A few weeks ago I spent quite a bit of time bothering the folks at the Sad Littles table at Chicago Comic Con. Nate and I spoke at length about all things Sad Littles, and lots about the industry in general. Nate is refreshingly straightforward, and while speaking with him you become infected with enthusiasm for Sad Littles. You get the feeling they are building this company one brick at a time, perhaps they are struggling, but everyone loves to root for an underdog.
I walked away from Nate’s table with a bunch of Sad Littles product. I’d seen Legends and Lore before, and had picked up some Damesels and Dinosaurs as well as Essence of Fairyland sketches on eBay, it was my first time seeing a Fairyland set, or cracking open a pack of Damsels, and really — my first experience really cracking open some Sad Littles product.
My first observation was that everything is quality, the sets are nice, the packaging is nice, although I quickly realized that the sets aren’t sealed, and the packs probably could be manipulated to see what the sketch inside was, so only buy unopened product from dealers you trust or Sad Littles directly. ***Update I was just informed that these typically do come sealed, they didn’t have time to seal the sets they had at the convention.***
The art on the base cards was all really well done, even if some of it wasn’t necessarily my taste, it was all nice — and it was all original art — very cool! The card backs were designed well, and had a little blurb or quote about the art by the artist. I wasn’t really in to the blurbs on the back — most of them were almost like flavor text from a CCG, or perhaps like a very brief description of a character you see in a video game. I would have much rather seen information about the artist, or the artist’s inspiration or technique. Overall though, I thought the sets are excellent. Unfortunately the sets have sort of kept me from collecting a lot of Sad Littles products — let me explain. I’m a collector of sketch and autograph cards. I don’t want 1 sketch from Essence of Fairyland — I want as many as I can find that I like! I want loads of them, but I don’t really want dozens of sets sitting around. I’d like 1 set perhaps, but at the end of the day I personally am far more likely to buy a cheaper sketch only product like Damsels and Dinosaurs than I am a set/sketch product like Legends and Lore or Fairyland.
Sadly, I’m sure the set itself is a significant cost to the product, but at the end of the day it doesn’t really add value to the collector. If they could have a few commons with each sketch and only have a total of 50 sets possible or something that might be cool, and the sets might have some value at that point, but I’m not sure how economically that works out.
So. . . let’s talk sketches.
Like the base set, the sketches are very nice. Not every sketch is necessarily the style I would normally collect, but they are all quality — you aren’t going to find repeat-a-sketch orcs in here. I remember when I initially opened these I was really impressed, and I was blown away by the Lynne Anderson card posted at the top of this post — a scan can’t even come close to capturing the detail in this card — it’s mesmerizing. That impressed feeling was reiterated tonight when I went to pull a few cards for this post. . . I couldn’t narrow my choices down to 1 Damsel, 1 Legend and 1 Fairy. . . I found 7 cards to post, so I’m just going to show you some of my favorites:
Legends and Lore:
Essence of Fairyland:
Damsels and Dinosaurs:
And let me tell ya — the scans aren’t doing anything to help these sketches out.
If I had to criticize something about the sketches — and I do since I’m playing the role of a critic right now . . . and perhaps it has more to do with my expectations or desires than anything with the set or sketches, but when the set is called Damsels and Dinosaurs I know that I’m looking for the headliner on the set — in this case Damsels, and for the most part Damsels and Dinosaurs delivered nicely on the damsels. There were a few cards — some with kids and dinosaurs, which I have to be honest I wasn’t really in to. Fairyland is a little harder. . . they are mythical after all, but personally I want my fairies to be like the ones above. . . give ‘em some sex appeal — after all men must to be the key demographic for this product. A number of my Fairyland sketches were random creatures, or . . . well not hot fairies.
Don’t get me wrong. . . I’m exceptionally happy with my Sad Littles products — but I got a bunch, but if I ordered a single pack and got a sketch of random ugly dude fairy, or kid playing with dinosaur I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it. Luckily for collectors there are a bunch of Sad Littles sketches on eBay lately, and many of them are selling for almost criminally low prices — I probably shouldn’t be posting that here since I’ve been having a field day picking up sketches. Ohh well. Happy Collecting Everyone.