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A Business Card Became a Brilliant Set of Trading Cards Featuring "Military Monkeys"

One week ago today, Dallas artist Chet Phillips (and I'm a big fan) was featured on Drawn!, a must-read for the illustration and cartooning fetishist.  Specifically, Phillips's latest project got the shout-out -- a brilliantly assembled collection of 14 trading cards called World War Monkey: A Portrait Gallery of Military Monkeys, modeled after mid-19th century illustrations inserted into packs of cigarettes. And at five bucks a box, the collection practically pays for itself. Just the Gen. Stanislov Itchipanzsky, Prince Bruno Von Sniffenfinger and Lt. Gen. Timothy Piddlestain cards alone are worth the price tag. "Such a deal," Phillips tells Unfair Park.

When asked why he keeps monkeying around with monkeys, Phillips says, "I don't know. It's a disease." he laughs. "They say do what you love, and I love being silly." The collection was initially done to drum up business, but Phillips says, well, he just up and decided to sell the items last week. (They're also available as separate prints.) Matter of fact, after he wound up on Drawn!, Phillips says, orders started coming in from Australia, England and Canada. As for how he wound up creating the cast of characters, well, "It's as much fun for me as drawing the things, just making lists of funny words."

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