2014 Final Tally

I had a different post planned for today, but it didn’t pan out so well.  So instead, I’m gonna look at my goals from the beginning of the year and see how things panned out (with intermittent pictures to fight the boredom).  I’m sure this will end well… >.>;

Finish Fergie Jenkins Career Run– Not quite.  Still no ’68 or anything from ’70s off-brand sets.  I think the league leaders from the ’70s and almost everything from the ’80s are taken care of though.

Progress was made..

Progress was made..

Get Ryno’s other RCs– Nope.  The only other ’83 Sandberg I landed this year was his Topps sticker.  We’ll call it his 5th RC in the same way Billy Preston is considered the 5th Beatle.  He was absolutely the reason the group held together near the end of their run, and a complete run of Ryno RCs is not complete without his Topps sticker.

Complete 12 Trades– I don’t think I quite made it, but the two I got myself into at the end of the year might have gotten me into double digits, which is honestly better than I was expecting.  I will try to get better at posting my trades in the coming year.

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a Jerry Rice RC!

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a pretty decent condition Jerry Rice RC!

Complete Three Sets– Failed.  Hard.  I abandoned like half my set page over the course of the year, though I don’t think any of the trio I mentioned as likely candidates in the original post were officially abandoned.  But I still ended up with nothing from them.

The only set I made any progress on.  And I only just broke the 30 mark after Christmas..

The only set I made any progress on, and I only finally just broke the 30-card mark after Christmas..

Complete the Following Single Page Sensations

2011 Topps Legend Variations– Nope.  Don’t think I added a single one.  Made a little headway on 2009 Update though.

'09 Reggie Update..

’09 Reggie Update..

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations– I picked up Harmon Killebrew and Paul Molitor.  Only one more needed!

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts– YES!  The Winfield Single Page was decommissioned again (for the third or fourth time in my blogging career), and he returned to fill his old hole in the page.  The final piece came when I decommissioned my Adrian Beltre page, and the Diamond Die-Cut I had of the future Hall of Famer completed the page.

2012 Bowman Chrome Legends in the Making Die-Cuts– Yes, and then I abandoned the page and decided to only keep a couple.

2012 Topps Finest Faces of the Franchise– Same as above.  What I don’t want is available for everything I’ve abandoned over the past year.  Inquire and acquire within.

2013 Museum Collection Canvas Collection– Yaharr, this was so easy I was even able to replace a few I decided I didn’t like as much.  RA Dickey, Tom Seaver, and whoever the other one was are available for sale or trade.

As an aside, I’m still at 8/9 on 2012 and, pending shipment, 5/9 on 2014.  I am also at 8/9 on the 2013 football version.  I’d be finished already, but I’m holding out hope for a Deion Sanders to get close to the $0.60-1.38 range I paid for the rest that I picked up over the second half of the year.  Aikman & Andre Johnson were on the low end, Russell Wilson & Megatron were the most expensive.

Victoria/Tara– Nope.  Was too busy going overboard and accidentally turning Gail Kim into a full collection (2 new autos and two #’ed cards and a several early base cards cards).

Oops..

Oops..

Luol Deng– Nothing.  Completely forgot about him, aside from that weird sleazy racist scouting report brouhaha during the offseason.

Carlos Santana– I’m still three short.  Four if the sweet Topps Tribute WBC patch #’ed /35 I picked up for around $3.40 doesn’t fit in a binder page.  My other addition to his page was a sub (if just barely)-$10 Bowman Platinum printing plate.  An expensive addition for one of my less important pages, but it was there, and still relatively cheap for an at least borderline superstar player.

This is one of those scans don't do the card justice cards..

This is one of those scans don’t do the card justice cards..

Any five others– Unbelievably, this is a yes.  It was almost entirely stuff either I eventually abandoned (2012 & ’13 Dynamic Die-Cuts, Rod Carew also available FT), decided to go back to the drawing board on later (Robbie Alomar), just pared down to a single page (Randy Moss), or eventually overdid to the point they are full collections now (Darvish, Jorge Soler, and the above mentioned Gail Kim) but I think I actually did this.  Pending shipment, Javier Baez and 1975 Topps Minis (George Foster and Dock Ellis are the final additions) pages will also be complete for the time being.  Winner-winner, sexy sinner!

Complete any two Sketch Card pages– Yeah, pretty much.  They ended up not quite being what I originally expected, but I have a full page of She-Hulks and a full page of Women of Marvel 2 sketch cards.

Sketch Cards!

Sketch Cards!

Add 10 more key RCs– Blew this one away.  A single trade almost did the deed by itself, and a later eBay lot purchase would have easily done it on its own.  I even landed three of the biggies I listed: Nomah, Gwynn (’83 Fleer), &  Boggs sorta (also a Topps Sticker).

