Christopher Tupa’s Wish Book Captures Pre-Christmas Toy Anticipation
Posted 4 months ago by Tim Briscoe in Art, Books, Toys
For a kid, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas has to be the most excruciatingly slow time of year. It’s a never-ending wait to see what toys will be you under the tree come Christmas morning. When I was little, I would spend this time making wish lists and browsing through the toy pages of the store catalogs. I’d revise my list again and again in hopes of getting the perfect mix of loot.
Now as an adult, I remember those in-between days fondly. Like many things in life, I know that anticipation is equal to, if not greater than, the event itself. As a parent I also now realize how impractical my vast Christmas wish lists were. I wanted so many different things that a certain degree of disappointment was inevitable on Dec. 25. There were always things on those lists that were left unfulfilled.
Christopher Tupa remembers those days as well. The artist and toy collector has created a book of toys and collectibles he wanted as a child but was never able to receive. His free ebook can be downloaded from his website.
“Christopher Tupa’s Wish Book” covers both his childhood and adult desires across various toy lines like G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Smurfs, and more. It’s fueled by a nostalgia similar to my own: spending countless hours with the back pages of the Sears and JCPenney Christmas catalogs, hoping the real things would get here soon.
The best part of Tupa’s book is that he drew everything. No pencils, rulers, or erasers were harmed in the making of this ebook—just an ink pen. He drew them all on graph paper. The result is a black and white, line-art aesthetic that is reminiscent of those instruction pamphlets that came with old G.I. Joe and Star Wars toy sets.
I thought for sure the look was an intentional choice. “I wish I could say that but actually I had gotten a new sketchbook that was filled with graph paper and I thought it would make a neat background. Those little booklets are the best!” he told me via email.
What Christopher’s book doesn’t have is an order. Everything is presented, more or less, equally. I had to ask him what his most sought after item is. His Wish Book is a list to be accomplished, after all.
“That’s kind of hard. Of course the [G.I. Joe] U.S.S. Flagg, not only is it awesome as all get out but the story of how my family jokes about looking for it everywhere we go makes it real special. Plus it was in the background of the Thanksgiving episode of The Goldbergs!”
Like any kid-at-heart toy collector, Tupa has a tough time naming just one item. “I guess that would be my Holy Grail but the Biskitts PVC figures would be cool to have. And I would never turn down the Playmobil pirate ship. I am also fascinated with toys that were only sold in other countries, there is so much out there that we never even saw; cool stuff too!”
Of course Christopher’s list is not definitive. He’s still on the search for those sought-after collectibles. “I’m always on the lookout; I love garage sales, antique fairs and flea markets. I like finding random Happy Meal and cereal toys for $.50 and such. I feel like Indiana Jones and I’m searching for those hidden gems only I would appreciate.”
If you’re not familiar with Tupa’s artwork, you really should pay a visit to ctupa.com. He truly is one of my favorite artists. He’s been drawing and water coloring ghosts and creatures featured in episodes from The Real Ghostbusters Volume 1 DVD. He also wrapped up his Weegi and Gang web comic in August. There’s also his awesome Star Wars “Collect All 24″ poster. Be sure to follow him on Instagram (@artofctupa) as well.
Back on the subject of toys, Christopher also has a collection of essays from 13 different authors. Also available as a free ebook, “Playing with Toys” is packed with fun stories about growing up with toys.
Tupa has a ton of fun things available to read and peruse. He’s helping you enjoyably waste time as you count down the days to Christmas.