Brendantheclayboy's Collection - Expedition through Water & Sky - Biggest Goal Complete 11/18/2023

Well I took 30 minutes out of my day to read every word you wrote down and admire every image in detail. Best decision today.
First off, your scans are gorgeous and the cards really pop as they should! Second, as a fellow artist enjoyer I very much appreciate your way of organizing and also your fabulous text dedicated to each artist.

Man, every time I scroll through e-Series I’m floored every single time anew. It’s crazy. And I seemingly always find at least one amazing vard I have seem to missed completely before (this time it was Arita’s Pineco. Super nice!!).
E-Series is really hard to beat… I love me my dear Vending and Jungle/Fossil/Rocket (and those will always be the foundation of what came after!), but it’s hard not to admit that Pokemon did improve some things even more during 2001-2003 (and you could very well argue that they’ve carried the spirit far into the ex era as well).
Aside from the obvious GOATS you thoroughly discussed in your post (man, Himeno was really insane during that time!), I love that you also took the time to highlight the (very) small artists, that oddly never really got a foot in the door, despite being SPECTACULARILY good at their craft. Matoba, why did you leave us so suddenly after dropping these insane bangers Bulbasaur and Cyndaquil???

Also you further cemented in my brain that I HAVE TO start seriously collecting Himeno and Kimura cards.

Friggin ridiculously good post, sir.



It would be an understatement to say that I haven’t been checking E4 multiple times a day over the past few weeks, specifically for this post!

So happy the day has finally come and huge huge congratulations on reaching this significant milestone on your collecting journey! What a blast reading through your post it was!


Marvelous post, and a great tribute to the best of WotC! Your appreciation and love for all of the cards really shines through, and it’s great that you pay homage to the contributing artists that make WotC E-series what it is. My favorite pages have to Kizuki’s, Baba’s, Fukuyama’s, Kusajima’s, and Umemoto’s, but really, the more I scroll through the post, the harder it is to single out any favorites. A full Masago page would’ve been glorious–but it looks like he’s one card short.

There really are just no bland or ordinary cards in the entirety of the three sets. Even that Expedition Charizard (which hasn’t quite grown on me yet)–it’s polarizing, sure, but it’s certainly not forgettable. Kusajima’s Magneton is a great choice if one had to pick an absolute favorite among all three sets. His Kadabra art is really off the charts too!

I also enjoy that you’ve chosen to organize the sets in your own way, in the manner you most enjoy. This is some second-level set collecting! I plan to do the same once my Expedition reverse set is done (not organized by artist, but by pokedex number).

Congratulations on this big goal!


What an amazing read and beautiful scans! I mostly collect WOTC holos in sets but the e-series is a major exception, just too many glorious cards that I also ended up organizing by artist. I think my love for discovering and appreciating artists’ stylings came from the discovery and research of this era, so it was very fulfilling to read through such a comprehensive summary of the greats with similar observations and impressions that came to me. Kimura, Kusajima, Komiya, Baba, Umemoto, Kizuki, Fukuyama, and Yamashita all became instantly recognizable to me after only being able to deduce Sugimori and Arita for the longest time.

There are way too many bangers to pick even 5 favorites of this lot, but most of mine come from Aquapolis (Zapdos, Arcanine, Slowbro, Houndoom, Tyranitar, Psyduck)

And yet, despite the catalogue of all of these legendary creators that you featured the most unique and memorable card to me is the Tomita’s Totodile. A one-and-done masterpiece that invokes a dream-like world of cloudy seas.

Congrats and thank you for sharing!


Thanks my friends! Ya’ll know it pleases me that you enjoy it so! Always appreciate your thoughtful and congratulatory posts.

@muk and @DJGary, just as I had mistaken @expedition’s wonderful photos for scans, when I should have known better, these pages are definitely pictures! I went all out on this one, I wanted to make sure my personal archive was as good as I could possibly do, thought it was so funny the effort I went into it that I had to snap a picture of the setup. Waited 'til ambient light was perfect so I could accent it with some light panel fill to get the best exposure across the page as I could (no easy feat with glossy binder pages).

I mentioned them being photos in the post but considering I wrote a book and that the more exciting material are the cards, I can see it easy to overlook or have just been an automatic afterthought when writing your responses, which I need to thank you for!

muk, I know what you mean about missing cards 'cause I had only done it 50 times over the years in your threads! Yes, yes, that bulbasaur is so ridiculous, it really makes you wonder if they were some fan young artist they invited, maybe from a tournament or some other, passionately made these marvels, then just never got invited back. Who knows. But lastly, you’ve gotten me enough, it’s only right I finally potentially get you prompted to start an artist haha!

DJGary, I’ve seen for a while that you have exquisite taste so it is unsurprising to see you stop by knowing that you collect a lot of these whether they be eng or JP. Aquapolis has always been my favorite, it was my first love when I leaped into E series. Glad you like Slowbro as well as a favorite. I know, right? The totodile is so, so good. There’s a reason why it was the only one I had to mention on that page after I had to exclaim my unpopular love for that charizard. His Totodile is mastery, and I feel like you do when I look upon it. Thanks for commenting man!

Thanks as well @bbobrob and just know I am very much looking forward to the complete reverse set, something I will relish seeing accomplished by you and in a wonderful collection addition post. It’s gonna be amazing, what a great set for reverses indeed. I was foaming at the mouth seeing your first progress report!


@brendantheclayboy I really love your passion and I can say that it is truly infectious. I think what this wonderful read has done is evoke emotions that I don’t normally feel for cards because my collection goals and what I want to make this hobby fulfilling for me is different. So kudos, really, for sharing your joy. I also have my picks of favorite cards from your post but the way you look and describe them is really lovely.

Thanks for sharing and for the write up!



Amazing way to order the cards, and great images! The Umemoto cards are some of my favorites!


First of all, it just fills my heart with joy that grimer gets to be in front page of this wild ride of spectacular cards. Secondly, you are not alone, i love both the artworks of paras and charizard and seriously don’t understand the hate, both cards are such unique pieces of art i just have to wonder what other people are missing when they are looking at them if they can’t see the beauty like i do.

And your way of arranging this binder, like already mentioned earlier it gives so much new aspects seeing cards grouped together that usually are tied in their own sets, it really makes some cards shine that often may be overlooked when they become a piece of entity of a certain artist and their style (especially during this era which you’ve rightfully announced as a peak of pokemon art). I just love seeing all the different styles of organizing these cards since every different style gives something new or makes different cards pop in your eyes. Even though to be fair, you could do anything with e-series and the cards would shine, but that doesn’t take anything away from different organizing styles.

And if the way you organize your cards is a thing of beauty so is the way you describe them, if there is one person in E4 who can make cards like voltorb or sandshrew feel like they are prom queens it’s you, never change and never let anyting kill your enthusiasm of your cards!


As always, Jopo, you bring a huge smile to my face to the point where I giggle. Just as some say they are eager to see an update on the thread (which flatters me and encourages me greatly), so I am I eager to see your response, every time.

I especially wanted to say something:


Spoken so perfectly, I cackled!

And further, your thoughtful complements and reflections are so well said that they provide perspective for me that I never even consider. Especially the way you word, “become a piece of entity… etc”. Your closing remarks have touched me man, thanks a million times over! I won’t steer away from the passion I have for the things I love, don’t you worry!


Im glad to see another convert to e series. I also feel like e series is the peak of the entire tcg imo. The last era of regular holos not being 2nd class to some other rarity and nothing but sublime art the whole way through. Congrats on the amazing collection milestone. It’ll probably be the proudest milestone for me when I manage to complete my eseries sets.