10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Layron DeJarnette

Being one of the longer tenured GPK artists isn’t all Layron DeJarnette does. He’s an accomplished artist who besides his Topps projects also currently works for Marvel Animation. He’s also worked for Disney in the past, as well as other card and comic companies. I sat down with Layron at Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. We talked about how he got started with Topps, some of his favorite projects he’s worked on, and perhaps his biggest GPK claim to fame his appearance on A&E’s Storage Wars.

GPKNews – You started working on the GPK brand with the ANS 5 set. Was that your first Topps project? How did you get started with Topps?

Layron DeJarnette – I’ll make a long story short short. At the time I was working with the Wayans brothers. They had a Topps card line called The Dozens. They were signing the cards at a booth at the San Diego Comic Con in 2004. I went to meet them at the Topps booth but they were being held over at a panel discussion to promote the movie. At the time the Art Director, Jeff Zapata, was there. He said let me take a look at your portfolio so you don’t have to waste a trip. At that time he looked at the portfolio and offered me to work on Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids.

GPKNews – How aware of GPKs were you as a kid? Did you collect?

LD – Yes I did, but I was mainly a Wacky Packages collector. At the time as a kid I identified with the Wacky Packages more than the Garbage Pail Kids. As I got older I appreciated all the Topps brands. My two favorite ones were Wacky Packages and Mars Attacks.

GPKNews – I’ve noticed you are a busy artist! Besides working for Topps, you’ve done work for other card companies, comic companies, and even Disney. Is painting GPKs still as fun now as it was when you started?

LD – Yes, I actually like working on GPK because a lot of the other jobs require digital work. It’s a lot faster to get done, but I’m a traditional artist. So for me, if I do a lot of digital work I feel like I have to do some painting. So Garbage Pail Kids, any of the Topps brands, are traditional paint, so its actually a stress reliever for me. I really appreciate painting the Garbage Pail Kids or Mars Attacks.

GPKNews – Over the years the number of cards you paint for each set varies. The latest set, We Hate the 80’s I think you did 5 cards. While 2017 didn’t see as many. Is it just a timing issue for you? Have you been busy with other projects? What determines if you are featured in a set?

LD – I think its all of it. A lot of times we will get an email from Topps saying a set is coming up and we are looking for gags, like the 80’s or whatever type of theme they request for us to submit gags. In most cases, the gags that get approved the artist would like to work on their own gags. Sometimes either, a) I’m not able to submit many gags because I’m working on other projects, or b) If I submit gags and they don’t get approved then I don’t get to paint any because there other illustrators like to work on their own gags.

GPKNews – You haven’t done pack inserted sketches for a while now. Is that also just a timing issue? Do you foresee ever doing sketches again?

LD – You know it was kind of funny because I was so busy at the time I would get offered to work on sketch cards, but I would have to turn it down. Now I don’t even get offered e-mails anymore to do them, they think I’m too busy.

GPKNews – You did the art in last year’s Mark Attacks set for Topps, right? You mentioned you collected those as a kid, that must have been fun for you to work on?

LD – That was awesome that gig, I was so happy. I was like I kid in a candy store. Mars Attacks the original series I was really into . I appreciate the good art, the design of the martians, the grotesqueness of it. It was done in a cool way. Originally I was assigned half of the paintings but I wasn’t able to complete them so they were assigned to Fred Harper and I. I think I did 20 or 21 paintings.

GPKNews – I have to ask you about your big GPK claims to fame, Storage Wars! Can you believe its been almost 5 years since the episode aired? How did that come about? Did the producers just contact you out of the blue?

LD – Its kind of funny because I live in California and Storage Wars is produced in California. The producers originally contacted me to see if I could contact either John Pound or Tim Bunk. Bunk did reply, but they really wanted John Pound because he’s the man. He didn’t even reply, he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. We were talking through e-mails and they didn’t know where I lived. They said we aren’t having any luck contacting the original artists, so where do you live, we might have to come talk to you. I told them where I lived, and they realized it was 35 mins away from where the storage unit is. So they said they would just come by my place.

GPKNews – What was the filming like? How was interacting with Ivy?

