Tuesday, May 19, 2020

2020 Topps Project 2020 -- Jackie Robinson by Mister Cartoon

While New York had Zephyr, Blade and Lady Pink defining the local street art/graffiti aesthetic, Los Angeles had Mister Cartoon working the trenches to encapsulate LA's look. It all began innocently enough -- from airbrushed T's as a youth to painting lowriders -- but quickly morphed into a hustle creating art for musicians. Soon, he found a calling in the form of "fineline-style" tattoos that came to be known as quintessentially Los Angeles. Per Lily Moayeri at LA Magazine:
“We wanted to take Chicano art as far as we could take it,” says Toons. “Show our art to people that weren’t part of our culture and didn’t have access to it, let them see how we draw and what our style is. We didn’t expect to take it to the red carpet in Hollywood or major brand collaborations. One minute we’d be in the housing projects in Watts and East L.A., then we’d be having lunch at Fred Segal. It’s a hard to cross from one to the other. But the beautiful part that comes out of street culture, which could be connected to violence, poverty, incarceration, is the art form.”
Featured is Mister Cartoon's remake of Jackie Robinson's 1952 Topps rookie card, and as you can see it is very different from the other works unveiled by him so far. His cards for Gooden, Brett and Clemente are clearly unique (see them below), but they still retain much of the basic design elements of the original. This Robinson card by Cartoon does not do that at all.

Instead of a basic portrait photo we get a laid-back Jackie Robinson -- as if leaning on a couch watching tv. Instead of a broad smile we get a discerning look -- as if he just discovered something serious. The background includes design elements that have defined Mister Cartoon's style, but nowhere do we see the 1952 Topps set. It's as if this card is meant to stand alone, separate from everyone else -- much like how Jackie Robinson stood alone when he broke the color barrier in 1947.

Go here to check out the card and order. A complete checklist of all the cards in the set can be found here.

BTW, Netflix currently has a documentary available that that goes deep into the life and career of Mister Cartoon. It is called "LA Originals" and I highly recommend that you check it out. You can watch a trailer here. You can also find him on social media: Facebook: @misterctoons. Instagram: @misterctoons, Twitter: @misterctoons, Website: mistercartoon.com.

Above is a look at the three other Mr. Cartoon cards created for Topps. Below is a current Jackie Robinson checklist of Topps Project 2020 cards with their corresponding artist and print runs:
  • #3 - Naturel -- (link here) -- 1,302 print run
  • #31 - Sophia Chang -- (link here) -- 2,741 print run
  • #42 - Blake Jamieson -- (link here) -- 2,980 print run

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *


  1. This is a terrific card. I'll be adding it to my collection, the 1st Jackie Robinson card, my 3rd Project 2020 card overall.

    Good Job. 👍

  2. Though they have stopped production for them, you can still find them about, and I definitely recommend picking a set up! They are one of, if not my favorite promotion the Pokemon Center has done, and I hope they do it again in the future. read manga online


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