If you're not familiar with the story of the original Mars Attack trading cards from 1962, they were of a set of bubblegum cards with lurid paintings that told the story of a horrific invasion of Earth by hideous-looking Martians with giant exposed brains and rictus leers. When parents discovered the gruesome, violent, and sexually suggestive images on the cards, Topps was forced to pull them off the shelves, making them instant collectors' items (here's my post about an excellent Mars Attacks book that came out last year, and here's my Mars Attacks wall art with Jane posing next to it for scale).

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its most infamous product, Topps is busting out the stops with an all-new Mars Attack trading cards series (coming out this October), and I'm happy to report that the art is excellent! Last month I posted this cool painting by the 88-year-old pulp magazine legend Earl Norem, and a representative from Topps contacted me and asked if I'd like to run an exclusive sneak preview of the card art on Boing Boing. "Of course!" I said. Moments later, he sent me the following images, which include Norem's stunning concept sketches. Enjoy!

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