Not Much Blogging, But Still Arting

I’m probably never blogging in any meaningful way on WordPress ever again, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t still been collecting cards and doing stuff.  In fact, dedicating approximately zero seconds to this blog over the past several months has freed up enough time that even my uncannily lazy & hopelessly unfocused ass has been able to settle down a bit here & there to create a decent amount (for me anyway) of art.  So I figure I might as well show off a few of my better works from the “after I bought a tablet & started using Instagram” era (established early July, 2015).

Star Wars Sketch Cover..

Rey Star Wars Sketch Cover..

First up is the most recent, a Star Wars Shattered Empire #1 sketch cover of Rey from the upcoming Force Awakens.  I think I spent somewhere between five and six hours on this early Saturday morning.  Turned out alright. 😉

Kyle and Jake..

Kyle and Jake..

You’ll notice the faces are more accurate than a lot of my baseball sketch cards these days, because I just grabbed the reference photos off the internets instead of trying to work from a tiny baseball card.  Thanks, tablet!

Bo Jackson..

Bo Jackson sketch card..

See what I mean?  Not a terrible coloring job at least, despite using filtery, washed out A&G as reference.  Meh, I like this card less every single time I look at it.  Let’s just move on.

Lou Gehrig sketch card..

Lou Gehrig sketch card..

They turn out alright sometimes though. I’m not entirely displeased with my performance on Lou anyway.  Now might be a good time to remind everyone that, while technically I am doing this for my health (I’ve noted before, arting is good for my emotional state), I would very much like to turn my art around for a little extra cash, or at the very least, some nice new cards to add to my personal collection.  So if you see something you like, do not hesitate to leave a comment or email me or tweet me or something so we can work out a deal!

Kershaw!

Kershaw!

Moving on, we have this Clayton Kershaw I drew/inked up well before I had the tablet/Instagram, but didn’t get around to coloring until a little while after.

Mr. Terrific..

Mr. Terrific..

If you’ve ever noticed I do way more DC sketch cards than Marvel, the reason pretty much entirely is because my dad has way more DC books with excellent photo reference.  He does have lots of Marvel books too, but they aren’t nearly as photo-heavy as the DC ones, which was kinda important when I didn’t have any way to access the interwarbs over there.

Heel & Face Captains..

Heel & Face Captains..

I’m not sure why I leaned so heavily on dad’s books for reference after I bought the tablet, but apparently I did for at least a little while.

Big Barda sketch card..

Big Barda sketch card..

This Barda sketch card is a very rare and special occurrence!  It’s one of the only cards I’ve ever completed where I liked the pencils & inks well enough, but felt like my color job almost ruined it.

Charlotte/Becky Lynch sketch card puzzle..

Charlotte/Becky Lynch sketch card puzzle..

Finishing up with some pro graps art.  First up, this dodgy, cartoony, hastily drawn puzzle of Charlotte & Becky Lynch, leaders of seemingly failed, yet actually technically successful, #DivasRevolution.  I started a Sasha & Bayley puzzle too, but it’s still at pencil stage.  And now for a wrestling rant.  Joy…

So if the idea was to be booked on the same level as the guys, well… they are consistently booked like shit too.  So as much as it sucks to say it, more frequent lengthier matches and a small handful of the women on the show getting even semi-defined characters is probably the best anyone could have reasonably hoped for.  It’s a damn shame mainline WWE is almost entirely unwatchable garbage (NXT is excellent, however), but on that sliding (circling the toilet bowl?) scale, the 8-12% of extra effort they’ve put into the divas since 3/4 of NXT’s Four Horsewomen were called up more-or-less puts the women on equal footing with the men.  Isn’t it a shame that the only really viable game in town right now is basically the Springfield Tire Fire?

NXT's Asuka..

NXT’s Asuka/the last thing you see before you die..

It isn’t all bad though.  Whereas mainline WWE is the most shitty wrestling show on the planet right now, their developmental system NXT is the very best (at least until Lucha Underground comes back in 2016).  Longform storytelling in wrestling is such a beautiful thing, and NXT does it very, very well.  The reason Bayley & Sasha Banks at TakOver: Brooklyn was such a huge deal is because that match had been for two years in the making (even if not quite entirely intentionally)!  They do right by both their men and women down there, and it is absolutely mindblowing that the main shows can’t even deliver the slightest hint of gravitas and emotional stakes that NXT does in only an hour a week + a two hour TakeOver special ever couple months or so.

Anyway, the well-traveled and pretty much universally beloved badass Kana recently debuted on NXT under the name Asuka, so I tried to capture the wonderfully terrifying glare she gave Emma & Dana Brooke at the end of her first appearance.

