Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Three posts in a row!

I neglect the blog for months, then three posts in a row! Ho Hum!
I'm in a couple of card Secret Santas this year - one on NSU's Card Talk board, and one on the Scoundrel board. The latter turned up at the weekend, and it is a really rather nice pair of Star Trek sketches by artist unknown (update: The artist is, in fact, Nathan 'SadLittle' Ohlendorf!):

Whoever the artist/Secret Santa donor is, Thank you! I'm most decidedly chuffed!

Economic Downturn? Bargain Central!

I've been picking up some amazing (for me at least!) bargains recently as far as cards are concerned. At Memorabilia I picked up some boxes for £1 each, and a Julian Glover autograph from one of the Topps Indiana Jones sets and a Grant Gould sketch of Irina for, respectively, £2.99 and £1.99.
This week, some eBay bargains arrived, including one of the two Thunderbirds The Movie autographs I was missing (Rose Keegan, aka "Transom") for which I paid a couple of quid - I now only need one more autograph, two of the more difficult promos and the Woolworths/The Sun redemption set to make as close to a master as I'll ever get!
Bad time to be a collector? I don't know. As is mentioned in the latest episode of the podcast (#14), there were plenty of bargains to be had on comparatively recent stock at the Memorabilia show; how much of this is due to dealers feeling the pinch and how much is just a lot of stock clearing I don't know, but whatever the reason is, I'll take advantage whilst I still have a (very) small amount of disposable income to spend!

Birmingham: The Return...

Episode 14 of the podcast is now online; entitled "Birmingham: The Return...", it looks back at the Memorabilia show and features Harris Toser and myself, with contributions from various artists, ealers and other attendees at the show.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Technology Highs and Lows 2 - The Unneccessary Sequel

I'm back from the Memorabilia show in Birmingham (at which I had great fun!) and realise that half the interviews I recorded on my new 'Mobile recording' kit did not run through the external microphone (which is higher quality than usual) but through the internal microphone (which is, frankly, pants) I should be able to retrieve something usable from most of it, but it's not going to be as good as I intended when I got the new kit. Rats.
My apologies in advance to the interviewees affected by this mistake on my part (I know what I did - I didn't manually select the right option); anyone I cannot edit into a listenable segment on the next podcast will get a huge plug from me instead.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Technology highs and lows

It's been one of those weeks when I am let down by, and uplifted by, technology.
First, the let down: I record a podcast (UK CardCast, thanks for asking!) about non-sport cards and last week, I recorded interviews with Roxanne Toser of Non-Sport Update magazine, and Joanna Kohlbus & Kate RED Bradley - the latter two in a chatty converational call, the former on her own as more of a formal interview. All the recordings were made via Skype and a piece of recording software I've used in the past called Pamela. Pamela works well and I've had some excellent results for past episodes, even when there is more than one perosn on the other side of the call but, for some reason (and I can't work out if it's Pamela or Skype), most of the early part of the Joanna and Kate interview didn't record - I have long periods of silence (when I am speaking) interspersed wit hthe occasional comment or laugh from one of the ladies. I can recover (with judicious editing and some re-recording of my introductory comments) the start, but it's not something I'm happy about - I prefer a straight-off the call thing!
That said, the uplifting thing is that I now have a far higher quality recording kit for outside broadcasts! I occasionally report on shows and other events in person, and when I've done that in the past, I've used the voice recorder option on a tiny MP3 player - the sound quality isn't that great and I usually have to do a fair amount of tweaking to get something vaguely podcastable. Now, however, I have a Creative Zen 3 MP3 player, which has a Line-in socket (offering significantly better recording quality) and a proper external microphone! The first 'live' use of the new kit is the upcoming Memorabilia show at the NEC Birmingham 22-23 November.

The most recent episode of the podcast is now online - that's Episode 12 and features Harris Toser and Don Norton talking about the Chicago show, and Wolfie talking about some UK shows he's attended recently; the aforementioned "Women of Cards" show is being edited and (unless I have any other techie probs!) should be available this week; I should also be recording a shorter show looking forward to Memorabilia next week (just waiting for some information about a possible stage talk for Harris and myself!).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


The new episode of UK CardCast is out, and it's a biggie! So long, in fact, that I've split it up into two parts.
The theme is sketch artists, and in it I have three extended interviews with Patrick Hamill, Kate Bradley and Dave Fox, and six shorter interviews conducted by Harris "The Star Of The Show" Toser at the recent New York ComicCon - listen out for a cameo appearence by John Czop!

