Crossroads

Across the landing from House Imaginary in the old museum building was a small collection of government funded prints of the “American Scene.” This is not something I consider myself to be interested in but I always take a walk through all the galleries just in case.

I’m glad I did so. I don’t like most of these but I love what they made me think of.

First off, San José is making the argument that Federal support of the arts is not just a good thing but it’s an inherently American thing. These are important colors to nail to the mast. The importance of art, sustaining that art, and for the rest of the public to access that art is something that we’ve abandoned today. At the same time I recognize the nature of this public art and how it functions as propaganda.

Thomas Hart Benton Cradling Wheat, 1939

Thomas Hart Benton
Cradling Wheat, 1939

The specific images in the exhibition focus on American life and locations. I found them especially interesting to compare with the Mexican Modernism prints which are roughly contemporary and frequently depict similar subject matter yet feel completely different. Where the Mexican prints are explicitly anti-capitalist in their celebration of manual labor and the common worker, the American ones don’t have that edge.

Yes, they celebrate manual labor and the common worker as much as, if not more than, the Communist prints did. But the framing is one of nostalgia. Pastoral scenes have that rosy Grant Wood* idyllic pre-industrial feel. Rather than critique the way that way of life is changing the goal seems to be comfort and reassurance.

*Many of his prints are on display here.

Leon Gilmour.
Cement Finishers.

The industrial and urban prints do better. They’re frequently grittier and show a wider spectrum of life in ways that remind me of 1930s photography. The artists are clearly inspired by many of the same industrialscapes that attract photographers and the social justice cause of humanizing the laborers is also something that occurs frequently in photography of this time. Showing people living and working in the hustle and bustle of the city is a new avenue of investigation.

I’m still intrigued by the subtle differences in how some labor images read “Communist” while others read as “Capitalist.” I’m certainly aware that a lot of the federally-funded artists had communist sympathies but while I can certainly view many of these as being pro-labor, pro-communist images, they’re subtle enough that I don’t have to and, without the museum framing things this way, it’s very easy to see them as pro-development instead.

Anyway I wasn’t expecting  to have these thoughts about this show and I’m pleasantly surprised that I did.

Leon Gilmour.
Pinnacles.

The last section of the room involved landscapes and nature studies. I really liked these in part because how much they reminded me of photography and paralleled the emergence of group ƒ/64. There’s that same sense of deep crisp focus and the seduction of contrasty light. There’s the awareness of how natural views can function as abstract imagery.

I’m curious whether one medium influenced the other or if there was just something in the air at the time which resulted in everyone seeing things in similar ways.

House Imaginary

Upstairs from Rise Up and California Dreamin’ is a large exhibition about housing. Given how housing is one of the most-pressing issues in the area, this is one of the most-topical shows that San José could do.

The works on display demonstrate interesting combination of “house” and “neighborhood.” While the two concepts are obviously linked, I can’t think of any of the pieces which actually bridge both and investigate that link. If anything, California Dreamin’ comes closer than anything actually in the show with the way it evokes both the architecture of apartment housing and the feeling of being in those neighborhoods.

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Zarina

The works which investigate the concept of “house” frequently touch on how home is what you make of it. There’s photography like Bill Owens’s images of 1970s Bay Area suburbia or Larry Sultan’s images of his parents’ retirement community. There are wonderfully personal images like Claire Rojas’s small, wonderfully-detailed paintings, Carmen Garza’s comfortable family scenes, and Gertrude Bleiberg’s sketches.

As much as the theme of the exhibition is housing, these works are specifically about the concept of home. The nature of the housing is ancillary to the fact that it exists. It’s what we do with, and inside, that housing where the real meaning gets created.

My favorite piece in the show was Zarina’s collection of floorplans of all the houses she’s lived in. These aren’t architectural blueprints; they’re sketches of the floorplans based on her memories. I love the concept since it ends up being about the house itself, it’s use, and the way the artist is remembering her life there.

Looking at all the floorplans together is fantastic. I can imagine how the rooms were used and think about how life must’ve been in each home. I can compare the floorplans from different parts of the world and get a sense of how differently (or similarly) buildings are built in each place. Do I want to know about the neighborhoods these homes are in? Absolutely. But more than any other piece in the exhibition this one gets at how many different levels housing leaves its mark on us.

