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  1. #1

    New Customs: 2012-13 Signature Masks

    Dear collectors,

    It gives me great pleasure to introduce the 2012-13 Signature Masks series. This set features the masks of goaltenders playing in the Danish AL-Bank League. 9 masks have been chosen and each card features a unique autograph. These cards are numbered to just 1 copy and are part of the first known Danish Mask set to date.

    How did this project start out, you may ask? Let's dive in, shall we?

    I frequently make hockey card customs. Masks are my big passion when it comes to cards, and I find it a pleasure to make customs for my own Mask PC.
    After creating many different kinds of cards, from World Championship Masks, Vintage Masks, Masked Generations and Masks Across Europe, I wanted to do a set of Danish masks. The problem was, there's almost no good pictures available of any AL-Bank League goalie's headwear. So with no pictures to edit, the project was on a stand-still when I first had the idea.

    In the summer of 2012 I had an idea that revolutionized customs for me. In order of getting a good picture of a mask, why not meet up with the goalie when he was in town? My city has a local hockey team and away teams frequently travel to our arena.

    By meeting the goalie, I would not only ensure the best possible quality for the pictures (lighting, angle, colours) but I would also have the memories of meeting with the goalie after I had made the cards. Surely a nice added bonus to a special one of a kind creation.
    Then I figured: "Now that I am talking to him, why not ask him for an autograph?" I couldn't ask him to sign the actual card for the obvious reason that it hadn't been made yet, but I could ask him to sign a measured sticker. Then, I did not have to worry about him getting injured and not coming to town in the future, refusing to sign another day, or getting traded. I would have all the material needed to create my custom trading card product.

    Although I always try to be realistic (but optimistic at the same time), I could not have predicted how many amazing experiences I would have with these goalies. I am truly grateful that these goalies signed, posed with their mask, chatted and did it all with smiles on their faces.
    It has been said before and it will be said again: Hockey players are the friendliest and most devoted pro athletes of all sports. End of story.

    Please take a look at this video for more information as well as the card design:



    I have ordered these cards to be printed out and I will attach the sticker autographs when they arrive and after I've done some final touchups on them.

    Here's the checklist:

    SM-01: Lubos Pisar - Herning Blue Fox
    SM-02: Sebastian Dahm - Rødovre Mighty Bulls
    SM-03: Michael Madsen - SønderjyskE
    SM-04: Alfie Michaud - SønderjyskE
    SM-05: Alex Petizian - Odense Bulldogs
    SM-06: Magnus Åkerlund - Aalborg Pirates
    SM-07: Nikolaj Nørbak - Aalborg Pirates
    SM-08: Edgars Lusins - Copenhagen Hockey
    SM-09: Mathias Israelsson - Odense Bulldogs

    The stories of how I met the goalies are almost as good as the actual cards and the experiences make for some great memories, so here's the 9 different stories that helped form a Mask set not quite seen before.

    Lubos Pisar - Herning Blue Fox



    Pisar is one of those players you always look forward to meeting; friendly, open, good for a nice chat and he seems happy to be around the fans. I met Pisar on two different occasions, the first time he asked me to come meet him again later for him to show me his new mask. He brought the new one along next time and I was able to snag some good pictures of it. I gave him a copy of a Masks Across Europe card of him, and he seemed very happy about it and thanked me a lot. Pisar is simply a class act!

    Sebastian Dahm - Rødovre Mighty Bulls



    It was nice meeting Dahm. He didn't really say much but had no problem signing nor letting me take some pictures. His new mask is pretty cool and I'm very glad to have been able to add it to my set. Thanks, Sebastian!

    Michael Madsen - SønderjyskE



    One of the nicest guys you'll meet. Madsen chatted with me about his new mask and about the designer, John Pepe, who has also designed masks for Craig Anderson, Curtis Joseph, Ron Hextall, Robert Esche, Grant Fuhr, Jeff Hackett, Rick DiPietro and Andrew Raycroft. His mask features a lot of cool details when you see it up-close, and I tried to capture that in the pictures.

