First published back in April of 2012, Abrams ComicArts’ book ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ compiles full-colour reproductions of the Garbage Pail Kids artwork for the two-hundred-and-five sticker cards from the first five GPK series.  The book also includes an introduction by Art Spiegelman (the GPK Art Director) and an afterword by John Pound (the main GPK artist).

The book comes wrapped within a wax-coated jacket in tribute to the wax packaging of the original Garbage Pail Kids packs.

DLS Synopsis:
Back in 1985 Topps released their first series of Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards.  The cards were designed to parody the overly ‘cute’ Cabbage Patch Kids dolls which had been incredibly popular ever since their own creation in 1982.

The Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards provided a wacky variety of increasingly imaginative gross pictures depicting ‘cuddly kid toys’ being subjected to a whole range of strange mutations, deformations, abnormalities, traumas and comical fates.

If you were a kid growing up in the 1980’s then Garbage Pail Kids were the shit!  Every kid loved them.  We all collected them, swapped them, hid them from our parents and teachers, and talked about little else during break times.

Schools started banning kids from bringing them into their schools.  But that just made the whole trading go ‘underground’ in the school grounds and classrooms (or as underground as you can get at eight-years of age).

The popularity of the sticker cards exploded shortly after their initial release, and before long there was a second series then a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and so on.  Garbage Pail Kids have now become nostalgic collector’s items for many people who grew up with them in the 1980’s.  This book takes you back to those grotesquely glorious first five series…

Introduction – Art Spiegelman – 5 Pages
Topps had enjoyed some good financial success with their Star Wars and Batman cards, primarily because they’d gotten in early and therefore managed to secure a cheap licence on them.  When the Cabbage Patch Kids phenomenon hit, Topps weren’t so quick, and instead missed out on securing a licence at a viable price.  It was then that Stan Hart came up with the idea of doing a parody on the cute Cabbage Patch Kids.  Of course he left the nitty gritty of how this would be achieved over a series of cards to Len Brown and Art Spiegelman – the initial driving force behind the Garbage Pail Kids.

At first they looked at the likes of the ‘Ugly Stickers’ from the 1960’s, as well as the later ‘Slob Stickers’ and ‘Nutty Initials’, but it was ultimately when they brought cartoonist Mark Newgarden and artist John Pound on board the GPK Team, that the GPK sticker cards we all know and love finally started to take form.  But it would take a team of hard-working creative artists to finally produce the crazy variety of gross sticker cards that eventually emerged.  Getting there had been a challenge.  But the longevity of the GPK phenomenon proved that the hard work was more than worth it…

For his introduction, cartoonist Art Spiegelman reminisces about the early challenges faced by the GPK team as they tried to create the perfect parody for the, then incredibly popular, Cabbage Patch Kids.  Spiegelman’s memory of the exact course of events isn’t crystal clear, and he does often state he wasn’t sure who’s input it was that came up with certain aspects of their design, but a flavour for the overall essence of the creative challenges faced by the team is the important part – and Spiegelman illustrates this wonderfully, with plenty of wit and cartoonish charm.

Although perhaps a tad shorter than you would have hoped, Spiegelman’s introduction nevertheless provides a magnificently entertaining insight into the creation of the sticker cards; rich with ‘behind-the-scenes’ details you probably had no idea about and the amount of brainstorming and drafting that went in at the very beginning.  It’s just a shame Spiegelman didn’t write more for the introduction.

