Friday, June 29, 2018

recent customs n' such

Here are a few cards of my own making that I've whipped up recently.

Credit goes to Gio at WTHB for the inspiration for this custom. He posted a version of this '78 "dream card" (feasibly squeezing Ozzie Smith and Lou Whitaker onto the iconic Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell rookie) that made me want to print out a copy of my own. I ended up putting my own spin on it with some alterations, but still have to give him credit for the great idea.

I even gave it a full back too.

I made this "1971" Barry Larkin a while back as a surprise bonus to throw in a trade with a Reds collector. I like making customs that I can get good mileage out of, giving copies to multiple trader buddies. Like with this one, Reds fans might get a kick out of it, plus I could also send one to Dennis (University of Michigan guy) and another to Jedi Jeff (double play photo).

A pair of cards I made for Julie a couple months or so ago. I may have posted these already, but they're pretty cool, so here they are again.

While I didn't make this song nor this image, I put the two together and uploaded it to YouTube per request by somebody on the Calamine facebook page looking for this song (coincidentally also by a woman named Julie), a rare demo version of "More Sad Robots". It's a good one, if you like sparse, desolate music best listened to in the dark late at night.

I made a couple 1970 Kellogg's style cards, including a Hoyt Wilhelm "that should have been" (he was not included in the cereal set that year, and his '70 Topps card with the Braves was a logoless airbrush job) and a 1/1 Willinghammer for Wes. These obviously don't have the "3D effect" of the originals, but are otherwise similar to the cards from 1970. I even tried to "curl" the Hoyt copy I sent to Dimebox Nick to give it some pseudo-authenticity, but I'm not sure it got the point across. haha

Looking into it, I've only found a couple real cards where Hoyt is featured in a Braves uniform: 1971 Topps oddball "Baseball's Greatest Moments" (want!) and 2001 Topps American Pie (have!). His 1971 OPC card lists him as a Brave, but he's pictured as a Cub.

If you're a Rick & Morty fan, you're probably aware that Cryptozoic Rick & Morty Season 1 cards were released earlier this week. I love the show and seriously considered picking up a box, but the prices were nearly $200 for a hobby box that promised you a sketch card and maybe an auto or second sketch card. I ultimately decided I didn't like that price-per-value and decided to just make my own sketchcard, saving myself a couple C-notes. Here's Morty freaking out over a predicament he finds himself in. While it obviously isn't on par with the artistic quality of officially released sketchcards, can't beat it for the price! LOL. And being one of my sketchcards, you know there's a pretty good chance it glows in the dark...

Turned out pretty decent! Looks sort of like Munch's The Scream. I should do more Rick & Morty sketchcards if I think of it. I suck at drawing actual people, but if I stick to cartoons and robots, my results aren't too bad.

So there are some recent creative endeavors of mine. (Legal disclaimer: None of this stuff is for sale; just made for myself and/or as gifts for a very small number of my collector friends.)
Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Comic Book Breakdown: Richie Rich: Bank Books No. 31 (Sep 1977)

I got some comic books in a trade a while back and got enough response to the idea of taking a closer look at them on the blog to justify starting a recurring "Comic Book Breakdown" series. To make a smoother transition from baseball cards to comics, let's start with this ad for 1977 Hostess cards from the inside cover. Pretty cool.

Richie Rich happened to be the comic on the top of the stack, so I grabbed it for this inaugural comic book revue. Cover price of 30¢ into Richie's vault. Terrible puns on the cover. Honestly, I was never much of a Richie Rich fan. Don't recall ever watching any of the TV shows or movies. But I'm hoping for some nostalgic 70s kid humor and some head-scratching ads.

It's dated September 1977. I was still a bun in the oven at the time. Richie Rich must've been popular then, as I assume this is a secondary spin-off comic in addition to the regular Richie Rich comic. The cover says "Bank Books" but on the inside it's one word, "Bankbooks". Bi-monthly can mean either "twice a month" or "every other month", which is confusing, but in the publishing industry it's usually the latter.

The top Billboard single of September '77 was "Best of My Love" by The Emotions.

Anyways, the book is made up of several little stories ranging from 1 page in length to like 4 or 5 pages. The first story involves Richie's asshole cousin Reggie who has like a mega-loud fart noise machine and the psycho goes around tormenting small animals with it n' shit.

Richie tries to use it on Reggie, but the prick rigged it to hit Richie instead. I think this panel would make a good meme. Something like...


Then some Hollywood producers hear the noise and think it'd be a great device to use in the war film they're making. But then it goes off and blasts everybody, including Reggie and the producers (who decide to make a peace film instead). Seeing the error of his ways, Reggie smashes the fart machine. The end of story #1.

The next story is a short one where Richie sees a Native American dancing, and joins in, helping with a rain dance.

Poking fun at ethnic stuff like that would likely be off-limits today, though this is pretty harmless.

