke and Hiei’s far more interesting sidekicks from YuYu Hakusho, Cowboy Bebop‘s fantastic Jet Black, and crack shot Daisuke Jigen from Lupin III.  Now onto my actual choices.

More Patlabor love!

More Patlabor love!

Captain Kiichi Goto of Patlabor franchise fame is my number one choice.  He heads up the ragtag band of delightful weirdos that make up Section 2, Unit 2 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police department.  He’s chill to a fault, but also sneaky brilliant and playfully devious.  It’d probably suck to work for him, but he’s damn great to watch.

Haku..

D’aww..

My second choice is Haku from Naruto, partially because I have a severe weakness for androgyness-ness, but mostly because he was just a damn good character that got killed off way too soon.  The are very, very few good characters in Naruto, and pretty much every single one of them get the shaft in one way or another.  Haku was nominally an antagonist and was subsequently killed off at the climax of the very first major story arc.  Freakin’ DAMMIT. >:(

Now I’m just upset.  But thanks for stopping by anyway.

See you Space Cowboy..

A Pretty Great Repack Box

2014 Topps Cliff Lee '89 Remix Mini

After I returned my bike, I planned to just get something cheap to break the fiddy dollar bill I got in return so I could re-deposit half of it.  My first four packs of 2015 Topps weren’t very good though, and the dupes were already starting to pile up.  So I bit the bullet and grabbed pretty much the only other thing of interest to me that Target had: a $20, 20-pack (plus bonus) repack box that was almost completely devoid of junkwax.

Here’s the breakdown:

One 1991 Score

Three 2012 Panini Triple Play

One 2013 Bowman Platinum

Three 2014 Topps Series One 8-card blaster packs

Two 2014 Topps Series One 12-card retail packs

Four 2014 Topps Heritage

One 2014 Topps Heritage Jumbo rack pack (20 cards)

One 2014 Gypsy Queen

Three 2014 Topps Series Two 12-card retail packs

One 2014 Allen & Ginter

Bonus Item- Three loose 2014 Topps MLB Chipz

It sounds like a pretty lame bonus, but it turned out to be significantly better than expected.  Take a looksie, won’t you?

Poker chips are a somehow apt metaphor for pack-bustin'..

Poker chips are a somehow apt metaphor for pack-bustin’..

Turns out that gold-bordered glow-in-the-dark Tulo is actually pretty rare and reasonably valuable.  A run through the very few sold listings had them going for $5-20 a pop (with Jeters in $50 range), depending on the player.  The only two gold borders up for the bidding at the time were a Travis d’Arnaud Gold/Glow-in-the-Dark and Jose Reyes Gold/Blue, which sold for $13.01 and the opening bid of $9.99, respectively.  So this seemingly silly, innocuous bonus item was probably the hit of the box.  But this little repack had more going for it than just the bonus.  Much more, as you will see below.

Every once in a while, the gamble pays off..

Every once in a while, the gamble pays off..

Hit #1!  Yeah, there’s more on the way.

Flagship inserts..

Flagship inserts..

Seein' red..

Seein’ red..

Great name, one of only three Cubs, Bonifacio is #'ed 1282/2014, and Keppinger is 228/2014..

Great name, one of only three Cubs, Bonifacio is #’ed 1282/2014, and Keppinger is 228/2014..

Topps Series One proved much more interesting than Series Two even without the sweet Zack Wheeler relic.  Better inserts, and the Target Red parallels aren’t something I see much of, even if there weren’t any huge stars.  Cosart, JD, and the series dos Hoz aren’t too bad though, and everyone is at least pictured (Cosart became a Marlin at the trade deadline) on teams that should trade easy enough.

GQ..

Princert, Altuve base mini, Cuddyer SP, Choice RC..

GQ was meh, as it usually is.  But I never buy it anymore, so it was nice to find a pack in there.  It’s a meh that tastes a whole lot better when it costs $1 than when it costs $3.

Hanson Top Prospects, Gary Brown base, Richie Shaffer chrome..

Alen Hanson Top Prospects, Gary Brown base, Richie Shaffer chrome..

Bowman Platinum is the shiny version flipside to GQ’s old-timey style pointlessness, but it has been fairly forthcoming with the marginal prospect autographs & such for me, especially in 2012.  I don’t buy at full price anymore either, but it also makes for decent repack filler.

1991 Score

Mercifully, the only junkwax..

 

1991 Score wasn’t terrible, as junkwax goes.  A RC of a solid player who had nice, lengthy career that included a couple monster seasons and a stint with the Cubs & a couple late career Hall-of-Famers is the best you can really hope for in a pack like this.

Heritage base..

Heritage base..

My resemblance to Holmberg is uncanny..

My resemblance to Holmberg is kinda uncanny..

The repack was heavily weighted towards Heritage, which is another product I’d never normally buy on its own, but am quite happy to get in numbers in a repack.  Despite my snarking to liven up the uneventful rack pack in my first post in ages over at APtbNL, that’s probably what ultimately made me decide to keep the repack while I was wandering around Target desperately trying to find something cheaper.  The McCutchen is fantastic.

Heritage inserts/SPs/parallels..

Heritage inserts/SPs/parallels..

Outside of the red Yadi (my only complaint about this box is all the damn Cardinals inserts!), there wasn’t really anything all that special in there.  Just low level inserts & a trio of highly trade-able SPs.  I’d already pulled my hits before I got to them though, so it’s cool.

From the rack pack..

From the rack pack..

Quite possibly my only keeper from the entire box came out of the rack pack, so that helped too.

A&G..

Captain Marvel Jr. insert and Giancarlo base mini..

Finally, main event time.  Allen & Ginter is consistently the best, most fun product Topps puts out every year (though 2014 had some legit competition for once, in the form of Finest and Stadium Club).  I’ve pulled a few hits & some rarer minis & other such nonsense (sea monkey card, flower card, World’s Biggest Mini SP) over the years, but the following, while not all that extraordinary, might still be my best pull to date.  Easily top-3.  Feast your eyes…

Kipnis Everdeen..

Kipnis Everdeen..

This Jason Kipnis is the first auto I’ve pulled out of retail in seven years of buying Allen & Ginter packs & blasters, and it is a beaut.  The funny thing about this outstanding repack box is that I had just started carrying that Prosperity Bean TJ sent in my Nerd Week prize pack that very morning.  Maybe it’s legit, maybe I’m just a superstitious and cowardly lot, I dunno.  I’m mostly just happy to have pulled some nice stuff out of a repack after the disaster that was January’s Greatest Chase repack/turd.

Anyway, that pretty much wraps up this post.  Let me know if anything strikes your fancy, and thanks for stopping by.

30 Day Anime Challenge: Day Two

30DaysOfAnime

Day Two wants to know the favorite anime you’ve watched so far.  This… this is a toughie.  There are two series that are basically 1a and 1b, and a two more that are very, very close.  So I’m just gonna cop-out and speak the praises of all of them (get used to that, btw), since I’m not sure that any of them are particularly popular stateside.  I watched them all in the mid-to-late aughts, back when I had digital cable.  All but the one I’ll discuss first were up in the high numbers, the International Channel/AZN, Encore (mainly Encore Action), G4, and the like.  Feels good, man.

Yeah!

Yeah!

Anyway, first up is Coyote Ragtime Show.  I saw this one on the Anime Network On Demand back in the day, and as far as anime series go, it watches like a damn good popcorn flick.  It’s a short, fast-paced joyride that gets from point A to point B quickly and never feels the need to stop and sniff its own farts along the way.  If it helps, think of it as Outlaw Star‘s uncomplicated, fun-loving country cousin (with higher production values).

Abenobashi's merry band of weirdos..

Abenobashi’s merry band of weirdos..

Moving on from analogies that are bizarre even by my standards, we have Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi.  This is another shorter series.  If I recall correctly, it kinda blows its own premise at the end, but it’s still a whole lotta dimension-hopping fun, looks nice, and has tons of heart (arguably the reason for the screw the rules ending).  You’ll be seeing this one again on down the line.

Patlabor

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Section 2, Division 2..

Now we’re at the ones that are 1a or 1b, depending on the day.  We’ll start with the entirety of the Patlabor series.  Love both the serious, darker movies and the lighter, goofier series, and you’ll be seeing it pop up with a fair amount of regularity over the course of my challenge.  Basically, it is the most realistic, down-to-earth mecha anime ever made.  The movies exist in their own continuity, and the plots go progressively more grandiose, as movie versions of things are wont to do, but they’re still more-or-less grounded in their version of reality.  Err, maybe not Wasted XIII.