The book also includes four physical bonus limited edition “lost” Garbage Pail Kids card stickers from the Topps archives which have been reproduced here officially for the very first time.  The cards are numbered 1 to 4 on the back of the cards, with no numbers appearing on the front.  On the reverse side of the cards it details that these are the “Lost” limited-edition bonus cards exclusively printed for the Abrams ComicArts book.  The cards are the slightly larger size (9cm x 6.5cm approx.) which is the same size as the US cards along with the UK’s ‘Garbage Pail Kids Gross Sticker Cards’, compared with the original UK smaller card size (7.75cm x 5.5cm approx.).  The four bonus cards included with the book are:

  • Hole in Juan (1 of 4)
  • Ticked-off Tucker (2 of 4)
  • Busty Bea (3 of 4)
  • Trim Jim (4 of 4)

For the main part of the book, it provides full-colour reproductions of the sticker card pictures for the first five Garbage Pail Kid series.  It should be noted that these are the US sticker cards, and interestingly, when comparing with my own UK GPK cards, there appears to be some slight differences between the US ones and the UK ones, such as sticker card 101b in the UK being Hot Doug whereas in the US it’s Basking Robin.

Included at the very bottom of this review is a list of all the sticker card pages included in the book.  The reproduced images in the book are much larger than the actual cards, with one card per page of the book, and each page showing an image of the ‘a’ card, with the GPK ‘b’ character name included at the bottom of the same page.

Afterword – John Pound – 2 Pages
John Pound was the man who made the Garbage Pail Kids come to life.  He was the artist who sketched, created and painted the vast majority of the GPK characters.  For the first series he was given a deadline of just two months, meaning he had to do one piece of GPK artwork a day.  How he achieved this is nothing short of incredible.  His afterword takes us through the hectic madness that was the creation of the artwork for hundreds of GPK sticker cards…

The book just had to have a contribution from John Pound in there.  After all, he was the man who contributed so much to the actual look and design of the Garbage Pail Kids.  He was the man who painted hundreds of them.  Who came up with hundreds of wacky ideas.  Who put so much into them.  His afterword is a modest yet wonderfully insightful read, packed with details of the tight deadlines and hard work that went into each sticker card.  It’s a fantastic short read – and it’s one that ends the book perfectly.

The book runs for a total of 223 pages including a one page index of all the GPK characters from the first five series.

