I wanted to try an experiment. I’ve avoided putting in any of the odd card types that became popular during the early-to-mid 1990s in the non-sport market. The hologram cards, the chromium cards, the prismatic cards, embossed and foil and you name it, I figured they just wouldn’t work well in a scan so I never really gave it a shot. However, I came across this set about Greg & Tim Hildebrant and even though it’s in chromium format, I thought it looked good enough to present to my loyal readers.
Greg & Tim Hildebrant are two American twin brothers who worked together as science fiction and fantasy artists, producing covers for comic books, movie posters, novels, etc. They are best known for their Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, but have worked on many different properties including Star Wars, Marvel and DC comics, the cover for Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara and on Magic the Gathering and Harry Potter cards for those respective games. Unfortunately, Tim Hildebrant passed away in 2006, but Greg is still doing well, he received the Chesley Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists in 2010.
Chromium, as it applies to trading cards, refers to a metallic substance that is added to the production that allows for some interestingly shiny cards and designs. Unfortunately, especially in the early days, it was difficult to work with and was quite fragile, meaning that cards were often produced with poor centering and became easily chipped or damaged if not handled carefully. Originally, chromium was used for chase cards due to it’s price, but as the cost came down, sets like this one, which were produced in all-chromium, were made in an attempt to appeal to shallow collectors who liked shiny things.
This set, released in 1995 by Comic Images, featured artist brothers Greg and Tim Hildebrant and was officially called “Separate and Together” but I don’t know of anyone who calls it that. It featured 90 cards, a 6-card “magnachrome” chase set, a 3-card “Robin Hood” chase set, an autograph card signed by both brothers, and a full series of 90 cards in “parallel refractor” format that was inserted randomly. It’s interesting that this set has no card #43. The card back for card #41 was mistakenly printed on the card art for #43, such that there are two cards numbered #41 and none numbered #43.
Hopefully these cards are easy to see and appreciate, if you click on individual images you can get a closeup of these gorgeous cards.