The pilots..

Your Vandread pilots..

Finally, we’ll close it out with mecha space opera-ish harem adventure series Vandread.  Some elements of the series may call to mind (mainly old school) Battlestar Galactica.  Like all of my choices, this series is arguably here more for its heart and sense of fun than its brains.  Not that any of them are dumb, it’s just the the fun and heart are more important than any pretensions they might have.

To me, it’s important that one not lose their sense of humor or wonder to the inevitable cynicism being of an above average intelligence causes.  I guess that’s pretty much the unifying theme of my life, and my choices in entertainment tend to reflect that.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you Space Cowboy…

What Turning 30 Means…

Warning, incoming rant..

Warning, incoming rant..

In the wii hours of the morning on February 9th, 2015, I will officially turn 30 years old.  It’s a milestone year, and nice, round numbers are typically thought of as a good time for reflection.  The word reflect itself calls to mind something quiet, thoughtful, and personal.  It’s really hard though, to keep it calm and cool when reflecting on the first 30 years of my life.

DIGITAL CAMERA

Whaddya mean smile? This *is* my happy face..

The barely functional walking disaster you see before you has come a long way just to get to “barely functional walking disaster”, as a few of you who have traded with me over the years can probably attest.  There’s no sense of accomplishment that comes with the knowledge that you’ve done as much as you have to get to where you are when you still feel this wrecked.  I might be in a nominally better place than I was in some ways, but ultimately, all I see is what hasn’t changed, what hasn’t been accomplished.

I’m still in the exact same circumstances I started in, and I still don’t know how to get out of them.  I still live in the same godforsaken place.  I’m still basically unemployable.  I still can’t hold up my end of a conversation in real life.  I’m still a fat, lazy slob.  I’ve still never been in a relationship.  The stability of my mental health and well-being that makes up the sum of all of the above is still a very clearly dubious thing.  It’s horrible and it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up.  It’s just frustrating to look back and ruminate on how sideways a person’s life can go without even having a bad upbringing or the discovery of a predilection for illicit substances along the way (besides shiny cardboard, of course).  Just being some combination of bipolar/borderline/aspergery can screw a person up just as bad as trauma and drug abuse.  I feel a million times more guilty about it too, because it’s hard to explain when you have no specific trauma or addiction you can point out to people to explain why you are the way you are.

I’m just a fucked up weirdo who happens to be self-aware enough to realize it, but not smart, or maybe schooled is more accurate, enough to explain it or make sense of it.

It just doesn’t feel good to feel like you’ve let down every single person that’s ever cared about you and/or saw potential in you.  Isn’t that a fun thing to feel whenever you can’t distract yourself hard enough?  I don’t know if, if somehow I managed to accomplish all the dreams I’ve ever had, that I could ever make it up to everybody I’ve let down in my first 30 years.

The truth is, I’m just scared.  Afraid to fail, afraid to succeed.  I don’t trust myself.  I don’t believe in myself.  I feel like a giant fraud, and I’m afraid I’ll never stop seeing/feeling/living life this way.

Griffey commission..

Griffey commission..

Here’s a handy case-in-point.  This is the sketch card commission I did for The Junior Junkie.  He said he loved it and plans to give it a place of honor in his collection, but all I can see is how much unexpected difficulty I had with it, and the resulting mistakes I made in trying to get it looking right.

When I look back, the failure is all I see.  Failed potential, wasted talent, all the dreams I’ve let fall by the wayside because I’m too scared and lazy and damaged and stupid and hopeless to even take the first step.  There’s nothing about me I see that anybody could ever find worthwhile in me…

I think what might scare most in this very moment though, is that while I’m writing this at 30 years old, and I fear that I might not having anything positive to change about it, or add to it, by the time I revisit it on the morning of my 40th birthday.

#DirtyThirty

30 Day Anime Challenge: Day One

30DaysOfAnime

 

Day One wants to know what is the very first anime you watched.  To the best of my knowledge, that would be none other than the ultra-cheeseball classic, Speed Racer!

Here he comes...

Here he comes..

It was so great and terrible and wonderful and parody-able and had one of the greatest theme songs ever made… Buuuut, I also didn’t know that was anime at the time.  The first anime I really recall knowing was anime would be G-Force.  Apparently it was pretty terrible, and not so much in the good Speed Racer way, but I was super into it when I was 9-10 years old.

G-Force_-_group_shot2

These freakin’ guys..

Both have seen multiple revivals in various mediums over the years (G-Force was sort of one itself), some better than others, but for good or for ill, these incarnations of two venerable classics are where my anime roots lie.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you space cowboy…

 

30 Day Anime Challenge: Overview

Paul got me doing this fun thing on the twitters, even though I haven’t watched much anime in awhile.  So I thought I’d take it to the blog to elaborate on my choices, and just reminisce.  Here’s how it goes.

The Challenge is on..

The Challenge is on..

I won’t do these posts every day, and I’ll try to sneak a few card, and art (if applicable), posts in there to mix things up a bit, but I’ll eventually cover the vast majority of the days here on the ol’ blog.  Look for Day One’s post over the weekend, and if you want sneak peaks, keep an eye on my twitter to see my choices in advance.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave your answers in the comments!  Maybe I’ll do a contest/giveaway at the end of this.

Oh oh, here we go! ♫

Ending January on an Artistic Note

There were three more sketch cards in January’s shipment from COMC, so let’s end the month with a quick post showing ‘em off!

Lady Demon, my beloved She-Hulk, and Hit-Girl..

Lady Demon, my beloved She-Hulk, and Hit-Girl..

The kinda iffy, if you’re feeling exceptionally diplomatic about it, Hit-Girl only cost $3, which more-or-less made up for the rad Lady Demon and She-Hulk pushing the edge of my spending comfort zone.  I checked eBay for Chaos sketch cards though, and at least at the time, $12.44 had everything on there beat by $7.50, at minimum.  Shulkie was the most expensive, but I can justify the purchase without too much difficulty.  All three together weighed in at under $10 per card, and the main two kick ass, so I’m content. 😛

In other news, I added a few more Single Page Sensations on top of the metric buttload I added in my previous post, and I’m going to make like Baseball Card Breakdown and cut full player collections off at 100 cards, which means a fair amount of my lesser Nomahs, Vlads, Rynos, Aramiseseses, and maybe Ichiros are about to become available.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by, and seeya in February! :)

A storm is coming…

The Diamond King Last Chance Contest Pimpage!

There’s a new blog in town… that actually seems to have started before even my first six long since deleted posts from March/April 2008.  But after a 27 or so month hiatus, The Diamond King is officially with us again, and is holding a contest to promote this most auspicious occasion.  There are seven big ways to win big (well, six since that Ichiro Jersey card will be miiiiiiiiiiine), so if you haven’t already joined up, you still have about 24 hours to follow that link to do so.  So do so, ya!

Promotional consideration paid for by the following…

It’s a Sketch Card Kinda Day

Huh?  What’s this? A post with recentish sketch cards completely ready to go?  Did the blog fairy type this up when I wasn’t paying attention?  No, I vaguely remember doing this myself for a rainy day.  So seeing as it rained steadily all day today, let’s post it!  All cards for sale or trade.

A scan of the Batum sketch card..

A really old card of Dawnstar (Legion of Superheroes) I finally got around to coloring. I kinda like how the super simple color job turned out. Only used about five different colors..

Jayna of the Wonder Twins and SuperFriends..

Now officially known as the "Ultimo Cup Card". Also, look! Random sunflower seeds!

Kirk and Janeway..

Me make pretty…

The Trading Post: CamClow of Cardboard Heaven

‘Ello ‘ello, old chums.  Back with another trade post.  This one is from CamClow of Cardboard Heaven.  Only three cards in this, but they are all great ones.

MJD Jumbo Jersey /50, FergiePants, and Colston refractor..

As far as plain jerseys go, nothing beats a Donruss jumbo swatch, I tell ya.  It’s hard to explain, but they just do it better.  Maybe this is where the designing cards backwards comes into play (not that that makes it right).  I dunno, but I rarely see one I don’t like, even when the design blows (not the case here, thankfully) or the swatch isn’t that jumbo (it’s more medium-sized really).  The design on the Jones-Drew is nice and simple, especially considering this is Donruss we’re talking.  It frames the player and cool turquoise jersey swatch quite nicely and incorporates the Jaguars team colors into the card in a coherent way.  Good job, designer person!

