03 October 2016

2016 Marvel Masterpieces Nova Sketch by Kate Carleton

I didn't do a post yesterday. I planned on it, but I had to work and by the time I got home I didn't feel like doing anything. I did take my kids to the park for a little while, but that was about it. I had to try to keep them busy all evening as my wife had some homework due and needed some uninterrupted time to get through it. Today was my first day off in quite a while, so I slept in and then did some yard work.

One of the best-looking comic book card sets to be released this year was 2016 Upper Deck Marvel Masterpieces, featuring artwork by Joe Jusko. Unfortunately, it was one of those high-end products that the average collector is never going to obtain in any quantity. A full 1/5 of the base set is short-printed in one way or another, and the SP cards are hard to get and quite expensive. There are actually some parallels with higher print runs than the SP base cards, so some people are creating hybrid sets with the parallels in place of the actual base cards. I haven't done any of that, but I've considered my options just because the artwork is so good-looking. One thing I have been able to do, however, is grab a couple of sketch cards from the product on eBay.

One cool thing that Upper Deck did with the sketches this year is ask the artists to take inspiration from the cards in previous Marvel Masterpieces sets. Some artists took this more literally than others and some used comic book covers or other artwork as inspiration, but most artists did what was asked. So if you were wondering why so many sketches from this set look similar, that's the reason. They were all taking their inspiration from the same source material.

Today's sketch came from artist Kate Carleton, whose work has appeared on this blog before. The character is Nova, a character I liked as a member of the New Warriors. I've lost track of what he's been up to in the comics over time, but I still have that nostalgic attachment to the character. I came across this sketch while looking for Marvel Masterpieces sketches to add to my collection, and the artist, character, and price were all right for me, so I picked it up. On the right is the base card from 1992 Marvel Masterpieces that this sketch was inspired by.

Here is the back of the card, with nice sections for the artist to write their name and what their inspiration was. Many artists don't fill these blocks out (not cool!), but Kate Carleton did. I don't know all the history for this set, but you can see that the back is printed with the set name as 2014 Marvel Masterpieces, suggesting that there was at least a two-year delay in production.


  1. Kudos to UD and Marvel for having the artist write down their inspiration for the sketch. Your sketch card of Nova is really cool!

    1. I thought it was a cool idea. It's neat to see what different artists do when presented with the same body of source material. I think this is a great sketch!