Mystery Solved: The Guy Behind Those Toronto Trading Cards People Have Been Finding
People have been finding trading cards on subways and on random notice boards around the downtown core with very specifically Toronto-style celebrities on them, and posting them on social media, wondering what it's all about.
They're called The Infamous 6ix, and so far, the group includes Chair Girl, the IKEA Monkey, and Chainsaw Guys. Is it a marketing ploy? Some ultimately disappointing corporate thing? The beginnings of a graphic novel?
Narcity tracked down the man behind the cards, and it's actually a really sweet story.
Who's behind the cards?
His name is Tim Matheson. He lives part time in Toronto, and part time in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the border from Ottawa. He was happy to talk to Narcity, but hesitant to reveal too much.
"I'm not the most interesting character in the world," he says by phone, "but I enjoy falconing, you can put that in."
Why are you printing trading cards?
He just really likes Toronto, the people who charmingly misbehave in it, and the very specific kind of love we have for them.
"Every time something really crazy happens in the city, my brain just starts racing because I love this stuff," Matheson says. "And you know for like, the last year, I just couldn't figure out what to do about it. And then when when chainsaw guys happened, it all just materialized in my brain, very crystal clear, that there should be a trading card set to commemorate these awesome events."
Where Can You Find Them Now?
As part of what he calls his "renegade marketing campaign" he's been distributing 500 of each of the first three cards on the subway, as well as around the Annex, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Queen West, and Kensington Market. You're most likely to find them pinned to notice boards, or laying around (free) in shops.
These cards are special promotional editions, with the Cabibble website address printed on them, "So arguably, these ones you're getting now are more collectible," he says, "because there's less of them."
'Less Of Them'? So There Are There Going To Be More?
Matheson either is or was in the print production business, but the company he currently runs, Cabibble, is all about the trading cards. And if you go to the website, you'll see three of them are just rendered as silhouettes, to be revealed in the coming weeks.
He's printed up 1,000 packs of seven cards each, six Infamous6ix characters, and one group shot, all drawn by Armando Abeleda and coloured by Rodney Velchez, both aritsts in the Philippines, and written by Lea Lawrynowicz.
"The artists are really the ones that brought this to life," Matheson says. "And their art exceeded all of our expectations here, as did the write ups. So those three artists are really at the centre of what make these cards so great."
Will There Be Other Sets?
It sounds like it.
Narcity asked Matheson if he'd ever do Zanta, for instance, and he said Zanta would be less Infamous6ix and "more of, like, a Mainstays and Personalities deck," implying he's already done some thinking on a possible second set.
"Also, Zanta has got a lot of mental illness issues around him," Matheson says. "If we're going to do something with Zanta, I would want to make sure that it somehow benefits those particular causes."
When's The Next Reveal?
Matheson says sometime early next, but it'll be online this time.
Where Can I Buy Them?
Here. They're $6.