LD – How reality TV works is they want to get a natural reaction. So they don’t warn you about some things. They just tell you to be prepared. They put the mic on you, so you know you’re about to be on TV and its an episode. They try not to tell you too much so they can have a general reaction. When Ivy came, I didn’t know when he was coming or anything. I just knew they wanted me to look at some cards and get my opinion. They didn’t tell me too much about the details, so when they filmed it they would get a natural response. It was surreal. It was surreal because they filmed for 3 hours but they edited it down to a short piece. They had to setup inside my house, and they had to set it up for filming. They had to set up lights and had cameras in your face. It was really hot inside, but it was great.

GPKNews – This is your second GCC in Las Vegas. How does this one compare to the first? Do you enjoy meeting and chatting with the fans?

LD – Its been great, I always like Garbage Pail Kids fans. I always say they are true fans because they appreciate everything, the art and the concepts. The community is really great. The convention is going great. The exclusive trading cards are always a seller. I’ve sold an original art piece. I have some other people who might come by later in the show to purchase some other original pieces, so hopefully I’ll sell some more.

GPKNews – Have you see the 30 Years of Garbage movie that Joe Simko and Jeff Zapata did? Did you enjoy the movie?

LD – I’ve seen it. I’m in it for just a short period of time. I love it! It’s one of those tings where I originally thought it was just going to be exclusively about Garbage Pail Kids, but it’s even more. It talks about the non-sport card community and how it started. Also, how it’s influenced pop culture. It’s just a great documentry to learn about non-sport cards.

GPKNews – What is your favorite GPK that you’ve painted?

LD – Its funny because I don’t know if its a fan favorite, but so far my favorite is the GPK card based on the Marvel character Ant-Man. Just because I work at Marvel Animation as well, so its was the best of both worlds. I love Marvel superheroes and I love GPK. The Ant-Man one I painted is a parody of Ant-Man’s first cover. So to me that’s one of my favorite ones.

GPKNews – How about favorite GPK?

LD – Of course Adam Bomb is good, but I would say Dead Ted. He’s my favorite one because he’s so different. He’s a parody of famous monsters. Really great detail.


Topps Reveals Print Run for 2018 GPK Not-Scars Set

Did Topps win any awards from customers for their latest online set? Today Topps revealed the print run for 2018 Garbage Pail Kids Not-Scars online set. The set with celebrated the recent Academy Awards show was a mix of both GPKs and Wacky Packages. In the past customers were not on board with award show sets. However this set bucked that trend with total sales of 172 copies. This handily beat the other awards sets and held its own with recent online holiday releases. The results are a little surprising considered customers only receive 8 cards with a $34.99 price tag. However, the art in the set has been well received by collectors, garnering much better reviews compared to the Valentine’s set. It shows that when the art and gags are done well, collectors are willing to purchase. With awards season coming to a close no word yet on the next online release.

Check out galleries and checklists for past online sets at GeePeeKay.com.


10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Joe Simko

Joe Simko has been one of the core GPK artists for a number of years now. With his 30 Years of Garbage doc now complete, Topps has been keeping him busy drawing GPKs. I saw down with Joe and talked with him at this years Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. We talked about what future projects he is working on, his thoughts on the 30 Year movie, and what’s next for movie Director Joe Simko.

GPKNews – In 2017 you guys hooked up with Indican Pictures to distribute the 30 Years of Garbage documentary. The movie was released in a handful of theatres, released to numerous online streaming sites, and had a DVD release. How has working with Indican been?

Joe Simko – Indican has been great because they’re focused on distributing for small independent film makers. They really want to try to get as much word out to as many people as they can to know that it was made by small independent film makers. They’ve been great as far as staying in touch with them when we needed. We do want to get the release of our film out even wider than it is now. They’re making the steps to make sure that happens.

GPKNews – What’s next for the 30 Years doc? Any other promotional things planned with Indican?

JS – As far as streaming, hopefully now most people knows, its on all the major US sites, and there are talks to finally branching out worldwide. We did sign a contract for worldwide release. That is in development, of course as soon as we get the word we will let all the fans and collectors know.

GPKNews – Looking back at the long journey, its been probably 5 years now when you guys started planning the film, how satisfied are you with the way everything turned out?

