The moment everyone has been waiting for has arrived. It's time to declare a winner in the first annual Thorzul Will Rule Halloween Contest: Nightmares on Cardboard. The Grand Prize goes to...PunkRockPaint!
His blog is one of the newest on the scene, and it will be one that I have plans on checking daily. His latest post showcases some really great Allen & Ginter creations. With his post and the one you're reading today, I think we've reached a tipping point (to use Malcolm Gladwell's term). Cards created by the masses (not to mention articles written by bloggers) are better than ones made my card companies (and by trade magazines). To wit:
Here's the back of the mailing envelope PunkRockPaint sent. Dripping blood is always a plus.
Now, let's see what's inside. A slight greeting card sat atop a package wrapped in some binding twine. I slipped off the twine and was met with a warning. Should I heed this harbinger? Naaahhhh.
One the first cards I can see is a Robin Yount card I actually didn't have.
2005 Upper Deck Classics Classic Counterparts Robin Yount/Paul Molitor #CC-MY (0689/1999)
Fret not, ghouls and ghoulettes, the knife and axe graphics were mounted on a penny sleeve, not on the card. Awesome throw-in for the contest!
Sandwiched between a couple of top loaders was an honest-to-goodness pack of cards. The wrapper graphic borrows heavily from the E.C. Comics design, which gets a membranous update with a throbbing brain revealed to be lurking underneath the rawhide cover of the ball. Tingling with fear, I am!
Flip the pack over, and you get the full complement of odds. My favorites are the Gray Matter Back Parallel 1:24 and the Body Part Relics, especially "Toe." Devilishly delightful!
Let's tear in, kiddies!
Anthony Perkins! Oh my God! What a great beginning to this pack. At this point I knew I was in for something special.
From here on, I'll reveal the cards in the pack one by one. PRP also sent me the original jpg's for the purpose of clarity, but I assure you there's nothing like holding the real thing in your hands. Since this card was shown first, I'll share it now. the rest will be shown in order according to an increasing level of greatness.
1960 Topps #394 Norm Bates
The front of this card contains an excellent headshot, showing exactly why Perkins was typecast for the rest of his career because of his role in Psycho. This card uses the original 1960 Topps card of Dodger Norm Larker. Note the subtle transformation of the Dodgers logo into that of the "Mothers."
And let's take a look at the back.
Wait a min-
How in the wor-
Good Lord, even the cartoon on the back is altered! We are in the presence of greatness.
Next: 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee Hockey #13 Jason Voorhees
This one is good, but probably my least favorite in the pack. The horror angle is a little obvious, but still fun. I wasn't able to pinpoint the exact card used for this . The CCCP on the jersey suggests Vladislav Tretiak, but I can't be sure. Crystal Lake certainly needs a team, and I suppose hockey would indeed be their game. The town is more of a summer vacation village, but counselors who aren't dead could round out the roster. Again, take your time reading the backs of these cards for some really smart references.
(Editor's Note: One of the coolest things about these cards is the use of a set contemporary to the release of the film parodied. Friday the 13th, for example, came out in 1980. Excellent.)
Hold on a second! It wasn't until I posted this and took a look at the full-size scan that I realized that the severed head is that of Kevin Bacon! Brilliant!
1980 Topps #366 Jack Torrance
This card was used to different effect by yesterday's second place winner. Look out for the sneaky changes to the text and stats on the back. Jack's "Overlook" stat line is my favorite, plus the note that he "froze to death in the offseason," which I guess was really the offseason of the hotel as well. Huh.
The cartoon is also brilliant. I have no Idea how PRP pulled this off, but I'm guessing he's going to share this tomorrow on the blog Things Done To Cards. I can't wait to check it out.
Here's the German Expressionism I was hinting at yesterday.
1922 E-220 National Caramel Count Orlok
This has to be the coolest card ever produced by anyone anywhere. Check out the purposely rounded corners to simulate aging.
This card also brings to mind the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, where Lisa drops some serious vampire knowledge.
"They're wrong! The creature they seek is the walking undead: Nosferatu, Das Wampyr!"
And now, the one that had me gasping for breath, the one that topped Nosferatu within a matter of seconds, the Bob Beamon of the world of doctored cards...
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter #AGR-RMN Regan McNeil Vomit-Stained Blouse
Pictured above are merely the raw images used to create this card, which I scanned for you in its complete form below.
Yes, Virginia, that is a swatch of...something contained within a frame of an actual A&G relic card.
I'm going to go out of my way right not to implore PunkRockPaint to never duplicate any more hard copies of these cards so I can be the only one in the world to own them. I'm urging you to go Matthew Barney on us and withhold your art.
(Editor's Note: Matthew Barney is an experimental filmmaker who has declined to release his best-known work, the five-part film saga The Cremaster Series, on any kind of mass-market DVD, opting instead to construct elaborately packaged DVDs with insanely short print runs that were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece to wealthy art collectors. Oh, and he is married to Bjork.)
I fear that anything else I say about these cards will fail to do them justice, so I'll stop here.
An added bonus for anyone who wanted a clearer look at the wrapper, here you go...
The prize that PunkRockPaint will receive, as promised, is indeed a relic card of a player who has won two World Series rings since 1990.
2008 Upper Deck Jersey David Ortiz #UDJ-DO
I was lucky enough to pull a guaranteed jersey card of an actual good player from a blaster, so I feel I should share this good fortune with the winner.
Until next year's contest, I bid all of you a spooky Halloween.