Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Curse of Kevin McNulty

Episode 22 "The Curse of Kevin McNulty" is now online (iTunes and other podcast services will be updated shortly, once the RSS feed has circulated around the web!) - it features Don Norton talking about Autograph packs and a brief rundown of what visitors to the NSU stand at Memorabilia and Collectormania can expect!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shows, Shows, Shows

Winter show season hits the UK big time in November and it is looking increasingly likely that UK CardCast will be at at least two shows! Memorabilia Birmingham lands at the NEC on 21-22 November and Collectormania London hits Earl's Court Olympia on 28-29 November; Regular contributor Harris Toser will be setting up the Non-Sport Update magazine stand at BOTH shows and I'll probably be lurking behind the table too, so if you're at either show, come and say Hello! You'll also get the chance to meet a number of visiting artists - Kate RED Bradley is coming over from Canada for both shows, Belfast's Patrick Hamill will be at the Birmingham show and Nik Neocleous will be at the London show.
No info yet on a talk or gathering, but watch this space (or, indeed, the NSU Card Talk board, or Facebook, or Twitter!) for more news as it is announced!

Before that, however, there is another Special Episode set for release, this time in co-operation with Non-Sport Update. You'll have to hang on until November 9th but it will be worth the wait (I hope!) NSU's Harris Toser and I talk about "The White Album" project, a book created by 13 artists (many familiar names in the workd of non-sports and some of whom appear in the episode!) who got together to create a book inspired by "The Beatles", the double album popularly know as "The White Album". Harris will be bringing a strictly limited number of signed copies over to the UK shows, so if the Special Episode piques your interest, pop along to the NSU stand!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chatty Artists!

Yes, there's a new episode - and it's another two parter. Episode 21 (which you should find in the list on the right as well as at the usual places, such as the UK CardCast website, iTunes, and other podcast services) is entitled "The Return of the Sketch Artists" and is a bumper collection of interviews with artists who have worked on trading cards - Ingrid Hardy, Dane Ault, Trev Murphy and Brandon Kenney. Plus contributions from CardCast regulars Harris Toser and Kris Kersey.

I haven't updated the website with the relevant links yet - editiing the podcast zonked me out for a bit - but I will do so soon (probably this weekend)

I'm working on some ideas for the next episode, which may or may not be a UK Show themed episode, depending on how long it takes me to get around to recording it! In the meantime, there will be a special episode at the beginning of November, a co-production with Non-Sport Update. More details on that one once I've got it sorted out!

In other news, I let go of my Leonard Nimoy Skybot TOS S3 autograph card (that was a lucky pack pull way back when the sets came out!) on eBay. It went for more-or-less the NSU price guide price, which was nice; though it was a bit of a wrench to see the card go, once I made the decision to sell it, that was it.

As one card leaves the collection, however, two cards join! Ted Dastick Jr posted an offer on the Scoundrel board (links galore in this post!) and I took him up on it - the two cards I picked arrived last weekend and here they are, spliced together:

Totally Non-Heinous, Dudes!

Friday, August 28, 2009


There has been some discussion, (primarily on Scoundrel and NSU's Card Talk) about 'copies' of sketch art - the most recent example being that of a Brian Kong sketch of Albert Pujols (made for a Topps sports set) that has, to be scrupulously generous, been 'emulated' more-or-less line for line by another 'artist' in a card listed on eBay. I will not name names as far as the seller is concerned, nor will I post a link (if you want the details, visit either of the aforementioned forums!)
The topic also came up during a recorded concersation I had with an artist for the next episode of UK CardCast, and it got me thinking.