Next, that Fergie Jenkins pants card is just a thing of beauty.  Upper Deck Vintage were amongst the greatest sets of the past decade, if not all-time, and the hits are no exception.  Just a stunning card.  Definitely one of the highest highlights of my Fergie Jenkins collection.

I’m a huge fan of late-rounders that go on to become big stars, which is why I loves me some Marques Colston.  Taken 252 overall (out of 255), he has put up numbers that are right there with the very best of a still very good draft class, even with some bigger name early picks stumbling to outright bombing.  He’s put up the second most receptions (369, behind Brandon Marshall’s 413), yards (5069, behind Greg Jennings’ 5222), and is tied for most touchdowns (40, with Jennings).  Overall, I’d say he’s easily top-10 in his draft class (he is tied for 8th in the 2006 draft class in career AV at 44, which backs that assessment up).  So yeah, Colston is a favorite and the rest of you should send me cards of him too. :P

Needless to say, excellent trade, Mr. Clow.  I will get my end of the trade out to you as soon as I pick you up another jersey card for your 3000K collection (Clemens most likely).  Thanks for stopping by!

I’ll get you next time, Gadget…

The Trading Post: Marie of A Cardboard Problem

Hey all.  So I guess I’ll start with the most recent trade to arrive and work my way back.  This package arrived sometime between Tuesday and Thursday this past week from Marie of A Cardboard Problem.

Some specific Cubs player collections..

A nice mix of specific Cubbies I collect.  The only one here I might have already is the ’10 Aramis Chrome.  The Attax look great!  Which reminds me… The random coupon generator at Target finally spit out something useful last time I was in there.  It gave me a $2 off an Attax starter set coupon.  I will have to be sure and use that sometime, if only for the novelty of having a coupon for sports cards (and the trade bait, oh the tradebait).

Btw, when is topps going to realize that the flagship set’s base cards look better without the foil and ditch it.  The price-per-card of Opening day and regular is about the same anyway.  Just lose the messy, hard to read foil touches on the name already.  Jeez.

New Hawks and Fukudomes make it worth getting up in the morning. :)

And Ryan Dempster is staring into your soul.  He says it’s dark and moist in your soul, like a humid midwestern night, and that it smells like burnt cheese and Hai Karate.  Is that normal?

I don’t even want to talk about the Cubs this year and Soriano being the only guy being an offensive threat and hitting home runs means I can’t blame it on him.  So I’m just going to move on to the big prize.  A prize so rich that it completes my unlikely trifecta of one of the hottest young stars in all of sports!  Behold!

Derr-… Soriano?!

Oh yeah, there were two of these Heritage Fonzies.  Neither one seems to be a variation or anything, so I’ll be sure to send one along to the BigD crew when I get around to trading with them (got a TON of stuff for you guys).

The Big Prize..

That’s more like it!  A jumbo swatch from one of the longstanding favorites of Donruss and now Panini’s stalwart Absolute Memorabilia brand: Tools of the Trade.  The card is #’ed /49 and has a nice-but-not-obnoxiously-overbearing-shine that the scan doesn’t pick up at all.  All in all, it’s an outstanding addition to my collection, and a great way to cap off what may be my first (if not, then still only second completed trifecta.

I do have one gripe, and it’s for Panini.  It would be nice if they said what the swatch was supposed to be.  I just figured it was jersey when I watched it being pulled over on ustream, but the lil white dots you see on the swatch are kinda… shimmery, I guess, and the fabric is softer than any that of any other jersey cards I had on hand.  It also feels slightly thicker/puffier than plain jersey, but not enough to think it’s a shoe or prime/patch.  I really have no clue what it’s supposed to be.  Too hazard an insane guess, I’d say it’s some part of a tuxedo.  It is kinda satiny-feeling, now that I think about it.  None of the obvious choices seem right, so why not?

So yeah, until I find out otherwise, this is Derrick Rose-worn tuxedo.  That classes up my trifecta a bit.  Haha, yeah! :P   Thanks, Marie!  Will have your stuff out this week.  Bye.

More jumbo swatchy goodness next time...

Million Card Giveaway Haul

Forgot about this until I saw them amongst some undownloaded scannage still sitting in my inbox.  Here’s what I ended up with:

1983 Cubs Team Leaders Leon Durham/Fergie Jenkins, 1984 Ge(J)orge Bell, 1985 Ryne Sandberg, 1972 Roger Freed, 1960 Al Schroll, 1976 Davy Lopes

Pretty nice haul considering how little I had to work with.  No complaints about condition either.  Only the ’60 and ’72 had any damage, but except for a certain 1965 card from a recent-ish trade and some pack fresh ’83s, I don’t know that I’ve ever even seen anything from before the junk wax era that was minty fresh.  Hell, a lot of current cards don’t even seem to come out of the pack minty fresh.  So yeah, these are fine, even centered nicely.  Davy Lopes is only has the slightest corner ding, otherwise he’s in perfect condition.

I didn’t have much luck with the MCG, either pulling them from packs, or turning them into vintage once on the site.  In fact, I’ve already pulled more Diamond Giveaway chances than I pulled MCGs all of last year, and with better vintage success (close to 50%).  Freed and Schroll were the only two pre-1975 cards from the MCG I scored myself without have to trade for.  Schroll was was great to get myself as a Cubs fan, but he was the only pre-1970 card I hit at all.  I’ve already somewhat duplicated the vintage Cubs feat this year, hitting a 1970 Don Young, that I will most likely be keeping, and hit have hit two pre-1970 cards (both ’69s, one I traded for a ’67) so far.

I really enjoy the idea of these “giveaways”.  They definitely haven’t perfected it, but it’s a fun way to score some random vintage cards (and other goodies), and really, who can argue with random vintage (and other goodies)?

The backs..

Freed and Lopes are available for trade.  Seeya.

Vintagevintagevintagevintage, its… VINTAGE.

Odds, Ends, Updates and Highlights

Hey.  Wassup?  Got some random stuff to hit on, so here goes.