Yeah, Richie Rich comics must've sold well back then, getting 4 separate offshoots for Richie's dog Dollar and friends Timmy Time, Billy Bellhops, and Gloria. So this comic was from September and it's advertising new comics that aren't even coming out till the following June? Or maybe this is a repeat of an older ad and they had already come out that prior June. Whatever.

Now here's a story of Richie trying to make friends with some off-putting kid who goes by Jinx. He warns Richie that he brings bad luck, but in a switcheroo, a bunch of good stuff starts happening to Richie, such as accidentally striking oil.

Jinx takes off and flips Richie the bird.

Here's a detail picture of some items in one of those crazy ads that comics of the time were known for. Xray Specs, Joy Buzzer, and... Finger Chopper?! Yikes. Oh, don't worry, it's for kids to cut filters off cigarettes. Much better.

Finding an ad for records, I was hoping to see some cool bands from the time like Queen and Fleetwood Mac, but I should have known that a kiddie book like this would just have novelty songs by(?)/about comic characters. I'm sure these songs are pretty bad, but I wouldn't mind giving a curious listen.

You could order live crabs through the mail to keep as pets? That is crazy! I can't imagine kids of the 70s kept those poor creatures alive for long, even though the ad talks them up as "one of the LONGEST-LIVED pets on earth!"

We're nearing the end now. This story features Richie riding on top of a kite and eventually getting marooned on a tropical island. He figures out how to play the natives into making him rich by building them bridges. It ends with his dad rescuing him and all the natives dying of smallpox. j/k

Billy Joel's The Stranger was released in September 1977

The final story in the book doesn't feature Richie, but rather stars a pudgy girl named Little Lotta. She sees a guy trying to climb a ladder into her aunt's window, so she grabs the ladder and tosses the would-be thief over a fence. Then, a different dude starts climbing a ladder into her aunt's window. Lotta calls the cops, but as you probably guessed, it was all a misunderstanding and the dudes weren't trying to break into the house. Turns out Lotta's aunt is promiscuous and the guys were looking for some action. The story ends with the aunt hooking up with the cop.

Ah, good ol' Grit ads. Though it's gone through some changes, apparently Grit is still being published today. Wow. I remember seeing ads like this in the late 80s, early 90s and considered trying to become a Grit salesman to earn myself a bike or something, but never pulled the trigger. Any of you guys have any Grit experience?

I think Star Wars was still in theaters around this time; I didn't see any mention of it in the comic, but here's some Star Trek content.
As for the Ever-Sharp pencils, I remember as a kid having a couple pencils like that with the replaceable points. Those things became obsolete with the rise of mechanical pencils, though.

Steely Dan's Aja was released in September '77

So that about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed this first issue of Comic Book Breakdown. I had fun whipping up this post, so will probably do more in the future from time to time. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

1964 Topps Pete Rose

While most of my vintage setbuilding attention this year has gone to '57 Topps, my 1964 Topps build is still simmering on the back burner. I've got a lot of the heavy lifting done (Mantle, Mays), but plenty of A-listers left for me to check off. Maybe the most daunting was Pete Rose's first solo card. Dare I say it's the most iconic card from the '64 set, with young Petey flashing a bright smile, as he seems to be beaming with pride over his Topps All-Star Rookie trophy.

I got this with the $15 off eBay coupon code from last week. I had first searched for some big-name '57 needs in my crosshairs. But no good deals jumped out at me on that front. Then I turned my sights on '64. Any good deals on a Clemente? Nope. Howbout Pete Rose? Yep! This one was a solid price, made better by the $15 discount.

I wanted to get a graded copy of this card for my own peace of mind. It's my understanding that early Rose cards are right there with Mickey Mantle when it comes to most counterfeited cards of the era. I didn't necessarily need a terrific condition card, though I'm very happy with a PSA 4, which is a pretty solid grade for my collection, as I generally don't mess with the $$$ of high-grade vintage.

As for Charlie Hustle here, well, he had a long, distinguished career that saw him become baseball's all-time hit king with 4256. His many achievements also include ROY, MVP, WS MVP, and 3 WS Championships. He was unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and lived happily ever after without even a hint of controversy surrounding him in the slightest ever.

Wow, 30 triples one year?!
Anywoo, you gotta admit it's a nice card. I doubt I'll ever pony up for his floating-heads '63 Topps rookie, so this '64 is likely destined to always be my best and earliest Pete Rose card. Nice to knock it off the list.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

quick trade roundup and other rambling

Got a couple PWEs in the mail this past week.

First up are a few cards from GCA.

Always love getting a new Rod Beck card! Pretty cool one. I visited the Golden Gate Bridge once when I was a kid.

A trio for the Kris Bryant PC.

A couple Sox I collect.

Nice! I had this card in my ongoing '78 Topps setbuild, but happy to score another one for my Tim Blackwell PC.

Thanks a lot, GCA! I'll continue keeping an eye out for cards for ya.

