Wednesday, November 28, 2012


So in the last 2 weeks I have killed 2 and half computers. Well, they were zombie computers ... dead and working ... at the same time. And, just like zombies, dead and working is frightning and frustrating.

It is no surprise then that I have not been able to blog as I have wanted to but, that is the new apocalyptic world. The logical jump from last week's comic book find was to be inspired by the tragedy of killing my computers.

What I have enjoyed is watching AMC's WALKING DEAD and  FX's AMERICAN GOTHIC well past the Halloween season. It just so happens my nephew is a budding young artist. And, although I had retired the pencils some time ago, he inspired my to pick them up and draw a little mayhem from my misfortune.

So this is what I do when there is no computer to kill : (please excuse the poor iphone picture as I have no scanner to match my dead computer)

My first sketch is "MAGGIE WACKS A WALKER" - a scene from the prison yard.

My second is a tribute to all the Southern boys who become skilled in the way of the woods called "DARYL, THE HUNTER".

The nice thing about drawing is that when the grid goes down, you can still do it. You just can't put it on line.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Hockey: No Secret, Not Weird, Man, This Is War !

It is No Secret that there will be no NHL hockey anytime soon. And if this vintage comic over is any omen, it spells doom for the ice men.

NHL near death cover on DC HOUSE OF SECRETS # 114.

It would be nice to blog about some hockey cards, especially since there are some appealing sets being produced. However, like many of my fellow card bloggers, we are disenchanted with cards and card collecting of late.

So instead, I have found solace in other treasures. 


In my now regular garage sale outings, I found a seller who was liquidating his comic books. With the above DC issue I found these gems:

MEKANO LIVES, but not in the NHL on the cover of X-MEN # 36

Jim Rhoades should fight for the NHL fans, but featues on WAR MACHINE # 1

That managment and players agree would be a cover of WEIRD WONDER TALES # 20

IRON MAN # 300  - better than hockey right now

I picked up these 5 comics PLUS a record buyers guide book for $1.00 - yep one George Washington U.S. dollar bill.  'Nuff Said.

Friday, November 16, 2012

FOOTBALL LEAGUE 100 : Ossie Ardiles # 90

For two countries that were once at war over an island, there is the commonality of football that unite both Argentina and England. With current Argentine stars like Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez (both Manchester City) making their living in the English Premier League, it shows the power of sport over politics.

However, all of the South American imports playing in England today can be attributed to the sucess of one individual Argentine legend - OSVALDO "OSSIE" ARDILES.

1979 Topps "All-Star" Ossie Ardiles.

Ardiles concluded the 1978 FIFA World Cup with a Champion's medal as his home nation hosted that tournament. Afterwards, he went overseas to play for Tottenham Hotspur were he bacame a fan favorite.

After 10 seasons playing in London, he moved to the American club Ft. Lauderdale Strikers for their 1989 Championship season.

Osvaldo Ardiles is the first and only player from South America in the Football League top 100. Subsequently, he is the lone player with his first card appearing in a South American (and relatively rare) set.

Ardiles first appears on a rare 1977 Argentine League card with his Huracan club.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

McFarlane Scores

During a recent outing I went to a flea market in Central Florida. After my $2 basketball haul, I have kept any eye open for more figures. I spotted a table with several packaged action figures and toys.

I spied a box under the table that had a lot of loose items. It included some NFL Starting Lineup and McFarlane figures. Priced at $5, I countered with an offer of $4 - and SOLD.

Included was the University of Central Florida's most famous NFL alumni - DANTE CULPEPPER (Vikings)

HOWIE LONG (Raiders)





EMMITT SMITH (Cardinals) and ZACH THOMAS (Dolphins)

Lastly, JEREMY SHOCKLEY (Giants), DAN McCAFFREY (Broncos), and DREW BLESDOE (Bills) along with a 3 inch GEROME BETTIS (Steelers - not pictured).

The Starting Lineup included the Broncos Terrell Davis and John Elway and a New York Knicks Patrick Ewing. 

I love the detail on these McFarlane figures and actually prefer them loose rather than in the package where their 3 dimensional beauty can be admired.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Falcon is Out of This World

So what has been keeping me from blogging about cards the last few weeks ? Well, besides yard work, building projects, end of the season MLS Play-offs and Uefa Champions League in full swing ? Just this ...

My $6 rummage sale purchase of a LEGO Millenium Falcon !

After 4 hours of construction I have a complete and mint fresh space craft from  the STAR WARS universe. While the box looked worse for wear, all the parts were there AND it included the original 5 minifigs ...