First, there is one slot left in The Daily Dimwit‘s Ovation Case Group Break!  One team of your choice and a second to be randomed off, for $30.  Go for it!

~~~~

Next, I’ve gotten into trade talks with all of the following recently!  Cardboard Collections, The Good Dimwit again, Things are Funner Here, the legendary Night Owl, Argyled Plaschke, The Lost Collector, Potch Wheeler, Nomo’s Sushi Platter, Too Many Vergrandersons, Cards on Cards, Offy and more!  I know what you’re thinking.  Why do I always get myself in so over my head with trades that at least a couple will end up taking forever?  Well, this time I’m not in over my head (it just looks that way).  Every single person up there has most of their cards set aside for them already.  Once finalized (three already are), these will start going out in June.

Stuff for Marie and Cardboard Conundrum is pretty much ready to go and just needs sent.  I’m pretty sure that despite my extreme brokeness, I will be able to send these towards the end of the week after the weather breaks (it’s storming something fierce as I type this).

On top of all that, I think I’ll finally be sending what I believe are my last four horrendously long overdue trades in the near future as well.

Finally, check back this evening to see what football cards I have available.  I should at least have most of my swatches and autos listed by then.

Oh, and for the sake of having a picture in this post, here’s a look at my latest artistic endeavor:

Pencils on the X-Men blank variant cover I picked up on Free Comic Book Day, which wasn't even close to free. L-R: Jubilee, Storm, Wolverine, Cyclops, Pixie, Angel, Emma Frost.

That’s all for now.  Seeya.

Jubilee is a vampire now.  Vampires are cool.

The League

Finished the rest of my Justice League sketch cards.  Timely too, being as I am down to $29.00 for the rest of the month (even a cheap computer isn’t cheap).  If anybody has ever considered buying any pre-made cards or commissioning a piece from me, this would be swell time to do it!  Anyway, have a looksie at my wares:

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, Aquaman, The Flash

Hal & Ollie came out pretty nice, especially GL.  I think I shaded the guardian of Sector 2814 with little bit better touch than Green Arrow.

Green Arrow has a tiny bit of open space I need to do something with.  The target in the background is for “social consciousness” purposes, by the way. :P

Martian Manhunter got a bit of shading, and the green I used on him seems to have lightened up a touch somehow.

I added the stretching to Plas after I already colored the head shot part.  I’m thinking I should shade him too, but I dunno.  The solid flat colors seem to work.

I was using my new brush-tipped pen on Aquaman, and with the bright colors of his hair and costume, the thicker lines give him an oddly cartoony look.  Unsure if it works, but I’m not hating it.

Also brush-tip penned The Flash, before Aquaman actually.  Looked okay I guess, but I totally messed up his skin tone.  Accidentally used the wrong marker, so I finished it off and then tried going over it several times, ever-so-slightly lightening it up, but not nearly enough.  So I shaded his costume and the background extra dark to match and hopefully make it not so horrible.

What do you think of them, this Justice League?

I’ll give you all six for $30.

Flea Market Fail, Retail Mostly Win

The Big Hurt..

So yeah, if you heard on twitter, there was no flea market on Saturday, and apparently there won’t be one at all this month.  It’s okay though, I took my what basically amounted to my entire monthly card budget to Target and Walmart, and had the good fortune of it turning out fairly well.  We all know how hit-or-miss doing that can be, but it can turn out rather nicely at times too.  I picked up a 33%-off ($20 instead of $30) blaster of 2009 SP football (the only dud of the bunch) and a Heritage value box (should’ve doubled up on these) at Walmart, and the last two 3-pack value rack pack things of Gypsy Queen at Target.  So let’s see how it all turned out, shall we?

Just uh, pretend you didn’t read my tweets from Sunday afternoon.  They were spoiler city for this post.  We’ll start with the Heritage Value Box.

The value box bonus refractor. Classy design with rather subtle and subdued refractoring that perfectly highlights without being gaudy. End result: An excellent bonus card.

The only card of note from the Heritage hobby packs..

There weren’t even any SPs that I know of.  Nothing wrong with getting an insert of a legendary pitcher, but the design is snooze inducing, so without chromeyness or a hit (or some sort of super SP variation nonsense), Heritage tends to be… forgettable.  It’s cool though, the regular topps was on point.

Start it off with a much-needed mini, because I think I'm still in single digits on this set, unless this McCutchen gets me to 10.

A Frank Robinson card is ALWAYS a welcome addition to my collection. 60 Years of topps.

A diamond parallel of a star. No longer collecting this set (just Cubs and my other player collections), but Cruz is probably worth one of bigger players I am after, to the right trader.

topps60 > Peak Performance, I'm just sayin'. Fairly classy design. These are for trade..

Another cool insert for trade..

I also pulled two Diamond Giveaway cards from the packs, so I ended up with four instead of two.  That was nice.  Oddly, they were both the same as the two that came with it (’77 Reggie, ’50-something Jackie).  I ended up with an ’88 Tony Gwynn, an ’05 Reds team card, an early ’90s cards so forgettable I can’t even remember which of my three forgettable early ’90s cards was the one I got in this bunch, and a ’70 Don Young (Vintage Cubs!).

Other cards of note were base of Beltre and King Felix for myself, a Steve Carlton/CC Sabathia Diamond Duos, ToppsTown of Mauer, Markakis, Carlos Santana, and two David “I hit a game-winning home run with a broken freakin’ back!” Wright.  Oh, and this:

A jersey card of The Ace of the Angels staff! Weaver is 6-3 with an ERA in the low 2s and a WHIP below 1(!) so far this year. Bonus: It's a nice red swatch. None of that white or gray business here.

Great to pull a great player when you hit on a 1:96 pack card, that’s for sure.  He’ll be added to the For Trade page when I get around to it.

Now, for the dud blaster… Presenting 2009 SP Signature Edition Football:

Purple swatch is nice & all, but John David Booty is so very not worth the price of admission, even at 33%-off.

What can I say?  Even with a better hit, this wouldn’t have been very exciting.  There were Bears base, but this was just disappointing overall.  Why would anyone ever be willing to pay $30 for one of these, when the vast majority of them were most likely just as lame as this one, which stunk on ice at $20?  It was a mistake, plain & simple.  I would’ve been much better off going with a second Heritage value box, even if it turned out to not be any good itself.

Needless to say, only the Bears in the top row are keepers.  The other 57 cards in the blaster can’t be gotten rid of fast enough.

Putting the failure of the day behind us, let’s get to the main course and do us up some Gypsy Queen!

You saw one of my keepers up top.  Frank Thomas with the White Sox is an official player collection now.  I’ll take hits from anywhere he played, but base and inserts and such I’d prefer be of the White Sox variety.

Anyway, everyone always says “Since you’ve already seen the base on countless other blogs, we’ll just skip to the inserts and hits”. No, EVERYONE says this, so no one that doesn’t break down single packs shows the damn base at all (save for the occasional shortprint)!  So here are three more base cards (okay, Markakis is a shortprint).

Kyle Drabek RC, Andruw Jones in what has to be one of the least flattering pictures on a baseball card this year, and a Nick Markakis SP. The base isn't getting as much love as I expected, but it's got style and is anything but boring.

With that taken care of, now here are some inserts.  Was that so hard?

Pujols, Alexei, Rollie, McGee RC, and the Gypsy Queen back is Chris Carter.

I'm suckered in and collecting this set, so if you have any extras, the nine I have will be posted on the set wantlist page later, so you can see what I be needin'. Also, STARLIN!

It wasn’t all Hot Pockets and singing frogs with sombreros in Gypsy Queen land though.  The second of the two value rack pack things had about a half dozen damaged cards, the worst two being the best two cards I pulled from thing.

This is a Gypsy Queen-backed shortprint. Difficult to see, but the damage is visible on my oldass low-def monitor at least. The bottom of the left vertical edge is slightly raised on the front, as if someone tried sticking a finger nail in the edge or something.

Jackie Robinson Framed Paper #'ed 100/999. Then it got worse. The card came out of the pack with that little chunk below the words at the bottom ripped up and barely hanging onto the card. What the hell, pack searcher and/or lollygagging topps quality control person?! Like half of the inserts in this same rack having minor damage on *two* corners, and my short print and Aroldis Chapman base having far worse on one of theirs wasn't bad enough, let's screw up the two best cards too… Will be sending these back for replacements.

Fortunately, there was a saving grace with the Gypsy Queen.  Behold!

The Man!

