Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How I Got Here, part 2

The first purchases of my return to non-hobby trading card collecting were a box each of Veronica Mars Season 1 and Veronica Mars Season 2 by the now defunct Inkworks. Each box guaranteed one autographed card and one Pieceworks® card. An interesting addition to the Season 2 cards were the very random insertion of printing plates, the actual metal plate used on the printing press to print the cards, called Inkplates™ and four different autographed Pieceworks® cards.

In those two boxes I received one complete base set of each season. I pulled from Season 1 an autograph card of Francis Capra who played Eli "Weevil" Navarro and a Pieceworks® card of a jacket worn by Teddy Dunn who played Duncan Kane. In Season 2 I received an autograph of Alona Tal who played Meg Manning, a Pieceworks® card of a shirt worn by Teddy Dunn who played Duncan Kane and an Inkplates™card from the yellow printing plate of an image from the show of Charisma Carpenter who played Kendall Casablancas. In addition, I received various insert cards but no complete insert sets.

I really enjoyed breaking open these boxes. It was fun even though the cards themselves used less than perfect images from the show and even though I didn't get any of the best pulls. I really, really wanted a Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) autograph. But I was pleased and I had been hooked.

Now the story moves along quite briskly and my memory of the events is a bit blurry, but somehow I came across the existence of Rittenhouse's Batman Archives trading cards. What made these different than the Veronica Mars cards was the insertion at the rate of one per box of an actual trading card upon which an artist had drawn a character from the Batman Universe. Batman is without a doubt my favorite superhero and I absolutely love his rogues gallery. So I bought a box of these off eBay. In that box I received a complete base set of the cards (which I will discuss in more detail in a future post), a couple of the retro-insert cards, a couple of the Dark Victory subset cards and one lenticular card of Ra's al Ghul. But the best part was the Andy Price sketch card of Batman on the Batcycle. I didn't know who Andy Price was but I really dug that sketch (will post image in future post), so I found him online.

And art was now a part of the thrill of this new hobby.

I must go back in time just a bit and say that card was not my first piece of original art. In 2008, I attended my first comic book convention at Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, Ohio. I had wanted to go for sometime, but it had been held on Thanksgiving weekend, thus preventing my attendance. But in 2008, its owners had sold it and its new management moved it to the first weekend in October. Being only three hours away it was the closest show to me, so I finally got to go. I felt a bit out of place not knowing the proper etiquette, but I made some nice comics, graphic novels and toy purchases. But I also purchased a sketch from David Mack and Sean Forney (will post in future blog), as well as a commission from a local Lexington Artist Kenn Minter. But until finding that sketch card in the box of Batman Archives, I thought the Con was my only avenue for getting original art.

Once I discovered Andy's site, I was introduced to a wide array of other artists. I don't remember how or in what order I specifically learned of everyone on the artist's list to the left, but Andy led to another person who led to another person who led to another person. Then, through Twitter, I followed them and continued to find others. It is to the point that I have been finding a new and wonderful artist every few weeks.

And the best part? A number of these artists are amazingly receptive to their fans, especially on Twitter.

So over the course of the last year, I've been buying non-sports cards that I have an interest in and really cranking up my purchase of original commissioned art. There are so many things happening in the hobby that I have developed opinions on and I will share those throughout the course of this blog. I also will share all the pieces in my collection, trading cards and sketches, and comment on those, as well.

I am really loving this hobby and really, really loving the interactions I'm having with artists and fellow collectors. I think it's a shame to keep all this art to myself, so I wound up here, with this blog.

If you are reading this, thanks for the support. I'd love to hear from those of you I don't normally communicate with. Just connect with me on Twitter @Brad_Duncan. Also, artists... after attending Mid-Ohio Con again this November, I'm hoping to expand next year and attend at least one of the larger shows or a least one in another city, so I hope to meet more of you in person.

And artists and card companies... keep the great work coming.

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