Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Out

This... has been a long time coming.  If you follow me on any of my social medias (well, my side account on Twitter, my main one was suspended for saying fundamentally truthful things about TERFs and mean, but also honest, things about the president), then you likely already know this.  But I've been part of this card blogging community since almost before it even really was one, and I know a lot of you aren't on social media much, if at all, and plenty who are don't cross paths with me much, if at all.  So I feel it's important to state it here too.

I am gender fluid.

Further, the more I test the bounds of my femininity, the more obvious it becomes to me that the general lean to my gender is a lot more female than the male you knew me as.

From the time I started privately coming out to a few of my closer internet confidants in the summer to coming fully out into the open at the tail end of the 2018, I've experienced nothing but love and support.  Even as I continue struggling with a long, lingering bout of unrelated depression, for the first time in a long time, I feel genuinely hopeful for the future.  I have something to look forward to and strive for again.  I'm not nearly whole yet, but I have a better understanding of who I am than I ever have before.

Hopefully coming out here can be a pleasant, drama-free experience as well.  Looking back, it's clear to me that I had been feeling my way towards this point long before I began to consciously acknowledge or understand it.  So perhaps, if not this specifically, it's possible a few of you may have even guessed something was up with me when I hadn't even realized it yet myself.  I dunno.

But anyway, I'm still me.  I'm just working toward becoming the truest version of myself.  The blog, such as it is, will remain almost entirely about my cards and my art.  I don't intend to talk at length about this much on here unless it pertains to my creative endeavors or collecting in a pretty direct way.  I have all my social media outlets for that.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability, however.

Thank you for your time.  I have every intention of reeling off a decent little stretch of posts again soon.  If I play my cards right, there will be contests with fabulously passable prizes somewhere around my birthday in February.

Until our next...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Summer of Sketch Vol. 5: Randoms

This is the fifth and final episode of the Summer of Sketch!  As noted in all the way back in episode two, not all the sketch cards I picked up on COMC had a specific place in my collection in mind when I got them.  Some just happened to be cheap enough when I had the money or I just happened to like the style or what have you.  So today's post is dedicated to my most random pickups of the bunch.
Invisible Woman by Thony Silas..
Leading off with my favorite of the bunch.  This one is so good I probably would have eventually broken down & bought it at full price if the money ever lined up right.  Fortunately it dropped by more than half during the sale COMC ran concurrently with the National Sports Collectors Convention at the beginning of this month.

Another cool aspect of this card is that Fantastic Four Archives was the set I pulled my first sketch card on my own (I still don't think I've quite hit double digits yet).  Somehow I'd never manage to pick up anything else from this set in the probably seven or eight years since, so this is still only my second card from the set.
Black Cat by Eric Hutchison..
I have at least two or three other Black Cat sketch cards already, and while I like the character, I'm not really into her enough to want a full page.  I thought this one was pretty nice, so eh, why not?  Sometimes you just have to take what you can get when it's there.
Marvel Premier Wasp by Matthew Hirons..
Insofar as buying sketch cards can ever be a regrettable decision for me, these next couple might qualify.  I have a Psylocke by this artist that I really like, but Wasp isn't amongst my favorite characters (Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon version notwithstanding) and I don't feel like the lens flare effect works nearly as well here as it did on Psylocke.  I got antsy and paid slightly more than I would have liked on both of these too.
Cap 75th Anniversary Agent 13 by Cris Santos..
Agent 13 is another character I have little concern for and I didn't feel great about it for the price (I didn't break the bank over either one, but sketch cards are inherently more expensive than anything else to start with, so...).  I also already had a decent sketch of her already, but unlike Wasp, I am much fonder of the style on this one.  The character in question is just even more whatever.  I would consider trading either of these, or keeping this Agent 13 & trading the other, for a sketch card of similar quality of a character I like better.
Xena and Herc Animated Callisto by John Czop..
We'll end this post, and the series, on a high note with the new oldest sketch card in my collection.  This uncirculated gem is of major recurring Xena antagonist Callisto.  It's from the 2005 Animated Adventures set.  I vaguely recall an animated crossover movie when I was younger, but I'm certain it was well before 2005.  I dunno.  I loved both live action series though (and pretty much all of the many knockoffs they inspired, especially Sinbad).
The back..
And that'll do it.  Hope you enjoyed this series.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My Unofficial Goodwin Champions Collection Vol. 5: Goudey Greats!