Art has, throughout the ages, been inspired and influenced by earlier work. It has evolved and expanded and explored new types of medium, new styles and new subjects. At the very heart of it, however, is the sense of new artists learning from the old, new styles being developed by those given experience of the old styles. As part of the education (whether formal or informal) artists learn from their mistakes, learn from the limitations of their chosen medium and, above all, learn from their predecessors - and in that respect, there is a certain amount of copying that goes on, if only for the exploration of technique, or the desire to explore the boundaries of variation.
Artists have taken subject matter that interests them and have adapted it to their own style, usually adding their own touch of originality to the original and so making it different and unique. Roy Lichenstein used the imagery of the comic strip to produce his legendary 'pop' art; Andy Warhol used pre-existing imagery (grocery labels, iconic photographs) to produce some of the most well known 'modern' art of recent time. Those artists, and many more, both before and since, have added to the originals and created a whole new piece of art.
However, with the use of such methodology comes great responsibility, and in recent years some 'adaptations' have cause controversy. Damien Hurst was criticised for one of his pieces (entitled 'Hymn') which appeared to have been based on an educational anatomy model (Wiki here); Shepard Fairey used a photograph by Mannie Garcia as reference material to create the iconic image of Barack Obama used to great effect in the 2008 US Presidential Race. (BoingBoing article here)
It is the latter example that is most relevant to the current issue over the alleged reuse of a Brian Kong sketch by another artist. In the Brian Kong case, a card he did for a Topps set, which was authorised by Topps and the relevant image rights holder, was 'copied' by another artist who, presumably, does NOT have the authorisation of Topps, or the subject of the sketch, Albert Pujols (or his personal or team management nor that of the relevant sport governing body), the copy being made not for the enhancement of drawing skills, or for the personal study of sketching technique but for profit - the card is, as I type, on eBay (having been sold and relisted).
How different does a piece of art have to be to be unique? Can an artist take a copy of an existing image, add a little crosshatching, or tweak the colouring, and thus claim to have produced a '1 of 1' unique image? Should said artist reveal that he/she has used a pre-existing image as the basis of their own work? Should they seek permission from the originator of the existing image? Should they credit the originating entity? What happens if the original image is officially licenced to someone else?

"So What?" you might say, "How does this affect me, the Non-Sports card collector? The Brian Kong card is for a sports set!" Well, yes, it is, but artists who have worked on non-sports sets have already reported copies of their work being offered for sale, usually as '1 of 1' cards and with no indication that they are not original pieces but copies; in one or two cases, the cards have been offered under the name of the original artist and so can be considered fakes or forgeries. This sort of thing does not reflect well on the hobby, and exposes the collector to potentially expensive risks.
I'm not criticising those who use other images as reference material; most who do add their own individuality and their own original touches and enough of both to make the end result an entirely unique item, and usually do it within the generally accepted 'code' of behaviour!

What am I trying to say? Well, "Buyer Beware" probably, but it's a shame that people who (possibly) have a talent and who could be capable of great things if they used their own imagination rather than indulging in a line for line appropriation of someone elses feel the need for greed seem able to not only get away with it but who also manage to turn the collector into a more cynical person. We need less cynicsm in the hobby and more creativity.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hats, Prizes, for the drawing of...

UK CardCast (the podcast) has been helping out with Nik Neocleous' "Cosmic Eye" prize draw - Nik has had an art book published and, for a limited number availble directly from his website, he was offering a prize draw ticket. Well, the draw was held on August 1st and included in a special episode of the podcast - look to your right and you should see it in the RSS feed!

The next regular episode, #20, is being recorded this weekend for uploading sometime next week - it will be our annual San Diego special with NSU's Harris Toser reporting on the show.

Thanks to Harris, there are plans for another episode (which may tie-in to a thing NSU is doing) later in the year - watch this space... and I haven't forgotten about the Artist special I was planning - I'm still planning it, so bear with me!

In other news, has started to take pre-orders for the "Legends & Lore" set, which will start shipping on August 20th - some of the artwork from the set can be found on regular podcast contributor Kris Kersey's website

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Oh, I'm sure I'll regret this, but I've dipped a tentative toe into the Twitterverse - the id is @ukcardcast and you should find a link down on the right somewhere! Don't expect a lot except when I'm about to put an episode online...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thinning out the collection

At the moment I'm going through my card collection, and taking a serious look at the cards sets I'm unlikely to complete. I've alredy sold a few on eBay and I have a few more on there now (These are 5 day listings and may well have closed by the time anyone reads this, but it might be worth clicking on the link anyway - if the listings they are closed, they will probably have been replaced with some others!)

