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Sketch cards.. good or bad?
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I have been chipping away at the Battlestar Galactica Complete series and ended up buying my first ever sketch cards.. I am very impressed, they are like my own little piece of art and I am hooked, my wallet is cringing as I type this, so before I commit a kidney I have a few questions..

I was wondering what the general consensus on sketch cards is? they seem to be ridicously expensive, are they worth the price?

Who are the artists? I imagine for comics they would be the comic artists but for TV shows. Are there just a few artists that do the majority of the sketch cards?

If an artist does 100 cards, are they variations of the same thing or totally different, how do you complete a master set?

Thanks
drof
 
Posts: 158 | Location: UK | Registered: December 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:
I have been chipping away at the Battlestar Galactica Complete series and ended up buying my first ever sketch cards.. I am very impressed, they are like my own little piece of art and I am hooked, my wallet is cringing as I type this, so before I commit a kidney I have a few questions..

I was wondering what the general consensus on sketch cards is? they seem to be ridicously expensive, are they worth the price?

Who are the artists? I imagine for comics they would be the comic artists but for TV shows. Are there just a few artists that do the majority of the sketch cards?

If an artist does 100 cards, are they variations of the same thing or totally different, how do you complete a master set?

Thanks
drof


This is a massive subject and I am betting every cardtalker has a different view on parts of it.

From my own collecting experience I never used to collect sketch cards and if they were in a set I was collecting used to sell them to get more of the costumes/autos that I did collect.The main reason for this was the(in my opinion only I hasten to add) rather dull pencil line drawings that most sets had.

My view changed when we started seeing full colour artwork and more photo real cards.These were more to my taste and also prices dropped dramatically as more card companies started to produce them.

I know there are many collectors out there who believe that the simple pencil and ink drawings are the only true sketches and do not like other types of work.

If you want to see the different styles best illustrated take a look at the Vampirella discussion in news and runours.

Prices are very dependent on the artist and you should have no problem with the current market finding high quality work for less than £10 per card.I have built up an extensive collection of the Marvel Dangerous Divas without ever paying more than $16 for any single sketch.

Regarding the master set most people would say one of each artist constitutes a master set.
 
Posts: 2528 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Practically all sketch card artists currently working on sets are freelance. You do have a few comic artists who work on comic sets.

The artists Leaf hired to do the sketch cards for their upcoming Family Guy are all artists from the show (only six different artists on the set).

I love sketch cards, but I'm more of the photo real collector. I have a huge collection of Andy Fry and David Desbois sketches that can be seen here:

http://www.allthingswhedon.com/sketchcards.htm
 
Posts: 860 | Location: Alaska | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love sketch cards. The only rule I follow is -if I like the card and I can afford it I buy it. And since there's an exception or two to every rule, I even buy some I can't afford.
 
Posts: 2478 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think they are a great addition to any set. I like when it's possible to draw real likeness characters with cast members involvement, so they get to see the artwork and approve/disapprove (such Dexter/Tudors)
You got a lot of 'Fry' Chuck, have some catching up to do! Big Grin Black Canary is ready, will email her to you soon
I don't personaly have a lot of sketch cards, just a few I picked up from fav artists, Siplon, Hall, Aimo, Twins and a few of mine I keep in my collection.

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Posts: 529 | Location: Canada | Registered: March 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:

Who are the artists? I imagine for comics they would be the comic artists but for TV shows. Are there just a few artists that do the majority of the sketch cards?


Most of the artists are freelance artists. Some may do art only part time. Some may have occasional comic work. However, the full time comic artists don't do much sketchcard work even on comics related sets - at least partially due to time I suspect. Instead, many of the artists are essentially sketch card only artists (though they may do larger commissioned pieces etc).

There is a lot of overlap between the artists on the TV show and comics sets. However, there's also some differences as some styles suit one or the other. Also, Rittenhouse have established a colour only rule for their comics sets and some artists work in shaded pencil etc.

quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:

If an artist does 100 cards, are they variations of the same thing or totally different, how do you complete a master set?


On the older sets (eg Complete Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Season 5) there are only a few artists and they did multiple of the same sketch. In those cases it is realistic to include one of each variation in a master set.

Most recent sets (eg LOTR, various Marvel) allow the artist to draw whatever they like within some sort of constraints and then approve the individual cards after the artist has completed them. In these sets, one sketch from each artist is reasonable for a master.

