1. Hey Neil! The first time
your work caught my eye was for Topps' all-new Wacky Packages sets around
2005, or so. Can you give us a little background on how you found yourself
working as a freelance artist for the Topps Company?
Joe Kubert's School of Art, CU (BFA), Rocky Mountain News and Estes Rockets (in that order).
3. Can you believe it's already
been more than 10 years working with Topps? What were your initial responsibilities
with the Wacky Packages franchise, and what other Topps projects have
you worked on?
4. As for Garbage Pail Kids, you made a transition over to this property in 2007 for the ANS7 GPK set and became not only a Wacky Package artist, but also a GPK artist, creating the 'WANTED' and 'ID' back-side artwork for several cards - along with concepts and writing by legendary Jay Lynch (listed below). Are you foremost, a Wacky or GPK fan, or both?
1a, 2b, 4, 6a, 9b, 10b, 11a, 12b, 14b, 17a, 19a, 20b, 23b, 25b, 31b,
36, 39a, 42a, 43a, 51b, 53a, 54b
5. You've also been instrumental
with submitting concepts for GPK and later supplying sensational sketch
card artwork for many of Topps' licenses. It's very easy for a GPK collector
to lump artists into categories, like sketch card artist, concept artist,
in reality, you're an artist, period. Why haven't you
made the leap to creating any GPK front-side final artwork?
6. You worked on some Motion cards for the Flashback and Brand New Series sets and really hit your GPK stride with the Brand New Series card backs, being the sole writer and artist for the complete card (listed below), are you extra proud of these pieces that are 'all' yours?
The motion cards were a ton
of fun! If there was ever a set I'd like to see Topps do more of, that's
the one. Interesting factoid #1: I was also doing Wacky motion cards
around this time and I'm still feeling the vertigo!
Very glad to hear my sketch cards are so well received! I think I may have inherited the sketch card moniker by accident. I enjoy painting on a very small canvas, even when it comes to final paintings (usually no larger than 5x7) and so when I first started doing sketch cards for Topps, it was a really natural fit. Interesting factoid #2: I'm credited with the very first Wacky Packages sketch card for Postcards Series 1! Additionally, I find a lot of freedom in creating unusual content in the characters and designs that you can't do in a final painting (like thought balloons). One of the more memorable GPK sketch cards I've done was for the Flashback set, where Topps graciously permitted me to paint one for a charity auction for the Tsunami victims in Japan in 2011. Not sure what the future holds for GPK sketch cards, but as long as Topps keeps producing them, I'm likely to dive in whenever I can.
8. Minus many GPK concepts
you've submitted for the 'Yearly' and online exclusive sets, your artwork
is sadly missing from these sets. What's keeping you away from working
9. Over the last decade working
on Topps projects, is there original Camera material out that that been
released - any personal artwork? Where can collectors find your work
online? I'm a huge fan of your annual 'New Years' cards.
10. Remember we had plans
to meet-up in Denver (years back; 2007?) for a coffee?
you moved - I wasn't sure how to take that. Haha! I'm the proud owner
of the final artwork of the 'Tusky TIFFANY' character you completed
for the ANS7 card backs, the side profile really cracks me up for that
'WANTED' image. Looking forward to seeing and finally meeting you in
person at the Super Toy Con / GPK-Con in Vegas in August!