Topps 2017 Garbage Pail Kids: Classic Sketch Cards

I loved toys, comics, and cards growing up in the 1980s. Not much has really changed from then till now and a new project I worked on with Topps brought back one particular type of trading card I absolutely loved collecting as a kid -Garbage Pail Kids!

garbage pail kids 1980s bookAs a kid in the 1980s I collected an odd assortment of entertainment cards, but it were baseball and Garbage Pail Kids cards that were tops to me! I remember going into, and I know this will sound odd, a gun store every couple of weekends with my father. The store was in a small town called Ironton in the show-me state of Missouri. My grandmother lived there and while visiting, my dad and I would frequently to always go to this little old toy store on main street and a gun store where he would pick up some powder and shells for making bullets at home -we loved going ‘plinking’ (ask me about it!) and he loved going hunting (I wasn’t a fan of the walking that it involved). Anyways, at this gun store were rounds of shredded beef jerky, baseball gum, and  packs of Garbage Pail Kids cards. Almost without fail, every stop at this store would include me grabbing one or more of all three of these items! To this day I still remember the crazy and iconic imagery on the cards, including characters like Adam Bomb!

Garbage Pail Kids’ Sketch Cards

For over three years now I’ve had the opportunity to work on trading card projects for Topps. I started off with my dream project of working on the Star Wars cards and in the past year my project list has definitely grown to include Walking Dead, Mars Attacks, Wacky Packages, and now Garbage Pail Kids! The timeline for finishing this particular project was crazy tight, so I had to go minimal in the detail and forego the backgrounds on most of the cards. Regardless, I was still pretty happy with what I turned out and cannot wait to get another stab on these little buggers on a future project!

topps garbage pail kids sketch cards by matt stewart

Garbage Pail Kids Artist Returns

I have a very limited number of artist returns from this set, but please contact me if you are interested in them! I haven’t drawn them yet so I can use them for a custom commission but don’t wait too long or may just end up drawing something I think of myself on them!

Topps 2017 The Walking Dead Season 7 Sketch Cards

Holy crap I nearly forgot to post about the work I did on the Topps 2017 The Walking Dead Season 7 Sketch Cards!

I’m a huge fan of the Walking Dead, and Fear the Walking Dead, so it was a great opportunity to work on the season 7 The Walking Dead trading card product. Previously this year I also had the opportunity to work on the season 6 Walking Dead trading cards. Each of these series focused on characters and imagery from their respective seasons. The big change then for the season 7 series was that I could draw new characters like Simon, King Ezekiel, and Jesus!

Artist Returns for Sale

I have 10 artist returns for sale from my work on The Walking Dead Season 7 product. Each of these were created with brush pen, copic markers, and polychromous pencil crayons. If you would like to purchase one or more of them, please contact me here with which corresponding number of the card you are interested in picking up! I’ve also been listing some of them on Ebay at times, so make sure to check what I have listed there as well!

amc topps the walking dead artist return sketch cards by matt stewart

Topps 2017 Star Wars: Journey to the Last Jedi Sketch Cards

sale sheet for Topps 2017 star wars journey to the last jedi trading cards with product imagesTopps 2017 Star Wars: Journey to The Last Jedi was released today, on Force Friday II! I created 70 regular sketch cards for this product and for the first time in a Star Wars trading card product, 25 shaped sketch cards. For more information on this product, please visit Cardboard Connection.

Despite the product’s namesake, no images from the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, were used in the sketch card artwork. Instead, the idea was to draw from the ‘journey’ to the latest movie with imagery from The Force Awakens. I principally worked from screen shots from the film, focusing on various places featured in the movie and the characters, much like what I’ve done on previous Star Wars sketch card projects.

Technique wise, I used two styles. One was my comic book style of inking my drawings then colouring them with Copic markers. I used various brush and mechanical pens. When drawing these cards I continually mentally reminding myself, ‘what would this look like in a comic book?’. The second style was done without inks, using only Copic markers and polychromous pencil crayons. Provided I have the necessary time (which I do not always have when working on these sets), I can obtain a fairly realistic look. It’s also a softer technique, and while not applicable to this set, is my favoured route for when drawing the Star Wars animated characters.

The shaped cards was a unique inclusion to this product. Previously Topps had not created shaped sketch cards for their sets, or at least not on any of the sets I’ve worked on in the past three years. The deadline for completing these cards was very tight, but I am very pleased with how they turned out. There is a very limited run of these cards and will be exceedingly difficult to find in the product, but I will have a few of these for sale myself!

Examples of my sketch cards for this product

This is not an exhaustive list of what I did. Just some of the scanned sheets for this product.

topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 1 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 2 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 3 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 4 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 5 topps star wars journey to the last jedi BB8 shaped sketch cards by matt stewart page 1 topps star wars journey to the last jedi BB8 shaped sketch cards by matt stewart page 1

Artist Returns for Sale

Any of my artist returns that do not sell here or on my social media channels within the next week or so will be listed on ebay. Please contact me about what artist returns I have for sale and if there is a character or scene that you do not see, I can create that specially for you! Please contact me and let’s make it happen!