In practice, however, there are certain styles I don't like as much, so I feel like my collection is complete based on all sorts of criteria. For example, for DC Legacy, there were only 50 approved characters of which I like about 40, so my 'master' has at least one sketch I like for each of those 40 characters. Probably not a master, but I'm not going to buy sketches I don't like Smile
 
Posts: 1574 | Location: temp UK, usually Australia | Registered: July 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It'll cost you more than a kidney if you want a coloured Martineck sketch from this series Eek , you are probably looking at £500 or more, I'm not exactly sure the exact price as the exchange rate has changed, but it used to be >£150 or an arm for a pencil sketch, >£300 or a leg for an ink sketch and >£500 or your first born child for a colour sketch. There are ~2000 sketches by the various artists and I have 58, which is not the most by a long way. I believe I have the most expensive Martineck, but I only just won that by one bid increment on Ebay. Most other sketches used to go for around £40-£60 althought Czop colour sketches go for more than this.

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So many cards, so little money!
 
Posts: 643 | Location: Cornwall, England | Registered: October 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Big picture, I think they are good. As another thread points out, we are a dying breed and so companies have to come up with ways to kind of chump us into buying the same product over and over. In the sports world, one method they used was "letter cards", which encourages collectors to buy multiples of a swatch card to try and spell out different things. In non-sport, we have sketches. No matter how many you get, they are all different. Of course, long term they seem to be fadding out. After all, no matter what the card stock is, how many Spider-man's waist cards do you need? (Note to artists: not all companies are keeping your multi-card or puzzle sketches together, so knock it off already!) --Chris

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Posts: 423 | Location: Heaven (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) | Registered: June 22, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As always, collect what you like. I have
an artist that I like, and I tend to collect those cards only, but if I see a card that I like, I will see about picking it up. Are there too many sketch cards in the market? Yes, absolutely. However, it does make many of them much more affordable, so that is a good thing. It's no different than autos or costumes, there are a lot of those out there too, so collect what you like, and pay what they are worth to you, and have a good time doing it.

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Posts: 5767 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't consider myself a sketch card collector and I would never feel compelled to try to get one card made by every artist in a set to complete it.

Having said that, I think sketch cards are a terrific addition to any product. I do prefer multi-color, highly detailed likenesses that might be considered closer to a painting than to a sketch. Some of the ones done in Dexter and The Tudors are good examples, although a well drawn B/W sketch can be very attractive.

As for cost, there are many great sketches available for moderate prices. There is a certain amount of snobbery when it comes to those well known sketch artists and there are some names that command 3 figures no matter what the piece looks like. I guess you could say the same thing about many famous painters hanging in museums. The key is to buy what you like and what you can afford without worrying about someone else's idea of a good sketch card. Smile
 
Posts: 9638 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This forum is great, thanks for the advice, it is much appreciated

Chuck, your collection is awesome, are they official cards? I love the firefly/serenity cards. That is one of my favourite shows.

It’s interesting; from Stephen123 post I read this today,

“It'll cost you more than a kidney if you want a coloured Martineck sketch from this series , you are probably looking at £500 or more, I'm not exactly sure the exact price as the exchange rate has changed, but it used to be >£150 or an arm for a pencil sketch, >£300 or a leg for an ink sketch and >£500 or your first born child for a colour sketch. There are ~2000 sketches by the various artists and I have 58, which is not the most by a long way. I believe I have the most expensive Martineck, but I only just won that by one bid increment on Ebay. Most other sketches used to go for around £40-£60 althought Czop colour sketches go for more than this.”

My overnight ebay search picked up 3 new pencil sketch Martineck cards for £84.99 each, I added them to my watch list to think about and they have all sold within a few hours.. I wonder if this forum and your post had anything to do with that. And @##@ I missed out..

My take on these cards is that I will only buy sketches if I like the picture, a different mind-set is required. I can’t have everything as essentially each sketch is unique, so a master set has to be a selection of all the available regardless.

I am looking forward to this new angle of collecting, there seems to be a huge range to choice from, although the prices also have a huge range. I think it’s probably better to buy boxes and try to pack pull for sketch cards, the dealer prices are pretty high for the cards I am interested in..
 
