I wouldn’t call this a slow news day, only because I really don’t do the daily news thing… if that’s your deal, I HIGHLY recommend going to PokeBeach.com; after all, webmaster WaterPokemonMaster is sort of my little bro of websites. … Of course, now he’s kinda the big bro now. A SUPER BIG bro. And now I’M the little bro…

Still, I don’t mind talking about the fandom and doing other “in-the-weeds” research stuff, at least whatever I can get in inbetween my Unity Certificate studies. And so I think I’ll share some of that which has been piling up on my desk lately.

First off, a totally random update: as I’m sure you might have noticed, but I’ve kept old archival versions of PA! online for as long as I could. In particular, I have a copy from 2001 (at PokemonAaah.com) and 2003 (at old.PokemonAaah.net). I tend to leave them as-is and not edit them, but I have gotten emails from a few people every now and again asking me to remove their names or some bit of information about them, as it can still shows up in searches… so for those kinds of requests, I don’t mind obliging. But other than that, I tend not to change the sites because I want to keep them as prestine as untouched as they were since their original release.

What I’ve always loved was seeing technology slowly advance: the first site was built for 800 × 600 pixel monitors, the second was more for 1280 × 1024, while today the site is… well, it’s definitely better suited for mobile than the older sites… but making a proper mobile version is gonna be a serious job and a half.

But one thing that totally slipped my mind was… for as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had my “Nick15 Sez” rotating graphic at the top of the page. But for some reason the 2001 version of the site seemed to have been stuck at the “All Your Bases Are Belong To Us” Sez graphic, which totally betrays its 2001 heritage. Turns out I guess it’s been that way for forever, and I only JUST NOW noticed that it was broken. So, I fixed it. A twenty year mistake has finally been corrected. Huzzah!

The second random little update is… I’m sure you’ve ALSO noticed how hard it is to get Pokémon TCG product lately. Or if you can find it, you might only be allowed to buy three packs at a time, and that’s at a fairly generous Target location.

Well, one thing we used to do at Pokémon Aaah! was do a little contest where your fake card could earn you a few packs. Sometimes it might have just been a pack or two, later on you had a chance to earn a box… but instead of relying on straight luck to get TCG product by just happening to visit Target or Wal-mart at the right time, your artistic skills might help you earn yourself some packs of cards. And there’s no better feeling that knowing your skillset brought you success than mere luck.

But competition may be fierce: these were the winners of the last contest we did… if you think you can do better, then some cards might be in your future!

Winners of the Fourth Pokémon Aaah! Fake Card Contest (2003):

  • FIRST PLACEGroudon by Dezza
  • SECOND PLACE (2)Seph’s Bannette by Joseph Barnsley
  • SECOND PLACE (1)Sora’s Articuno by Kasey
  • HONORABLE MENTIONCorporate Switch by GymLeaderPhil

So how about it? Are you interested in participating in the Fifth Pokémon Aaah! Fake Card Contest? Sounds like a fun idea, right??

Well, before I get too ahead of myself, I do want to mention that this is still in the planning stages. Of course you know me, I’m really good at PLANNING to do something, only to sort of… procrasticate on actually working on it. But this time I have an excuse: I actually have to get the prizes! Plus I also need to set the rules, stuff like who would be eligible to enter, what would be the conditions to win, if I’ll have different categories, etc. Even with the prizes, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll offer a prizes only from the latest set, or from the various more recent SwSh sets. Honestly a lot of it relies on my ability to acquire product to begin with.

But I did want to at least mention this just to put a little bug in everyone’s ear and help build a little hype, so that once the contest actually begins, everyone will be able to hit the ground running. I am at least hoping to get the site back into becoming a regular fake card making machine so that, if anything, other people who have no prior faking experience can still have a chance to participate.

Ok ok, I promised a MissingNo. related update, so here we go!

I still owe you guys a small update on both the April and May First Partner Packs, but what I have done recently was create a First Partner Pack BLANK! Now you can add in three Pokémon of your own choice and have a pretend jumbo pack of your favorite Pokémon. Heck, maybe your TRUE “first partner” was a Bulbasaur, Pikachu and Pidgey? Well, you can have it now!

