Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Dapper Custom

A few months ago I came across a vintage Topps card whose subject bore a strong resemblance to George Costanza, and I couldn't help but make a custom card of good ol' Georgie boy.

Well, recently a similar thing happened with another card whose subject bears resemblance to another actor. Here's the original card:

1960 Topps #447, Ray Moore

The spiffy hair, the face, the faded look of the photograph. Does it all remind you of an actor? And further, a specific role the actor played? Here are some hints from that role:

He doesn't want Fop. He's a Dapper Dan man.

He's a member of the Soggy Bottom Boys.

Oh, and something about a roll-top desk.

Give up?

Here's the answer:

Okay, it's not the uncanny resemblance of George Costanza to Clint Courtney, but I think you can see the connection here.

To tweak the card, I added new red and yellow color bars, found a similar font and a period-correct Cincinnati Reds logo, and replaced the images of Ray Moore with images of George Clooney. 

The main image is from, you guessed it, O Brother, Where Art Thou? I tried to wash it out a little bit in order to better capture the feel of a 1960 Topps card. The left-hand image shows George Clooney, appropriately enough, wearing a baseball glove and about to catch a fly ball. I removed the color and background, and also made it a little more grainy and newspaper-ishagain to make it more authentic to the original card.

And why the Cincinnati Reds, you ask? Well, there's a good reason. It turns out Mr. Clooney was a terrific high school baseball player. So talented, in fact, that he attended a tryout with the very same Cincinnati Reds in 1977. Word is he could field all day long and hit the fastball, but much like Pedro Cerrano, he just couldn't hit the curve.

Back to the card: None of the Cincinnati players in the 1960 Topps set are featured on a card with the same red/yellow color bar combination, but to stay true to the Ray Moore card (and for comparison purposes), I've kept the colors the same.

Now, I'm thinking Mr. Clooney might not appreciate the fact that I simply plunked his head on top of Ray Moore's body as I did here, so I thought I'd work on a second custom card.

And because the main image was taken from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, I decided to change the subject from baseball to something the film is well known for: 


I think George might like this one better:

In the film, his character's full name is Ulysses Everett McGill, but that just didn't fit on the card. So I went with Everett McGill.

The black and yellow color bars do match some cards in the 1960 Topps baseball set, and I think it's a pretty sharp combination for this card. And while making these 1960 customs, I realized that Topps used some ingenuity with the font for the player names. To make sure the player's last name always aligned on the right-hand edge of the card along with the player's position, Topps would adjust the kerning (the space between each letter) when needed. Just take a look at Ray Moore's name up there, for example. The font size is a little bigger than the Clooney card because Ray's name has fewer letters. But the gaps between each letter are definitely wider, too. If not, the "E" in "Moore" wouldn't have lined up directly above the "R" in "pitcher". Pretty good solution by Topps, and I used the same technique here for the customs. I don't think it would have worked for any random year and font, but for 1960 Topps it does.

So, another custom done. Actually, another two customs done. Hope you like how they turned out.

Thanks for reading, as always.


  1. Awesome customs! I couldn't figure out who you were referring to until I saw your customs. But after seeing it was Clooney, I can't help but see him whenever I see that Moore card.

    1. Thanks Fuji! Glad you're seeing some resemblance and it wasn't just me.

  2. I love these pop culture crossover customs.

    1. Glad to hear it, Nick. It's fun working on them.

  3. You had me at Fop! Great cards. I hope that you'll continue to do these, not knowing how to do things like this, I always get a kick out of seeing the creations of others.

    1. Thanks Jon! I thought Fop would be a good hint. These customs are a lot of fun, and I've got a few more in various stages of design. That's all I'm going to say for now. Stay tuned.