Posts: 158 | Location: UK | Registered: December 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:
I am looking forward to this new angle of collecting, there seems to be a huge range to choice from, although the prices also have a huge range. I think it’s probably better to buy boxes and try to pack pull for sketch cards, the dealer prices are pretty high for the cards I am interested in..


It depends on how lucky you are and on what products you chose to buy.

Generally a lot of the products that have a sketch card as the premium hit are carrying only one per box. The quality and subjects of the sketches vary, so if you get a box solely for the sketch, you may not like the one you pull. I think its OK to buy a box just to get the base set and a chance at one of those artists that you might not otherwise be able to afford, but in the long run individual buys are the best way to ensure that you'll have the collection you want.

By the way, don't forget about personal commissions. Many artists are available to take sketch orders for very reasonable prices and several of them advertise on Card Talk. Smile
 
Posts: 9638 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Once you initially jump into the hobby, it's very addictive and I mean very addicitve. However, if you set rules for yourself and follow them, it can be very fun IMO. The hunt is like no other in the trading card hobby, as for the most part each card is it's own work of art.

Here's what I've put together so far:

http://sketchcollectors.com/gallery.php?user_id=397


The key is to buy what you like. Good luck!
 
Posts: 575 | Location: USA | Registered: June 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:
Chuck, your collection is awesome, are they official cards? I love the firefly/serenity cards. That is one of my favourite shows.



Nearly all my sketches are commission through the artist. The only one on my page that is an official sketch is the first Deb Morgan Desbois sketch which is an AP from the last Dexter release.
 
Posts: 860 | Location: Alaska | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only sketch cards I collect are the ones included in a boxed set or I pull from a pack. They are way too expensive to buy. I would much rather have the base set and a few extras that I get from packs.

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Posts: 1159 | Location: Just NW of Hazzard County Georgia USA | Registered: December 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:
...I was wondering what the general consensus on sketch cards is? they seem to be ridicously expensive, are they worth the price?...


When buying a sketch card it is a subjective purchase. Only you can determine if your work of art was worth what you paid. Do not look at it as you would a typical trading card but research what a fair price range might be by reviewing similar (in your mind) purchases.

It's been mentioned that some collectors consider acquiring a sketch from every artist as a Master set. I'm actually chasing one series in that manner. Usually, if I could fill a 9-pocket page with sketches from my one favorite artist in a series (or 3 from my top 3), I would be happy. Define a master set around your ability, financial or otherwise.

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Posts: 901 | Location: Hampton NH 03842 | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It really is all subjective....
I think sketch cards came along and gave the hobby a much-needed kick in the pants a few years ago. When they first started appearing, I wasn't a fan of the quick pencil sketches, and usually sold or traded what I'd obtained. However, as someone pointed out,some have become small masterpieces and I find myself purchasing them more and more. Some are bargains, some are ridiculously overpriced, but at this point I think the market is getting over-saturated. What you pull from a $65 box shouldn't be available for $16 on the secondary market.
I kind of like Breygent's approach with the Dexter sketches - one per case. Just a few musings...to each his/her own.

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Posts: 3137 | Location: Queens NYC | Registered: September 21, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I respect the sketch card artist, but in my opinion card manufacturers are just killing collector interest. If you go to eBay every week you find somebody giving away hundreds of packs or thousand of base/insert cards for just cents because they were only searching for the sketches.
 
Posts: 242 | Location: Puerto Rico | Registered: December 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First of all....SKETCH CARDS GOOD!!!

The "hits" are where a breaking dealer will or won't recoup thier money. When you take a look at how little base sets sell for these days, is it any wonder that some folks do this? If I spend an hour and a half sorting a case of cards into sets and can not sell them for even $5, is it worth my time? No!

I would rather sort just enough to have a couple of the newest sets with me at a show and then whatever masters or mini-masters that I can scratch together.

People are just too used to paying next to nothing for base/chase sets, in part do to some of the big busting dealers blowing things out from day one...which sets the market (and ruins it in many cases). One guy, if he breaks enough, can ruin an entire product's secondary marked on base/chase/autos by selling large quantities of cards cheap on release day (see latest Bond set).

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Posts: 1492 | Location: Tinley Park, Illinois, USA | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by igman7:
by selling large quantities of cards cheap on release day (see latest Bond set).


Just out of intrest what would you regard as cheap?

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Posts: 28833 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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