No reason for doing this other than the fact that the cards are just sitting in albums and would probably do better if they were in the collection of someone who loved them more! I have a shortlist of cards that probably won't be sold - either because they have a sentimental value (a gift from a friend, say, or a favourite card), or because, in this buyers market, I'd be lucky to get more than the starting price (and I'm starting pretty much everything at 99p!)

In the meantime, life goes on, as does the podcast - Episode 18 of UK CardCast is online as I type and features interviews with Harris 'Ubiquitous' Toser, Marc de Groot and new soon-to-be 'Regular Contributor' Kris Kersey. Plus, I have already recorded the feature interview for Episode 19 (due out at the beginning of July - no names, no pack drill, but I REALLY had fun recording it and I think it should be extremely popular with listeners!

Back to my collection, and I have more-or-less completed my Thunderbirds The Movie set; I've been working on this for a little over a year and the last piece dropped into the binder a couple of months ago - for this set I consider a 'Master' to be all the base cards and chases, all the autographs, all the costume cards, all the promos, a wrapper, the box, at least one sketch and the two preview sets. I don't have a sell sheet for the set, so I may well keep looking for that, and I don't have a sketch example for all the artists who contributed to the set (currently looking for a Warren Martinek, a Joe Corroney, a Claire Ramsey, and possibly one of the painted cards (though I suspect they are out of my unfeasably low price range!) so I may well keep looking for cheap sketches as well, but otherwise it's done.
I also completed my autograph-less Sabrina The Teenage Witch set, thanks to a trade with a Jolly Nice NSU Card Talker, Greg Geert, who helped me to finish off the foil chase set.

Now I need to find some super cheap Star Trek boxes (the new movie set that is) and let The Hand pull the Simon Pegg autograph, then I can be happy for a while!

On the subject of Happy For A While, let me show you the most recent card that made me feel that way:It's Stewie from "Family Guy" as Irina Spalko from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" drawn by Elaine Perna with Tony Perna and was a personal commission (made via the Scoundrel message board; I recently been picking up a collection of sketch cards showing the Spalko character (mainly because they have been cheap) and I now have quite a few - mostly from the official Topps sets, but two being PSC's (Personal Sketch Card) - one being the above, the other being one that Denise Vasquez did for me! (if you click in the 'Happy Fans' link on Denise's website you may well find a picture of me holding her card!)
If you want to see the rest of the "Spalko Collection", you'll find them here

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Open That Box Day

Well, I did as promised in the last entry and recorded, edited, compiled and uploaded the latest episode of the podcast in one day - I started recording at around 14:30 and the episode was online at 22:00
The inspiration for this was "Open That Box Day 2009" which was held today (April 4th) and organised by Non-sport Update magazine; the episode featured an actual box being opened, and a chat with Harris Toser, Production Manager of NSU.
The episode should appear in the list on the right, and more info (including, would you believe, pictures!) can be found on the gallery page of, the podcast home page.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Month, Another Episode

Episode 16 of my non-sport podcast, UK CardCast, went online at the weekend and features the usual chat with Harris Toser of NSU magazine, a conversation with Nathan Ohlendorf (aka SadLittle) about his "Legend and Lore" set (more details here: and some interviews recorded by Harris at the New York Comic Con last month - interviewees include Dennis Budd, Brian Kong, Uko Smith and Nar!

I'm planning for the next episode, which will be my contrubution to NSU's "Open That Box Day" - I'm going to record myself opening a box "live" and attempt to edit and upload the recording on the same day, April 4th - this will be some feat as it usually takes a week or more for me to edit the various interviews and links for a regular episode!
More info, by the way, about "Open That Box" day here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best of 2008 Revealed!

Episode SP03 of UK CardCast is now online (the feed should update shortly)