The Harrowing Adventures of a Nerd Week Contest Winner!

A winner is me..

A winner is me..

The prize for winning The Junior Junkie’s Nerd Week Contest arrived yesterday, and I nearly paid for it with my life!  That’s an exaggeration, but the box was huge (over $18 to ship!), and I was on my way out, so I stupidly decided to carry it over to the parents’ place with me.  Conditions were also way worse than I was expecting, and my main shoes are super old generic Shape-Ups types with no traction left on them.

Basically, it was a recipe for disaster, and, long story short, disaster indeed struck.  I ended up crashing and burning pretty bad on hidden ice patch close to halfway between here and there.  I hit the back of my head on the sidewalk, but I popped back up pretty quickly without difficulty, no wooziness or anything that would indicate being concussed.  A couple of folks I had passed a short ways back quickly came to my assistance helped me get my bearings and everything I dropped.  Very grateful to them for that.

The pain was mostly gone within a couple of blocks of continuing on my way, and any lingering head pain has minimal and infrequent, though I will get checked out if the random, brief little twinges of discomfort persist.  I finally managed to make it over to the parents’ place without further incident, and after getting cleaned up, I was finally ready to cut the tape and dig into the box!

The box in question..

The box in question..

And so I dug, and dug, and dug some more!  There was a LOT more in there than the DVD.  Are you ready to be as blown away by the thought and effort and generosity that went into this amazing prize package as we (the parents were very impressed too) were?

The note..

The note..

Here’s the handwritten note TJ sent, congratulating me and running down the contents.

The original prize..

The original prize..

Of course, the DVD was in there.  Say what you will about Family Guy in general, but the Star Wars specials are always straight up inspired.  Gonna enjoy this. 🙂

Are you ready for some football?!

Are you ready for some football?!

I’m taking this back to the parents’ place next time I’m over, because it is small and plushy and can safely be thrown around over there during the rare lulls when we aren’t skewering anything and everything on TV MST3K-style or talking about generally geeky and/or nerdy things when dad, my little brother, and me are all there at the same time.

Original art by Jason Goad..

Original art by Jason Goad..

I love art.  I am an artist (allegedly), after all.  But I can’t afford much original art beyond relatively cheap sketch cards very often, so this is was a super awesome thing to find in the box!  It’s a fantastic piece and I absolutely love it! 😀

A trio of CDs..

A trio of CDs..

Styx and The Who will definitely get some airplay around here, and I’m not quite as down on Dane Cook as most, so I’ll be giving that a listen at some point as well.

Under the CDs, you can sorta see the corner of one of the pair of monstrously huge Pinnacle screwdown holders.  I swear I took a picture of them along with everything else, but I can’t find it.  Anyway, they are so ridiculously thick and heavy that they might legitimately be able to stop a bullet.

St. Joseph's Prosperity Bean..

St. Joseph’s Prosperity Bean..

I didn’t know what this was because I’m a lazy millennial, but mom seemed to recognize it and thought it was pretty cool.  I read a little bit about them when I got back to my place.  Very interesting, and I will be keeping it on me.

Mardi Gras Beads!

Mardi Gras beads!

I’ve always wanted to go to Mardi Gras (because I’m sure my antisocial arse being around hundreds of thousands of loud, crazy, drunk people for an extended period of time would go just peachy), but thanks to TJ, a little bit Mardi Gras has come to the frozen wastes of the Midwest.  He notes they’re the real deal in the above letter, so I can’t help but wonder what he had to do to acquire them…

Anyway, I’m just glad he sent beads and not the terrifying New Orleans Pelicans King Cake Baby.

The last thing you see before you die..

The last thing you see before you die..

There aren’t enough NOPE gifs in the world… My apologies for the impending nightmares, ladies and gentlemen.  We should probably just move on with a quickness.

Various Asian candies..

Various Asian candies..

