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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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…

 

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…

Cubs from Sox

As promised, at the end of the previous post, here be the Cubbies from Steve of White Sox Cards:

Cubs From Steve

Cubs from my early days...

The Topps magazine cards I received have some pretty crazy borders.  Wait till you see the Andre Dawson below.

Mark Grace practicing the yo-yo trick and one from his little league days.  I’m pretty sure prospects that young actually get their own licensed cards nowadays.

In the middle we have pitchers in unintentionally perfect order of delivery.  How did I manage to do that? o.O

When I was little I had a giant (like 3ft tall, it was giant at the time) stuffed bear that I named after Jerome Walton.

Finally a couple of Shawon Dunstons.  My Shawon-O-Meter is looking good this morning at .334 and rising.

I desperately want a Shawon-O-Meter hit counter for my blog, btw.

Cubs Sluggers '80s/'90s

Cubs Sluggers '80s/'90s

The first of three Hawks in the lot, an old school Upper Deck insert of one of, if not THE single greatest player of the 1980s.

I cannot bring myself to even mildly dislike Sammy Sosa.  The reasons why could probably take up an entire post of their own.  Don’t hold your breath on me ever getting around to it, but it would be a fun one, and an interesting look at how I see the world in the general.

More Andre Dawson, please and thank you!

More Andre Dawson, please and thank you!

Does that Topps Magazine card not have the single wrongest border for an Andre Dawson card ever?  Check the card beside it (?), that man can burn a hole in your very soul with his intense gaze, and you put him on a card with brightly colored birthday streamers for a border?  Even the bright yellow border is pushing it, only acceptable because Wolverine can get away with it, and in his prime, The Hawk could take ol’ Logan.

'91 Studio & Stadium Club George Bell

'91 Studio & Stadium Club George Bell

Is George Bell not the coolest looking dude this side of Billy Dee Williams?  Just give Bell a spiffy blue cloak, a blaster, and a case of Colt 45, and. It’s. On. (Please drink responsibly, btw.  Seriously.)

I’m not sure if it’s because of my Wrestlecrap-tastic nature of finding joy in the cheesy and ridiculous, or if it’s because I think they are genuinely awesome, but for some reason, I loves me some old school Studio.

Oh happy f***ing day, now we’re gonna have to fight with this thing so I can get the next couple of pictures up.  F***ing joybiscuits!

Anyway, below are a pair of early ’90s Greg Maddux cards.  I like the picture of him covering the base, because he accumulated numerous Gold Gloves in his career.

Anecdote time.  When Maddux went to Atlanta back in the day, I was so upset that I quit being a Cubs fan for awhile.  It took half a season before I stopped hating them, and a good year and a half before I finally got over it completely.  In the meantime, I became a Braves fan.  What can I say, I was  an angry and hurt 8 year old.  Fortunately, sanity eventually (and purely allegedly) prevailed, and I realized my heart was with the Cubs.  And here it remains…

Cubs From Steve 004

Vintage Greg Maddux~! /Michael Cole

Now for some swatchy goodness:

2007 Turkey Red Rich Hill Jersey

2007 Turkey Red Rich Hill Jersey

Former Cub, current Oriole Rich Hill.  Never really got the hype about him, but the card is hella sweet.  This is the first ’07 Turkey Red hit of any kind I’ve seen in person, and I like ’em a lot.  Very classy.  I said it before and I’ll say it again, this was the only worthwhile year of Turkey Red as a full set.  Don’t like the gray bordered ones at all, and can take ’em or leave ’em as an insert this year too, though I seem to be the only one who thinks that.

Much as I like this though, and thankful as I am for it, I’m not sure if it is a keeper or not.  If I can send it along to a Cubs or Orioles fan with more appreciation for the subject, I am willing to do so.

You can’t have this next card though!  It ain’t gonna be leaving my collection anytime soon.

2007 Allen & Ginter Derrek Lee Bat!

2007 Allen & Ginter Derrek Lee Bat!

Speaking of classy cards, Allen & Ginter!  This here’s a Derrek Lee bat card, as you can see, and it is AWESOME.  Is there anything cooler than an Allen & Ginter hit?  Even higher end stuff often pales in comparison to the fun, yet classy framed and encapsulated mini.  And Derrek Lee himself is sort of the player equivalent of Allen & Ginter, a class act himself.  A perfect match.

I know I’m leaving some cards out here, because I am flaky as all get out, and didn’t write out a complete list.  I’ll try to be better about that in the future, but no guarantees.

Once again, if I didn’t say it enough before, a thousand times thank you, Steve.  I will do my best to send some nice new Sox your way soon.

Stay thirsty, my friends…