And that’s all I got for now.  Sorry about my not even remotely groundbreaking wrestling rant.  And remember, everything above is available.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our NXT…

Now and Then, Here and There

'61 Post Ron Santo..

’61 Post Ron Santo..

Time marches on

BowChro Bryant/Moran Dual-ing Die-Cuts..

BowChro Bryant/Moran Dual-ing Die-Cuts..

The days pass

1995 CARDZ WCW Main Event Booker T..

1995 CARDZ WCW Main Event Booker T..

The weeks, the months, the years…

2014 Topps WWE Chrome Adrian Neville NXT Prospects..

2014 Topps WWE Chrome Adrian Neville NXT Prospects..

As we wander through our lives

Trifecta-completing Brandon Phillips RC..

Trifecta-completing Brandon Phillips RC..

Lost spirits on this lonesome path

Alshon Jeffery Inception Purple #'ed 41/99..

Alshon Jeffery Inception Purple #’ed 41/99..

Uncertain and unwinding

D-Lee Atomic Refractor..

D-Lee Atomic Refractor..

The wrinkles on our brow get a little deeper

Big Cat RC..

Big Cat RC..

The glasses on our face get a little thicker

Rizzo Red, White, and Blue Prizm..

Rizzo Red, White, and Blue Prizm..

Seasons come and seasons go

Leaf Sports Heroes Red  auto 1/3..

Leaf Sports Heroes Dominique Moceanu Red auto 1/3..

Champions are crowned and the losers go home

The greatest RC photo of all-time, Purple Cracked Ice edition..

The greatest RC photo of all-time, Purple Cracked Ice edition..

We lose ourselves in the past

Fridge RC!

Fridge RC!

Longing for our glory days, safe and certain

'75 Bill Madlock..

’75 Bill Madlock..

Engulfed in the rose-hued haze of memorialized time

'58 Vic Power..

’58 Vic Power..

While trying to live for a future left in doubt

Billy McKinney Orange Mini Refractor #'ed 8/50..

Billy McKinney Mini Orange Refractor #’ed 8/50..

When all we have that’s a given

Finest Warriors Taijuan Walker..

Finest Warriors Taijuan Walker..

Is the right here

2014 Bowman Platinum Carlos Santana Magenta Printing Plate..

2014 Bowman Platinum Carlos Santana Magenta Printing Plate..

And the right now

Bowman Heritage Soler Road to the Show..

Bowman Heritage Soler Road to the Show..

Until our next…

What the Future Holds…

I guess I better get to the 2015 round of resolutions I cannot possibly keep while we’re still in the afterglow of a new year’s dawning.

Collection Goals

15 trades- I think I got close enough to my goal of a dozen last year not be entirely disappointed in myself, so let’s up the ante.  I already have two that are slowly coming together, one with longtime frequent trading partner Shot Not Taken and another with Baseball Card Breakdown.  I’ve also pulled out some odds & ends for a few other bloggers, and I’ll start sending out emails to the lucky(?) perspective trading partners soon.  I also reserve the right to add the two I got in just under the gun in 2014 if they get me over the hump at the end of the year, since their actual arrivals did and/or will take place in 2015. 😛

Finish the following Single Page Sensations- I am over halfway done on almost all of the following, so I’d like to finish as many as possible.

Cubs: Albert Almora (5/9), Javier Baez (8/9), Kris Bryant (7/9), Tyler Colvin (6/9), Ron Santo (6/9)

Other Baseball: Dick Allen (6/9), Roberto Alomar (7/9), Albert Bell (7/9), Carlos Santana (6/9)

Bears: Charles Tillman (6/9)

Basketball: Luol Deng (7/9)

Wrestling: Victoria/Tara (7/9)

BenchWarmer: BenchWarmer model (none over 3/9)

Baseball Sets: 2011 Topps Legend Variations (6/9), 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations (8/9), 2012 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Baseball (8/9), 2014 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Baseball (6/9 if I keep Strasburg)

Football Sets: 2013 Topps Museum Collection “Canvas Collection” Football (8/9)

Add 2 new licensed and 5 new personal Raven sketch cards- The former are crazy expensive for a B-list team character and there just aren’t a whole lot of either to go around.  I think these are pretty reasonable numbers to strive for though.

Finish both the licensed and PSC DC Comics miscellaneous Single Page Sensations- I am starting the year at 4/9 licensed and 3/9 PSC.

Complete any other sketch card Single Page Sensation- Lots to choose from, but I’m over halfway done on but a very few.