There was a lot of good in this little binge, and plenty of bad, but it can’t be denied… Retail has it’s occasional moments.  A lot of my better hits seem to have come from retail, and this… well this card is right up there amongst the best of them, team allegiances or not.

That being said, ol’ Stan here is going to be available, seeing as how I am a Cubs fan and have no love for that whiny team from St. Louis, but I’m not in any rush to get rid of him.  You’ll maybe want to set about blowing me away if you’d like to add Mr. Musial to your collection. ;)

So there you go, my latest binge.  I think I would’ve preferred taking another $25 to the flea market, but aside from the SP and what should be replaceable damaged cards, I am exceedingly pleased with the Heritage value box and Gypsy Queen, and it only amounted to $10 more.  We’ll just call SP a $20 learning experience and try to be smarter in the future.

And this overly long post is finished!  Sorry it’d been a couple days without posting by the way.  My sleep got JACKED UP by a linebacker that goes by the name Ray Insomnia.

Flea Market Finds #13: Tenth & Eleventh Binder Page

Almost done! We’ll get two of the last three binder pages done today, and finish it off just before I head out on Saturday.  Also, I blew the days in a row streak again, due to being up pretty close to 24 hours into yesterday afternoon (thanks in part to coloring sketch cards), and sleeping off & on until about 3:30am.  Oh well, someday I’ll get an entire week of posts in without missing a day.

In other news, you may have noticed more work has been done on the player collection pages, and I’ve even finished updating a few baseball players to the best of my ability.  The bigger collections like Aramis & Big Z (also Kosuke, Ichiro, Vlad, maybe some others when I get them finished) a card or two may still turn up for, but likely nothing major.  Now, onto the binder pages!

1968 topps Tom Nowatzke, Billy Ray Smith, (Beef) Stew Barber (5x Pro Bowl, 2x First-Team All-Pro), Paul Flatley (1x Pro Bowl), 1970 topps Joe Scarpati, '68 Jerry Stovall (3x Pro Bowl), '70 Jake Kupp (1x Pro Bowl), Bill Thompson (3x Pro Bowl, 1x First-Team All-Pro), 2005-06 Upper Deck Slam Martell Webster RC

Why Purchased: Vintage Football!  … And a random mid-2000s basketball player.

Keepers: None.  Saints and Giants are likely going to BA Benny unless someone else calls any of them.

Notes: I’d say “One of these things is not like the others”, but I just know some random jackass would call me racist or something.

Stew’s middle name is apparently Clair.  Just pointing that out.

Somehow, the font size on the captions and the regular writing just reversed itself.  It doesn’t appear that way in the preview for the actual post, but WTF??

Jerry Stovall’s helmet is weird.  But I bet it’d be way easier to draw than the one in the Seneca Wallace sketch card.

Mind-Blowing Statistic: Joe Scarpati got no awards love, but had an 8-interception/182-yards season in 1966.  Similarly, Billy Ray Smith’s AV (Approximate Value) in 1968 was amongst the league leaders at 17 (the rest of his career it was middling at best).

Next page!

1982 topps Dewey & Lee Roy Selmon (6x Pro Bowl, 1x First-Team All-Pro, Hall of Fame Class of 1995), 2005 UD Rookie Debut Peyton Manning (Blah blah blah), 1968 topps Dan Grimm, Paul Martha (no accolades at all, but actually put up decent numbers), Obert Logan, 1970 topps Chuck Walker (1x Pro Bowl (1x First-Team All-Pro), 1971 topps Gerry Philbin (2x Pro Bowl, 2x First-Team All-Pro), '70 Haven Moses (2x Pro Bowl), Willie Richardson (2x Pro Bowl, 1x First-Team All-Pro)

Why Purchased: I believe we have established the reason as being VINTAGE~!

Keepers: None I guess.

Notes: Honestly, nothing much coming to mind here

Mind-Blowing Statistic: Bill Thompson and Haven Moses are by far the best of the vintage commons from a measurable statistic standpoint (remember, sacks & things weren’t counted till much later).  Thompson intercepted 40 passes in his career (784 INT return yards) and 3 touchdowns off of INTs, plus 4 more TDs from fumble recoveries.  He was also a pretty good punt returner in the first half of his career, averaging a solid 11.6 yards per return on 157 tries (plus a very good 25.1 on about a season’s worth of kick returns in his career).  There are safeties with more INTs and touchdowns off of them, but not so many when it comes to total defensive touchdowns.  And with the added value of being a good returner, he should maybe get some Hall of Fame consideration, just sayin’.

Haven Moses’ 8091 receiving yards was top-10 all-time when he retired.  He’s way down the list nowadays, but the league wasn’t so pass happy then.  He’s not a Hall of Famer because he’s like 77th all-time now I guess, but still hugely underrated nonetheless.

That’s all for this one.  I’m going back to sleep now.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Until our next…

Flea Market Finds #12: Ninth Binder page + Mojo

Ugh, mojo is such a dumb word (unless we’re talking super intelligent monkey supervillains or card blogging hands), but I digress.  While the weather is hitting record highs, so to are my blog hits.  And I’m closing in on posting every day for a week straight for maybe the first time ever in the history of this blog.  Things seem to finally coming together in my little corner of the blog netherverse.

Anyway, we’re heading down the final stretch of the flea market posts.  Only a couple more posts after this!  Then I’ll have even more to post, since the flea market comes up again this Saturday.  I’ll try to do this month’s flea market finds up much quicker though.

There are also new sketch card posts in the offing.  I colored seven more last night, and hope to finish the last two Justice Leaguers and three Star Trek captains later tonight.  I also have at least three much-belated trade posts to post, and one fresh one at the moment, with more coming in the not-too-distant future.  So things aren’t going to be slowing for probably the rest of this month anyway.

I will be sending out a few trades this month too, some old (sorry it’s taken so long, guys), some new (I’m trying to be quicker about it).

That all tediously said, let’s get to the action!  Mojo Jojo Hand first!

Three-color patch-jo! Hey wait…

This was the other $1.50 card he gave me for $1 (it was apparently priced $6 at some point).  It’s pretty cool looking, but it’s odd.  The card isn’t #’ed, and the patch itself is making me say “hmm…”, because the colors seem to be reversed.  I can’t figure out where the patch could possibly have come from.  There doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the jersey where a thin strip of white patch meets red jersey with gold on the inside like that.  I is confused and mayby have the eyesight of your average NBA ref, but it was only $1, so whatevs (any information most welcome though).

I also have a regular non-patch version of this, probably pulled from an eBay “hot pack” or retail repack box at some point.  Anyway, if you want either, have at thee!

Now for the fun part of this entirely too long blog post, the next binder page!!

Beckett inserts x2, 1983 topps Traded Don Baylor, 2010 topps Joe Saunders Gold parallel /2010, 1977 topps Graig Nettles, 1983 topps Yaz, Frank Viola rookie!, 1977 topps Willie Randolph (Rookie Cup FTW!) 1983 topps Tom Seaver

Why Purchased: Hall of Famers and stars of their day on the most perfectly designed ever made, 1983 topps, and nearly vintage Yankee greats.

Keepers: Sadly, probably nada.

Notes: Why are topps Traded cards of the era ALWAYS in infinitely better shape than regular cards?

You know how you end up with the name Graig?  When one parent wants to name the kid Greg, and the other wants to name him Craig, and they decide to compromise.  Which is proof that compromise is not always a good thing.

At least they didn’t name him Jermajesty or Caleb or something awful like that.

I didn’t know the Viola was a rookie until I was fooling around looking up late-’70s/mid-’80s rookies by year on Check Out My Cards.

I enjoy Rookie Cups and Rated Rookies entirely too much.

Mind-Blowing Statistic: Yaz had three 40-home run seasons, and no others over 30 (or 28 to be exact).

I was struggling to come up with something, but that’s a pretty good interesting stat right?  All cards except Willie Randolph are available (he’ll be going out in a way overdue trade).  Thanks for stopping by!

I feel like chicken tonight!

Quick Sketch Card Post

I finished up the couple sketch cards I started the other night, so I thought I’d share them real quick since they pertain to some of you.

Nicolas Batum mixed media sketch card

Busted out my new watercolor pencils for the first time on this one.  The only markers are on his name in the corner, the pic itself is all the watercolor pencils (except for the outline in pen).  I think it turned out pretty nice for a first attempt at something different.

Now things get a little weird.  I debated on just letting it be a surprise, but I think it’s too crazy to not show off here myself.  So here goes.

That's right…

The ULTIMATE cup card.  What more need be said?  I’ll just let that sink in and get back to coloring more cards.  Thanks for stopping by. ;)

Thank you and goodnight.

Flea Market Finds #11: 8th Binder Page + Basketball Grab Bag Pack

