Skip to main content

See ya in the funny papers

You may have heard that today is Free Comic Book Day. I'm pretty sure that there's a place around here where I could get my free comic book, but I'm not interested.

My interest in comic books died somewhere in mid-adolescence. If I had to pinpoint a peak year for comic book reading, it probably would be 1980, only because that is the year I remember spending a summer weekend at my grandparents and feverishly scanning every comic book that sat in my uncle's piano lesson waiting room.

The appeal of comic books then was the art and the story line. I didn't care that they were superheroes. I didn't care about the out-of-this-world fantasy. I just liked the drawings and the story. You could create a comic book about the check-out clerk in the grocery store and if the art is good and the story is good, well that's good enough for me. Throw me an Archies comic and I was happy.

But anyway, I think this is fertile ground for baseball cards.

Outside of the present-day Panini Triple Play cards, I can't think of too many times when cards have dabbled in the comic book style.

The Skybox Dugout Access inserts of the late '90s -- including the terrific one of Hideo Nomo -- is another example.

The bizarre late '90s Metal cards are another, but I am so finished with the "Player As Superhero" idea. I don't even like thinking that way.

No, I'd much rather see the ballplayer as a Regular Joe. I know they make millions, but that's what I want to see, because underneath the piles of money that's who they are.

The Bazooka comic insert strips from 9 or 10 years ago is somewhat closer to what I mean.

But perhaps the best examples of comics on cards are in the 1956 set, cited about a zillion times on this blog.

This is what I like. It's exaggerated, but it doesn't portray Hector Lopez as an intergalactic robot. I need some realism to my stories.

And that's the important part, the story. I want a comic that not only shows a drawing, but tells a story.

There is only one problem with the '56 comics.

They're on the back of the card.

Wouldn't it be great if a card set was devised where the strips were on the front?

One comic strip card for each player.

Or if we're getting fancy, a story could be continued from card to card, maybe one story per team (of course, we all know that the Cubs story would end poorly). That is something I would love to buy.

If you remember back to the late '70s when the Star Wars cards came out, the big appeal to me was that the cards followed chronologically by number. The movie progressed on the cards as the set progressed from low numbers to high. It was a set with a story. Think of your popular TV serials today. I know a few have cards. But not enough. I'd pay a pretty penny right now if someone announced a Mad Men card set.

But back to the drawings. What do you think? A story comic per card, possibly continued from card-to-card, or maybe just one three-or four-panel comic strip per player per card.

Maybe artists charge too much for a set like this for it to be more than a dream, but I think it's something at least worth considering.

Maybe one day we'll see it, and ... (*ahem*) ... I can take a tiny amount of credit.

Until then, see ya in the funny papers.


Comic Ball (from the early 90's) did the card-by-card storyline, albeit with cartoon characters and a few superimposed major leaguers.
Roy-Z said…
Bazooka nailed Gagne in that drawring.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.

I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…