Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bart Sears Trading Cards #1

One section of the vast Bart Sears collectible library that I feel warrants a much needed closer look on this blog is Trading Cards featuring the art of Bart Sears.

By my reckoning, there are a total of 68 Trading cards featuring Bart's art, most of which are from the early to mid-90's, back when it seemed every man and his dog had a card set out. This may not be the actual total amount of cards featuring his work, I still have a few to track down, including that pesky 'The Mask' card, which I still to this day do not know for sure if it exists.
While Bart never managed to get around to having his own card set (oh, what a dream!), he did contribute to a fairly diverse range of card sets. Many of the cards featuring his art actually take previous artwork from other places, be they the Conan 2 cards that reprint Bart's first portfolio, to the most recent cards, for Zoom Suit, which reprint Bart's cover for the comic of the same title.

So join me as we take a stroll through the Bart Sears Trading Card Gallery.
Many of the images I put up on this Blog are done so with the express intent of showing all of you that look here some of Bart's lesser known work. Sure, it looks like I'm showing off, but it really is a case of me wanting to share with you all some of the great, if not well known, art Bart has produced over the years.
And this first set of cards is no exception.
I got my hands on the 'Marvel Premium X-Men Timelines '97' set of cards on the 19th of January, 2000. One of the first things I noticed was that none of the cards had the artists responsible credited anywhere on the cards that I could see. This is going against the grain somewhat, as all other cards of the same ilk always used this practice. The only other noticeable one not to being the Marvel Overpower cards. So anyway, usually this would not be a problem, as I can normally spot an authentic Bart Sears piece a mile away. And this was certainly the case with the 5 cards that were indeed created by Bart. But I initially had something like 8 cards picked out as possibly being done by Bart. There were a few cards that I just didn't know if Bart did, all of them being part of the Techno-Wonders sub-set that the cards I definitely knew Bart did were part of.
As it turned, those extra couple of cards were not done by Bart, as confirmed by him later, and the number of cards actually done by him for this set is 5, the 5 I knew for sure he did initially.
And here they are-
Bart Sears X-Men Timelines cards final
I know, I know, they don't quite look like Bart's work. Some of the colouring is a bit funky in places, but rest assured, they are definitely by Bart. Well, the pencils are anyway-
Bart Sears X-Men Timelines cards pencils
If you look closely at the pencils in relation to the final cards, you may spot a few 'alterations.' Most obviously is the Rama-Tut card, where the final card has the figure much enlarged. But perhaps more interestingly is the Black Knight card, where the final artwork has removed the sword from his right hand and put it in his left.
Another cool card set, that is rather tough to track down these days, is the DC Stars set sold exclusively through Walmart back in 1994. Basically, these cards were taken directly from the DC 1992 Series 1 card set, with the images resized and that unapologetically early '90's border added.
Bart Sears DC Stars cards
Although Bart produced artwork for 7 cards from the original set, only these three characters from those 7 were reprinted in the Walmart set, which was only a set of 44 cards, 1 checklist and some promo and chase cards, whilst the original set was much larger.
The final card I'll share with you today is Bart's only card for the 'Dark Horse: Comics Greatest World' set.
Here it is-
I mentioned that it is Bart's only card from the set because, interestingly enough, this card image made it onto one of the packaging wrappers for the cards. This is interesting because this is the only time Bart's art has appeared on a card wrapper.
This is just the first step into the Bart Sears Trading Card Gallery, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to discover yet. So check back soon for more Bart Sears Trading Cards and insight into them.
See you all soon.

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