There were four different things in pouches, and my trying them out went badly.  I definitely haven’t acquired these tastes yet.  The Lychee was the best in a walk, and it kinda tasted like accidentally getting fruit-scented soap in your mouth.  But the experience was still worth the while and very much-appreciated.

You know, we’ve gotten this far and haven’t even made it to the cards yet!

Three boxes of cards..

Ah, there we go..

But they were there, and they were many.  I tore off the old shipping labels on the outer boxes before I took the pictures, just to be safe.

So many cards!

So many cards!

The top box had tons of Ryne Sandbergs, Mark Graces, and a random assortment of other Cubbies.  The bottom had miscellaneous non-sport stuff and some unopened junkwax era packs, most of which I will be drawing on the backs of at later dates.  Twas also home to the blue and silver beads.

The completely full box was bananas, with large amounts of 2012 Panini Golden Age, 2011 Panini Americana, and 2012 Topps Summer Olympics, as well as some Goodwin Champions, Allen & Ginter inserts, more random non-sport and entertainment cards,  and the occasional hockey card.

The big pack sittling in the middle of everything is a pack of 1986 Donruss All-Stars, which may be posted on A Pack to be Named Later at some point, and the rest will get a post of their own here once I’ve scanned some of them.

Since around half of the set was there, I’m definitely going to chase the Summer Olympics set now.  The other big stacks didn’t have enough for me to justify it, but I’m keeping a Single Page of both Goodwin Champions and Golden Age, as well as the vintage-ish Star Wars cards, and probably a fair amount of other things.

My canvas..

My canvas..

Finally, this card not part of the prize package.  This card is for a commission.  On the back of this 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Sr. card, I will be drawing Ken Griffey Jr. from his RC, the very next card in the same set.  I loved the idea and will get to work on it as soon as my body stops being so creaky and achy.

For this commission I was paid $12, and even the money was worth mentioning.  Check it out!

$2 bill!

$2 bill!

Yes, that is a two-dollar bill.  I’m pretty sure haven’t seen one of those since back in the late-1990s when I got one back as change at one of the last card shows held at the local mall.

The flipside..

The flipside..

Easily the coolest looking piece of US currency that still spends.

There you have it.  This has to be in the running for the single greatest card blog prize package ever made.  The amount of time, thought, effort, and money that must have went into this making it possible boggles the mind.  I know TJ puts a ton of effort into his collection and his posts, so maybe it comes as no surprise he’d go all-out on a prize package, but I am still beyond honored and humbled to be its recipient.

Thank you, TJ!  And thanks to everyone for stopping by!

It was worth the pain…

 

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Cloak Sketch Card

Marvel Now! Cloak..

Marvel Now! Cloak..

I picked this excellent sketch card of the Marvel C-lister up late last month for $5.58 w/ free shipping, because I felt like I needed a Cloak to go with the five Dagger sketch cards I have at present.  They are two of my all-time favorite comic book characters for one very important reason.  When I was but a wii youngling, my dad had two big stacks of old comic books on the bottom of a huge bookcase in my room, and their earliest appearances featured prominently in there.

Those stacks are also the reason I have a soft spot for Jonah Hex and mark out hard for all of his DCAU appearances.  Issues 1-11 of Hex, his adventures in a post-apocalyptic future were in there.  There were also several Digest-sized DC Comics amongst the actual books, which included “Whatever Happened to the Crimson Avenger”, a short story that has stuck with me throughout the years and become one of my all-time favorites.

A few collections of newspaper comics also made an appearance on that magical bookcase.  This is the reason I’m one of the 8 people in the world today who knows of Tug McGraw’s fantastic ’70s baseball comic Scroogie, even though it came and went nearly a decade before I was born.  One of my creative aspirations is to create a sequel (probably in novel form) to that awesome comic.  I will post some pages on the blog if I the two collections ever turn up.

I’ve gotten way off track, but now you know where the root for a great deal of my nerdery comes from.  That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

My Nerdiest Thing…

Lynna Sage from something I'm writing, currently under the working title Nexus Eternum..

Lynna Sage from something I’m writing, currently under the working title Nexus Eternum..