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Complete five more trifectas– I didn’t make them a priority.  I think I managed a couple though.  Brandon Phillips and Alshon Jeffykins were completed this year, I think.  Maybe three if Booker T counts, since I might be in possession of his oldest card now.

It's the oldest WCW set, post Booker T's 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

It’s the oldest WCW set, post Booker T’s 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

30 new 1960 Topps– Abandoned set.  Everything but Vic Power, because that was my first ever vintage card, is available.  Even Gil, Maz, & the high number commons, if you bring it with your trade offers.

Break 100 cards with another player– Surprisingly, it was Nomar Garciaparra, because I bought a ginormous 200+ card lot of him on eBay.

Pay off old debts– Completed one, added one.  My original package for the dude on twitter never turned up, so I’ll have to go with a replacement package in the coming year.  Meh, I should’ve done better. :/

Now onto the blog, where things get even dicier than the cards themselves.  I started off strong, then posted pretty much nothing for at least nine months for no good reason, then ended with a nice little flurry.  And even though I added nothing else, my art got a good a percentage of focus, so I’m not terribly disappointed by my effort during the small fraction of time I was actually here.  Now if I could just find some focus to actually hang around all year.

What about me in real life?  I never did hit the gym, and it’s just been the past several weeks that I started running with any degree of regularity again, but this godforsaken place I live made it so I was going out and walking constantly all year long.  Eating healthier has still been spotty at best (in fact I was in stomach distress from overdoing it on probably the most unhealthy regional brand of potato chips you can buy as I was typing this, which is why it’s going up Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning), but I am still maintaining my weight.

Finish old sketch cards– Not many.  Mostly just the more recent of my old stuff, and I’m staying on top of newer work as well as can be expected.

30 realistic portraits– I don’t know for sure, but I feel like I have to be very close on this.  I managed to do a couple in the early morning hours before I had to do stuff just in the past few days, and I think I have at least one more in me in the waning days of this year.

50 new sketch cards– I expect to be around 40 by the time the year is out.  My arting is up significantly overall even if 50 sketch cards won’t happen though.  I think I probably drew somewhere between 100-125 things total this year.

Decent effort, kid..

Decent effort, kid..

Finish first draft of novel– I failed so miserably at writing this year.  To be fair to this and my lack of blogging most of the year, my computer situation was in serious flux the entire year, and I was too broke to do anything about it.  I was also leaving constantly due to noise.  However, there was more than enough downtime that I should’ve been able to do plenty of both.  So while there were mitigating circumstances, my first sentence still stands: I failed so miserably at writing this year.

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

Concept sketching went better than expected though..

Travel– Nope.  I’ve never been this ridiculously tight on money so constantly for an entire year before.  Not hopeful for 2015 either.  My money will be likely be at least as tight, though more focused on the things I need to get on with my life rather than things that I want or are necessary for an immediate specific purpose/moment.

Watch more anime– Only marginally more successful than the other things on the list.  Mostly just Space Dandy, a couple random movies, and a little hentai.

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

More video games– Again, only just a slight uptick in activity.  A lot of it was done in the week & a half I went without a computer in late November/early December.

So there you have it.  I’m still a mostly useless wreck of a human being, but I can point out things that are actually improvements over years gone by.  That should give you an idea how hopelessly broken I’ve been, the incremental improvements I’ve made, and the many, many light years I still have to go before I could ever be considered functional in any meaningful way.

That’s it for now.  Here’s to a better 2015!  Thanks for stopping by.

We have come to terms…

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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…

No One’s Going to Read this Post

Heh…

My first second thing to do now that I’m back is to get some old trade posts up.  So, here goes.  This trade comes to me courtesy of No One’s Going to Read this Blog.  This isn’t quite the usual trade, oh no.  This one started as an art trade, a sketch card for a sketch card.  Then when I couldn’t decide on who I wanted, I suggested it be a twofer, one real person, one fictional character.  And so it was done.  I did an Adrian Peterson and a group shot of the Fantastic Four for Jeremy (you can check my deviantART link on the sidebar if you’d like to see them, as well as some of my other work), and I received the following two cards in return:

 

Starlin Castro
Raven from Teen Titans

Very nice work all-around.  I can’t quite find the words to adequately to explain what it is about the cards that makes me like them so much, but who really wants to read a critique anyway?  Suffice to say I think they are great, and welcome additions to my sketch card collection, as well as the individual collections I have for each.

 

The back of Jeremy's cool custom sketch cards.

On top of the sketch cards, we also ended up finding a few regular cards on our respective wantlists to trade.  Here are just a few of the cards I received (the ones I was able to get scanned before they got sorted away).

 

Aramis w/ fancy-pants border.

More '09 A&G minis...

The Cubs Power Trio on '07 Goudey

Finally, an Action Packed Billy Williams..

And that’s all for this one, sports fans!  A fun trades it was.  It’s good to be blogging again. 🙂

Until our next…