Time for the final installment in my Goodwin Champions PC series!  This one is all about that Goudey goodness.
CP Munk (look it up)!
Starting things off with my third most expensive card from Goodwin Champions, CM Punk at his most Wolverine-est!  I want to say WolverPunk was right around $9.
Some race car man..
Goudey was Upper Deck's first answer to Topps' Allen & Ginter.  It ran as its own brand from 2007-2009 and it was... mostly good.  Year one were entirely the small square size of original 1930s Goudey, and had a weird duality gimmick to them.  2008 was the best version, though like with any artsy set, there were a few Dick Perez specials.  2009 had a serious flaw in that much of the set looked like horrifying waxy, plasticy abominations of nature, but if you can get past it, it was still as fun a rip as any other.

Later years used the original Goudey/Sport Kings size for minis.  I don't know for sure if they were one-per-pack in 2008, but I vaguely recall them being every other pack in the blaster of 2009 I picked up a few years back.  I dunno though.  I'd love to bust some more of the original run someday, but I haven't come across any since that blaster.
Former Blackhawk great Jeremy Roenick..
Goudey likely would have continued as its own brand had Topps not ruined the entire card industry forevermore by nabbing an exclusive license to lord their boring garbage products over the rest of us with.  Now pretty much every sport except soccer (& maybe hockey still?) are exclusively produced by a single company and, pardon my language, but well... it fucking sucks.
Non-autos? So that's just like inserts then..
Fortunately, UD was eventually able to find a place for the brand within Goodwin Champions line.  I'm not sure, but I might not actually have that Miesha "Flukiest Champion in the History of Sports" Tate anymore.  I might have sent it to the currently hiatusing(?) Raz in the package I sent him in July.  If not, and I can find it, it'll go to him next time.  I think it's fair to say I don't think much of her as a fighter.
One more 2016 insert..
And a 2017..
While I like the simplicity and colorfulness of 2016's Goudey inserts, I love the look of 2017's.  It's better to me in every way.  This looks like it could be the base set design for a standalone Goudey product, and I am feeling it.
So much MMA!
Here it is in autographed form, with professional asskicker Amanda Nunes.  I like that the brand/nameplate and space for the autograph take up considerably less room, and that they used fuller body photographs in this iteration.
Mo' 'Manda..
Finally, an important aspect of the original Upper Deck Goudey run was the Sport Royalty subset, which was a part of the run of shortprints.  As the name implies, it featured stars from other sports.  I tried to complete the 2008 set, but I didn't make it too far.

Presidents, certain base legends, black & white photos, and Heads Up cards made up the rest of the shortprint run over the brand's lifespan, but I think Sport Royalty may have been the only consistent SP'd subset across all three years.  You could also pull the SPs in mini form in all the various hues of parallel.  I'm not sure about relics, but I'm certain it was possible to pull autos of at least some of the subjects.

That puts a bow on this series for now.  But once September's shipment arrives and gets scanned & edited into bite-sized chunks, I will likely have the means to produce at least two more installments in this series.  So look forward to that.  Or don't.  The flake-out is inevitable, after all.  Thanks for stopping by though.  I really do appreciate it.

Until our next...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Summer of Sketch Vol. 4: Character Pages