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An Te Liu

The neighborhood side of the show is also not just any neighborhood; it’s almost always about planned communities—usually suburbs but there is some work about company towns in here. Lots of photography again from Todd Hido’s wonderful night photos of suburban light to Robert Isaacs’s photos of Daly City to David Maisel‘s aerial photos of suburban sprawl.

My favorite piece from this section of the show is An Te Liu’s selection of Levittown-inspired fabric prints which take delight in the patterns of development and the effect that row-upon-row of like-looking houses creates when abstracted just slightly. It’s both a lot of fun and wonderfully clever.

Looking at all these images of surburbia though made me realize that none of the artworks on hand were actually prepared to deal with the situation of how to fit a massive amount of housing into an area where there’s no open land to build on.

All the new housing development I’m seeing in the Bay Area hasn’t quite figured this out either. There’s not enough room to build single family homes but everything still has to have vestigial trappings of a yard or a porch. Every home is accessed via a two-lane street lined with endless two-car garages on each side. The supposed front doors can only be accessed by a alley which is so narrow that sunlight only reaches the ground at noon. The streets and sidewalks in these developments are not public land so you can’t actually walk along them unless you live there.

We‘re trying to build forms of housing on land that can no longer accommodate that form. And we‘re selling a myth of home use that doesn’t appear to exist anymore.

This was a tricky show to do. I liked it but it also made me sad because so much of it is looking into the past at our memories of what home was. I appreciate that San José is trying to address a topical issue but looking into our emotional memories of what home was is merely the beginning. Too much of this exhibition treats that concept as the end of the discussion.

California Dreamin

In the gallery right next to Rise Up was an installation of Won Ju Lim’s work—in particular her lightboxes and lighted rooms which evoke the dreamy nature of nocturnal cityscapes.

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Won Ju Lim California Dreamin’, 2002

California Dreamin’ is a gallery-sized piece where images of sunsets with silhouetted palm trees are projected through a structure of foamcore and acrylic. It’s extremely Los Angeles. This isn’t a knock on it since it’s supposed to be Los Angeles but it risks feeling out of place in San José. As a native Bay Arean, I always kept LA a bit at arms length—in large part because of how often LA’s identity seemed to subsume the rest of California’s.

It was only after moving to New Jersey that LA began to feel like home. Now, with the way the Bay Area has changed so all the strip malls that used to house mom and pop shops and restaurants have been replaced with up-market food chains and luxury condos, LA often feels more like the Bay Area I remember. Yes the geography and vegetation are different. But the sense of the place and even the sense of the neighborhoods feels like what I want home to feel like.

I stayed in this gallery a long time. Took a nice slow walk around the entire structure. Let my eyes get accustomed to the light levels so I could really take it in. There’s something about that late-sunset time when the sky is still light but everything else is dark that I love. It’s time to finish up work and go home in winter. It’s time to finish dinner and get ready for the night in summer. There’s something calming about it not being night yet but definitely not being day.

The structure in the center of the installation suggested housing styles which are uniquely suited for this time of day. On the east coast, you’re not going to be hanging out on a balcony or walking around the street at this time. The weather is rarely amenable to it and homes aren’t built to accommodate this kind of thing.

On the west coast, this is peak go out and take a moment for yourself time. I haven’t done enough of that this summer but this installation reminded me of that joy.

Won Ju Lim Memory Palace, Terrace 49 #1, 2003

Won Ju Lim
Memory Palace, Terrace 49 #1, 2003

The Terrace installations have a similar feeling except that rather than being in a room which reminds you of being outside, these suggest the feeling of looking out your window and seeing the neighborhood wake up as the sun goes down. I love these pieces a lot too. They‘re still very LA but the foliage is different enough that they also remind me of the Bay Area and being out at night in the Peninsula or the East Bay where there’s just enough elevation to make things layered.

That cloudiness of the layers of acrylic also suggests a bit of fog is an added bonus. There’s nothing like a bit of marine layer to remind me of home.

Rise Up!

I finally took my annual trip to the San José Museum of Art late last month. I’d like to go more often but I’m only in town in the summer. I’ve been very pleased though that amidst all the changes in the Bay Area over the five years since I’ve left that San José has kept the quality up and is still presenting art that is relevant to the Bay Area rather than falling into the trap of chasing those blockbuster traveling shows.

Robert Arneson. Five Times for Harvey, 1982.