…is my art.

Sketch cards of Big E and AJ Lee..

Sketch cards of Big E and AJ Lee..

Drawing is probably the one thing I enjoy above all else.

Musician Dia Frampton..

Musician Dia Frampton..

Deciding to draw again may have even saved my life when I was at my lowest point.

Thing and Wonder Woman..

Thing and Wonder Woman sketch cards..

In the here-and-now, drawing relaxes me and is all-around helpful to my emotional wellbeing.

@Heinekenrana..

@Heinekenrana..

I don’t think there’s anything more essential to me.

Derek Jeter sketch card..

Derek Jeter sketch card..

Losing anything else, it may hurt forever, but I’ll deal.

Evie Wonder Woman sketch cover..

International indie wrestling star Evie on Wonder Woman sketch cover..

But even if I’m a laughably mediocre artist (and in many aspects I am), my art makes me more whole than I’ve ever been.

Stephen Strasburg sketch card..

Stephen Strasburg sketch card..

If anything I do ever becomes a thing, my art will still be important to me.

Indy wrestling star Hania..

Indy wrestling star Hania..

It centers me…

Lex Luthor, Starfire, and Green Lantern Arisia sketch cards..

Lex Luthor, Starfire, and Green Lantern Arisia sketch cards..

It heals me…

Fitness competitor/model Chie Terui..

Fitness competitor/model Chie Terui..

It completes me…

Dejah Thoris (Edited) sketch..

Dejah Thoris (Edited) sketch..

When I draw, it’s as close to deeply passionate about something as I ever get.

Sketch card of rising international wrestling star Evie..

Sketch card of international wrestling star Evie..

That passion is why I have to consider it my ultimate nerdy thing.

Expos Legend Tim Raines and Yankees prospect Luis Torrens repurposed sketch cards..

Expos Legend Tim Raines and Yankees prospect Luis Torrens repurposed sketch cards..

Thank you for stopping by.

Under the Broken Moon, from my big idea for a BSG-esque Thundarr revival..

Thundarr/Under the Broken Moon concept art..

Until our next…

A Blaster of Americana

As promised, a blaster of Panini Americana.  I have a second one too, but scanning has become an arduous process, who knows when I’ll get to it.  Anyway, enjoy this post with minimal jibba-jabba interruption.

I like the base design. Wooooooooo!

It's the usual mix of celebrities and psuedo-celebrities. If you've gotten a previous release, you know what to expect.

There is so much nerdiness of many different disciplines to be found this time around.

Astronauts, wrestlers, Power Rangers that went on to become bigtime voice actors (not in this blaster, alas), stars of nerdy movies and TV, Beadle(!)... the geekiness is strong in this one.

The inserts are meh, but the hits are nice. The poster there is the front. Base card backs are... sparse.

And the back has the swatch, the swatch being something red from Liza Minelli this time. Fun stuff. The Americana blasters were the only cards I bought this month that I genuinely enjoyed. The baseball stuff just felt like going through the motions. This post feels like that too, but whatevs.

Despite the overall half-arsed nature of this post, I really do like Americana and give it a very solid A-.

I’m collecting the base set and will put up a needs list when I get around to it.  Fortunately it won’t be huge.  There were almost no dupes (possibly none at all) between the two blasters.  That was pretty great.  So pretty much everything in the second blaster will different.

Next time, a few more sketch cards.  After that, who knows?  Thanks for stopping by!

That last scan didn’t get edited to size.  How did I miss that?

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. 😀

All too easy...

 Until our next…

Stuff I’ve Been Working On

What’s this?  A new post?!  Yes, I’m still here.  And since they are the only thing I have handy (I was hoping to do a trade post here, but alas…), here are some pics of some sketch cards I’ve been working on recently.  Last Tuesday I penciled 19 in one day!  Most of them have been given some ink and a couple are colored now.  Check ’em, and the immediately preceding bunches, out!

The first 7 Doctors Who..

