Those of you in the hobby in the mid 90s will remember a period of time when there were a plethora of fantasy art cards hit the market, mainly from producers Comic Images and FPG Publishing. It seemed each month, the two companies (plus a scattering of others) gave us two or three new series featuring the works of Ken Kelly, Sanjulián, Boris Vallejo, Jeff Jones, and many others. The works shown on the cards were miniature beauties and the card series were quite popular. There haven’t been too many fantasy art sets since then but there’s a new one on the horizon from a brand new publisher.
Non-Sport Update readers will be treated to a promo card next month for Beauty & The Myth from Mexico’s Braiiinz! Publishing. Five different promo cards have been created and each copy will contain a random card. The issue also contains an ad for the series with set details but we wanted to know more. And so with that in mind, we spoke via email to Braiiinz! Publishing director Humberto Jerez. Let’s get to it.
What can you tell me about your company? Like myself, I think our readers are probably not familiar with Braiiinz! Publishing. And where did you get this great company name?!
It started 2 years ago—two close friends (Arturo Gil, Puis Calzada) and I had an itch for creating something; we didn’t know how or what but we wanted to contribute to the comics industry somehow. Since we didn’t know how to start, we began tossing ideas around about what we should call our project. Some minutes went by, some funny names came up until we finally realized, one of the things we always end up talking about for hours (besides comics) is zombies! So a handful of funny names later, good food, good company, and a few beers gave birth to Braiiinz!
What can you tell me about Beauty & The Myth? What is the subject matter and what will the card series contain?
The Subject matter is women and myth creatures. All the artists have but one directive—to portray women always in a strong, confident and in control position, no damsel in distress is to be seen in this series, aside from that, creative liberty is the artist’s best friend. And because of that, this series is for adults, some nudity is to be found.
This complete series will contain parallel sets, 3 three-card puzzle insert sets and of course sketch cards. With a limited print of 1,000 boxes. Odds for each box is TBD.
The base and parallel card sets are all illustrated by Mexican artists. As for the sketch cards, we have a plethora of international artists and some Mexicans too. The base card set is a list of different mythical creatures accompanied by women all done by male illustrators, one of the parallel sets is that same set but the sketch version.
Who are some of the artists working on Beauty & The Myth?
Anthony J. Tan, George Deep, Babisu Kourtis, Ramón Padilla, Humberto Fuentes, Bill Maus, Puis Calzada, Robert Hack, Roy Cover, Jomar Bulda, Lak Lim, Israel Arteaga, Jose Carlos Sánchez, JC Fabul, Jasmine Anderson, Molly Brewer, Alejandra Turrubiates, Jennifer Creech, Nayelie Martinez, Amber Shelton, Kat Laurange, Nikole McDonald J., Nur Hanie Mohd, Kylie Johnston, Samantha Johnson, Dahia, Maggy Luna, Elfie Lebouleux, to name a few.
3 Card Puzzle Set by Jorge Zapata
Front and Back parallel cards by Art Gutierrez
How did you become involved in the hobby?
I started collecting back in 1992 with SkyBox International’s Marvel Universe Series III when I was in high school. Then a financial crisis hit Mexico in ’94, so after 1995 I stopped buying cards. Fast forward to 2007 and Upper Deck hits the market with Marvel Masterpieces. I bought one box out of curiosity and bam! Instantly hooked again. My collecting days after that led me through Scoundrel forums, then onto Facebook. I then started promoting Mexican artists with the different sketch card companies, so far I’m working with Humberto Fuentes, Israel Arteaga, Jose Carlos Sánchez, Nayelie Martínez, and Markos Kstro; still on the lookout for more talent.
If I may ask, are you a collector yourself? If so, what are some of your favorite card series? I’m guessing you might have collected some of the great fantasy art cards from FPG and Comic Images from the 1990s.
Hard question there… I still commission Artist Proof cards from time to time but stopped buying printed cards a while back. Have a very modest collection of Spiderman 2099 sketches slowly growing.
Of course I collected a card here and there of all the fantasy art sets from the 90s, specially the ones with nude and sexy girls, no matter if the girl happened to be a robot, you know me being in high school and all. I even remember having 5 or 10 cards from the “forbidden sets”— Hustler and Playboy, which I tried to hide from my parents, with very little success…anyway, the sets I tried to complete were comic related—DC and Marvel which lead us to my favorite series: Marvel Masterpieces 2007 by Upper Deck. Even though it’s all recycled images from their Vs. TCG, it has everything a collector wants, not just great art for the base but many chase and parallel set levels for you to go hunting. After all, it is still in the name “trading” cards, if you get all cards in one box you’re leaving the fun out of the box.
How has it been producing cards in Mexico, where I presume not too many trading cards are printed?
This is the first set that I know of, we had “Pepsi cards” back in the 90’s which basically were a reprint of the Marvel Flair 94 and DC Master Series translated to Spanish, but that’s it. This is the first trading card set produced in México. The most challenging thing is finding a good printer, I thought I had found it when the promo cards were produced but the quality is still far off from what I wanted, because of the deadlines we had to send that production and to see the actual quality of the set you’ll have to wait until it’s published… yeah, found the right printer!
Where will collectors be able to purchase Beauty & the Myth trading cards?
There will be a presale on June 15th with some deals for dealers during that presale. It will be run through direct contact on Scoundrel forums, Facebook and email. We’re working to fit a sales module into the webpage right now too.
Where can collectors turn for more information about the cards?
They will find more information at facebook.com/braiiinz.
Any plans for additional card series after this one? Is there any other products we might expect from Braiiinz?
Still in the works, will keep it to one to two sets a year. We’re working on a couple of graphic novels too which will be available by the end of the year and that’s it for the near future (this year).
As you see, the Beauty & The Myth artwork is pretty phenomenal and we are really looking forward to seeing more. We thank Humberto very much for his time and wish Braiinz! the best of luck with their new venture.
Beauty & The Myth promo cards being sorted for inclusion in the Jun/Jul ’14 issue of Non-Sport Update (photo courtesy of Braiiinz! Publishing Facebook page)