Robert Arneson.
Five Times for Harvey, 1982.

The main show this time is Rise Up. It’s a collector-based show but rather than featuring the same name-brand artists, it features a collector who actually has his own taste and vision. He started collecting by acquiring Robert Arneson’s Five Times for Harvey and then just took off in acquiring art from all kinds of under-represented artists.

The Arneson origin story of the collection is why things are framed as “social justice.” Most of the rest of the works on display though are not about outright protest or responding to a current event. Instead the central theme is one of representation. That they’re so relevant to today’s issues is a demonstration of how rarely we see these voices in mass media.

In some ways I’m annoyed by this mischaracterization. In other ways I really like it. Arneson may be the only white male artist in the show but by using the protest art framing, San José avoids making this a Race™ exhibition. We should be used to galleries full of art by people who aren’t white men. These artworks should also be presented as universal. And that’s exactly what San José quietly does here.

This show also blows up the idea that the silver lining to Trump would be that “at least we’ll get some good art.” The pieces on display go back more than three decades and speak about the pride and perseverance it takes to survive in this country as an underrepresented group. It’s art that typically doesn’t make it into mainstream collections but the sentiments of life and survival are as appropriate now as they were then.

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Wangechi Mutu

Of special note in this exhibition is the wonderful selection of artwork by Black women. Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas, Sadie Barnette, Alison Saar, and Wangechi Mutu are all on display and their work in particular shows how limited the mainstream representations of black womanhood is.

The expressions of who they are, how society has treated them, how they feel about themselves. and what gives them strength confirm that the best way to break stereotypes and see people as human is to have a multitude of representations available. Not one artist on display or one character in a movie. Many of them, each with their own character and point of view.

The art is also frequently moving without the othering gaze that so-often occurs when I see these subjects in a museum. I just wish this were the standard for what art is without having to come up with some kind of hook for why it’s appropriate today.

San Francisco Zoo

Our yearly trip to the San Francisco Zoo. It’s going to be interesting to see how long the kids are excited to go. So far it’s still fun and they’re finally at the stage to learn some things about the animals but I know better than to assume that this will always be the case.

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For now the kids still enjoy playing on the playground and riding the merry-go-round. I guess when that part is no longer fun (or cool) will also be a key indicator of when they may be aging out of the zoo as well.

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Refrigerate after opening

A couple weeks ago Marc sent me a cryptic note on Twitter that I should be expecting a package in a few days and that I shouldn’t leave it in my mailbox. I’d said something that inspired him earlier this summer but had no idea what to expect. Marc’s packages are frequently surprising but one which could spoil? I was so clueless that I couldn’t even begin to guess.

When I opened the package a week ago, it all made sense. Marc and I, in addition to being into cards, are also photographers. Much in the same way that Robby and I talk shop with cards and printing, Marc and I discuss cards and photography—and sometimes just photography itself.

That I’ve been shooting film and posting my on-the-go contact sheet scans* this summer means I’m the recipient of some of Marc’s over-stocked freezer. Everything here is expired—often long so. But that’s not stopped me in the past.

*Why yes I do have a post about the workflow.

It’s been a long time since I had bunch of random expired film to try. Keeble has been shuttered for a few years and even before then the bargains had dried up. This looks like a lot of fun. Four emulsions I’ve never tried plus one that I’ve not shot in eight years*

*And looking through my notes suggests I may actually have shot Portra 160VC, not Portra 400VC.

Two of these rolls look perfect for toy cameras. The ORWO looks to be all kinds of nutso since it’s the only one that’s not from Marc’s freezer. I’m currently thinking that I’ll run it through the flipped lens camera but obviously things might change. The TMax100 meanwhile is calling for me to start shooting my Pony again—though putting the 105mm lens on my Nikomat is also a possibility.

The slide film is also all kinds of exciting. Even my good cameras are kind of junk in that I don’t exactly trust the shutter speeds anymore. They’re fine for color negative film. They’re totally fine for Tri-X. But I’ve wanted to try slides for a long time. Especially 120 slides.

I’ve already loaded the Provia in my Yashicamat and am working my way through that roll. Hopefully I’ll get it done before I go back to New Jersey since I have no idea where to get it developed in New Jersey.

The Ektachrome? I don’t know yet. It’s tungsten balanced so it’s already going to be kind of wack since I have literally no tungsten lights around me anymore. Part of me wants to shoot it straight and embrace the blues. Part of me wants to take it out at night with a tripod. Part of me wants to cross-process it so I don’t have to worry about finding a place that processes E6.