Was sorta trying to do like I did with the Jareth card I did as an art trade (that you will see in a bit), and not be hyperrealistic, but still instantly recognizable.  What do you think so far?

She-Hulk, Psylocke, Mia Yim (Pro Wrestler), Axe Cop (Webcomic Phenomenon), Optimus Prime, Vampirella, and 2 Jigens (Lupin III; it's a classic anime)

At first when I didn’t get on the Vampirella set I was just like whatevs, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more it’s bugged me.  I think I’m good enough for a major set like that now!  What say you?

Anyway, those were all the presentable ones from the 19 I did.  One just sucked, one was nekkid, one was pervy (but not nekkid), and one maybe doesn’t suck but I just don’t like how it turned out.  16-18 out of 19 in one sleep-deprived day is still a pretty good percentage though, methinks.  Now for the immediately preceding bunch.

Beth Phoenix, Vampirella again, Rogue, Ms. Marvel, Zatanna, Kratos (God of War video games), Static (w/ Kirby Krackle!), Fire & Ice

Ms. Marvel and Zatanna were done at the same time on an ill-fated ustream cast, then I did the rest a few days later.  Static is for my dad, his consolation prize for losing our bet on the Bears/Jets game back in December.  I won three sketch cards from him (that he still hasn’t gotten around to doing yet!), but offered one as a consolation.  He was a big fan of the Milestone line back in it’s day, and still has most of the early issues of all the (four?) original series laying around somewhere.

So yeah, not only does artistic ability of various forms run throughout both sides of my entire family tree, but geekery is big as well in at least the immediate.  Even my mom is becoming a fan of Castle and The Cape and has been a pretty serious casual gamer going all the way back to when she used to hog my original Game Boy to play Tetris and Dr. Mario (and be exponentially better than me at both) when I was but a youngling, lol.

Anyway, back to the cards!  These next bunches are from a gaggle of art trades from Facebook and some randoms from right after and precede the above by about three weeks or so I guess.  I think all 7 or 8 people involved have received their cards by now.  I’m pretty sure I’ve received all of mine anyway (another post for another glorious day).

Three Rogues, Akuma (Street Fighter), Sam Witwer (aka Starkiller, and I guess he's on the US Being Human), Gambit, Jareth (Labyrinth), Heath Ledger's Joker

Witwer was mostly just penciled and then colored over with marker.  Still not sure about how it came out, but it was gleefully accepted, although that may just be due to the shirtlessness of it all…

Tron, Witwer finished, Jareth finished, Storm, The Flash, Darth Maul

As you can see, Witwer got a darker background and Jareth got a couple touchups before I sent him along.  All that circuitry on Tron was just brutal, although it didn’t really take any longer than usual I guess.  It sorta reminds me of an anime bumper.  The other notable thing is that all the coloring on The Flash is done in colored pencil (as is Tron’s circuitry).  I’m actually quite pleased with how he turned out, considering how little thought and effort went into him initially, and accidentally using the wrong colored pencil at first because they aren’t clearly marked.

So yeah, there ya go.  I had one more scan, but there’s a card on it that might be close enough to NSFW to not post it right now.  Still, this is nearly my entire output from 2011 thusfar.  Save for licensed sets, I think I’m already getting close to what I did in 2010, lol.  And I’d like to think that most of it is worlds better than much of my previous work as well.

Incidentally, I have no idea what I’m actually going to do with most of these.  That first Rogue with the starry background, Tron, Gambit, Jareth, Akuma, Witwer, and Ledger Joker were traded and Static is for my dad, but not so sure about the rest.  I’d like to get the Beth Phoenix and Mia Yim cards autographed.  I have this idea, to do a bunch of sketch cards of real people and get them auto’d, then frame and display them when I have myself a mancave someday.  Everything else… I dunno.  I suppose I may make them available for sale or maybe even trade if anybody is interested in them.  Let me know and we can work something out.

Well, I guess that’s it for this massive sketch card post.  Seeya next time, y’all!

Until our next…