Tuesday, December 24, 2019

It's a Christmas Miracle!

This wrapping paper is simply... Marvelous.
Me. Me posting to the blog is the Christmas miracle. Sorry I've been away so long. It uh... It has been a year. But in catching with the Card Blogger Secret Santa at the last minute, I vowed to our fearless leader Jon that I would at least get my haul on the blog. I had hoped to do more, since I also had a 300 card (precisely 258 of which were for myself) monster COMC haul featuring 30 sketch cards and tons & tons of non-sport & multi-sport items. But of course, I screwed that up pretty quickly. Oh well, maybe next year. January will be another massive shipment that will be mostly major sports cards, so I will need to at least get December's scanned & filed away, even if I don't do anymore bloggin'.
The tin will get lots of non-trading card use..
But anyway! The Secret Santa haul! I only had the time & (not even really the) energy for photos for this post, unfortunately. Getting the post up was the most important thing though, so... Here goes!
Mainly for haulin' art supplies places..
My goodness, Collecting Cutch did such an amazing job with this in every way. The presentation was magnificent, and not cheap. I don't have the box handy, but I believe shipping was something like $8? Then there was the appropriately treasure chest shaped Christmas tin they came in, wrapped in that delightful Marvel Comics wrapping paper at the top of the post. Inside the tin, the cards themselves were even wrapped in small lots. I wish I'd had the money & energy to put that kind of care into mine, tbh. It *felt* like a Christmas gift. So cool!
Now for some cards!
All I could muster was what looked like a pretty typical trade package. I did repurpose a bit of the wrapping paper to partially cover the lot and wrote a lil note of holiday wishes, but it badly pales in comparison. Bryan went all out, and I am so not worthy of that level of effort.
More base Cubs..
As for the package itself, as you can see, there were a handful of random Cubbies. I think I had everything but the Heritage in these first couple pics, but these were mostly filler anyway.
I think the Bunt cards may be entirely new to me though. I only ever bought a pack or two, and I believe my only Cub was a blue Lester parallel. Anyway, the design is really nice. Floaty ball pics are also cool.
More Buntybois & Schwarbers..
The black & White Schwarber may well go straight to his binder page & stay there. It just looks good. Hendricks could also make it in as temporary filler, at least. I like my single pages to be blingier, but I still don't have much in the way of fancier (#'ed, hits, tougher inserts, etc) stuff of The Professor yet.
Finishing the Cub run with a nice blue Walmart blaster parallel of Rizz & one last Bunt of KB. Good stuff. Happy to see there was plenty of useful filler in there. But now onto the meat of the package.
Before we move on from the baseball, a little McCutchen-y goodness from the supercollector himself. The tree is an on-card painting! And given how thematically on-point everything else in this package was, the thought balloon being on the penny sleeve functions as a nice subtle homage to our host Jon as well. 😁
Brad Utterstrom Prints!
Apologies for the terrible pics on these rad Brad Utterstrom promos & prints. I didn't realize how badly they came out until I transferred them from my phone to the computer.
More promo/prints..
Adequately capturing the sheer quality would've been nigh impossible anyway, I guess. These things belong in a museum. I am making the these two cards available to whoever wants them, however. I like to spread the love around when I feel I've been treated far too kindly anyway, but also, zombie stuff just ain't my thing. And the Wampa should probably be in the hands of a more serious Star Wars fan than myself as well. So go ahead & claim them in the comments & email me your address and I'll send it your way PWE style sometime early next year. One per person. First come, first served.
Last of the prints..
I was initially confizzled as to whether or not this incredible Mickey Mantle and the landscape above were prints or real because this one felt like it had actually been drawn on, but Bryan confirmed they were prints over on the Twitters. It was mainly just so I knew which binder to put them in, because they are rad as heck regardless.
WWE Superstar "The Outlaw" Jane Russell..
Moving away from the art prints but still keepin' it artsy with some Breygent movie posters. They are kinda glittery! I dunno if these are parallels or just base cards or what, since I've never had anything but sketch cards from this run of sets. They're pretty cool though!
That growth on the side of his head ain't messin' around..
And one more for good measure. The hand growing out of ol' Stagger Lee's face is packin' heat! And now you'll never be able see or think about him without the vision of his massive gun-totin' face boil haunting the very depths of your soul ever again! Christmas!

Heading down the stretch with this AWESOME Carddass (really?) Street Fighter card of underrated G1 (or would it be Gen 2?) combatant Edmond Honda! Gotta find one of these of my girl Chun-Li now.

Thank you so much for sticking with me this long. Now comes the reward for your patience. It's hit time!
Careful Ems, there's a snake in that sand trap!
Outside the top tier names, Goodwin Champions are always pretty cheap hits, so Emily making is an easy choice for a smol budget Secret Santa event like this, but from what I can find, a Jessica Henwick auto would probably more than break the $10 limit all on her own! Aside from her role on GoT, she can also be found in the Star Wars & MCU franchises in somewhat similarly situated roles as pilot Jess "Testor" Pava and Colleen Wing, long saving grace of the lamentable Iron Fist series on Netflix.

If you didn't see why I felt extremely spoiled & felt the need to spread the love around, well...  We haven't even gotten to the sketch cards yet!
Multiple Man by Dave Strong..
First up, one of my fave underutilized X-Men dudes from the early serieseseses of Upper Deck's revival of the ol' Fleer/Skybox Marvel Masterpieces line. This is dated 2008 on the back, which makes this series two or three, I believe. So yeah, it's from a time long before the brand name went high end in the mid-2010s. This is also cool because I'm a huge sucker for multi-character sketches, even when they're just of the same one three times, lol (my favorite amongst my suddenly expansive Wasp sketch card collection is also like that).
Witchblade by Jon Racimo..
And Bobby Lastly but not Bobby Leastly (shoutout to the dude Tom Campbell), we have a Witchblade sketch card. Racimo is on the lower end, and I do have a couple by him from this set already from the massive 57 card lot I picked up a few years back. But I like this one way better than the ones I already had, so this will be the one that gets the binder spot!

That's it! What a haul. Thank you again, Cutchmaster B. You are a legend. I don't know when exactly it will be, but a thank you sketch of your dude has been dialed up in my art queue. May the force

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful holiday & rest of the year, and a pleasant 2020. Live long & prosper/May The Force be with you/May the odds be ever in your favor/etc/so forth.

Until our next...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


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...