Part four of the Summer of Sketch series brings perhaps my most important pickups to the table.  These are the Single Page Sensations and full collections of specific characters in my sketch card PC.  I was able to make a half-dozen new additions to these collections, and here they be.
Daredevil Seasons 1 & 2 Echo by Marla Agunos..
This is arguably my favorite card of this bunch, which is why I'm leading with it.  It's all-around great, but there's something about the expression on her face that I'm particularly fond of.  So many possible emotions being expressed in such a simple way.  Brilliant!
The scans of this great sketch by Don Mark Noceda do not begin to do it justice.  I thought the first one was so washed out & a smidge blurry due to it being scanned with a couple of them there super thicc Marvel Premier sketch cards, but when I tried again this morning, well... It is slightly more in focus, but it's somehow even more washed out than the first one!  You can barely even see the splash of orange behind her head, but it is super vibrant & brings what is already a great card all the way together in real life.
Spider-Man: Homecoming Elekra by Marlo Agunos..
This Elektra is also by Marlo Agunos.  This wasn't love at first sight like her Echo sketch above, but it has grown on me quite a bit since I got it in my hands.  A most welcome addition to her page.
Agent Carter She-Hulk by Gilbert Monsanto..
I had no idea about the Agent Carter set even existed until I picked up these two She-Hulks (I think this one is She-Hulk?  Not too many green chicks running around the Marvel U, but it could possibly just an odd shading choice for a regularly-hued character...) from the set.  Honestly, I'm still not even sure what it's about.  COMC just has autos and sketch cards, so perhaps it was just a higher end and/or super limited release.  I dunno.
Agent Carter She-Hulk by Monte Moore..
This sketch card is done in black & white, but that's definitely She-Hulk.  I had already surpassed a full page before I got this trio, so I'm up to 13 or 14 now.  Aside from Raven, Rogue is the only other character collection I've broken the full page plateau on.  With one possible exception, that being Raven's Titans teammate/popular ship pairing Starfire, who I have nine of, I have no intention or expectation of going over on any of the others.  I'm not really even all that close with any other characters I have pages for anyway.
Premier Gray She-Hulk by Michel Mulipola..
Finally, I'm not sure what's up with comic book writers constantly feeling the need to make She-Hulk an overly serious character.  I mean, they aren't usually bad portrayals, but it just sort of feels like it misses the point of the character in a pretty major way.  I must admit I am deeply in love with the look of the gamma-scarred, hyper-muscular, PTSD-induced gray version though.  I was surprised to find such a recent character design in a set, but I'm delighted to have it.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned for the Summer of Sketch finale soon.  Thank you, as always, for stopping by!

Until our next...

Friday, September 7, 2018

My Unofficial Goodwin Champions Collection Vol. 4: The Hottest Hits of 2017

Back to the series posts! Here's part four of my Goodwin Champions collection!  We're getting into the home stretch of... oh, let's call it "season one" of this series (I will have the stuff for at least three more episodes on down the line).  This post is all about my hits from last year's set.  Here we go.
Scooped! Suck it, Topps!
This is the second most expensive card in Goodwin Champions collection, weighing in at a cool $9.49.  That is the cheapest I've seen Bouchard sell for, so I admittedly got very lucky with her (heh).  It's nice that I won't have to fret over never being able to afford her Allen & Ginter auto from this year's set.
Quincy returns..
The photo selection seems to have gotten better over the years, but sometimes the backgrounds are super distracting.  They sorta remind me of driving scenes in old movies & cop shows with obvious fake footage scrolling in the background.
Xue Chen x2..
I got two of these when they at were way below what they typically are on the site.  One was for me, and the other was for a certain volleyball collector I've been needing to send stuff since the Obama administration, which was, if my calculations are correct, 139 years ago.  But anyway, it turned out they were likely so cheap because they both had dinged corners.  They're still plenty presentable, but that was a bummer.  There was no condition notification on them (I've mentioned on multiple occasions elsewhere about how wildly inconsistent they are about that on COMC).
Seeing double..
I mentioned in the previous Goodwin Champions post that pink swatches don't happen enough, and the same goes for purple.  They are less important to me, but more solid orange and green swatches would be cool too.  And for as many teams that wear it, I don't feel like I see enough solid blue swatches either.  It's always pinstripes.  Ugh...
Still seeing double..
Here is the other hilariously high-numbered, hand-numbered inscription auto.  I am happy to have it.  This is another one with a very distracting background.
Cookie Monster..
It's all MMA for the rest of this post.  For the nice little collection of MMA ladies I've built up, you'd think I'd have watched more fights, but alas, you'd be very wrong.
Seeing double again..
Honestly, I've barely even watched any of the major team sports the past couple years.  I haven't had a TV in years, I can't afford to pony up for a season pass to anything, and I've never found any sustainably reliable illegal streams, so I've mostly gone without.  I feel occasionally feel a mighty need to get back into to it, but honestly, I don't often find myself missing it all that much.  It's just... the best background noise you can get most of the time.
Okay I'm done..
It says model on Chrissy Blair's cards, which is true.  But if you know her name at all, you'd likely know it due because she's an Octagon Girl with UFC.
Sick-ish patch, bro..
I'm not exactly sure what this "Premium Series" relic is from, but despite the card itself being super thicc, the swatch itself just feels like a regular swatch of average thickness.  It's probably just a piece of shirt that happened to have lettering on it.  Still a nice addition though.
Base auto..
Winding it down with this sweet trio of my girl Felice.  The background on these are quite distracting too, but also kinda... relaxing?  Odd...
And the inscription..
Seriously, I have picked up so many Felice Herrig's from this set, you guys!  This ain't even all of them.  Check back in October if I haven't flaked out by then, because there's still one more of note in my collection worth posting about.