Anyway this is good. I’ve been in a bit of a photography rut for the past five years. A lot of this is just not getting Princeton. When I’m in California in the summers I see photos everywhere. I’ve yet to reach that way of seeing things in New Jersey. Some of this is because things are just too pretty and picturesque. I’ve taken all those photos to get them out of my system but haven’t felt many of them. But I’ve also just gotten out of the habit of going out and taking photos.

I used to go shooting as part of my lunch break. Get out of the office. Clear my head. Go outside. Now I’m often trying to get as much done before the kids get back and I need a bit of kick in the pants to go out. Trying new gear or film has always been one such kick for me. Those years when I was always trying out some new junk camera or expired film were a lot of fun.

While the gimmick of the new gear was often not the winning shot, getting outside and looking for photos was the recipe that worked. I’m excited to have an excuse to get back to that.

Oh, and of course there were cards in there as well. Lots of these are for the kiddos as they represent junk wax that I have already but which they will happily add to their “old cards” binder. Yes, that’s what they call all their cards from the 1980s and 1990s. Yes it makes me feel really really old.

I’ll probably hang onto that Trevor Wilson card though. And I need to fogure out what to do with the Tom Herr card since it’s technically a Cardinals card even though it features a Giant and was shot at Candlestick. Also that photo is the kind of thing which made my jaw drop when I opened my first pack of Score back in 1988.

Marc managed to fill a hole in one of my searchlists with that Roger Craig Glossy All Star. Where in 1990 I bought a ton of packs of Topps even though I’d been getting a factory set for Christmas each year since 1987, in 1991 I saved my money and bought no packs of Topps. Unfortunately that meant I missed out on all four Giants in the Glossy All Stars set. It’s nice to have all four of them now.

The rest of these 1991 cards are also likely to end up in the “old cards” binder. Though I’m pretty sure that I never had those 1991 Fleers since I did not buy many packs of those back in the day.

The last of the junk wax cards includes a fantastic Topps Stadium Club Ultra Pro Barry Bonds oddball. I was unaware of this set. I’m not sure if I should be glad or mad about finding out about it.

And a handful pf 2015 Topps cards. Some of which I need. Some of which I don’t. It’s nice to slowly work backwards and backfill team sets from the 2010s since this team is very much one that’s close to my heart.

Marc also sent a wonderful sample of 2018 cards. The handful of Series 2 Giants is especially appreciated. The pair of Stadium Clubs are beautiful. And I’m really digging the handful of Big League. For a modern release it just feels like cards from when I was kid. Not physically, but the photography and backs are closer to what things used to be like. Things aren’t as aggressively cropped. Action images don’t emphasize exertion. Borders give everything a chance to breathe. Substantial stats on the back are great (although I wish they were complete instead of cutting off at 15 years).

these are also the first Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter cards I’ve seen this year. I’m still not a convert to either of these sets. Gypsy Queen still gives me the HDR hives although this year’s set is doing some interesting things printwise in terms of its GCR handling. Ginter meanwhile continues to be Ginter. I like the non-sport cards (most of the time) and am very happy to have representative samples of the baseball cards. It’s just not my thing.

On to the weirder stuff. First some early Mother’s Cookies cards. The 1985s in particular are brand new to me. It really weirds me out to see so much action photography. I’m used to the more-sedate posed photos which the 1986s feature here (I love that Greg Minton pose) and which they never moved away from until the mid 90s.

By the mid-90s the Mother’s Cookies poses were tighter head and shoulders images like these. I don’t enjoy them as much or the change to having borders. The 1986 Topps and 1990 Fleer cards are for my set builds and are much appreciated. It’s always fun to get a Sportflics card. I only have four from 1987 too so this one is doubly awesome. That Swell set sure is yellow. I already know that my kids are going to be ecstatic receiving Willie Mays and Christy Mathewson cards.

Holy moly how great is that 1975 SSPC Roger Craig. He looks the same in 1962, 1975, and 1989. The handful of Stanford guys is also great. I know I don’t have three of them and the other two are part of sets which are in binders in a box on a shelf in my parents’ converted garage. In other words, having duplicates that I can actually put in my Stanford albums is super useful.