Pricess Leia (Hoth outfit), Han Solo (Hoth outfit), Chewbacca, C-3PO and a bonus Snow Trooper with cannon.

Also mixed in the box was a GENOSIAN FIGHTER plus a Genosian Pilot !

Legos are one of the best toys ever made. They also are one of the most creative activities for both children and adults. Many architects and builders are preoccupied with designing and expermenting with the colorful blocks.

My wife, who is also a psychologist, tells me many therapist use Legos in their play therepy sessions. I think I'm going to be in therapy for a long time.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

End of the Ice Age ? McFarlane Troubles

Are the NHL players and owners looking more and more like this ...

due to the greed and the impending lockout ?

Its truly a shame as I really like the retro cards being produced lately. Cards with helmet-less players ...

and defunct clubs ...

but instead, all I can see is dollar signs down the drain for a league with too many clubs and too much money going to too many agents.  The glut of card makers in the 1990's was the beginning of the end.

Part of the negotiations from the last NHL strike included the royalties earned by the card companies licenses. Personally, I think there are still too many sets per year for collectors to afford or even retain interest. (This is one of the reasons I began to collect soccer cards)


McFarlane Toys had built a reputation on their detail and diversity of their action figures. The company was started by Todd McFarlane, the former comic book artist, which include drawing SPIDERMAN and the creation of SPAWN. 

For the sports world, they were the next generation of collectables beyond cards. The licensing of not only rock stars, horror film and comic book characters but for all the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA.

Recent news has uncovered manufacturing problems with their NFL figure releases. Poor quality control, sloppy workmanship and lost shipments have put a blemish on the one time leader in the action figure industry.

Never the less, this past weekend while at yard sales, I was able to pick up a handful of NBA figures for a steal. Although I do not collect basketball, per say, I could not pass up the chance to own finely detailed miniature figures. 

The haul: A large size Tracy McGrady in a blue Orlando Magic jersey.

The ballet of 3 inch figures included Jefferson (Nets), Martin (Nuggets), Duncan (Spurs) and Wallace (Pistons) ...

Francis (Magic), Jamison (Wizards), Yao Ming (Rockets) and O'Neal (Pacers), Iversen (Sixers) wthout bases.

I have been looking for some of the NHL figures. However, they are not abundant here in Florida (perhaps they all melt too easily ?).

I would love to see Major League Soccer or English Premier League figures made by McFarlane. Obviously, they have to put their house in order first.  As does the NHL.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Panini Champions League - Left in Stitches

Modern card collectors who chase jersey cards have lots and lots of choices. While other American sports cards have tons of jersey swatches - from the greatest players to the modern rookies.

Soccer cards, which are evolving with these modern "chase cards", do not have such luxuries - yet.

Other than the Pele' swatches from SportsKings, there are few legendary artifacts in the market.
To make matter worse for North American collectors, Upper Deck - possibly the worse cards ever for modern soccer (ugly, overpriced and farcical in other ways), cannot manage to match their photos with swatches.

Panini, the masters in soccer collecting since the 1960's, has meanwhile done an effective job at producing jersey cards. Their 2011 Champions League subset included 5 players with varying swatches (as many as 3 different colors).

True card makers know that these jersey cards are base on availability, not like the NFL which hands out jersey samples with photo sessions among their "game-used" material.

These Panini examples are matching to the colors of the jersey depicted on the card. Unlike the Upper Deck MLS which you may as well guess the team or the year that the material. The Thiago Silva card (above) even has the stitches to the two-color pattern.

This Frank Lampard jersey patch is sublime with the soccer balls outlining the crest. Some of these cards were known to have included an autograph as well. The above Lampard card sold for $400 on ebay.

The list:

Thiago Silva - AC Milan
Frank Lampard - Chelsea
Michael Bastos - Olympique Lyon
Michael Carrick - Manchester United
Ji-Sung Park - Manchester United

Monday, October 1, 2012


Today, Manchester City has a payroll well into the millions. There are plenty of foreigners on the English squad including two Argentinean players. Argentina, once an enemy combatant of England, are now expensive imported stars at City.

But it was not like that in the 1940's after the end of World War II. The ruins of Maine Road, Manchester's one time stadium, had to be abandoned due to an unexploded German bombs on the pitch.

Yet by 1949, a German man who was once a sworn enemy of England, took his place between the goal posts at Maine Road.

BERNHARD TRAUTMANN was a Nazi Paratrooper captured by the British and incarcerated in a camp inside England. He never left.