But if wouldn’t be a PA!-related First Partner Pack if MissingNo. wasn’t involved somehow… afterall, it WAS the very first fake Pokémon TCG card I ever made, back before this site even existed! So to give you an idea of what your dream First Partner Pack would look like, I made my own with various MissingNo. sprites on the cover:

Pretty neat, huh? If you want to make your own… well, the full-sized blank is right there! Download it and make your own First Partner Packs right away.

Finally… working on a website that I started over twenty years ago has created a fanbase which have since spread far and wide. But even though Pokémon is still around, finding old fans who still remember the old site is still fun and exciting. But what admittedly throws me off is how everyone now is older today than I was when I originally worked on the site. Gosh we’re getting old…

But as I would recently find out, one of these classic PA! fans is none other than uber-popular and world famous artist as well as self-proclaimed master of art of monsterology, Rachel Briggs (aka @RacieBeep)… who you might have seen making authentic-looking Ken Sugimori-ish versions of lost G/S Pokémon in a recently episode of “Did You Know Gaming”:

Now after initially discovering her on Twitter as one of my earliest friendly follwers, I thought she was just a normal small time artist. This is NOT to dunk on small time artists!!! But rather, imagine you’re at a convention and you find a really cool artist in the Artist Alley, only to later see them on an episode of Ellen or Conan or something. So it’s like, AMAZING TOTAL SHOCKER to see Rachel’s work on an episode of Did You Know Gaming, being spoken of in the same sentence as Nob Ogasawara who translated Pokémon names during the early years.

Well anyways, on her online store—which is currently down while she moves—she had a cute little MissingNo. pin on sale (aka “Missing Number”)… and after discovering it also GLOWED IN THE DARK… well, I just had to get one. After ordering it, I then had a good chat on Twitter with RacieBeep, and we got to talk more about art, MissingNo. and PA! and so forth. Good times!

So anyways, when my package came in, I was only expecting to get my pin and that would’ve been the end of that business transaction. But to my surprise: I see a sketch of my “Light Missingno” on the receipt!! 8-O


(L-to-R: RacieBeep’s “Missing Number” pin, Light Missingno sketch on my receipt, original Light Missingno)

My heart grew three sizes that day—which is acutally a serious heart condition called cardiomegaly and should be checked out—and so I had to return the favor. So I decided to make RacieB her own fake card!

I’ve been slowly rebuilding my fake card making facilities, only this time I’ve been working inside Adobe InDesign instead of Adobe Photoshop, as InDesign is how cards are ACTUALLY constructed by Nintendo and other card game makers (like Wizards of the Coast). Plus it helps to have aschefield’s SwSh blanks to work with. I’ve actually also been putting my TCG Card Background experience to good use, via using Picture #180 from the Vol 005 – Sky and Clouds collection and adding a filter to it. I’ll share with you on a later date about what filters are used on these backgrounds on official TCG cards, but I will at least share that I used the “Maximum” Filter in order to create the effect used in the background… which is actually a filter used commonly on the backgrounds of official TCG cards.

Finally, I based the card off of a couple of things… specifically, the “Glowing Web” attack is based on RacieB’s “Spider” self-portrait, combined with the GLOW IN THE DARK features of her MissingNo. button, while “Ethereal Sunrise” is similarly based on the GLOW IN THE DARK features but also to mix in the sunrise look of the background picture. Mechanic-wise, “Glowing Web” holds the opposing Pokémon into place, and if they were unlucky enough to NOT switch out, you can remove an Energy card off it via “Ethereal Sunrise”. Maybe “Ethereal Sunset” might have been a better term? But then again… it IS always darkest before the dawn… MWAHAHAHAHA

Anyways, I posted RacieB’s fake on Twitter, and what was the verdict??

Ahhh, yes, a job well done. This is why I enjoy doing what I do: making people happy through art is one of the most simplest pleasures in life but is also one that has the most positive effect on the world. At least, that’s how I see it. And it’s all thanks to our little buddy here!

Thanks, MissingNo.! You’re really a gr ’M  ood tim