Series 1 (1985) – 42 Pages
  • Nasty Nick (1a) / Evil Eddie (1b)
  • Junkfood John (2a) / Ray Decay (2b)
  • Up Chuck (3a) / Heavin’ Steven (3b)
  • Fryin’ Brian (4a) / Electric Bill (4b)
  • Dead Ted (5a) / Jay Decay (5b)
  • Art Apart (6a) / Busted Bob (6b)
  • Stormy Heather (7a) / April Showers (7b)
  • Adam Bomb (8a) / Blasted Billy (8b)
  • Boozin’ Bruce (9a) / Drunk Ken (9b)
  • Tee-Vee Stevie (10a) / Geeky Gary (10b)
  • Itchy Richie (11a) / Bugged Bert (11b)
  • Furry Fran (12a) / Hairy Mary (12b)
  • Ashcan Andy (13a) / Spacey Stacy (13b)
  • Potty Scotty (14a) / Jason Basin (14b)
  • Ailin’ Al (15a) / Mauled Paul (15b)
  • Weird Wendy (16a) / Haggy Maggie (16b)
  • Wacky Jackie (17a) / Loony Lenny (17b)
  • Cranky Frankie (18a) / Bad Brad (18b)
  • Corroded Carl (19a) / Crater Chris (19b)
  • Swell Mel (20a) / Dressy Jesse (20b)
  • Virus Iris (21a) / Sicky Vicky (21b)
  • Junky Jeff (22a) / Stinky Stan (22b)
  • Drippy Dan (23a) / Leaky Lou (23b)
  • Nervous Rex (24a) / Nerdy Norm (23b)
  • Creepy Carol (25a) / Scary Carrie (25b)
  • Slobby Robbie (26a) / Fat Matt (26b)
  • Brainy Janie (27a) / Jenny Genius (27b)
  • Oozy Suzy (28a) / Meltin’ Melissa (28b)
  • Bony Joanie (29a) / Thin Lynn (29b)
  • New Wave Dave (30a) / Graffiti Petey (30b)
  • Run Down Rhoda (31a) / Flat Pat (31b)
  • Frigid Bridget (32a) / Chilly Millie (32b)
  • Mad Mike (33a) / Savage Stuart (33b)
  • Kim Kong (34a) / Anna Banana (34b)
  • Wrinkly Randy (35a) / Rockin’ Robert (35b)
  • Wrappin’ Ruth (36a) / Tommy Tomb (36b)
  • Guillo Tina (37a) / Cindy Lopper (37b)
  • Slimy Sam (38a) / Lizard Liz (38b)
  • Buggy Betty (39a) / Green Jean (39b)
  • Unstitched Mitch (40a) / Damaged Don (40b)
  • Mean Gene (41a) / Joltin’ Joe (41b)
Series 3 (1986) – 42 Pages
  • Joe Blow (84a) / Rod Wad (84b)
  • Stuck Chuck (85a) / Pinned Lynn (85b)
  • Horsey Henry (86a) / Galloping Glen (86b)
  • Hot Head Harvey (87a) / Roy Bot (87b)
  • Dinah Saur (88a) / Farrah Fossil (88b)
  • Hurt Curt (89a) / Pat Splat (89b)
  • Stoned Sean (90a) / Thick Vic (90b)
  • Blake Flake (91a) / Hippe Skippy (91b)
  • Marvin Gardens (92a) / Spittin’ Spencer (92b)
  • Drew Blood (93a) / Bustin’ Dustin (93b)
  • Bruised Lee (94a) / Karate Kate (94b)
  • Grim Jim (95a) / Beth Death (95b)
  • Distorted Dot (96a) / Mirror Imogene (96b)
  • Punchy Perry (97a) / Creamed Keith (97b)
  • Charlotte Web (98a) / Didi T. (98b)
  • Beaky Becky (99a) / Picky Mickey (99b)
  • Ali Gator (100a) / Marshy Marshall (100b)
  • Mushy Marsha (101a) / Basking Robin (101b)
  • Mugged Marcus (102a) / Kayo’d Cody (102b)
  • Wriggley Rene (103a) / Curly Carla (103b)
  • Silent Sandy (104a) / Barren Aaron (104b)
  • Juicy Jessica (105a) / Green Dean (105b)