Blog Goals

Write 80 new posts- Again, we’ll up the ante a juuuust a smidge from 2014.  I did a good job of posting with a fair degree of regularity when I was actually here and posting in the year gone by, so I think I can average a little better than 1.5 posts per week in the year to come.  I’m not going to make any requirements on the number of non #collect-focused things this time though.  I feel that was a small contributor in falling off the map so early last year.  I’m stupid (not true, but I am very, very lazy), so I’m going to keep it simple.

Art Goals

Complete 50 new sketch cards- I managed 38/50 last year (1 side of that weird Marvel two card puzzle was completed).  That was close enough to not feel too much shame, especially in light of how much I managed to draw in total.  Still, this isn’t close enough to up the ante, so I will give the same number a good go again in 2015.  Paul Molitor (repurposed) and Boromir of Gondor (artist tile) are the first two in the queue.

100 total new works- I’m pretty sure I coasted past this number last year, and if you consider the multiple pictures on single pages as individual works, then I did even better.  Everything was unofficial, however.

Finish 30 old sketch cards- I barely finished any old cards in 2014, and I don’t feel like I did a very good job on what I did do, so I’m making this a point of emphasis in the new year.  I’m off to a good start, having already finished seven oldies on January 2nd (also colored most of two others).  I’m also happy to report my coloring seems to be back to nearly as strong as it was at the height of my powers a couple years ago.

You can keep track of my 2015 art progress HERE.

Writing Goals

Finish a first draft of any novel idea- I barely got anywhere on anything last year, and while I’d like to say a more stable computer situation would have helped, I’m not so sure…  There can be no excuses this year though.  I just bought the one I’m currently writing from a month ago, and I hope to have a laptop, and the additional mobility that entails, to go with it by spring.

Meryl Davis Autograph!

Here is your reward for sticking around to the bitter end: Please enjoy my best pull of 2014, a Meryl Davis autograph! ♥

Aaaand that’s all for this post I guess.  There are plenty of other things I’d like to accomplish in 2015, but these are the most pressing and/or well-defined.  A bit simpler than last year, and I’m sure I’ve probably broken a couple resolutions already, but thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…

Cubs and Bears COMC Keepers

Heyo, Loneycakes (yeah, that better not stick) back with the Cubs and Bears portion of the latest COMC order.

Bears!

The Gale Sayers scanned rather nicely, but still doesn’t do the card the justice it deserves.  Easily amongst the 10 best I picked up this time around.

The Pog card is kind of a mess.  Think I might pop ’em out.

Can’t get enough Hester cards.  That’s a collection I’d love to expand dramatically.  Incidentally, and to unintentionally totally rip Fuji off with related question audience participation, do you consider Devin Hester a Hall of Famer, or at least well on his way to becoming one?

Orton, man… can’t let ol’ neckbeard go.  Wrecking the Pack’s perfect season plans was most enjoyable.

Forte is a parallel with a super subtle rainbow shine and is #’ed /250 I think.  It reminded me a lot of the shine on the lesser American Pie parallels, where you can’t even tell unless the light hits it right.

Finally, A-Train!  What a great looking card with a great looking autograph.  It’s on (or in I guess) card too.  All I need is a swatch to complete his trifecta, and they are cheap and fairly plentiful.

Cubs!

Corey Patterson… what could have been?  He was fading a bit when he got hurt that year, but would he have become legit if it never happened?

Welington looks like an embedded window ala the A-Train, but it isn’t.  It is on-card though.  I do believe this completes my trifecta for him.

Brett Jackson.  Please pan out, please pan out, please pan out…  Josh Vitters too.

The Ryno back..

Honestly, I don’t even remember buying this one.  But it’s pretty cool.  And I totally did forget something in the non-Cubs post, but it’ll have to wait.  They really should have a post of their own.  So stay tuned for that, along with one other keeper post.  Then we go to the trade bait end of things.

Until our next…

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! 😛  Thanks, Marie!  Will have your stuff out this week.  Bye.

More jumbo swatchy goodness next time...

Belated Night Owl Trade

I sent Night Owl some Dodgers a few weeks ago (or is it months at this point), and here’s what I got in return:

Cards from Night Owl #1 Minis

Starting it off with some Cubs and A&G wantlist minis...