Before I begin, I’d like to mention I spent most of the day setting up new pages listing the cards that I have from my various player collections.  They aren’t even close to finished yet, but you can see what they look like so far if you’d like.  I’ve made one for baseball, basketball, and football, and may do up one for everything else later.  Also, after I eat and do up this lil post right chere, I’ll be heading over to my trade bait page to add a little more stuff to it.  This blog is finally starting to come together a little bit!  Now on with the show!

2003 topps Ken Griffey Jr., 199x topps Shawn Green RC, Kraft Juan Gonzalez, 2003 topps Chrome Adrian Gonzalez Prospect, 2007 topps Trading Places Marcus Giles, topps Josh Gibson Home Run History, 1992 Pinnacle Chad Curtis Team 2000, topps Joe DiMaggio The Streak, 2009 Upper Deck Prince Fielder

Why Purchased: Mainly for the not-even-close-to-being-a-rookie-card of Adrian Gonzalez and the Shawn Green rookie which might actually be one.  Also the Kraft Juan Gonzalez.

Keepers: Not a darn one of ‘em.

Notes: Just three. 1.) I’m finding the Shawn Green picture very odd for some reason. 2.) I cannot figure out the Juan Gonzalez card. 3.) It was nice when endless single-subject sets didn’t consist entirely of Mickey Mantle.

Mind-Blowing Statistic: I have a feeling the Juan Gonzalez card might have something to offer, but I can’t make it work.  Sorry.

Now for the basketball grab bag pack thing.  25 cards for $1.  Lets see how we did!

2009-10 topps Deronfractor /500, Marbury gold /2009, UD First Edition Darnell Jackson & Jerryd Bayless RCs, 1994-95 Glenn Robinson RC(!), Press Pass Okafor, early-aughts Chrome KG, gorgeous but laughably easy-to-pull Sebastian Telfair Press Pass insert, and a Travis Outlaw rookie..

Pretty much all downhill after the first couple cards.  I’m keeping the Big Dog rookie though.  That was a cool surprise, reminded me of better days.  And if you didn’t already know, Deron is all mine as well.  Starbury is in Offy’s stack unless he doesn’t want him.  Pretty much errythang else in the entire pack is up for grabs to whoever wants it.

Another one of those pretty and shallow Press Pass inserts, Vince Carter in better times, a young Shaq, Boris Diaw rookie, Bernard Robinson, radioactively shiny Stackhouse insert, Amare with radioactive lightning in the background, and a couple more rookies..

Bernard Robinson is set aside for quite possibly the only Bobcats collector in existence, Cardboard Collections.  Sad the Brian Cook is super damaged, since I have a very minor PC (basically an offshoot of the Deron Williams collection) of Illinois alumni, because why not?  Again, stake a claim if you likey anything.

Emerald parallel of the first ever Division III player drafted in the first round, the best pure scorer since Allen Iverson, an old-timey looking card of a guy that is the king of old-timey fundamentals, the GoAT, another Celtic for Mr. Travers, more Head (heh), CJ Miles..

And we’re done here.  Guess Head stays with me too.  Not as good as the football grab back pack of course, but certainly an interesting selection of cards nonetheless.  That’s all for me tonight, gonna eat now.

All I can say about tomorrow’s post, is that will be epically odd.  Till then, you’ve been teased. ;)

.::~Outtro~::.

Flea Market Finds #10: Seventh Binder Page

Less than a week away from the next flea market and still a few more posts to go.  I’ll try to post the upcoming event’s swag in a much more efficient manner, but if I play my cards right (heh), I may be able to get the rest of these flea market posts in under the gun.  Anyway, here’s page seven!

1979 topps Expos, White Sox, and Giants team cards, Jim Palmer, Jack Morris, another Joe Morgan (doing what he does best in this one, playing baseball and not talking about it), 1978 topps Wilbur Wood, Fergie Jenkins, and Rookie Outfielders.

Why Purchased: Besides being a page of almost vintage stars and team cards, Fergie and Wilbur Wood!

Keepers: Fergie (also I gave Wilbur Wood to my dad)

Notes: Except for the snooze-inducing 1970 set itself, I don’t think the decade of the 1970s had a truly bad set design, with ’72 and ’75 being downright spectacular (fabulous?).

I’ll have to check what I’m waiting to have shipped from COMC, but except for a couple late-’60s/early-’70s league leader cards, I think this might be my earliest Fergie Jenkins card.

I really like the All-Star cards.

Jack Morris never gets any love, and neither do the Detroit Tigers in general.  What is it about Tigers that belong in the Hall of Fame not being there?!  The lack of Jack, Alan Trammell, & Sweet Lou is a damn traveshamockery.

I’m too lazy/worn out from yesterday to look up the careers Rookie Outfielders right.  My apologies.  Maybe it can be it’s own post someday if I’m struggling to come up with something to write about.

Always nice to get White Sox cards from the “Bill Veeck having trouble regulating his meds” era ( my dad).

Was surprised to see Kessinger as the White Sox manager.  Didn’t realize he went on to do that, although I guess it was a short and not very memorable stint.

Mind-Blowing Statistics: Despite not putting up very impressive numbers, Don Kessinger was a six-time All-Star!  He was pretty good defensively it seems, but

Free Comic Book Day 2011

And what a fun one it was.  It did get off to a rocky start, due to me getting back so late from the parents’ place the night before, which pushed everything back a bit and put them a little behind schedule to head out of town to attend the 1st birthday bash of my baby cousin or nephew or something.  I’ve always had trouble keeping familial relations straight.  But once they were on their way and I was left to my own devices, it was a blast!  I took many pictures, with a digital camera this year.  I planned ahead, because last year’s photos are still trapped in the nether regions of my phone.  And that’s terrible.

Costumed vigilantes and villains!

These were the peeps in costumes.  Darth Vader and Iron Man were there last year, but it doesn’t change the fact that their costumes are amazing, not that team Hornet aren’t impressive in their own right.  I later found out the guys in the Vader & Iron Man costumes are father and son.  Kato apparently works at the comic book shop we’re standing in front of, and was super friendly and outgoing, despite mentioning running a rather severe lack of sleep.  Kato’s daughter from the comics and Green Hornet came from out of town (and I believe Hornet is the same guy that played Batman last year).  The left fairly early, but not before I captured them all on film SD card plenty of times.

The Green Hornet and the guy that does all the work.

During a lull in the festivities…

Oh noes! Our hero is in trouble!

Random chillin'…

It should be noted that towards the end of the day, the costumed characters presence nearly caused a traffic accident.  It’s funny now, but was kinda freaky when it happened.  Speaking of kinda freaky:

Vader guy methodically approaches the hapless camera guy…

I'm not saying I peed myself a little being up this close to such a convincing Vader… but I'm not saying I didn't either.

Parts of the thing on his torso there lit up.  That was pretty cool.  Seriously though, my heart was beating a lil harder while I was getting this shot, mainly because of that scary methodical approach.

Who wants some more pics?  If you answered yes, you’re in luck.  If you answered no, you’re just being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian.

Father vs Daughter!

From this little interlude, I learned that both of them have some level of legit competence with nunchaku.

Badass…

The eyes and chest thing glow!

All told, between both places I ended up with 12 free comics, bought all of the Batman Beyond mini series that was available (#3-6) because I’m a sucker for Batman Beyond, picked up two Marvel blank cover variants (that the owner of the shop said I could bring back to display after I finish them), and a cool keychain I’ll post when I, or someone I care about, needs a little hope to keep on keepin’ on.

Besides the free comics, local comic artists were on hand to work their magic at both places.  At the more purely comic book shop, where most of my photos take place, the artists were doing free somewhat quick but fairly detailed black & white sketch covers for anyone who purchased a blank cover variation and wanted one.

This guy was there all day, taking commissions and working on blank variant covers for those that wanted them. I believe he is also the father of my little brother's high school ex-girlfriend. It's a small, small world.

This guy came in later and did his thing for around two or three hours I think. I ended up befriending him when he took a look at some of my sketch cards and seemed pretty impressed with my work.

He also showed me how to make my inking suck less.  Quite timely too, since I really started looking into that very thing recently.  He gave me one of his cool little business cards and asked me to keep in touch and email him links to some of my artings online, which is exactly what I’m going to do once I get some sleep.  Or if I ever get some sleep, whichever.

Finally, this guy was at the other place. I didn't catch his name, but he seemed like a pleasant fellow, and was doing some excellent work. Check out what he's working on there (if you can see past the pepperoni lovers' pizza)!

Seriously though, it was really dumb of me to turn down a slice of that pizza when it was offered to me.  Pizza Hut is a rare treat for my perpetually broke arse.

