So I was reluctant to begin the project I'm going to feature today. But when the 2016 Cryptozoic Ghostbusters card set came out, I and many other fans were disappointed that many key actors weren't included on the autograph checklist. And so I thought it'd be fun to fill in the blanks, while clearly indicating that these are in no way real ("Inauthentic Autograph" in big letters, right there on the front). Plus, the set also includes "Totally Fabricated" slime memorabilia cards, so with that precedent established, creating "Inauthentic Autograph" cards would fit right in.
Bill Murray is one of my all-time favorite actors. He doesn't have any certified auto cards out there, as he's a well-known flakey freebird who doesn't have the attention span to sit down and sign a stack of cards. So here's a fake one I made. I'm very happy with how it turned out!
This is a real one. I'm gonna mix them up in this post to keep you on your toes.
Jennifer Runyon really got Ghostbusters off and running with her scene near the beginning of the 1984 film. Such a cutie! I also know her for her role as Gwendolyn, Charles' girlfriend for a couple of seasons of the show Charles In Charge. She's got a couple recent acting credits, but has pretty much been retired for the past 25 years.
Michael Ensign was great as the snooty hotel manager (you know, where they first encounter Slimer) in the 1984 film. Turns out he's had small parts in other big movies too, such as Superman (1978), Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), WarGames (1983), and Titanic (1997). Lots of TV appearances too.
Oh man, you gotta love Rick Moranis! From his early SCTV "Bob and Doug McKenzie" days though his heyday in big movies such as Spaceballs and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids saga. And of course his Louis Tully character played a key part in both Ghostbusters films. He's pretty much been retired since the 90s, focusing on raising his kids since his wife passed. I think he says he's not exactly retired, just really picky about what projects he chooses to work on. I'm sure Cryptozoic at least asked him if he wanted to sign some cards for this product, but he likely turned them down politely, like he turned down other acting roles over the past 20 years. But this custom helps me fill the void.
William Atherton was great as EPA prick Walter Peck in the first Ghostbusters movie. He also had a big role in the 1985 cult classic Real Genius, as well as the first two Die Hard films, and is still active today at age 70.
Melancholy tip of the cap to Harold Ramis, who not only was perfect as the nerdy Egon, but also co-wrote Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd, and was also a driving force behind the classics Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and Groundhog Day (1993). Sadly he passed away at 69 in 2014, so he wouldn't have been around to sign cards for this set, but thanks to my imagination, here's a custom "card that never was" autograph card.
In the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, Egon was played by Maurice LaMarche. He's done lots of other voice acting over the years, such as popping up as minor characters on The Simpsons from time to time, Futurama (Kif, Morbo, Calculon, and more), and Animaniacs (as Brain in Pinky & the Brain). He also delivered one of my favorite-ever lines in an episode of The Critic playing Orson Welles in a commercial for peas saying how they're "full of green pea-ness (Oh God, that's awful!)".. Still cracks me up! This is a real auto I'm happy to have.
Here's another real one. Harris Yulin played the judge in Ghostbusters II. He's also been in Scarface (1983), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Training Day (2001), and had a Primetime Emmy Award Nominated stint on Frasier in 1996.
Sigourney Weaver! This is another fake one I was forced to make, as unfortunately she wasn't included in the 2016 Cryptozoic product. Believe it or not, I only just this past month finally watched Alien and Aliens. She really is great in that franchise, though to me she'll always first and foremost be Dana Barrett from Ghostbusters 1 and 2.
Laura Summer was the voice of Janine in the first couple seasons of the Real Ghostbusters before being replaced by Kath Soucie. She's done plenty of other voice acting and is these days most active as the voice of Patamon in Digimon cartoons. She's got a great signature! Love the hearts. (Yep, this is a real one.)
Dave Florek is surprisingly one of the tougher autos in the set. He just has a small part in the second film, a cop hassling the Ghostbusters for drilling in the middle of the street. Since then, he had recurring roles on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Grace Under Fire, plus guest spots in big TV shows such as Seinfeld, That '70s Show, and Bones, among others. He's still active today, with his latest appearance being on the Young Sheldon show.
It really bummed me out that Cryptozoic didn't really acknowledge the great soundtracks of the two films in this card set. I mean, I guess they did have Bobby Brown as an autograph subject (crediting his bit part as the mayor's doorman), but the lack of Ray Parker, Jr. was a big hole in my opinion. I assume they must have asked him, but I guess he wasn't interested (wah?!). No matter, I made this custom to partially right that wrong. Sure, his big song was a ripoff of "I Want a New Drug" but it was still a great tune. He had a few other decent hits (I'm partial to "You Can't Change That").