I am unsure of what that Leon Durham is.  It’s not really a card, it’s on paper that’s about newsprint thick.  Whatever it is though, I do like it. 🙂

Straight outta 1960, It's 2009 Topps Heritage... and a couple Target old schools

Straight outta 1960, it's 2009 Topps Hertage... and a couple Target blaster throwbacks

Makes me want to get some more actual 1960 topps Cubbies to go with my lone card from that year, great defensive innovator (and pretty decent hitter to boot) Vic Power.  And is Reed Johnson ever the right guy for an old school version or what?  The hustle & effort, man.  Granted, he’s gritty & hard-working because he’s no better than mediocrely talented, but still, hustle is a motivator for others sometimes… He will make a fine manager someday perhaps.

Cards from Night Owl #3 OPC

2009 O-Pee-Chee, approximately 1/8th of the Cubs base set... 😛

Wasn’t a fan of OPC this year.  Not to say that some of the cards aren’t nicely designed (though plenty of photography stinkers there are).  Not enough cards for the price of admission, considering the ginormity of the set.  If they were eight or more cards per pack with the same insert & hit rate for the $45 or so hobby boxes were going for when it first came out, I *might* have picked up a box.

This brings me to gripe I should mention to Upper Deck sometime if I ever get a live mic with someone with some stroke there.  Upper Deck does not seem to even be able to grasp the concept of low end (flagship VERY aside).  Even the surprisingly decent Upper Deck X suffers from the low end-itis a bit.

Let’s continue with the pretty pictures of baseball cards then, shall we?

Cards from Night Owl #4

Another OPC, some '09 Goudey, '09 UDX, Attax, and '08 Timeline

Thusfar, my favorite Upper Deck brand of the year is UDX.  Is that crazy or what?  I didn’t hate ’08 (one of the few, the proud), and the ’09 version was a vast improvement.  It’s the only baseball product truly geared towards kids too, aside from topps’ surprisingly excellent flagship.

Goudey was sometimes not pretty this year, but the Cubbies I received looked fine for the most part.  The Uncanny Valley ookiness is mercifully kept to a minimum.

I still don’t like the Timeline base design, but there is something about the blue on it that give it a certain I don’t know what.

Attax are Attax.  Rolling out a new game every year or two and never sticking with one can’t be helping the baseball CCG cause, I’m just sayin’.

Cards from Night Owl #5

Tristar & Bowman & a different Zambrano & topps Chrome

It’s a shame Tristar’s stuff gets no love, because most of their stuff looks very good, better than Boredom Bowman most years.

I think that’s the first ’94 Fleer Ultra Cubbie I’ve got.  I was going to say the mid-’90s (’94-’98ish), were a good place to start for my Cubs collection needs, but really, I don’t have that many from just about any era.  Vintage aside, mid-’90s is certainly a very low point, but I don’t even have that many junk wax era Cubbies, particularly of the non-topps persuasion.  I guess this is because while I’ve been collecting cards since 1996, it’s only been the last couple of years that baseball cards became my top priority.

Fonsie, just… try to come back healthy next year, ‘kay?

2009 Upper Deck

2009 Upper Deck Cubs

There they are.  Amazing that through all the horrible offseason moves, injuries, and just bad years in general, the Cubs finished over .500 in 2009.

Cards from Night Owl #8

Cards from the dark ages...

Well, the late-’80s/early-’90s were colorful, if nothing else.

Cards from Night Owl #6

'09 Icons & more '09 Allen & Ginter needs

Icons are kinda meh and the foil parallels are mostly fugly, but the blue does the halfhearted baseball design some good.  And there’s Fukudome, the whole reason for the trade in the first place.  Someday, I’m going to update my A&G trade page.

Someday.

Some great great cards from the man with one of the 5 coolest names in the sports card blogosphere (along with Wicked Ortega, Mojo Hand, Collective Troll, and yours truly, Lonestarr, modesty aside ;P).  Give it up for Night Owl one more time!

Oh, Mr. Owl, do you still need the Broxton All-Star card from Updates & Highlights?  If so, I will send it along with the Kershaw & any other stuff I might have.

That’s all for this post.  Just a reminder, only about a dozen guesses have been made in the contest so far, so keep ’em coming.  Remember, even if you’re guess is wrong, you’ll still be in the drawing for a chance at the four football cards.

Play again?

The Lonestarr Personal Collection #2

The is my favorite Ryne Sandberg card that I own (and to be honest, very few I don’t own could hope to surpass it, it’s just that great):

1996 Finest Gold Refractor

1996 Finest Gold Refractor

Not only do I love this card because it’s freaking beautiful, or because Sandberg was my second baseman idol when I played little league (along with Roberto Alomar), but it is one of the few bidding wars I ever actually won on eBay.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that push something that’s is already awesome into the stratosphere.  Winning is fun, what can I say? ;3

~I am me, and I am awesome.  Deal with it.