We’ve highlighted the Mars Attacks Kickstarter project several times here on the blog and inside the pages of Non-Sport Update. In fact, our current issue has an exclusive feature story about Mars Attacks: Occupation and the P1 Mars Attacks: Occupation promo card. With the campaign set to end in just a couple of days (June 1 at 2:00 PM), we thought we’d shift the spotlight just a bit to one of the many creators working on Mars Attacks: Occupation—Jason Crosby.
Crosby has been working in trading cards for just a couple of years. In fact, the previous Mars Attacks series (Mars Attacks: Invasion) was Crosby’s introduction to the field. Though he may be relatively new to cards, Crosby has been working as a professional artist for many years. His resume goes like this. Crosby graduated from the University of Georgia in 2001 with a BFA in graphic design and spent four years as a designer and art director working on a wide range of projects. He spent his days working on logos, brochures, and other items for a variety of clients and nights on his own freelance illustration business. In 2005, Crosby decided to focus on illustration exclusively.
When asked how he got started in trading cards, Crosby tells NSU “I did a full sized drawing of a martian and posted it to Topps’ Facebook page just for fun. Afterwards, they asked if I’d like to join the Mars Attacks:Invasion set to do sketch cards.” In the two years to follow, Crosby has worked for Breygent Marketing (Women of Dynamite), Upper Deck (Marvel Premier, Marvel Preview, Marvel 3D, Guardians of the Galaxy), Cryptozoic Entertainment (DC Comics Epic Battles), and Monsterwax (Legendary Lovecraft) in addition to Topps for the two Mars Attacks series and several Star Wars releases.
Guardians of the Galaxy sketch cards by Jason Crosby
Jason Crosby and daughter
At the time of this writing, the Mars Attacks: Occupation Kickstarter had raised over $135,000. Crosby tells us he’s hoping it will get to $140K so that his contribution to the series will be expanded—more on that in a minute. Crosby is contributing sports-themed cards to the series and his cards, which Topps has previewed through their regular emailings and on the Kickstarter project page itself, are truly outstanding. They caught our eye and we wanted to know more about this rising star.
The sport-themed Mars Attacks cards are awesome. I know you also did some sports-themed cards for Star Wars Masterwork. Is that how this got started for Mars Attacks? Also, will these be part of the base card series or an insert?
The Star Wars sports designed sketch cards went over well. I did 89 different cards incorporating the Star Wars universe into Topps’ sports designs. Topps has such a great visual history so it makes sense to take advantage of it. In the upcoming Mars Attacks: Occupation set, I’ll have a six-card “Mars Attacks Superstars” subset where I’ll again take advantage of the great designs of Topps and ‘Martianize’ them! I imagine the warring tribes of Mars borrowing and twisting Earth’s sports into something more suited to their blood thirsty taste! The first six cards will feature two baseball, two football, one hockey, and one basketball designs. If the Kickstarter reaches a certain amount, I’ll have the chance to do three more sports cards, which will be decided by the backers of the project. Hopefully I’ll get the chance!
Mars Attacks: Occupation by Jason Crosby
Are you contributing other images and/or sketch cards to the Occupation series (in addition the sports subset)?
I have a limited number of sketch cards. It won’t be many though so they’ll be a tough pull.
Are you a big sports guy yourself? What teams do you follow?
HUGE sports fan growing up of all the major sports. I grew up in Georgia so it was the Braves, Hawks and Falcons mostly but for [that] reason. I really enjoyed the Buffalo Bills of the early 90s. Just wish they could’ve gotten one SB win!!! As I’ve gotten older and my time more limited, I mostly concentrate of MLB and college football….the University of Georgia being my favorite and alma mater. GO DAWGS!
What else would you like to work on within the sketch card and trading card realm?
I’ve been slowly moving toward more base card (full size) work. After become a full time Mr. Mom recently, it’s gotten much harder for me to turn around a high volume of cards. Doing a smaller number of drawings (even at a larger size) is easier with my workload. I had the chance to do base cards for two Star Wars sets and the upcoming Mars Attacks: Occupation, where I’ll be illustrating a six-card chase set.
I know you work on logos and do magazine work. Who are some of clients/companies you’ve worked for?
Before starting freelance illustration in ’05, I was a full time graphic designer for a small agency. The design background has helped me a lot when illustrating and designing my cards.
Have you done work within other parts of the related hobbies like comics or gaming?
I haven’t yet though I have several ideas bouncing around in my head for both. I just need to set aside time to put pen to paper!
Tell me about the Jeepers project.
It’s a fun group project where multiple artists are drawing the villains in the Scooby-Doo series and designing them like a trading card set. I started JEEPERS just for myself to have something to draw in between projects, but after getting multiple emails about contributing, then realizing how daunting a project it was considering the show is decades old with dozens of villains, I started asking people if they’d like to help. So far, the project has 61 different pieces by 37 different artists. Please visit the website to see all the art and the multiple artists taking part: facebook.com/JEEPERS.
In addition to Mars Attacks: Occupation, what else are you currently working?
I’ll have a small number [of cards] in Topps’ Empire Strikes Back and Chrome Perspectives 2.
Where are the best places for fans to see more of your work?
The best place now is to visit my facebook page— facebook.com/jasoncrosbyillustration. I have a new website in the works which will be finished soon.
NSU thanks Crosby for his time and terrific contributions to the hobby. Be sure to consider pledging in the Mars Attacks Kickstarter project if you like what you’ve seen here or are a fan of Mars Attacks (or even if you know a Martian). Let’s get the campaign over $140k so Jason can contribute three more Martianized illustrations (and if you’re wondering, NSU votes for a curling card!).
Marvel Premier by Jason Crosby
Star Wars Masterwork by Jason Crosby