Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

On a happier note than yesterday's post, I just wanted to wish you all a happy and healthy new year! 2011 was very kind to me (while not without its challenges), but I'm truly grateful to all of you for your love and support! I love you guys, you're the best, and I'm super lucky to be friends with you all.

Stay safe, and have fun!! Bring on 2012!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Buyer Beware =(

I really wanted to end the year with a note of gratitude and positivity, but unfortunately, I'm in a situation that needs to be resolved. On December 8th, I ordered a Gentle Giant Grand Moff Tarkin minibust off of eBay for $85.00 USD, including the shipping. This was to be a gift for one of my best friends, Joe Sorbera. Joe's been a constant pillar of support both in and out of my career, and has recently begun collecting the GG busts. I thought, with Tarkin being one of his favorite characters, and one missing from his humble collection, this would be a great way to say both "Merry Christmas" and "thank you for always being there" at the same time. But instead...

Two weeks come and go and I've still not received the bust. I reached out to the seller, "monteoutlaw", who, as you can see, has great eBay feedback. When I asked them where my bust was, I was told that it was sent to the wrong address due to a "clerical error" but they'd correct the mistake immediately. Fair enough, I thought, mistakes happen. However, it was apparent that the bust wouldn't be here in time for Chrismas. Bummer.

This past Tuesday, I was finally greeted with the package. Yet, I was in shock of the contents:

A high-quality minibust that I had payed $85 dollars for (mind you, it was $60 at retail) was in a box way too large for it, with no packaging peanuts or paper to pad the interior. My worst fear was that it was damaged during shipment, but stayed optimistic that it'd be fine upon inspection...

Yeah, not so much. As you can see, the chair has a a HUGE crack and is barely still attached to the rest of the bust itself. So, again, I paid $85 dollars for a LATE item that arrived DAMAGED with NO CARE taken in the way it was shipped.

I contacted monteoutlaw about the issue. I was told that they never had this problem before since the interior of the Gentle Giant box had styrofoam padding to protect it. Clearly it wasn't enough protection, though. The seller requested that I send it back to them so they could investigate that the broken bust I complained about and the one they sent me are one in the same. In other words, they wouldn't refund my money until they verified I didn't pull a switcheroo, sending them a damaged one that I already had. Fine by me! But before it's sent back to them, take a look at the photos I snapped:

There it is, folks. Number 1229/6000 on both the bottom of the bust itself, and on the sticker the eBay seller applied to the bottom of the box. I'm still shipping it back because, frankly, what am I going to do with a broken minibust that is already late for the purpose it was intended for? I want my money back so I can buy Joe an UNDAMAGED present elsewhere.

But wait, what else am I seeing on this bust? Dust? The kind of dust that's in a hard to reach place with a cloth or finger to brush off, on an item that had to have been sitting out of a box on a shelf somewhere in order to accumulate.

Hmm. Let's take another look at the listing for this item, shall we?

Meanwhile, what I received was neither unopened or undamaged. Please, take a look at the original listing and confirm it with your own eyes. Last time I checked, not too many items collect a lot of dust inside a box that's only been opened to check the number at the bottom of the bust, which, I was told by monteoutlaw, was the reason the clear tape sealing the styrofoam was already broken. This item was CLEARLY not in "new" condition as told in the listing. When I complained about it being opened, the seller assured me that it was only to copy down the number so that they could print a sticker on the bottom of the box for their records.

Call me crazy, but I'm smelling a lot of shenanigans here. What's to stop them from having another "clerical error" and telling me "oh, this isn't the number we sent you", with their own sticker on the bottom of the box matching the bust itself. So, that's why I involved you folks. An extra hundreds of pairs of eyes (between this blog, Twitter, Facebook, and 700 followers on DeviantArt) to make aware of the types of nonsense some people try to pull. And during the holidays? Come on. The bust has dust on it, I'm not stupid. It wasn't new. Photographic evidence, conclusive proof. But anyway, it's being sent back to them (and I have to pay for shipping it back first, though the seller claims that I'll be reimbursed for it along with the bust).

Now, I understand why they want me to send it back to check, but the entire story and stance this guy is taking...there's clearly some dishonesty going on here. At this point, without accusing the seller, I highly suspect it was already broken and was sent to me anyway. The dust clearly indicates it's been opened and displayed, which makes his claim of opening it once for inspection, a lie. Goodbye, credibility! On top of the fact that I wouldn't have even received one in the first place if I didn't speak up about never receiving my item, it's also a huge possibility that the seller was totally ignorant of the condition of the items they're selling in the first place.

I'll post again tomorrow on a happier note, because I refuse to let the negative actions of one to be the last note I touch on for 2011, a year that was very good to me. But man, some people suck.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Lame Look ;)

Hey, guys! Hope you don't mind the weak updates lately, but in all honesty, I haven't had much to report other than TOPPS TOPPS TOPPS everyday. =) So, I snapped a few shots to show you guys a little bit of the "wrapping" process.

Signing my life away!

The main box the cards fit into. all 212 packed.

I know, that's all I got. Lame or what?! haha Don't worry, this week I'll have plenty of time to come up with some actual content for you guys. Until then, thanks for bearing with me!! =)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Star Wars G7: That's a Wrap.

212 completed Star Wars cards have been signed, scanned, counted, and packed into their little box from Topps. The contract is signed, the return cards are chosen, the invoice is written, and the UPS box is sealed. Tomorrow, they make their way to Topps, and I'll have officially completed my second professional Star Wars art gig. It feels really good.

I'd like to thank you guys for all the support along the way! I'm going to have some new previews to show you all this week, and these will be in full color. Lots of really cool ones I'm excited for you to see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/14/2011 Sketch Card Update!

Whew! 16 cards to go, guys!

I expected to be finished today or tomorrow, but it looks like it'll spill into the weekend.

Will have some more previews next week! =)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rag-NERD-Rok! Finally!

Here it is, folks! My appearance on Rag-NERD-Rok!

I talk about my experience as a Star Wars artist, and some STRONG opinions about the prequels. Nah, I'll admit, they're a guilty pleasure, but I enjoy giving them a hard time! Anyway, be warned that there's NSFW language, just the nature of their show. So, shield your ears if they're sensitive!

Hit the link!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12/7/2011 Sketch Card Update!

Whew! Above are some more of my favorites from the red retail cards done for Target stores across the country! As you can see, I did quite a few troopers, and a few special ones just for Captain Fordo!

As for this week's count, by end of day today, I'll be hitting 162/212...Officially 75% done with the set! Can't wait to show you the color cards I've been working on...

Friday, December 2, 2011


Hey guys!

Not much of an update today, as I'm cranking on all cylinders to get through Topps. Tonight I hit 132 of 212! A little past the halfway mark.

Anyway, later today I'll be heading over to Long Island to appear on the all-things-geek podcast, Rag-NERD-rok! I'm really excited to talk to these guys, so look forward to that once it's live. I'll link here, of course!

Anyway, happy Friday, and have a great weekend! Keep working hard, guys!