So yeah, even though I feel like I used to after Jr. High soccer practice and won’t be able to move when I get up later because my thighs are burning with the force of a thousand suns and will completely lock up on me whilst I slumber, I couldn’t be happier about it.  It was a truly fantastic day. :D

All too easy…

 Until our next…

Flea Market Finds #9: Sixth Binder Page

Back with another binder page ready to go!

1980 topps Dwight Evans, Dale Murphy, Mets team card, Andre Dawson, Dave Kingman/Gorman Thomas '79 HR Leaders, Dave Steib RC(!), Carlton Fisk, Yaz/Lou Brock '79 Highlights (3000 Hits), 1979 topps Mark Fidrych

Why Purchased: An entire page of almost vintage stars of the day and Hall of Famers, duh.

Keepers: Definitely Andre Dawson and maybe Kingman/Gorman Thomas (though I will part with it for the right offer).

Notes: The negativity and/or wangst of Mets twitterers make it seem like they haven’t won a game at all this year, but… well, okay they are tied for the second worst record in the NL (at 12-18), but that’s only 6 games under .500 right now.  To read twitter makes it sound like they’ve already been mathematically eliminated from pennant contention though.  That’s Cubbie territory, dammit!  Quit stealing our gimmick!

Wait, no.  Actually, y’all can have it.  I refuse to be a negative bum, wallowing in mediocrity and negativity.  I want a f***ing winner, dammit! (Gee, I sure do rant a lot these days…)

Not a whole lot of star power on that Home Run Leaders card huh?  At least not these days.  They are both kinda forgotten.

Also, I keep having to remind myself that the Brewers used to be in the American League.

Another rookie of a non-Hall of Famer that was a star of his day.

The Lou Brock reminds me that cards of him in a Cubs uniform just upset me…

Mind-Blowing Statistics: Nothing much coming to mind, so we’ll go with Lou & Yaz both getting their 3000th hit in 1979 I guess.

Thanks for reading!

Dale Murphy should probably be a Hall of Famer…

Flea Market Finds #8: Fifth Binder Page

Better get back to these, the next flea market might be this weekend.

2003 topps Barry Bonds, Kevin Youkilis RC, Pedro Martinez Opening Day Game Card thing, UD Victory Nomah, 2000-something topps Total Junior Griffey, 1980 topps Yaz, Future Stars (feat. Jesse Orosco, Joe Morgan, and Jim Palmer.

 Why Purchased: For the almost-vintage Hall of Famers.  I didn’t even notice the Youk rookie till I had already decided to purchase it.

Keepers: None I guess.  The Griffey doesn’t interest me very much, and the others I can probably find good homes for.  Let me know if one is to your liking, but keep in mind the 1980 cards are not in the best of shape.  I’m beginning to think that pre-1983 cards in mint condition don’t, and maybe never did, exist, because I’ve never seen one.  And the only minty fresh ’83s I’ve seen were pack pulled by me.  Oh dear, I’m ranting again aren’t I?  Terribly sorry.

Notes: I didn’t recognize Youk without the facial hair.  It’s so inherent to him that I must’ve figured he was born with it.

More cards need rounded corners.  I can’t believe we haven’t started moving in that direction already.  How much easier keeping cards in proper condition would be without having to worry about dinged corners.

Feelings mixed on Topps Total, but without any other companies producing any baseball cards of note, it would probably be good to come back during whatever the biggest lull in the card-buying year is.  I guess I’d like it personally just so there would be an easily attainable and relatively affordable rookie card on a clean (if uninspired) design of whoever is deemed the hot player of the moment.

Man, Jesse Orosco looked so young!  No wonder he went on to pitch so long, he was the inspiration for Rookie of the Year, making his debut in his very early teens.  It’s like those “when they were young” cards, except it’s actually his rookie!

I like to think Joe Morgan is saying something all haughtily & getting basic information wrong in the interview taking place on his card.

All I can think of for Jim Palmer is “The hair, man. The hair…”

Mind-Blowing Statistics: In his very first year of professional baseball, Kevin Youkilis had a .504 OBP (in 276 plate appearances), walking 73 times to only 31 strikeouts!

She Can Warm My Bench Anytime

Yeah, that’s a lame title, and I apologize.  I’m not sorry enough to not go with it though.  Anyway, I stumbled upon this hot little number with a low price on eBay with about six minutes left, but nearly blew it due to having so many tabs open my internets had slowed to a crawl:

95% sure this is Miriam Gonzalez…

Fortunately I got a bid in with about 30 seconds left and won it for well below my max bid.  I wasn’t sure who this was at first (not that it matters that much, lol), but I was sure I’d seen the picture the card was drawn from before.  I just couldn’t quite place it.  But I think I found it mere moments before typing this sentence.  It appears to be from Ms. Gonzalez’ School Girls autograph from 2006 or 2007.  Someone in the upper tier of hotness and that I have also heard of works for me.  Can’t ask for more than that from a Benchwarmer set.  Seriously.

The Back. Does this mean I can put it in Project S.T.A.L.K.E.R?

This is my third Benchwarmer oversized sketch card, and easily the least expensive of the bunch.  It looks just as good as the others, though like pretty much any sketch card of a real person I pick up, I think I could do it just as good a job.  Needless to say, this be a keeper.

I’m Cave Johnson, we’re done here.

Until our next…

Gypsy Queen is Sexy

Some stuffs from my retail value pack:

Mariano Rivera Framed Paper parallel /999. Pee Wee Reese, Josh Hamilton, and DerekGreen Framed bonus parallels. Johnny Mize SP. Alex Rodriguez Jersey! Hank Conger & Rogers Hornsby regular minis, Edwin Jackson Gypsy Queen back mini..

Not the best picture, but as with the binder pages from the flea market, pretty solid for webcam.  Doesn’t even begin to do these beauties justice though.  Not even scan do these bad mamma-jammas justice, though.  You gots to see them in person for yourself.  I’m going to make a most likely futile attempt at collecting either the bonus or Framed Paper parallel sets, so if you got, I’m after ‘em.  Everything else except Hornsby is available, but you better come right if you want ARod.

In other news, I FINALLY got some packages sent.  My Cardboard Mistress, Punk Rock Paint, Sooz, and Paul‘s stuff is on the way.  Marie‘s will be going out once I find out if I should include any Lakers.

Guess that’ll do it for this one.  Gonna bust a (full 24-pack) box of Upper Deck Disney-Pixar Treasures that I picked up for $9.99 at Target last night, and possibly call the police on my upstairs neighbor if the f***ing thumping doesn’t stop (and will be logging my 4th complaint [not counting two or three other occasions I intended to, but didn’t get to it] with the office regardless, all in less than two damn months!).

Rant mode off.

Seriously, Gypsy Queen is worth buying…

From The Final Frontier to the Great Hall of the Justice League

Yes, it’s a sketch card post.  No, I’m not sorry.  Although you do have my apologies for this post going up two days later than intended.  Maybe some pretty pictures will get my mind off the nagging questions and thoughts about the state of our world after last night’s shocking revelations for awhile though.  Anyway, it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but here ya go.  Enjoy.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Plastic Man, Green Arrow; inked. Not pictured: Flash and Aquaman, because they aren't inked yet.

Supes, Wondy, J’onn, Canary, and Bats have since been colored.  Have a looksie:

The finished five (or four, Martian Manhunter might still need a little work)..

Sometimes it looks as if I have a clue what I’m doing, eh?  Next we boldly go where no one has gone before with the baldest and bestest of the Star Trek captains…

Captains Benjamin Sisko and Jean-Luc Picard

Wasn’t trying to be hyper-realistic with them, but they turned out to be pretty fair likenesses, methinks.

Now, before I go, a little something for the sports fans (so umm, basically everybody that doesn’t stumble upon my blog exclusively to see the old Jaime Hammer & Brooke Morales Benchwarmer cards).  So without further ado, from deep space to the Dawg Pound (cuz he has a little fresh trade bait I’m liking), here’s a lil something I starting whipping up for the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame‘s super collection:

Seneca Wallace sketch card WIP. Turns out I can kinda draw a little bit. ;)

Never has more effort been put into a piece of art of a perpetual backup QB.  Seriously, that helmet was complicated all get-out.  But it’s looking pretty good so far, methinks.

The only card I’m keeping is Black Canary, and Seneca is will be going Timmay, of course.  But the rest are available for sale or trade, so let me know if you see something you like.

That’s it for this post.  Holla.

Until our next…

Flea Market Finds #7: Singles to Mingle

So, I finally got the singles I picked up at the flea market edited down into bite-sized chunks recently, and after the power going out at some point while I slept the other day, when I started things back up, my keyboard was working again.  So, I’m back in business.

