Saturday, February 26, 2011

Interview with sketch card collector Angelina Starks

How did you first get into sketch card collecting?
I collected non-sport trading cards (Angel, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Farscape, Firefly, Lost, etc.) first. I was collecting promos, base sets and chase cards (costume and autograph cards) when I eventually came across sketch cards.

Is there a specific genre/property/character you collect (horror, sci-fi, Harry Potter, DC, Marvel, etc) and why?
My #1 is Firefly because it's the best television series of all time, but I do collect a few other sci-fi/fantasy television shows and movies (i.e. V For Vendetta, Farscape).

Do you prefer pencil cards over color (or color over pencil)?
Not really. My preference really varies artist to artist with their individual style & technique.

Is there is a specific artist - or artists - you like to collect?
I wish I could list them all, but instead, I'll list the artists I own at least 1 sketch card from that I definitely want more of their work in my collection (in alphabetical order): Irma "Aimo" Ahmed, Kate "Red" Bradley, Katie Cook, Grant Gould, Kevin Graham, Jessica Hickman, Tom Hodges, Leah Mangue, Cynthia Narcisi, Connie Persampieri, Amy Pronovost, Sonny Strait, Jeremy Treece and John Watkins-Chow.

How large would you say your collection is?
I have almost 70 sketch cards and my son Hunter is catching up with his total at almost 50, which I think is rather impressive for an 8 year old boy.

How do your family/friends feel about your collecting?
Supportive. I already collected comic books, action figures and non-sport trading cards before I discovered sketch cards, so they're used to my sci-fi/fantasy geekdom.

Do you ever sell off portions of your collection?
It hasn't gotten to that point yet and I hope I never have to.

Do you purchase several boxes or cases of cards at a time?
Sadly I don't, but I definitely would if I could afford it.

How do you feel about some collectors that buy several cases at a time?
I'm fine with it as long as they share the wealth via selling or trading.

Do you take artist popularity into consideration?
Nope, I like what I like, regardless of their popularity.

What would you say is your favorite card you own and why (no need to name the artist unless you'd like to)?
Not sure that I have 1 favorite card (it's so hard to pick favorites!), but I started commissioning different artists to draw Firefly characters from the episode Shindig, ask them to put their own spin on it and I love how they've turn out.

How do you feel about an artist putting out several cards with the same image on them?
There are deadlines to be met, so I understand repeats when an artist signs on to do a large amount (like 100+), but it's nice when they'll still try to vary it a little.

Are there any sketch card sets you would love to see come out that haven't yet?
Firefly (television series) or Serenity (movie), but I'm not holding my breath. Avatar The Last Airbender (cartoon series on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008) would be a great one too.

Do you contact artists for personal commissions, any return cards they may have, etc?
I do contact artists for commissions (when I have the money), but I am not at the point yet where I can afford return cards.

How do you feel about artists charging more for return cards?
That's their choice. It's about supply & demand, right?

Some companies put cards out that vary in size (Topps' Clone Wars Widevision, for example). Does that affect whether or not you will collect from that set?
I like the look of the Widevision cards, but finding storage (top loaders, page protectors) is my main concern. I like my collection to be neat, organized and easily displayed.

Do you enjoy the other cards, autographs, costume cards, etc., in a set as well as the sketch cards?
When I first started collecting non-sport trading cards, it was costume cards that I eagerly collected, as well as the occasional autograph card, mostly bought off of eBay.

Have you had any bad experiences with sketch card artists (no need to name the artist)?
Sadly yes, but so far the good communication with the majority of artists outweighs the bad.

Is your collection online where people can see it?
I have 2 photo albums (1 for my collection and 1 for Hunter's) on my Facebook that I update as we both acquire new cards.

Thank you so much for your time, Angelina!!


  1. Great questions, Jess. It was really interesting to read your answers Angelina. I can't believe Hunter already has a 50 card collection at 7 years old! He's such a lucky little lad! :D

  2. Thank you Red! :D One minor correction: when I originally answered the questions, Hunter was still 7 years old, but he is now 8 years old - his birthdate is 11/16/02. :)