Another Star Wars 40th Anniversary Sketch Card Buyback

jawa 40th anniversary buyback sketch card drawn by matt stewart

Recently I was contacted by a Star Wars card collector about a sketch card they pulled from a box of Topps Star Wars 40th Anniversary. They had a feeling it may have been drawn by me but there was no signature on the back. If you recall from an earlier blog post I wrote, the 2015 High Tek sketch cards did not have the artist sticker autos attached to their backs. Thankfully, I signed my initials to the front of the sketch card. The collector saw the initials and thought it was done by me, and sure enough it was!

It’s pretty odd that I now know of at least two of my 2015 High Tek sketch cards were inserted into the 40th Anniversary set! I wonder if this will be the last one I see or if more will pop up in the near future?

Do you own one of my sketch cards?

Let me know if you own one of my sketch cards! I love hearing from collectors that have one of my sketch cards in their collections. One of the cool things about working on these projects is that my little drawings end up in the hands of people all across the globe!


Topps Rogue One Cassian Sketch Card

I was recently commissioned to recreate a sketch card I had done for the first series of Rogue One by Topps. There was a mistake in the sketch cards delivered to me, so to correct that I was sent a few blank sketch cards after I had completed the project. With this project, I couldn’t create a new image on the blank sketch card they sent me but instead I could redraw any of the sketch cards I did that were approved by Lucas Film /Topps.

All of my Rogue One Sketch Cards
All of my Rogue One Sketch Cards

So a client chose their favourite sketch card I had done for that set and I then redid it. I think this one came out way better than the first, with more vibrant colours and the ink work being tighter. Client was super happy with it too!

Rogue One sketch card of Cassian
Topps Rogue One sketch card of Cassian
Commission Your Own Drawing!

Would you like to commission a custom sketch card or larger illustration from me? If so, drop me a line!

Topps 2017 Star Wars Galactic Files Reborn Sketch Cards

topps star wars galactic files 2017 artist proof sketch cards

Topps 2017 Star Wars Galactic Files Reborn released this week! I did a small batch of sketch cards for this product and have eight returns to sell (pictured below). One of the fun aspects of this set is that I am allowed to draw from all of the Star Wars universe, including all of the movies (to date) and the animated TV shows of Clone Wars and Rebels.

It can sometimes be daunting when working on a set that has such broad parameters such as this one, but to make it easier on myself I often come up with a theme or themes. In previous sets, I will choose a few scenes to work from so that I can focus on a certain group of characters. This makes it easier in finding reference images and thinking of styles /compositions. For this set I chose a slightly broader theme in drawing the women of Star Wars. I hadn’t always drawn a lot of women in previous Star Wars sets and thought with such amazing characters like Rey, Jyn, Sabine, and Ashoka, it was about time I did!

topps star wars galactic files sketch card by matt stewart of leia jyn padme and rey

Perhaps the one sketch card I’m most proud of is the one to the left, where I drew four of the Star Wars royal ladies. Starting clockwise from the top right is Rey, Jyn, Leia and then Padme. I also included the Deathstar on the bottom left and the Starkiller on the bottom right. I think some of the small details got away from me on this card, but I still really like the overall composition and it is something I’m really keen on redoing on a larger scale. Perhaps I’ll add in a few subtle details like the rebel insignia when I do!


What do you think though? Would you like to see the Star Wars royal ladies card done as a larger illustration? Is there another female Star Wars character you’d like to see in the illustration too? Or do you think the overall composition needs some more work? Just leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

If you really like this idea, why not commission a Star Wars drawing for yourself! Perhaps tell me which female characters you would like portrayed or leave it up to me & soon you can have your own original Star Wars illustration hanging on your wall. Just give me a shout and make it happen!




Buyback Sketch Card from Topps 2017 Star Wars 40th Anniversary Trading Cards

I was one of the sketch card artists that worked on the Topps 2017 Star Wars: 40th Anniversary Set. What I didn’t know while working on the set was that the product would include buyback cards. These are previously released Star Wars cards, principally being cards from the original 1978 set. The cards were stamped with a silver 40th anniversary logo to make them unique. In addition to these 1978 cards were choice other cards from previous Topps Star Wars sets.

I often check Ebay to see if any of my previous work is being resold. This helps me gauge a price point for selling my sketch card artist returns. Upon doing this I found a 40th Anniversary buyback card of one of my own sketch cards! Topps had chosen the below sketch card of a Pit Droid I drew for the 2015 High Tek release; the 40th stamp is on the back of the card. Pretty happy they felt that one of my older sketch cards was good enough to include in this buyback set!

sketch card of a pit droidbackside of 40th anniversary star wars buy back sketch card

Commission a 2015 Star Wars: High Tek Sketch Card

The 2015 High Tek product was a bit of an odd set to work on. Artists were supplied with smaller than usual sketch cards to work off of. These were then sent to Topps where they were manufactured into the reflective casing you see in the photo above. As per every product I work on, I receive a given number of sketch card returns to resell. For this set my artist return sketch cards were sent to me blank, where I would work on the cards after they had already been encased with a shiny border. As I’ve been quite busy I never got around to working on these cards. Please contact me here for rates on commissioning an illustration on one of these cards!