First though, a quick note.  I spent all day (seriously, from around 8am till after 5pm) pouring over a few wantlists, digging through my endless stacks of cards, and firing off emails.  And heads up to Nomo’s Sushi Platter and Fuji, you’re next on the list, though I don’t need to dig as hard for stuff for you guys.

Now then, the loot!  All but the last card were $1 apiece (two were priced at $1.50, but he gave ‘em to me for a buck).

Lou Whitaker Rookie!

Let’s check the stats! (via Baseball-Reference)

Garth Iorg: 1978; 1980-1987- 20/238/.258/.292/.347/.639 OPS+ 72  Just your average below average 2B.

Dave Oliver: 1977- 0/3/.318/.444/.409/.854 OPS+ 140  Only 29 career plate appearances, but that was a good start!  Sad he never got much of a chance, especially with how long and mediocre Iorg’s career was.  He never even struck out in short time in the bigs (4 walks).

Sam Perlozzo: 1977; 1979- 0/0/.269/.345/.423/.768 OPS+ 110  Only 30 career plate appearances, but also a pretty promising glimpse of what maybe could have been.  He hit two triples in his short career, and later went on to manage terrible Orioles teams for parts of three seasons earlier this decade.

Lou Whitaker: 1977-1995- 244/1084/.276/.363/.426/.789 OPS+ 116 Career WAR 69.7  Other stats of note: 420 double, more walks than strikeouts (1197-1099).  Awards: 1978 Rookie of the Year, 5x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger

Okay, how the hell is Lou Whitaker not in the Hall of Fame?!  Those are STILL elite offensive numbers for 2nd baseman!  He was still playing well and producing even at the very end of his career.  Bah, total BS.  I’m angry now, next card!

Merrick Mint Ichiro Suzuki Laser Line Gold Card

It’s really hard to see.  I dunno how such an insanely shiny card can scan this badly, but trust me, it looks awesome.

'68 Strikeout Leaders

This was one of the $1.50 ones, obviously perhaps.  It’s in surprisingly not bad shape.  653 combined wins, 7824 career combined strikeouts, and 755 total in ’68 (268 Gibson, 260 Fergie, 227 Singer).  ’68 was also Gibson’s impossible 1.12 ERA season, in which he even more impossibly lost 9 games (22 wins)!

1980-81 Bird RC!

Now, each of the three pieces of the legendary Bird RC/Dr. J/Magic RC appears on at least one other trio with a different combination, which are valuable in their own right.  Still though, I hope this came from one of the other combinations, not that it will stop me from trying to track down the legendary trio in this form.  I’ll put ‘em up on a list of specific, hard to track down, cards when I get around to it.

The Back

Here’s the back.  That cartoon doesn’t look like Larry at all.

Finally, since I guess I actually only got just over half of the nine singles edited into bite-sized chunks, here is the big one I picked up!

Ryne Sandberg Rookie!

I’ve wanted to get this card for a very, very long time.  And there it was, for $6.  The most perfect card, from the most perfectly designed set ever made.  I’m so happy to have rookies of two of the biggest Chicago sports icons of all time.  Ryno looks good next to Walter Payton. :)

The guy actually had all three of the big rookies from 1983 for a similar price, and I’ll be picking up at least Gwynn next time, if it’s still there.

I guess that’s all for this one.  Needless to say, only Sweet Lou is even remotely up for trade.  Now, I’ll just let y’all bask in the glow of a rookie Ryno & go get some more work done, updating this & that.  Seeya later.

Until our next…

It’s Always Something…

Apologies for starting to drop off the posting pace again, it isn’t for lack of content or anything to say.  To put it briefly, as of early Sunday morning, my keyboard is on the fritz… yes I somehow managed to kill another one.  Anyway, this is being written via crummy on-screen keyboard, which is no good for posts of any real length.  So, no more posts (of much substance anyway) until this can be dealt with.

However, I can still do smaller chunks of work.  As such, I’ve been slowly working on a couple of my pages.  My Wantlist is very nearly up to date, and a bit more colorful now (somewhat inspired by Fuji’s very colorful blog), and I’ve done the same with my trade bait page as well.  I’m also finally slowly adding my available hits to over there, so be sure to stop by and see if there’s anything you like!  The vast majority of my available his should be up by sunrise.

So yeah, that’s what’s up.  I’ll still be around though.  Holla.

Now, where did I put that Price is Right loser horn?

Flea Market Finds #6: Fourth Binder Page

I’m starting to get on a roll, might even get close to finishing before the next show!  Here is the 4th binder page:

Presidential Smackdown!… Err, Campaign Matchups, 2008 topps Alex Romero RC, Scott Rolen, 2004 Bazooka Pudge Rodriguez Red Chunk parallel, 19xx Circa Thunder Alex Rodriguez Boss '98, 2006 Brian Roberts Bazooka Stamps, 1982 Baseball's Greatest Sluggers Frank Robinson, 2002 topps Opening Day Mariano Rivera, 2002 Alex(is) Rios RC

Why Purchased: Because I collect Frank Robinson, and also for the Alex Rios RC & A-Rod Thunder insert.

Keepers: Just the Frank Robinson I guess.

Notes: There’s something unflattering about Willkie’s photo there, but I can’t quite place it.

The Pudge is an extra thick parallel.

The A-Rod should be extra thick.  It is embossed, like Action Packed, topps Embossed, and those sweet Kamen Rider cards I got from Shot Not Taken a few trades ago (hopefully another trade coming in the next couple months, btw), except it’s a thin as a regular card.  It should be special, embossed cards are one of the rarest of technological card treats, after all.  But with the back all raised up where it is on the front, it just feels kinda weird.

Wow, that’s the exact same design as the Heritage Stamps of the last few years.  The back is mostly blank, brownish cardboard with only the brandage at the very top, “STAMP XX OF XX” and the player’s name directly under it in small print in the middle, and legalese at the bottom.  I’ll show it off when I do a massive card back dump post someday (I like to record a lot of various card backs for posteriority, hehe).

The Greatest Sluggers card is just simple and classy looking.

Rios I just thought a White Sox fan might enjoy.

Mind-Blowing Statistics: I could’ve had this post done two hours ago if I were capable of staying on task.  But seriously though, I figure anyone that isn’t coming here for the cards is coming for the old Benchwarmer posts from back in the day (people still get here via searching Brooke Morales and Jaime Hammer every single day), and everyone who is coming for the cards already knows about Frank Robinson’s legendary exploits already (last to pull off the Triple Crown, MVPs and championships in both AL & NL, etc).  Because nobody ever comes for the art.  Seriously, I’m not even that bad, but my art posts barely do any better than days when I don’t post at all.  Wait, what were we talking about?

Heh, actually I just revealed a bunch of interesting stats in that incoherent babbling.  But now I must go.  I’ve gotten over the violent ills, but these allergies are making me cry harder than Field of Dreams, Rudy, and Serendipity combined.  Don’t judge me on that last one.  Best damn romantic comedy since Waiting to Exhale, it is.  I should probably just shut up now.  Seeya. :P

Wanna have a catch?

Flea Market Finds #5: 25-card $1 Grab Bag Pack

Here be the first of the two 25-card $1 grab bag pack things.  This be the football version.  Here’s the pack in order (accomplishments via Pro-Football-Reference):

1970 topps Ernie Koy (1x Pro Bowl), Roy Jefferson (3x Pro Bowl; 1x First-Team All-Pro), Dan Abramowicz (1x First-Team All-Pro), Don Herrmann, 1968 topps Gino Cappelletti (5x Pro Bowl; 3 double-letters in one name!), Carl Kammerer, Earl Gros, '70 Tim Rossovich (1x Pro Bowl), Chuck Howley (6x Pro Bowl; 5x First-Team All-Pro; 1x Super Bowl MVP)

Vintage, it’s all vintage!

1970 topps David Lee (1x First-Team All-Pro), Dave Osborn (1x Pro Bowl), Jon Morris (7x Pro Bowl; 1x First-Team All-Pro), Jerry Smith (2x Pro Bowl; 1x First-Team All-Pro), 1968 topps Sam Baker (4x Pro Bowl), ’70 Les Josephson (1x Pro Bowl), ’68 EJ Holub (5x Pro Bowl; 2x First-Team All-Pro), 1971 topps Greg Landry (1x Pro Blowl), ’70 Dennis Partee

1970 topps Bill Munson, 1971 topps Floyd Little (5x Pro Bowl; 1x First-Team All-Pro; Hall of Fame class of 2010), 2010 topps Peyton Manning (11x Pro Bowl; 5x First-Team All-Pro; 1x Super Bowl MVP; 4x NFL MVP; 1x Offensive Player of the Year), 1994 Upper Deck Troy Aikman (6x Pro Bowl; 1x Super Bowl MVP; Hall of Fame Class of 2006), 1990 Fleer All-Pro Joe Montana(8x Pro Bowl;3x First-Team All-Pro; 3x Super Bowl MVP; 2x NFL MVP; 1x Offensive Player of the Year; Hall of Fame class of 2000), Jerry Rice (13x Pro Bowl; 10x First-Team All-Pro; 1x Super Bowl MVP; 2x Offensive Player of the Year; all-time leader in rec/rec. yds/rec. TDs/TDs/yds from scrimmage/all-purpose yds; Hall of Fame class of 2010), Barry Sanders (10x Pro Bowl; 6x First-Team All-Pro; 1x NFL MVP; 2x Offensive Player of the Year; 1989 Offensive Rookie of the Year; Hall of Fame Class of 2004)

Vintage Hall of Famer!  Yes, this was basically the best $1 grab bag pack thing ever.  Pretty much puts that McDonald’s dollar menu commercial to shame, eh?

Also, 1994 Upper Deck football is pretty.

Pretty much everything but the Jerry Rice is available for trade.

That’s it for this one.  So long, and thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…