As a little kid I had to hide these stickers from my parents, hell, I wasn’t the only kid. Me and my friends in elementary school had to trade these to each other in secret, that is until a teacher’s aid snuck up on us while I traded a “Glooey Gabe” for a “Micheal Mutant”. We were sent to the principal’s office, the principal was disgusted and our parents were called in. “Garbage Pail Kids” we’re beyond the pale (sorry couldn’t help my corny self). My parents weren’t too happy I was spending my allowance on these things, they were promptly thrown away which made me want to get them even more. Through the years I’d stumble on them, yeah they were juvenile, yeah they were disgusting and yeah this blog wouldn’t exist without the “Garbage Pail Kids”. My parents were right, they did corrupt me and I am happy about it. I was even more happy when “Abrams Comic Art” publishing decided to put out a book compiling all the art from the stickers, I was like a little kid again. A few Christmases ago my mom sent me a small wrapped gift, I opened it and it was a stack of vintage “Garbage Pail Kids” stickers she had found on one of her thrift store hunts, in the note she put “Now your old enough to have these.” HA! HA!
The forward written by the creator and main art director, Art Spiegelman, future creator of the underground comic “Maus” and the underground comic magazine “Raw” was art directing “Whacky Pack Stickers” at Topps cards at the time. Topps couldn’t secure the rights to “Cabbage Patch Kids” stickers so they made parodies, “Garbage Pail Kids”. Spiegelman had got the idea for them from older and disgusting precursors like “Slob Stickers” and “Ugly Stickers”. Needless to say they took off.
James Warhola, Andy Warhol’s nephew, worked on the art as well as various underground cartoonists who went on to do more work. To see more of the artwork I had to go over to my cousin’s house whose mom, my aunt, was an ex hippie and a little more loose with the rules in her house. That is how I was able to view movies I otherwise couldn’t see in my religious household, my cousin, who was my same age and my older cousin, his brother, collected them, they had them in a hard back spindle binder behind plastic holders. Cards with names like “Hairy Gary”, “Joe Blow” and “Disgusting Justin”.
Of course this made us make up our own names for cards and we ended up drawing (poorly I might add) our own characters. Our dirty minds came up with “Hormone Harry” which was a drawing of a “Garbage Pail Kid” with his eyes bulging looking at a Playboy, his tongue lolling out and something else south of the belt buckle bulging. As the years went on my mind got confused and I literally thought this was a sticker, in fact when I bought this book I thought that they were missing some. It isn’t missing any stickers, these were ones me and my cousins made up, my cousin had to remind me of this. Boy am I getting old.
Lets not forget the art on the back of the cards which was done by German underground cartoonist, Tomas Bunk. Who would’ve thought these little disgusting stickers, hated by parents would become fine “art”. The people who say their “fine” art need to drink Drano, their not “fine”, their low brow, mean, nasty and not politically correct, which means they are the right kind of art. My art. Art that doesn’t give a fuck, that is the way art should be. Apparently the original art goes for mega bucks on ebay.
The afterword is done by one of the artists who worked on the cards, John Pound. He mentions how in the early 2000’s Topps put out a new series of “Garbage Pail Kids” stickers, haven’t come across or seen any of them. Wonder if they hold water to the originals. People also tend to forget the “Garbage Pail Kids” (1987) movie which I will review in the future, I didn’t see that until like four years ago. Yeah its shit, but I am watching it again, its mindbogglingly disgusting and bad, with crass humor and adult sexuality, it has a PG rating, that is the 80’s for you. So in closing this bit of visual white noise is a must for anybody, visceral and good to have around to piss off your more offended friends or enemies. The Pail Kids don’t give two fucks, get this static in your life, the book’s cover is made of the same paper you used to unwrap your cards and stickers from. To get it go to: https://www.amazon.com/Garbage-Pail-Kids-Topps-Company/dp/141970270X/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Garbage+Pail+Kids&qid=1609445296&s=books&sr=1-2
So enjoy your garbage, noise freaks.