    Alfie Michaud - SønderjyskE



    It was good to get Michaud's signature as well as the pics. He's a former Vancouver Canuck who nows plays in the Danish league and frequently ranks among the top goalies in our league when it comes to wins, minutes played, GAA and save percentage.

    Alex Petizian - Odense Bulldogs


    What a great experience it was meeting Petizian! We chatted for 25 minutes - yes, you read that right. He wasn't practicing with the team because of a minor injury, which allowed me to talk to him on the bench. We talked about everything from hockey, hobbies, the NHL and education. He told me that one of his best friends, NHL'er Marc-Edourd Vlasic, once earned a couple of thousand dollars signing cards for a card company (I was curios how much the players make when signing for UD/ITG/Panini). He even said that he attended Vlasic's wedding a few years ago and spent the summer training with Jhonas Enroth of the Sabres! It's cool how those hockey players all seem to know each other, eh?

    Magnus Åkerlund - Aalborg Pirates



    It was a pleasure meeting Magnus Åkerlund. He was very friendly, smiling and open. Very Swedish! He had no problems signing and also didn't mind me taking the pictures of his mask. He even asked how I wanted him to hold or wear the mask before taking the picture, allowing me to get the best possible shots. As I was exiting the arena I bumped into him again during some warm up stretches, and thanked him once more for his kindness.

    Nikolaj Nørbak - Aalborg Pirates


    I was happy to be able to snag Nørbak's autograph as well as a bunch of pictures of his mask. He was patient while I took the pictures, and I think he enjoyed the fan attention. He seems like the kind of guy who come off as someone who's a bit quiet, but also interesting and friendly at the same time. I really appreciate his time signing the autograph and allowing me to take some snapshots of his gargoyle-themed Turco-like mask.

    Edgars Lusins - Copenhagen Hockey

    I think Lusins was a bit surprised someone wanted a picture of his plain mask, but he was more than happy to help me out. He signed a couple of autographs for me and I stayed for the game, which I don't usually do because I have school, homework and my job to get to.
    Mathias Israelsson - Odense Bulldogs



    I approached Israelsson before a practice. He was more than happy to help me out with my custom card set and said he thought the idea was very cool. His mask features the text: "Look Good - Feel Good - Play Good", and that's pretty much what he's like. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the fan attention and smiled throughout much of our conversation. After having seen him practice with the team, I'm sure he's got a bright hockey career ahead of him, but the fact that he's also capable of pleasing the fans also goes a long way. Thanks a lot, Mathias!

    I hope you will enjoy them although they are for my own collection and definitely not for trade or sale. I always appreciate comments on your thoughts regarding my customs, so please feel free to write what you think! Thank you.
    So please tune in soon to see the complete set featuring the signatures - it's going to be a 'custom' experience, eh?

    Sincerely,

    -Ethan
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  2. #2
    The set without autographs (they will be attached after I receive the cards):



    Thanks for looking.

    -Ethan
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Hi Ethan,

    Again a great set. Thanks for sharing the stories behind them as well.

    I hope the cards turn out great with the auto on them.

    Regards and happy new year.
    Diana

  5. #5
    Thanks for the comments, Eric and Diana.

    -Ethan
    Collecting:

    - Mask Cards
    - 2005-05 UD Endorsed Emblems

  6. #6
    Woww awesome stories! but amazing work in creating the mask cards! :) Itll look cool with the auto, thanks for sharing:)
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  7. #7
    Another great set Ethan with a very nice story and photos. I hope you have a nice display for those sets because it would be a shame to not have them out for folks to admire. I have my favorites in a matted frame hanging on my wall. Maybe a bit pricey but I can enjoy them that way. Always look forward to your next project.

  8. #8
    I really enjoyed reading all the short stories. That sounds like a lot of fun and the cards look great!
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  9. #9

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  10. #10
    wow you have put together something awesome. great stories too
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