Since I maintain two player collections, I am constantly looking for new cards for those players. At this point, it is a rare occurrence to find something I don't have. I do occasionally run across art cards, which are non-licensed cards generally produced by independent artists, and I will often buy them. But, I tend to run hot and cold on these cards. Let's take a look at why that is.
These Edward Vela cards are very nice. The reference to being a giclée print means they were digital images printed using an inkjet printer. That is fine because these are well done. Vibrant colors, glossy finish, and on a heavy stock of similar weight to licensed trading cards.
My only complaint about these cards, and it is a minor one, is the images. Since I am looking through all new Paul Blair listings on Ebay daily, these images are familiar to me. Each are commonly seen on 8x10s for sale. Further, card #2 is the same image used on the 1999 and 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game cards for Blair, in addition to the 2003 AT&T Heroes to Heroes card. Overall though, this is minor gripe. These cards sell for $5 to $10, so I would expect that the process is basically running a digital image through some Photoshop filters to render them like paintings.
This card, part of my Johnny Antonelli PC, was a major disappointment. The stock is similar to what is used on greeting cards. Heavier than construction paper, but much thinner than normal trading card stock. Additionally, as you can see, the colors aren't very bright, almost as if the printer was running out of ink. I like custom cards with backs, but this one is uninspiring.
This is my latest art card pickup. This is generally a really nice card. Nice stock, well designed, bright colors. It falls into the "cards that never were" genre. The final series of 1959 Topps baseball included cards for a number of that years All-Star game participants. While Antonelli was on the team representing the Giants, he didn't have a card in that subset. This art card corrects that. My only complaint about this card? The back is blank. Since this card was $5 delivered, I get that the artistic process needs to be limited in order to make this a profitable venture. However, I would have gladly paid $10 or more for this card with a printed back.
There is another art card seller on Ebay that also has a Johnny Antonelli card available. I haven't purchased the card because, even though the card image is quite well done, the listing description reads as follows:
"THIS IS A NOVELTY CARD THAT IS CUSTOM MADE. IT HAS NO VALUE, IT IS FOR COLLECTING ONLY. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A CUSTOM CARD IS, PLEASE BUY FROM SOMEONE ELSE. THESE CARDS ARE THE SAME SIZE AS A NORMAL CARD BUT NOT AS THICK. IF YOU WANT A THICK CARD THEN BUY FROM SOMEONE ELSE. IF YOUR GOING TO DISPLAY YOUR CARD IN A TOPLOADER, WHY DOES IT MATTER HOW THICK IT IS. IT WILL LOOK GREAT. CARDS ARE MADE ON 140LB CARD STOCK"Maybe I am just a different version of curmudgeon, but the combination of thin stock and negativity just turns me off. I'll buy from someone else.
Finally, there is one other art card in my collection and has been so for 6 years. It came to me from Cardboard Junkie. You can read about it here.
So, to my half a dozen or so readers, how do you feel about art cards? Do you add them to your collection?
What I am listening to: Rolling in the Deep by Adele.