-    -   -  - --o

And now here's a surprise PWE from friend of the blog mr. haverkamp.

Some appreciated needs toward my '84/'85 Donruss setbuilds, with a couple HOFers and an MVP. The "Jeff" Pendleton error is more common than the Terry correction. While I'll consider my set complete without the corrected variation, I wouldn't mind snagging one someday.

This seems to be the card that was the catalyst for the mailing, as mr. haverkamp is a Danny Gladden supercollector, and he noticed I threw this '91 UD card onto my Desperate Double Dozen recently. It's for inclusion in my Thumbs Up minicollection I'm just starting.

Big thanks for the generosity, man! I definitely owe you cards at this point, as this is probably the 3rd or 4th "unanswered" PWE from you, so please let me know if I can return the favor (perhaps some Gladden customs or something?)

- - - ---o

Padding out the post with some non-card miscellany. (If you follow me on Twitter, some of this may be a repeat for you.)

Earlier this month I tackled the project of trimming down a massive bush that had pretty much taken over our front yard. (Yes, my wife took the first picture; not my nails, LOL) I think it was my first experience with a chainsaw, and I'm happy to report all my limbs and digits are still intact! Funny thing is we kinda miss the shade now that it's gone. But the stump bit remaining is already growing back strong (we didn't want to 100% kill it, just get it under control). So I'm sure it'll be back to a reasonable size soon, and then we'll just have to remember to trim it down once in a while so it doesn't go nuts again.

Also pruned some flowers out front that gave us a nice bouquet for a day or two till it withered.

Coming home from work the other day, I saw not one, but TWO bunnies in the front yard of our neighbor on the corner. I'm not sure how these wild rabbits are thriving in this busy city area, but as long as they don't munch up our garden, I'm happy to see these cuties hop around when I can.

Here's Annie ready to protect our garden from any fluffy intruders.

I often doodle on our Tupperware lids to differentiate them from similar containers in the work fridge. Crow is the latest one I've done, just whipped up yesterday, which inspired me to take a pic of a few of them. Nobody at work would dare mess with Satan. And I'm sure I've confused people with "Warning: Contents may be sardonic". I'm an odd guy, what can I say.

Here's the tracklist for a Valentine's Day mix cdr my special gal made me several years ago when we were still in our long-distance courtship. I've been recently ripping all my discs to mp3 (this is a big project begun many months ago that I'm still finishing up). I got a kick out of her including the Mike Piazza song, even if she did misspell it Pizza. :) Hey, she's not a baseball fan, so you gotta give her a break.

We celebrated 4 years of marriage last week (my blogging anniversary is right before, so it works as a nice reminder, haha). We checked out Solo (both liked it) and had a nice dinner at a place near the theater afterwards. Nothing fancy, but a fun evening out.

She's out in Canada for the weekend now, so I had some "me time" to work on a couple new customs and put together a couple trade packages. Also watched Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok. I'm not a big superhero movie fan (nor is my wife, which is why I watched them while she's gone), but I thought they were decent. Best thing I've watched lately is The Strange Name Movie, which is a 52 minute documentary streaming on Netflix right now. I'd recommend it if you like amusing names, which it seems most of us card collectors do. (Sadly, baseball dudes such as Dick Pole, Rusty Kuntz, and Pete LaCock were not featured, lol.. but still worth your hour.)

Thanks for stopping by, everybody, and all the best to you in the coming week.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

9 red Pirates cards

I'm cramming 3 theme posts into one here. First there's a blog bat-around for your favorite red cards in tribute to the recent passing of baseball lifer Red Schoendienst (pronounced "SHANE-deenst"). And then Daniel is doing a contest where you need to do a blogpost featuring 9 cards to enter. And then Matthew Scott announced he was retiring his Bob Walk The Plank blog, so as a cap-tip to him, I wanted to post some Pirates cards.

So here are 9 red Pirates cards.


Red Hot Rookie of Cutch.


Gotta work Clemente into any Pirates post, and this WS highlight card is red enough to count.


You probably weren't aware of this, but Brian Giles went to my high school. LOL! Sharp looking card.


Stargell Forever.




Teke! Not a very red card, but the border line is good enough for my standards with this list.


If Bonds stayed clean, he probably wouldn't be the home run king, but he'd probably be in the Hall of Fame anyways.


I'd love to meet the joker working at Topps in '79 and '80 who thought it'd be funny to add eyeliner to certain photos.


And coming in at #1 in our countdown of 9 red Pirates, a bombastic Dave Parker auto. This is made more special for me by the fact I received it from Matt Scott. Such an awesome trader! Hopefully we keep our occasional card swaps alive, even if his blog goes dormant.

In closing..
R.I.P. Red Schoendienst, a true baseball legend and great man.
Congrats to Daniel Wilson on 9 years of blogging!
And a fond farewell to Bob Walk The Plank, one of my all-time favorite blogs.