Larry King is an American icon, the classic suspender-wearing newsman. He had a tiny part as himself in the original Ghostbuster movie (during the montage of the Ghostbusters gaining popularity), and ended up with an auto card in the set. He's spent years interviewing the world's most famous people on radio and TV, with a long daily run on CNN, still at it at age 84, on air somewhere. Nice pickup! As for baseball relevance, he's a prominent Dodgers fan (dating back to their Brooklyn days), and got a lot of screen time seated behind the plate during the LA games of the 2017 World Series.
Another household name who had a small Ghostbusters part, Ben Stein had a little one-line part in Ghostbusters II as a public works official concerned about the rising paranormal activity. He's best known for his part as a monotone teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and also had a decent part in The Mask. I'll always remember him for his run on Win Ben Stein's Money, the turn-of-the-millenium game show on Comedy Central. My opinion of him has been soured a bit in recent years due to some of his views, but still glad to add his auto, even if it's probably the laziest in the set, just a fancy B.
If there were a Mount Rushmore of voice actors, Frank Welker would have a good argument for placement on it. I didn't realize it till researching for this post, but he's the voice of Fred on Scooby Doo (and always has been), and he's done a ton of other stuff over the years, from Megatron on Transformers to Nibbler on Futurama. He has some auto cards out there (Mars Attacks, Scooby Doo), but for whatever reason didn't get an auto in this Ghostbusters set (maybe he was just too busy to sign), so I had to make my own fake auto. He was the voice of both Ray and Slimer in the cartoon, so I got a little creative with the split-screen picture on this one.
Jason Reitman is director Ivan Reitman's son, and had a small part in the beginning of the sequel as the bratty kid who wasn't impressed with having the Ghostbusters entertain at his birthday party. Seems like kind of a weak, random auto, but I'll take it. He has since gone on to direct the popular films Thank You for Smoking (2005), Juno (2007), Up in the Air (2009), and Young Adult (2011).
And here's popa Ivan Reitman, director of both Ghostbusters films. He's been producer and/or director on a lot of great films, including Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and more.
Lorenzo Music was the original voice of Peter Venkman in the cartoon. After a coupe seasons he was replaced by Dave Coulier, but to me, the classic voice is the laid-back "Garfield" Pete Venkman. Sadly, Music died in 2001, so there's no way he would have been included in this 2016 product (unless they did cut autos, which they should have!) so I made my own. His distinctive voice also graced the 70s sitcom Rhoda and the 80s Disney cartoon Gummi Bears. (I'm obligated to point out the fun fact that Bill Murray did the voice of Garfield in the live action movie, which is fitting since Lorenzo did the voice of Garfield in the 80s cartoons as well as Murray's character in the Real Ghostbusters. A switch-a-roo for the ages.)
I made a generic back for the custom autos. (If anybody from Cryptozoic or Columbia Pictures are reading this, let me stress these customs are just fun cards for my collection to scratch a completeist itch, and I'm not profiting from them or anything, so no need to sic your legal departments on me.)
I recently ended up winning an eBay auction for a lot of 3 cancelled checks signed by Lorenzo Music for a pretty decent price:
Of note is that his signature from 1977 is much different than the two from 1981. I gotta assume they're all actually from him, but he got lazy with his signature somewhere over the years between. But who knows. My plan was to cut them up for cut signature customs, though I'm gun shy with cutting these vintage pieces.
But here's what it would look like, with the custom overlayed on the check. A handful of these inserted in the Cryptozoic product would have really been cool, but oh well. Maybe someday I'll get the nerve to cut this into a card.
I also made a couple sketch cards this week:
Good ol' Stay Puft.
This might be my favorite sketch I've done this month, fittingly the last one, cranked out last night. Slimer giving Peter a sloppy hug.
But circling back to the autos, this is my first ever completed autograph set!
Big thanks to Dave the seller for giving me a couple nice bulk deals to help me knock off the cards I needed (securing those featured in this post just a week or so ago). And the customs really help round it out, if I say so myself. That's all 19 real autos, plus 7 supplemental customs, and one custom cut auto (kinda). My printer didn't quite get the color perfect on the customs, but close enough for me.
Thanks a lot to those of you who've been following along with the Ghostbuster Sunday theme month here on the blog (see also part 1, part 2, and part 3). It's been fun!