1959 National Spastics Society card # 1 - BERT TRAUTMANN

According to the story, the Brits called him "BERT" as Bernhard was not something they could not or would not pronounce. 

Bert took up farming in the small town of St. Helens and soon attracted the attention of 1st Division Manchester City while playing for the local club team.  Perseverance in the face of hate and animosity left over from the war, eventually became admiration and later adulation.

Trautmann went on to be voted "Player of the Year" in 1956 - the first goalkeeper to do so.  His legend was sealed when it was learned that he played the remainder of the 1956 F.A. Cup Final with a broken neck after a collision with an opposing player.

Bert played over 550 matches for Manchester in all competitions.

In 2004 he was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Collecting The FOOTBALL LEAGUE 100 - # 7 William FOULKE

He was known as "Fatty" Foulke because he weighed as much as 24 stone - the British equivalent of 331 pounds ! However, at 6 ft. 4 inches he also covered the goal which he kept safe for Sheffield United, Chelsea and Bradford City. 

He appeared once for England at the International level in 1897. 

1908 OGDEN'S Cigarette card issue of William Foulke.

In later years he became quite the crowd attraction. He placed two boys behind his goal to distract the opposition. They often retrieved balls for him, by fortune, inventing the first use of "ball boys".

In my pursuit to collection all the one hundred top Football League players, here is my count so far:

75 of 100 player cards = 75% finished
8 of 100 first issue cards = 8%

budget: $100
spent: $5
balance: $95

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monster Toys: part 2

How all these toys got along in this small box is beyond me. 


Dinosaurs, dinosaurs - some big, some small. A Jurassic Park collection with bandages and metal muzzles and other assorted dinosaurs ! 


Some vintage TMNT with characters I never saw.

Not monsters but dragons - DRAGON BALL Z figures ...


Some scary Aliens and Predators ...

The anatomy of the ultimate monster ... GODZILLA !

I really favor these and would love to have some Japanese versions of their creature heroes.

All of these toys are up for grabs except the Godzilla figures.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled card blog. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Box of Monsters ... Part 1


I don't often buy entire lots - I'm a picker. But after looking through a box of toys, I made an offer - that I could not refuse. 

There were some large monster figures in the box that looked really cool ...

It took some research and the help of some toy forum members but I found the above giant monster emanates from the Sci-Fi movie STARSHIP TROOPERS ... this video tells it best -

Then I found this ugly creature - the Alien Pilot from INDEPENDENCE DAY 

Here with the pilot inside (below) when the mouth opens ...


 Not your average hero action figures - these SPIDER-MAN examples are a Man-spider, a Vampire Spider-man and some 6-limb abomination of Spider-man. Also included Spider-man villains are Venom and Carnage.

A few X-Men, Ghost Rider, Iron-Man and a back row HULK-out - Gray Hulk, Green Hulk, Hairy Hulk and She-Hulk.


This was the best of the Super Heroes - a Giant 12 inch 30th Anniversary issue of the SILVER SURFER.  

Accessories included a surf board, flame trail, a ball of fire and a power glove.

This is a look at most of the box of items all out.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Almost Liverpool: Arbitrary Trade pt. 2

The 2nd part of my trade with fellow blogger Martyn over at Arbitrary Crap contains a few more nearly (Liverpool) men. Under King Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool FC were beginning to develop a nice group of youngsters - including JAY SPEARING. 

Unfortunately, with new manager Brendon Rodgers, he has not been a starter.

Next up is one of the most hated ex-Liverpool players - FERNANDO TORRES who left for Chelsea so he could "win trophies".  While his teams have won them (Spain and Chelsea), he has played only a small part. He scoreless streak last season was longer than any droughts in our mid-west states.

Rookie ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN finally makes his Topps card debut. He has already been capped by England.

A shiny "Golden Moment" insert card of former Manchester City's Shaun Goater. 

A shiny "Hundred Club" insert of Champions Man. City  - DAVID SILVA.

A shiny "Man of the Match: insert of Champions VINCENT KOMPANY.

A shiny insert of Arsenal's young gunner - JACK WILSHIRE.

And a final shiny, Chelsea's European Champion's League Captain card of JOHN TERRY.

Added were 2 packs each of some Panini Premier League stickers. I'll be rippin' packs on Saturday while watching the games live on FOX SOCCER CHANNEL.

Martyn included some memorabilia from his home club BLACKBURN ROVERS

A lapel pin - mint in package.

A match ticket from Blackburn vs. Portsmouth from 2001. In the background of the ticket is former Liverpool and Scotland International - GRAEME SOUNESS. 

Thanks Martyn !