  • Fowl Raoul (106a) / Mack Quack (106b)
  • Totem Paula (107a) / Tatum Pole (107b)
  • Smelly Sally (108a) / Fishy Phyllis (108b)
  • Toady Terry (109a) / Croakin’ Colin (109b)
  • Snooty Sam (110a) / U.S. Arnie (110b)
  • Target Margaret (111a) / Bullseye Barry (111b)
  • Frank N. Stein (112a) / Undead Jed (112b)
  • Alice Island (113a) / Liberty Libby (113b)
  • Starin’ Darren (114a) / Peepin’ Tom (114b)
  • Warmin’ Norman (115a) / Well Done Sheldon (115b)
  • Eerie Eric (116a) / Berserk Kirk (116b)
  • Rocky N. Roll (117a) / Les Vegas (117b)
  • Half-Nelson (118a) / Glandular Angela (118b)
  • Ned Head (119a) / Still Jill (119b)
  • Babbling Brooke (120a) / Jelly Kelly (120b)
  • Apple Cory (121a) / Dwight Bite (121b)
  • Broad Maud (122a) / Large Marge (122b)
  • Glooey Gabe (123a) / Sticky Rick (123b)
  • Hugh Mungous (124a) / King-Size Kevin (124b)
Series 5 (1986) – 41 Pages
  • Mick Dagger (167a) / Slayed Slade (167b)
  • Handy Randy (168a) / Jordan Nuts (168b)
  • Dee Faced (169a) / Terri Cloth (169b)
  • Richie Retch (170a) / Luke Puke (170b)
  • Willie Wipe-Out (171a) / Spencer Dispenser (171b)
  • Nat Nerd (172a) / Clark Can’t (172b)
  • Menaced Dennis (173a) / Wormy Shermy (173b)
  • Fred Thread (174a) / Repaired Rex (174b)
  • Windy Winston (175a) / Johnny One-Note (175b)
  • Condo Minnie (176a) / Bill Ding (176b)
  • Meltin’ Milton (177a) / Lazy Louie (177b)
  • Earl Painting (178a) / Blue-Boy George (178b)
  • Moe Skeeto (179a) / Sting Ray (179b)
  • Haunted Hollis (180a) / Batty Barney (180b)
  • Cliff Hanger (181a) / Neck Ty (181b)
  • Sprayed Wade (182a) / Tagged Tad (182b)
  • Diaper Dan (183a) / Pinned Penny (183b)
  • Upside Down Donald (184a) / Hugh Turn (184b)
  • Fran Furter (185a) / Hot Doug (185b)
  • Iron-Jaw Aaron (186a) / Jean Machine (186b)
  • Ginger Snapped (187a) / Edible Ernie (187b)
  • Mel Meal (188a) / Ross Roast (188b)
  • Brenda Blender (189a) / Juicy Lucy (189b)
  • Gory Rory (190a) / Gil Grill (190b)
  • Ben Bolt (191a) / Fried Franklin (191b)
  • Delicate Tess (192a) / Hamburger Pattie (192b)
  • Shattered Shelby (193a) / Cracked Craig (193b)
  • Nasty Nancy (194a) / Razzin’ Roslyn (194b)
  • Lucas Mucus (195a) / Dotty Dribble (195b)
  • Dangling Dolly (196a) / Surreal Neal (196b)
  • Doughy Joey (197a) / Starchy Archie (197b)
  • Gore May (198a) / Connie Sewer (198b)
  • Ruptured Rupert (199a) / Gassy Gus (199b)
  • Fluoride Floyd (200a) / Dental Daniel (200b)
  • Michael Mutant (201a) / Zeke Freak (201b)
  • Ultra Violet (202a) / Tanya Hide (202b)
  • Toothie Ruthie (203a) / Dental Flossie (203b)
  • Jules Drools (204a) / Kit Spit (204b)
  • Hot Rod (205a) / Bud Buggy (205b)
  • Deaf Geoff (206a) / Audio Augie (206b)