JS – Jeff, June, and I were very satisfied to not only have a completed film, but to get to hear it from people that have seen it. The most critique we get is how much history they get from it, its actually a learning thing. It was great to hear from Adam Goldberg, who is the creator of The Goldbergs, to go back and forth with him in e-mail and talk to him on the phone. He was blown away by it. He was like, “How did you guys do this?” I was like yeah my wife sat for two years on a chair while she was pregnant editing this entire film! He was just amazed. To hear from him, he was impressed. He’s ready to push it onto Netflix with his agents, I’m like we already signed with a distributor but its good to have you in the wings. He’s a good champion of it.

GPKNews – Do you have a highlight from the production of the movie that stands out to you? Maybe a behind the scenes story, or favorite interview?

JS – Gosh there’s so many different ones, I’m trying to think of some. The Goldberg set was a great one because we actually got to go to the set to do some of the interviews with actors from the 1987 GPK movie. We interviewed them on this Goldbergs set, its different from a lot of sets with how television shows do them. This was a real house that they built inside of a studio. So we got to go into the rooms and there’s a backyard and a front yead. I think filming the actors from the movie was great. They were super friendly. Going to their homes they had food and water out for us, they really treated us like family. They would set things out on the table that they could find. Kevin Thompson who played Allie Gator had a gold record where they did a Garbage Pail Kids song. They were very inviting and warm.

GPKNews – The feedback on the film has been overwhelmingly positive from what I’ve seen. The movie has received numerous positive reviews from various websites. I’m sure you’ve heard from all kinds of GPK fans. That has to be the best thing hearing all the great feedback?

JS – Yes, of course the GPK fan, fans of anything, are always going to be vocal so you’re going to hear what ever kind of criticism or critiques on things they’d prefer to have or people that may have been left out. It’s like we did what we could. I personally would have loved to film another two hours on the fans and go to their rooms and their collections, but I know that’s a second movie. I don’t think I’m the one to do it, I think a fan could do it cause they would probably know more about it. Jeff and I were always focused on just coming from the background of an artist, the artist who created it, we’ve got to get that history. So this would make a good first movie. If there was ever to be a second movie, hey guys anyone out there, start the collector sequel because I want to see all these crazy collections.

GPKNews – Is there anything you wish you had done differently on the film? Any interviews you weren’t able to complete for whatever reason?

JS – No, you know, there’s nothing I would do different in the pre-productions. I would say if anything maybe in the post production doing the editing I would have shelved out more money to pay for the licensing of those 80’s television news clips of Ted Copel and Dan Rather talking about Garbage Pail Kids. You know what, that needed to be in the beginning scene when the television starts appearing. It was getting into the thousands of dollars to have a newscaster. Once you get a distributor you have to pay even more money. It’s funny all these little tiny things you don’t even know, hundreds of dollars per second. So when we are editing it, we have to say ok that’s 8 seconds, can we do that? No, we have to shave some off. So if anything just the tiniest little changes. I’m very proud of it, very proud of it.

GPKNews – When’s the sequel coming out? What’s next for Film Director Joe Simko?

JS – Oh my gosh, I don’t know when the sequel will come out. Peel Here Productions is a company that now exists. Jeff, June, and I have talked about, oh we could do a Wacky Packages thing which would focus on the collector aspect of it. Now that, if you want to get into stories, these are the 10-20 year age older guys. We have doctors, lawyers, accountants from serious money, and there’s real drama, fighting and craziness. Again it’s a matter of time and money, and we have none of that. So I would love to see that be made. Peel Here Productions is still around, but for now its just 30 Years of Garbage.

GPKNews – With 30 Years winding down, what other projects are you working on?

JS – Really Topps is keeping me busy with the Garbage Pail Kid line. We are working on the new series that will be out in the fall. Hopefully they will be able to make an announcement soon. Of course we already know, and this theme is something that fans have been wanting for a long time. I’ll just say that! The 80’s set was my favorite one ever to work on, and that inspired me to do some cool comic covers, these 80’s synth wave style. That’s what I do in my down time. Its crazy to think, I’m getting freelance work outside of Topps, but when I do get contacted by these companies or individual people they always ask can you do it GPK style. Even in the down time it’s Garbage Pail all the time.

GPKNews – You are involved on Chance Raspberry’s Little Billy project, right?