Thanks Marc! I’ll post again when I get my film back and scanned. And it looks like I’m going to have to write about my kids’ reactions to getting huge stacks of Giants cards.

GPK for Mishmash

Where part one of my Garbage Pail Kids trade with Cards From the Attic was about vintage stuffs, part two is about the big box of junk wax Giants mishmash. It was big enough that it took me a few days to sort through and yes, there’s plenty of stuff in there for everyone in the family to share.

Two dozen pre-junk-wax cards including a bunch of 1984 Donruss* as well as a 1981 Donruss Jack Clark.** Despite being able to afford proper vintage cards I hope I never lose that smile I get when I come across anything before 1986 in a lot of repack mishmash. Those were cool when I was little and I’m happy that my kids can still find cards like them as affordable commons for their collections.

*A set I could never acquire samples from when I was a kid.

**A player who I never liked as a kid but have come to appreciate as the standard bearer on some bad Giants teams.

The dozen 1987 Topps cards meanwhile remind me of the first set I collected as a kid. My sons are going to be excited by both the Will Clark cards and the Atlee Hammaker cards since they’re already familiar with my stories. I meanwhile like the Kevin Mitchell Traded card since while I have the 1987 set I never got the Traded set and so never had this card when I was little.

More junk wax, this time 1987 to 1989. Three Aldretes for the Stanford album. A couple nice Will Clark oddballs from sets I’ve not seen before. A lot of appalling airbrushing on the 1988 Topps cards. And it’s always nice to find a Donell Nixon.

A big batch of 1990 cards. I need to remember to loupe 1990 Topps to see how they did the oversized halftone screen patterns. That 1990 Fleer Brett Butler is the only Giant I was missing from my team set for that year. And I really like the 1990 Upper Deck Don Robinson where he’s sliding into 3rd wearing the jacket that pitchers—and the rest of us—always had to wear at Candlestick.

A couple 1990 Bowmans and a bunch of 1991 cards. 1991 Topps is such a good-looking set. It was the first with horizontal cards in my consciousness and many of the photos are a massive improvement over the usual Topps fare in previous years. 1991 Fleer is one of those designs which could’ve been released and look just fine only a year or two later with white text and foil stamping on black instead of yellow. 1991 Upper Deck meanwhile is just one of those sets I’m really fond of.

The last few 1991s—including a wonderful Studio 91 card. One of these days I’ll make a run at that set. I loved it when it came out and I love it still since it remains distinct with its black and white portrait photos.

A bunch of 1992s. Where 1991 Stadium Club hasn’t aged well for me, I really like 1992’s design and photography. Topps upped its game big time in its second year of premium sets. 1992 Score is not a design I particularly like but I do enjoy all the turn back the clock uniforms on it. Though to be fair there are a lot of these uniforms in all the 1992 releases.

Where 1992 Donruss, Fleer, and Score have a bit of gradient madness, 1993 Donruss ushers us fully into the computer-aided design world of bevelled edges. I don’t like this design. I do like the increasingly large photo sizes though.

Some more 1993s. Triple play is another set I’d like to chase some day. 1993 Score is plain but I find myself liking this design more and more. 1993 Upper Deck is an all-time classic which I’m aping for my GiantsNow project. I really like that photo of Will Clark on 1993 Leaf. I couldn’t help but laugh at the super-foiled Steve Hosey prospect card.

Getting into 1994 and I don’t recognize many of the cards anymore. Stadium Club I do remember and that 1990s Dymo-labeler name design grows on me each time I see it. The draft picks? Not familiar at all. Although I do remember Jacob Cruz. Topps Finest? I don’t think I ever saw these as a kid. As with Flair they were out of my price range.

Speaking of Flair, there was a lot of it in this box. That stuff was super spendy 25 years ago but obviously hasn’t held up that way. I need to loupe these since I’ve seen some things suggesting that they were printed with 6 color process. I’ve louped some 1993 Flairs and can’t see anything different. But I’ll keep looking over as many as I can.

Speaking of louping cards, I also need to loupe the Score Gold Rush cards to see what they‘re doing in the non-foiled parts of the cards. Aside from the reflectivity differences, there’s clearly a white point on the players and I can even see the trap where the player silhouette and foil meet.*

*I need to do this on a lot of Topps Chrome and other silver/foil cards as well.