Series 2 (1985) – 43 Pages
  • Patty Putty (42a) / Muggin’ Megan (42b)
  • Smelly Kelly (43a) / Doug Plug (43b)
  • Sy Clops (44a) / One-Eyed Jack (44b)
  • Leaky Lindsay (45a) / Messy Tessie (45b)
  • Rappin’ Ron (46a) / Ray Gun (46b)
  • Disgustin’ Justin (47a) / Vile Kyle (47b)
  • Tongue Tied Tim (48a) / Marty Mouthfil (48b)
  • Double Heather (49a) / Schizo Fran (49b) / Fran Fran (49b)
  • Mad Donna (50a) / Nutty Nicole (50b)
  • Russell Muscle (51a) / Brett Sweat (51b)
  • Dirty Harry (52a) / Rob Slob (52b)
  • Jolted Joel (53a) / Live Mike (53b)
  • Fryin’ Ryan (54a) / Charred Chad (54b)
  • Hairy Gary (55a) / Brutal Brad (55b)
  • Hairy Carrie (56a) / Brutal Bridget (56b)
  • Tommy Gun (57a) / Dead Fred (57b)
  • Cracked Jack (58a) / Soft Boiled Sam (58b)
  • Clogged Duane (59a) / Bye Bye Bobby (59b)
  • Prickly Rick (60a) / Cactus Carol (60b)
  • Jolly Roger (61a) / Pegleg Peter (61b)
  • Greaser Greg (62a) / Chris Hiss (62b)
  • Spacey Stacy (63a) / Janet Planet (63b)
  • Hot Scott (64a) / Luke Warm (64b)
  • Shrunken Ed (65a) / Cheeky Charles (65b)
  • Matt Ratt (66a) / Rachel Rodent (66b)
  • Phony Lisa (67a) / Mona Loser (67b)
  • Oliver Twist (68a) / Dizzy Dave (68b)
  • Jenny Jelly (69a) / Sara Slime (69b)
  • Bad Breath Seth (70a) / Foul Phil (70b)
  • Odd Todd (71a) / Bent Ben (71b)
  • Mad Max (72a) / Brainy Brian (72b)
  • Gorgeous George (73a) / Dollar Bill (73b)
  • Mark Bark (74a) / Kennel Kenny (74b)
  • Off-The-Wall Paul (75a) / Zach Plaque (75b)
  • Bonnie Bunny (76a) / Pourin’ Lauren (76b)
  • Ghastly Ashley (77a) / Acne Amy (77b)
  • Wrinkled Rita (78a) / Ancient Annie (78b)
  • Sewer Sue (79a) / Michelle Muck (79b)
  • Tattoo Lou (80a) / Art Gallery (80b)
  • Split Kit (81a) / Mixed-Up Mitch (81b)
  • Slain Wayne (82a) / Ventilated Vinnie (82b)
  • Ugh Lee (83a) / Sumo Sid (83b)
Series 4 (1986) – 43 Pages
  • Holly Wood (125a) / Woody Alan (125b) /Oak Kay (125b)
  • Armpit Britt (126a) / Shaggy Aggie (126b)
  • Travellin’ Travis (127a) / Flat Tyler (127b)
  • Sloshed Josh (128a) / Low Cal (128b)
  • Second Hand Rose (129a) / Trashed Tracy (129b)
  • Nicky Hickey (130a) / Hank E. Panky (130b)
  • Stuffed Stephen (131a) / Rutherford B. Hay (131b)
  • Bony Tony (132a) / Unzipped Zack (132b)
  • Furry Murray (133a) / Foxy Francis (133b)
  • Hip Kip (134a) / Walt Witless (134b)
  • Rock E. Horror (135a) / Marty Gras (135b)
  • Swollen Sue Ellen (136a) / Bloated Blair (136b)
  • Max Axe (137a) / Deadly Dudley (137b)
  • Alien Ian (138a) / Outerspace Chase (138b)
  • Double Iris (139a) / 4-Eyed Ida (139b)
  • Mouth Phil (140a) / Tooth Les (140b)
  • Ashley Can (141a) / Greta Garbage (141b)
  • Bruce Moose (142a) / Hunted Hunter (142b)
  • Melba Toast (143a) / Hy Rye (143b)
  • Horny Hal (144a) / Rudy Toot (144b)
  • Dale Snail (145a) / Crushed Shelly (145b)
  • Baked Jake (146a) / Dry Guy (146b)
  • Amazin’ Grace (147a) / Muscular Molly (147b)
  • Turned-On Tara (148a) / Tiffany Lamp (148b)
  • Reese Pieces (149a)/Puzzled Paul (149a)/Incomplete Pete (149b)
  • Hairy Harriet (150a) / Bushy Bernice (150b)
  • Losing Faith (151a) / Dyin’ Dinah (151b)
  • Whisperin’ Woody (152a) / Van Triloquist (152b)
  • Jack O. Lantern (153a) / Duncan Pumpkin (153b)
  • Basket Casey (154a) / Dribblin’ Derek (154b)
  • Spikey Mikey (155a) / Nailed Neil (155b)
  • Warrin’ Warren (156a) / Brett Vet (156b)
  • Larry Lips (157a) / Distortin’ Morton (157b)
  • Meltin’ Elton (158a) / Crystal Gale (158b) / Ig Lou (158b)
  • Catty Kathy (159a) / Kitty Litter (159b)
  • Decapitated Hedy (160a) / Formalde Heidi (160b)
  • Shorned Sean (161a) / Hy Gene (161b)
  • Yicchy Mickey (162a) / Barfin’ Bart (162b)
  • Trish Squish (163a) / Ruby Cube (163b)
  • Teddy Bear (164a) / Salvatore Dolly (164b)/Battered Brad (164b)
  • Dana Druff (165a) / Flakey Fay (165b)
  • Gored Gordon (166a) / No Way José (166b)

 © DLS Reviews



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