Thursday, November 25, 2021

Art on the back: 1962 Topps

As a kid collecting cards in the 1980s, one difference between Topps and the other card manufacturers was that Topps cards seemed a little more kid-focused. The designs were a little more whimsical, and the fonts at times seemed almost like comic book lettering. 1987 Topps is a good example of that. Of course, one of the key ways that Topps indicated that cards were fun for kids was the cartoons in the back. They were usually drawn in a quite goofy way. In '62, for whatever reason, Topps went with a much more serious, realistic look for their cartoons. It's not a bad look, but quite different from previous years.

For certain subjects the more serious tone worked quite well.

I usually like to pull a few examples of non-baseball-related cartoons for these posts. In previous years these would have looked quite different, maybe a cartoonish senator on Willie Tasby's card, and Sammy Drake would have been running track in his baseball uniform.

It is worth noting that three of the four players in the above image are Black, and unlock most other years (save '56), the cartoonist actually drew them as Black. Most of the time Topps drew players of all races as white. Incredibly, they even did so in the 2011 Topps Heritage set, which used the '62 design.

1 comment:

  1. Cartoony is good, but I do like these as well. I kind of wish they would've alternated between the two styles every other year.