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Original Art in Marvel Base sets
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Are these days done? Apart from the sketch cards, it seems like cards from the last 10 years aren't anywhere near as nice as the sets from the 90s (or earlier).

I may be bias here as the 90s is when i did most of my collecting, but just looking at the Marvel Masterpieces from 2007-2008, then compare those to 92-94.
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Australia | Registered: June 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There has been a huge shift in what sells cards over the last 20 years. In the 1990's the cards themselves were the thing. I honestly don't even think companies (the major ones, anyways) even thought of issuing new Marvel or DC sets that weren't entirely all new art commisioned specifically for the cards. The cards themselves, devoid of signatures, hand drawn original art, or embedded costume pieces, had to sell the set. For that reason the art and design was crucial.

These days, it's the "hits" that sell the cards, namely sketch cards and autographs, and to a lesser degree, memorabilia and prop cards. Also, the biggest card companies of today would have been considered small companies in the 1990's. Today's largest print runs are miniscule compared to the average set in the 1990's. Even the mainstay Topps releases only a fraction of the non-sports sets that they did at their peak. With that in mind, I just don't think they can afford to commission artists for all new art like they could (and pretty much had to) back in the 1990's when it was expected.

As for your example, Marvel Masterpieces, the new sets share only the name with the classics. For the 1990's set Fleer/Skybox would take out ads to proclaim the wonder of the artists they'd hired to produce the images for the first 5 sets, and what a lineup, Joe Jusko, the Hildebrandts, Bell & Vallejo, Nelson DeCastro, Bill Sienciewicz to name just a few.

And while some of those very artists appeared in the new sets from Upper Deck, it was in the form of previously published art so it wasn't the same. While there are some beautiful cards in the Upper Deck sets, and due to somewhat limited production and nice design work they do have an upside, compared to the 1990's sets, the Upper Deck cards are just extra packaging around the sketches (which were amazing in the new MM sets, especially series 1).

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Posts: 3353 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree, some of these sketches i have seen around are amazing, but no way i could afford to get any large amount of them. Those sketch cards made me want to look up the base sets and easier to find chase sets, but very few have caught my eye. Its a shame. There are still plenty of old sets left for me to find though!
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Australia | Registered: June 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cryptozoic just announced details on their new DC Comics set just today which will feature all original artwork

DC Comics The New 52 Trading Cards
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fantastic news! I'm in for a least a few boxes of those. The lenticular "Work in Progress" insert set seems to underscore that this set is all about art created specifically for cards, what a welcome sight they will be, and artist lists on base and chase are stellar.

Talk about a throwback set, Cryptozoic is on fire!

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Posts: 3353 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Everybody is trying to save a buck.

I love the early Masterpieces. Today's cards aren't as good IMO, but I find that it's a good way to get some of the nicer comic cover art, since I rarely buy comics anymore.

I like that the new DC series will be original art, but I find two problems with this set. 1) It's DC. I kid....sort of. 2) It's the newer versions of the characters, if I'm not mistaken.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I very much respect chesspieceface's first post on this thread and believe that it sums it up concisely. Without a doubt today's base cards are merely 'cannon-fodder' to pack out the 'hits'.
I have always collected cards for two reasons. In the first instance I am a self confessed completist but have had (out of sheer financial necessity) to confine myself to the 1200 sets between 1975 and 2000. But running a very close second is the admiration I have for older sets artwork and Marvel in particular. The modern sets don't even come close to Marvel Masterpieces 1994 set let alone most of the others. To be honest (and I have pondered over this a number of times) just as soon as I win Lotto I will spend my money on earlier sets not later ones.

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
... To be honest (and I have pondered over this a number of times) just as soon as I win Lotto I will spend my money on earlier sets not later ones.


Wait a minute, does everyone in New Zealand get to win the Lotto? And what, you just have to wait for your turn to come around each year?
Guaranteed lotto wins, Xena herself, and Lord of the Rings? I'm on my way!

Just about my only complaint regarding living is the U.S. is how hard it is to win the lottery around here. I've played, like 5 times, and have not won even once. Both of our presidential candidates have been strangely silent on the issue...

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Posts: 3353 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to say, I just saw what I believe is the Wonder Woman card, and it looks awesome!

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:
Wait a minute, does everyone in New Zealand get to win the Lotto? And what, you just have to wait for your turn to come around each year?
Guaranteed lotto wins, Xena herself, and Lord of the Rings? I'm on my way!

Weeeeel, for a start non-New Zealanders are only permitted to win Lotto once ALL the Kiwis have won it twice. Secondly the prizes are not that flash. I won first division last week and only got $1.78. Still, Lucy is an acquaintance of mine (we met at a party and any way she only lives a couple of miles away from me) and Sir Peter Jackson was once in my suburb (but never bothered to pop in for a quick beer so he's a snobby b*#&*%$ then isn't he).
PS Actually there is a modern set that I truly love (and hence must have) and thats the recent Bettie Page set. I think that the art in that set is quite wonderful.

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's unfair of me to say so but I think they're missing a good opportunity here, they could have used their in house artists and made a really different set which stands out drawing in a lot of collectors and ensuring the set is a success but instead they relied on the artists we've seen on many recent sets.

That isn't a complaint about those artists, there's some incredible talent there but regardless of that we've seen them all before and often with only a few months between consecutive releases.

I would have thought if this set was about the base/chase then there would have been more levels of chase but there's only 1 besides the sketch cards which makes me think they expect the sketches to be the big driver and if they're not all stand out I just don't see that happening in an over satured market.
 
Posts: 121 | Location: London | Registered: July 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I can't help but think the Sketch card market will have to bottom out eventually. With every new comic series release, including all these new movies, how long before people feel like another similar sketch card isn't all that exciting? Considering the relative scarcity/price anyway.

If the base sets / chase sets are bland or non existent, what is going to drive the sales? It may not happen soon, but i really hope there will eventually be a new Marvel series with original art, 2-4 subsets (something like powerblast - 1:x, hologram 1: 3x, etc) and of course the odd sketch card.

It seems even the chase sets these days lack the visual appeal of chase sets from days past. I decided i would stop collecting everything and anything and just go for those sets that i liked the look of, but it really is difficult for me to find any.
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Australia | Registered: June 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
Actually there is a modern set that I truly love (and hence must have) and thats the recent Bettie Page set. I think that the art in that set is quite wonderful.


The Bettie Page set is a sharp one, but it was actually first conceived of as a Topps set called "Bettie Page Illustrated" in the mid 1990's around the time of the original Star Wars Galaxy sets. Sadly, it was never made by Topps, but I do think there's a promo card for it.

As for sketch cards from Marvel and DC related sets, the only ones I've ever really liked are from artists who have worked on the actual comics themselves. Everyone else is just "hired guns" as they say. On the other hand, some artists of that variety actually drew sketch cards first and then went on to become actual Marvel and/or DC artists, so you never can tell...

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 3353 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Andy28 the 90's cards made by Impel (SkyBox) and Fleer really beat all these wannabe Masterpieces series from Upper Deck and any series from "neo" Comic Images aka Rittenhouse.

About the DC 52 card set. If the base card artwork is from actual comic artist it will be interesting.
 
Posts: 242 | Location: Puerto Rico | Registered: December 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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