That's all for now.  Just one more post left in this series (though there could be more later)!

Until our next...

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Obara, Oh Obara

Time to take a quick breather from the Summer of Sketch & Goodwin Champions series for a post, though we're still fully entrenched in non-sport goodness.
😍😍😍😍😍
I have never watched or read anything Game of Thrones, but I do have a longstanding crush on Keisha Castle-Hughes, so I picked up this auto on eBay, and a few more cards on COMC.
Autoback..
Because like Jon Snow, I know nothing, I'll be posting all the backs, since they have useful blurbs about who the character is and what she gets up to, which seems to be a pretty fair amount.  So at least skip over the backs if you are the type who's buttocks are chafed at spoilers by three by spoilers for things you really already should've seen by now.
Foil parallels..
Here are a pair of foil parallels that didn't scan especially well.  Given the crusty brown borders, they're surprisingly vibrant & nice looking in real life, but they just kind of weird & gross here.
Some useful informations..
Scans not doing cards justice is a recurring theme across the blogosphere, and this post is just loaded with it.
Man, Anakin would hate this post. There's Sand everywhere..
Even this insert, which seems like it scanned okay, is not immune.  There are all sorts designes carved into the white border that don't show up at all.
Ouch..
More spoilers.  Apparently lots of people die violent, gruesome deaths on this show.  So it's pretty much wholesome, lighthearted fun for the whole family. 😆
Valyrian Steel gold parallel /100..
The gold versions are noticeably darker & a little blurrier than the base versions, but they aren't nearly as bad as my scanner would have you believe.  This almost makes it look like a hologram or shadowbox or something, but it absolutely isn't.
Obara got back..
The back didn't fair much better, but you can kinda read it and see that it's #'ed 9/100.  Yeah, being able to read the status symbol part, that's the important thing. 🙄
Valyrian Steel base..
Fortunately, I also have the base version, and for all the trouble my scanner had with these cards, this one might have actually managed to somehow come out looking better than it does in real life.  You just never know.
So many bastards, so little time...
GoT: Almost single-handedly making up for the lack of bastard daughters in all other forms of entertainment.

And on that note, it's time to call it a post.  Thanks for stopping by.

Until our next...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Summer of Sketch Vol. 3: Manly Mans

We've reached the midpoint of the Summer of Sketch series!  As you've likely noticed, I'm mostly not in it for the dudes when it comes to sketch cards & non-sport/other sport stuff in general.  But I do have a place for my favorite male characters in my sketch card binder.  I singled out two pages apiece worth of male characters for both Marvel & DC to target a lone sketch card of, and here's the trio of new additions I was able to make to those pages.
Bombshells Superman Silhouette by Matthew Sutton..
First up, the only DC sketch card in the entire shipment.  They've had a steady card producer in Cryptozoic for the past several years now, but DC is still way, way behind when it comes to cardboard.  They don't have near as many sets to pick from, and the sets they do have are dramatically less elaborate Rittenhouse & especially Upper Deck's Marvel offerings.
Daredevil Seasons 1 & 2 Sleepwalker by Anthony Helmer..
I was stoked to find a licensed sketch of a character as ridiculously unique & obscure as Sleepwalker.  He had 33 issue solo series in the early-'90s and has only rarely been heard from since, usually in major crisis crossovers, likely owing to the uniqueness of much of his dream police powerset.
Premier Colossus by Uko Smith..
Uko Smith is has long been a favorite artist of mine, but I'd never managed to land anything by him until now.  I hope to stumble onto an Uko for my She-Hulk or Rogue collections that I can afford at some point, but this will more than do for now.  Premier is a super-duper high end release and the sketch cards are on crazy thicc stock.  They only just barely fit in binder pages, and not very comfortably.  But beggars can't be choosers, I guess, and I'm just happy to have it.

And that's it!  You've made it through another post.  Go you.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

I'm gonna hunts me some mans!