Tag Archives: Trading Cards

DIY Trading Cards, Part 1

I've always loved trading cards. There is something about the combination of the art, collecting, chase cards and the form factor that I really like. The price of cards keeps going up so I haven't been able to keep up like I want to. I still always end up buying a box of something when I go to a comic book convention.

This led me to see if I could make my own trading cards from home. Here is my guide for Do-It-Yourself trading cards. I'm going to write the first couple articles as though you are doing a one-off, single card. This will simplify it a bit. In later articles we will look at some specialty cards, packaging, building a whole set and finishing touches.

First, I will talk about designing the cards. This is probably the most difficult step since there are so many possibilities, and I can't tell you which path to take.

The first thing, obviously, is to have a subject matter. It can be friends, family, coworkers, vacation, anything.

First, you'll need to design the front of the card. Here are some files to get you started. I have included the native GIMP file and also saved to Photoshop.
017_Kevin Harbin.xcf (4.61 MB)
017_Kevin Harbin.psd (6.39 MB)

The dimensions are important, 750 px X 1050 px. This will give you a 2.5 in X 3.5 in card at 300 DPI. I've tried with 600 DPI and I didn't think I gained anything.

I like to keep the front and back of the card on the same file. This is partially because for this type of card I use the same image on the front and back and this allows me to make sure I use the same picture in the same place. The layers that start with 'ft_' are for the front of the card and 'rv_' for the back.

Play around; find a style you like. Maybe you want to look more like baseball cards from the early '90s. Go for it; Google search is your friend. One design note: (which you will see I don't actually follow for my reverse cards) the border on the left side needs to match the border on the right side. This will help hide cutting problems later on. If you actually use the same color all the way around, you can hide even more.

A couple of little things you can do to make it feel like a real card are using a logo and numbering the card. This will help tie the cards together.

The back of each card can either be unique for each or have a standard bit about you and what you're doing. Again, totally up to you.

I always save a copy of my front and back as PNG when I'm finished.

Next Up: Making It Physical

Dark Dominion #0 Trading Cards

In 1993 the Dark Dominion #0 comic book was released in an interesting way. As a trading card set. It's from Defiant Comics. In addition to the 117 story cards, there are 33 character cards (with a parallel foil set, I have none of these) and a chase set of 9 cards. This Level One set has locals one one side and a portion of a battle scene on other, I have 1, 8 & 9. Also included is a Good Guys card.
A way more complete and extensive list about the set can be found here.

As a comic book it's OK. The series lasted to Issue #10. I found them easily and they were relatively inexpensive at a comic book convention.

Marvel Masterpieces Duplicate Art

From the Marvel Masterpieces series there is a lot of duplicated art. Below is a listing of what I have found so far. MMI stands for Marvel Masterpieces Series 1, MMII stands for Marvel Masterpieces Series 2 and so on.

MMI #S3 of 9, MMIII #44: Venom

MMI #S8 of 9, MMI #71: Sand Man

MMI #X4 of 9, MMII #13: Cyclops

MMI #21, MMIII #MK 4: Dagger

MMI #42, MMIII #MK 6: Iron Fist

MMI #48, MMIII #23: Kraven The Hunter

MMI #58, MMIII #MK 7: Moon Knight

MMI #70, MMIII #35: Sabertooth

MMII #48, MMIII #24: Magneto

MMII #1, MMII #38: Iron Man

Also, MMII #56 Nick Fury is actually the Punisher.

It's a recycled image. They used the same picture for the header card as they did for the Iron Man card. On top of this, Nick Fury's card has a picture of the Punisher, Enchantress' card has a picture of a green version of Scarlet Witch, Archangel's card has a picture of Angel, Hammerhead's card has a picture of Tombstone, the Cyclopse card has the same art used for the Cyclopse chase card in MM07, and a number of the chase cards reused images from the base set “–http://scoundrelpublishing.com/spart/viewtopic.php?p=147993#147993

Trading Cards

Among many kinds of cards I have, I have sets of Marvel Masterpieces 2007 Series I, II & III, Marvel Legends, Serenity Movie, Baseball, Basketball, NASCAR (yes I'm ashamed too), Hockey, Soccer, etc.

I am missing some chase cards and even a couple commons from the Marvel Sets, which I am trying to complete. I have lots of commons to trade, email me if you're interested.

I'm a little disapointed in the relaunched Marvel Masterpieces series. There are several duplicate pieces of art between the three new series, and sometimes even in the same set. Here's a list of what I've noticed.

To complete Marvel Legends I need:
P1, cc1, cc2, cc3, cc8, cc10, cc11, cc14, cc16, cc17, cc18, Nearly all of the foils

To complete Marvel Masterpieces 08 Set 2 I need:
A 3 of 9, MH 1 of 9, Hulk B, Hulk C, Iron Man B, Iron Man C

To complete Marvel Masterpieces 08 Set 3 I need:
MK 8, MK 9, XM 1, XM 2, XM 3, XM 4, XM 5, XM 8, XM 9, MM 1, MM 2, MM 3, MM 4, MM 5, MM 6, MM 7, MM 9.

Here's a pair of sketch cards that I pulled.

Marvel Masterpieces_Set II_Hulk Ted Dastick Jr

Marvel Masterpieces_Set III_Captain_Adam Hicks