It was fun recording the interviews, but a long episode requires a lot of editing, so rest assured that I won't be doing these every month!

In other news, I attended the Collectormania show in Milton Keynes at the weekend (thanks to Dave Brown, also, coincidentally, interviewed in the latest episode). I picked up a number of promos I needed, including the one I was missing from the Austin Powers set. This was the Collectormania that had John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Kai Owen from Torchwood (amongst many others) - the queues were terrific... I wasn't in any of the queues - I'm hoping some enterprising card manufacturer brings out a set of Torchwood trading cards with cast autographs...!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Enterprising Bargains

It seems to be my year for finding bargain boxes - my local show still had some stock left over from their recent relocation clearance sale and I manged to get one box each of Enterprise Season one and four for £10 each.
Before opening the boxes, I said to myself how good it would be to pull one of the main cast, such as Dominic Keating or one of the big name guest stars, such as, perhaps, Brent Spiner. I didn't rule it out, but my luck in pack pulls hasn't been THAT good of late.
I'm sure you can guess the rest. First autograph pulled from the Season four box - Brent Spiner. First autograph pulled from the Season one box - Dominic Keating.
Life doesn't get much better (for me at least, as far as cards are concerned!)

Chatty, Chatty, Chatty

The new episode, Episode 08 - "The Non-Sport Crew", is now online and features 'fan-favourite' Harris Toser talking about Non-Sport Update magazine and the forthcoming Allentown show, Kenny "Bookins", the Creative Mind of Kreative Koncepts, talking about his new set "The Official HipHop Trading Cards", Don Norton, an old friend and trading partner of mine, as well as a regular contributor to NSU magazine, talking about Oddball 'cards', his upcoming article in NSU about card storage products, and Wolfie, the most prolific poster on NSU's Card Talk forum, looking back at the recent Collectormania show in Coventry.
Long show (a little over an hour) but I hope you persevere with it!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Best Bargain Ever!

A couple of weeks ago, my local card/comic store relocated to smaller premises and had a clearence sale on all the stuff they physically couldn't fit in at the new location.
I somewhat cheekily made a joke offer of £1 for a box of Thunderbirds The Movie cards complete with binder - it wasn't accepted, but I was told that an offer of £5 would be accepted - I leapt at the opportunity and shortly thereafter was opening the box in my living room.
For a fiver I got redemption cards for the Sir Ben Kingsley autograph, the Brains Check Shirt costume cards - I also got a couple of base sets and a really nice colour sketch of TB2 by Graham Bleathman.
Now, the set came out nearly 4 years ago, and as I only paid £5 I really wasn't expecting to redeem the autograph and costume cards - but, to give the highest credit to Cards Inc. and The Collector Zone, last week the two cards came back, complete with the redemption cards, the latter hole punched to show they had already been redeemed!
Bear in mind I also got the official binder, so I just need a couple of the "Pretty in Pink" chase cards (2 and 4, if you're interested!) and I'll have a mini-master set (i.e all the base and chase except the autos, sketches and costumes - and I'm working on them as and when I find cheap examples of the cards/artists I don't have)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun with Harris and Joanna...

Last Sunday, I recorded the main part of the next episode (due to be uploaded later this week) with regular guest Harris Toser and Special Guest Joanna Kohlbus - ostensibly to talk about the past year, but mostly because I haven't spoken to Joanna before (though we have exchanged many emails and letters).
I can't speak for the other participants (though it is notable that neither of them flamed me with hate email afterwards - a good sign!) but I had great fun chatting with both Harris and Joanna and we got a good deal of gossip as well as some interesting and thoughtful comments which may well set up some future themed episodes!
Unfortunately, Joanna had to leave halfway through the recording, but I'm looking to get her on the show again soon!

It's STILL not too late to vote in the "Best of 2007" poll - there is an email link on the front page of the CardCast website, where you will also find a link to Rebecca Toser's "Nothing But Nets" charity campaign!