Got a note the other day from reader Michael Princip. As many of you know, he’s the guy behind the fairly comprehensive Seahawks memorabilia site Greenglare. Now he’s got a new project in the works, as he explains here:
My friend Dan Tearle and I have launched a web site called Illustrated NFL, which will focus on NFL illustrations — mainly works by Chuck Ren, but we’ll also cover other artists. We really just tried concentrating on the artists who contributed to the Damac NFL poster series, but there are some other artists featured who did work for the early ‘Pro!’ magazine sets….
This is an ongoing project and there is so much more material that we have yet to include, including writeups on particular pieces, analysis and source pics. There are also some interseting vintage ads we will be adding soon, including some British ads from Dan’s collection. Dan and I are also thinking of making a blog section to the site, where we can generate some feedback and learn more about these incredible illustrations from other collectors and fans of the art.
The site may still be a work in progress, but it’s already a freakin’ gold mine of magnificent NFL artwork. I hadn’t realized Michael was such a vintage illustration buff, so I asked him for more background on the project. Here’s his response:
I met Dan, who’s from the UK, through a sports memorabilia discussion thread about the Damac poster series. I contacted him and told him I collect vintage ‘Pro!’ magazines and would be happy to scan any illustrations he might like to see, in particular Chuck Ren’s work. I soon learned that Dan is an amazing illustrator in his own right and that he actually does illustrations for the NFL offices in London.
I suggested we collaborate on doing some Damac poster-type illustrations, and he really loved what I came up with as far as the backgrounds [you can see five examples of Michael and Dan’s Damac-style illos at the bottom of this page — PL]. Through these collaborations, we came up with the idea to start a site where we can share our collections. We also wanted to create some discussion through our site and hopefully find new artwork from other fans of this genre.
I’m familiar with the type of artwork Michael and Dan are featuring here, but until now it had never occurred to me that it was essentially its own category and that there would be collectors devoted to it (which of course is a big “duh” on my part). It’s a great genre to focus on, in large part because it documents so much of the texture that’s lacking in most of today’s uniforms. Gorgeous depictions of a classic era — big props to Michael and Dan for undertaking such a cool project.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Interesting to see Ervin Santana has “El Magic” on his glove (good spot by Brendon Yarian). … New jersey sponsor for Man U (with thanks to Steven Winner). … While conducting family business on Long Island yesterday, I passed this sign. I love how Mr. Mandelbaum’s “MHM” initials were incorporated into his logo. … A high school long jumper in Vermont was recently disqualified for having an oversized Under Armour on his shorts. The controversy has spawned its own Facebook group (with thanks to Mario Morgado). … Great vintage Little League photo, circa 1963, from Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania (with thanks to Craig Hughes). … Mike Thomas asks a good question: Why did the Oilers’ 1961 Topps cards show the team in pink jerseys, especially since the ’61 Fleer set showed them in blue? … Spectacularly worded Baseball Digest article about the 1963 A’s uniforms here, full of terms like “Brooklyn’s daffiness boys” and “their Kelly green an Tulane gold play suits” (great find by Morris Levin). … Remember that great panoramic 1909 Browns portrait from a few days ago? Here’s the 1910 version — same caps, different sweaters (this one, like the last one, courtesy of Bruce Menard). … Hayden Jackson reports that the Memphis Redbirds dipped into the city’s minor league history and wore Memphis Chicks throwbacks last Friday. … Laurence Davies was helping to clear out his parents’ house when he came upon his old tabletop hockey set, which he received as a Christmas gift in 1968. “There probably wasn’t a November or December day that year that I did not look at this page from the Eaton’s Christmas Wish Book Catalogue (longtime Canadian institution),” he writes. “We quickly tried out every team, formed leagues, and played it to death that winter.” I had a similar set myself in the early 1970s — a hand-me-down from my older brothers. My set, like Laurence’s, had bare-faced goalies, so I made little paper masks and taped them to the goalies’ faces — except for the Red Wings’ goalie, because of Andy Brown. … Jack Looney’s book Now Batting, Number… lists Randy Johnson as having worn Nos. 51 and 57 during his brief late-’80s stint with the Expos. But Michael Kramer came across this (looks like 20something or 30something) and this. Anyone know more? … I’m OK with this, as long as the sponsor is Koz’s Mini-Bowl, Kopp’s Custard, or the House on the Rock. … RIP, Koko.