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…

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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.