I just saw some of the chase cards from Breygent’s Paranormal Activity set posted on card talk. For the most part the chase look great, and I applaud Breygent for stepping up and grabbing more licenses. . . but the 9 card puzzle chase set bothers me a lot.
The artist, if you can’t make it out in the small scan is David Desbois. He’s become a pretty popular artist for Breygent, and he clearly has talent. Unfortunately Mr. Desbois has a bit of a checkered past in Non-Sport Cards. . . If you know what I’m talking about you may think I’m beating a dead horse, and that’s fine — skip the post. . . sadly news about Mr. Desbois didn’t travel that far back in 2008 so to many this is news.
Back in 2008 David Desbois wasn’t working for a trading card company — he just wanted to be. So he apparently picked up some LOTR Masterpieces blanks (or erased penciled cards) and created his own masterpiece. . . The results were stunning, but since he wasn’t officially an artist on the set, and no one knew who he was it seems he decided that ‘Desbois’ wasn’t the best signature, so he changed his art and signed (er… forged) ‘Vanderstelt.’
In David’s own words, as he posted on Scoundrel:
I’ll tell you the story of the fake vanderstelt…
I’m not very proud of it, but I guess we all learn from our mistakes
My name is David Desbois and I’m an artist here in Canada, I mainly do commissions for different people I meet along the way and I plan to get to Topps, maybe for Heroes SE2 or LOTR masterpieces 3, who knows? I think I have what it takes. I send an email with some pictures last week and waiting for a reply. I don’t really know what the process is, but anyway…
The truth is i’m not sure if it’s possible to make a living of it.
I did a card as an unofficial artist on an official card to try my mediums on the card and see if it would look good. well, it came great and I didn’t really know what to do with it, so peer pressure made it ebay and since it cannot sell without a name, I just put one. It was some kind of bet.
Now the card have been restored. It’s bad, but now I’m sorry about it
So I contacted Mark to get some help with topps and he told me to not show it around, but it’s already been shown anyway so I told him that I was gonna keep it. Then Len contacted me to get it and I told him that same story. that’s about it.
now it’s very easy bitching back and forth, but from now on I’ll be straight and you will only find my own ACEO on ebay
sorry for that Mark and I hope we can settle things between each other cuz I’m really a fan of you
Artist Mark McHaley added some additional information:
Unfortunately (or fortunately..depending on how you look at it) I’m able to shed more light on this situation. David is (in fact) the artist of the card with the forged signature. David contacted me a couple of months ago about about me doing a commission for him. On learning about this forgery, I’ve refunded his deposit as I just don’t feel right about doing any kind of business with him. It’s sad…because he seems like a nice guy and a real talent. But the facts speak for themselves. A couple of days ago David contacted me about working for topps. I asked for more samples and said I would forward them on to topps (and our editor quickly replied, being interested). David sent me the same sample that Jason posted along with a ‘test’ card that David said he had done to see how an official topps card handled his paints. I told him that I forwarded the other images to topps, but not the official card that he painted over and that that kind of thing was really frowned upon. My advice was to not show anyone the card and keep it to himself. He said that he would keep it and I quote “(the aragorn I did on Topps card was a test to see what the surface is like for my mediums, but I guess that cannot sell since it’s not real. I’ll keep it)”
Here is the pic he sent me…same as the above…only with his signature. If topps hires him…I sincerely hope that he cleans up his act and flies the straight and narrow from now on. Either way…I also have to inform topps so they can make their own decision.
While these two posts are the most pertinent in the thread and are reprinted here partially in case they delete the threads on Scoundrel the entire discussion can be found here.
David Desbois either destroyed another artists work, or obtained a blank card that he drew on as an unlicensed artist, then he forged the signature of one of the top artists in the set, and tried to sell the card on eBay. Clearly a bad decision, and clearly illegal. . . and while I understand that people make mistakes and change and all that good stuff it bugs me.
He attacked a hobby I love and I won’t forgive that — but more than that it bothers me that so many great artists have paid their dues for years and not had the opportunity to work on base card art, let alone a chase set, yet this guy forges some work and in less than 2 years is cranking out chase card sets for Breygent.
I personally will be avoiding Desbois’ work (he has also worked on Dexter), and in general avoiding sets he is involved with. If his involvement bothers you I suggest you do the same, or notify Breygent of your displeasure.