Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's mine... my own... my... PRECIOUS!!!

I'm sure every serious collector out there is the same as me in one particular way - we all have a single item that is something of a Holy Grail for us. An item that, despite our extensive seeking out, manages to elude us around every corner. Sometimes we'll catch a glimpse of it, a mere sparkle out of the corner of our eye, but obtaining this gem is akin to holding sand in one's hand, it slips through your fingers again and again.

And then, if you're a poor sap like me, you manage to find the item, to claim it as your own, only to have it perish or be lost in some way, in my case - misplacing it on a plane!

And then you are right back where you started...

Well, I lost my particular Holy Grail over 10 years ago now, on that fateful plane trip from Melbourne to Edinburgh. I say fateful because whilst I lost my gem, I met my now wife a few days after getting off that plane.
But in those proceeding 10 years, I went back to searching near and far for my once-lost Grail, and I didn't get even the slightest hint of it in that time. That is, until a few weeks ago.
Yes, fellow seekers of Searsian artefacts, I can say that for the second, and hopefully last time (barring any unforseen incidents) I own this little beauty below:
'What?' I hear you say, 'That's it?! That's your Holy Grail?!?' Well... yes! It may not look like much, but this Judge Dredd badge, measuring a modest 45 x 32mm, most certainly is my Holy Grail. Why? Only because this badge is one of the most rare, if not the rarest, of all Bart Sears items. There are other things that are rare, like the Wizard Binder and a few trading cards, but I have only ever seen this badge come up for sale twice in something like 13 years on eBay or any other auction site. Twice! Two times! That makes it very, very rare.

As far as particulars are concerned, it is (as stated above) 45 x 32mm, made of what I believe to be hard acrylic and it is embossed. The blue text and linework (which is reflective and cool looking) is raised about half a millimetre off the white base. There are no copyright or trademark stamps anywhere to be seen (which would suggest to me that a sticker was originally involved in some way), though I know it be a product of SQP from 1989. SQP (or SQProductions) was responsible for Quality Comics back in the late 80's, who reprinted a lot of the british 2000 A.D. comics with new covers, 30 of which feature Bart's art on them. SQP also ran the official Conan Fan Club for a while, and Bart produced several images for that too.

Several of Bart's pieces from this time for SQP were used for promotional material and a good few T-Shirts as well, and for one single badge... my badge!

For those of you wishing to see where the badge artwork is taken from, here's the original cover:
And there you have it. My Holy Grail. My Precious. Returned to me once more, and never to leave again. Rest assured, it won't be going anywhere near an airport, let alone an airplane, any time soon.