Finishing out the 1994s with a bunch more Score Gold Rush. I have no idea why Score went with such a crazy 1990s design for their Rookies and Traded set when the base 1994 set is so elegant in comparison. 1994 Score select is one of those crazy designs that has no business working as well as it does. 1994 Upper Deck is kind of a disaster but I really like Collectors Choice—especially the silver signature variants.

Nice to get some 1995 Topps since that set seems to be hard to find. I’m not so keen on the mid-late 90s Stadium Club designs but then I like my Stadium Club to be as simple as possible so the photos can sing. 1995 Donruss is a nice-looking set with an unreadable foil-on-foil nameplate. I’m digging the 1995 Leaf design with the rainbow foil effect. There’s a lot of mid-late 90s Leaf in this box and all of it is brand new to me.

LOL at the 1995 Fleer Strawberry. MORE Flair, this time with a gold foil background effect that is also asking to be louped. And a few 1995 Score and Score Gold Rush.

One last 1995 Score. This time a Platinum version. It’s awfully sparkly. I’ve never heard of Score Summit. I’ve not seen a lot of these mid-90s Pinnacle either. I really like that 1995 Pinnacle Rod Beck though.

1995 Upper Deck is a great-looking set with another fantastic Rod Beck card. The 1995 Upper Deck Minors cards are also pretty nice. I had to look up what the different foil colors on the Upper Deck SP cards meant. As someone who’s only learned about parallel madeness recently, I figured the blue ones were special. Nope. Turns out this is from the days when silver and gold parallels were still the special ones. Though that blue parallel Collectors Choice card suggests things are about to switch.

And some 1995 Pacific which showcases Pacific’s awkward year as it figures out what it wants to be. That super foil/refractor/prism/whatever you call it of William Van Landingham is something else though. It’s kind of wonderful in a hideous kind of way.

Between the Score Gold Rush and this special Pacific card I can see a lot of what counts as special cards today. No wonder people are tired of those concepts now. They’re clearly gimmicks which are interesting only as long as they’re new and novel.

On to 1996 and I can see that figuring out what the hell Bowman is doing is going to be required for every year of Bowman. I gather that this is probably the first year of Bowman Chrome—or what would become Chrome—as there’s a foil parallel set. I kind of like 1996 Donruss although that big foil box does seem to get in the way of a lot of the photos to the point where it often looks like it’s censoring someone pulling a Claude Raymond.

Those two 1996 Fleers are glossy instead of uncoated which means that they’re Tiffany cards. Fleer Ultra is a nice looking set. And I’ll one of these days I’ll figure out the method behind the madness with the bordered and full-bleed Collectors Choice cards.

Into 1997 now. I’m not feeling this Topps design but I like it more than the Stadium Club one. Bowman is Bowman. I really like that Russ Ortiz card. Not sure what’s going on with the gradient madness on the Leaf cards. So thank god for Fleer and its set of uncoated cards. They look kind of dull in comparison to the super glossy cards all around but I love the uncoated look and feel.

Continuing with 1997. I’ve mixed feelings on Fleer Ultra. There’s something very Baseball™ about that font and it looks exactly like what my son is trying to make his signature look like right now—which also means that it looks like something an 8-year-old would design.

There’s also a ton of gold foil now. Pinnacle is now like a third foil and Pacific is similarly as foil-centered a design as you can get. It is nice to get some duplicate McCartys for both the Giants and Stanford albums.

And finally some 1998 and 1999 cards. Something about the 1998 Ultra font doesn’t sit right with me at all. I don’t know if it reminds me of glamour shot photostudio stamping or something else but it feels off. In some ways I find that it feels like wannabe Pacific but by this time Pacific has gone off the deep end with all kinds of craziness.

Yeah.

Speaking of Pacific, those Invincibles are as horrid as the earlier Van Landingham refractor thing but don’t have any of the awkward charm. Very much not my thing. I’m sure my kids will love them.

All in all a very fun box to go through. I’ve got a huge stack of cards for my kids to divvy up. And I’ve got a decent stack for myself as well. We’re going to have a lot of fun this fall as I slowly distribute them over the months.

Oh, the bumper cards here didn’t get the photo treatment but it’s worth noting that they were mostly 1986 Topps and 1990 Upper Deck—AKA two sets I’m trying to build. Going through those filled a bunch of holes in my searchlist so that was a very pleasant surprise to go along with expected portion of the trade package.