JS – Chance is like one of the super sweetest guys, I’ve never met him in person, I’ve only talked to him online. He’s the lead animator for the Simpsons for several years now. Physically animating in California, he’s not in Korea, he’s not an in-between artist, he’s a lead animator, so he’s setting up the scenes. He is also a child of the 80’s and is trying to get his own animation series called Little Billy, based his own life experiences of having Turrets or ADD. The character Little Billy itself embodies all children that have some form of disability and bringing it to light that they are normal too, its just what makes them unique. He reached out to me, its great we connected. I did some poster work. If he gets the project off the ground, which he got his Indigogo backing, I think I’ll be involved in doing some background art for him, some cool paintings. I wish the best for him, I’m really pulling for him, I want him to get it done. He wants to do this traditional 80’s squash and stretch style animation you don’t see anymore.

GPKNews – Finally, this is your second GCC here in Vegas. How does this one compare to the first? How has the fan interaction been?

JS – Fan interaction has been great here at Gross Card Con. This has been probably my best show. The first day has been the best day I’ve had of any show. I’ve been selling original art, which is great. I think the Toy Con being in Circus Circus is a little more beneficial to the artist because we are getting a lot more foot traction from the toy crowd who maybe couldn’t find us, or who maybe didn’t have the desire to goto the second floor in the Orleans and find us where we were last year. Although we are in a smaller room there’s a lot more foot traffic. We’re getting more buyers, meeting more people, and hopefully getting them into the next generation of the garbage scene.


Gross Card Con to Return to Vegas Toy Con in 2019

Start saving your money now, this is your one year warning. Almost two weeks after the completion of the 2018 show, work is already underway to make next year’s show even bigger. Organizers for the Vegas Toy Con announced today on their Facebook page plans for the 2019 show.

After receiving complaints from show goes and vendors about Circus Circus, the location of the show will be changing for 2019. The show will now take place at the Westgate Hotel. The hotel is located just off the Vegas strip next door to the Convention Center. The new location allows for 70,000 square foot of continuous show space. Show rates for rooms will be $89 per night. The show announced all rooms booked using the show code will also get a free toy each of the 4 nights. Super VIPs will also have a special area with breakfast and snacks served daily.

Most importantly to GPK collectors, was a comment made after the Facebook post regarding the return of Gross Card Con. Additionally, GPKNews confirmed with Vegas Toy Con Executive Producer Andy Goodman that GCC will indeed be returning at the show. Expect announcements and promotions for GCC in the coming months.

The show is scheduled to take place from March 1-3, 2019. Tickets for the event and vendor space will go live 4/10/18 at 10:00 AM pacific time. Start planning you’re Vegas vacation now!


Topps Launches 2018 Garbage Pail Kids Not-Scars Online Set

Fresh off of last night’s Academy Awards shows, Topps is at it with this year’s online set parodying the best movies of the year. Today Topps launches the 2018 Garbage Pail Kids Not-Scars online set. Unlike the previous awards sets from this year, this 8 card set is a mix of GPKs and Wacky Packages. There are 3 new GPK cards offered in (a/b) versions, as well as 2 Wacky Packages. The entire set can be purchased for $34.99. Shipping is free in the US via the SmartPost option, while international shipping is $10. The set will be available on topps.com for 7 days. Topps will reveal the print run at the end of the sale. Here is a checklist along with pictures of the cards.

  • 1a: Amphibian MANNY/1b: The SHANE of Water (Artist: Smokin Joe McWilliams)
  • 2a: Periled MERYL/2b: Stuck STREEP (Artist: Michael Barnard)
  • 3a: Wacky WINSTON/3b: Goofy GARY (Artist: Simone Arena)
  • 4: No Man’s Own Caesar! (Artist: David Gross)
  • 5: Tonya To Go (Artist: Neil Camera)

Site News: Partnership With GEEPEEKAY.com

Notice anything different about GPKNews.com? With the help of a new partnership with GEEPEEKAY.com, we put a little lipstick on this pig!

One of the things that makes this hobby great is the web presence of the Garbage Pail Kids community. All the major GPK websites are really good at what they do. I like to think we all compliment each other nicely. GPKNews.com tries to do its part by striving to post timely and thorough GPK News. However, the website design and artistic logos may be lacking a bit. Enter a brand new partnership with GEEPEEKAY.com.

The important thing for you the reader is nothing content wise changes here at GPKNews.com. GPKNews.com will continue as it always has, being updated by the same person as before, with the same content you are familiar with. In addition to some snazzy logos, you will now find a link to the fantastic GPK Card Galleries over at GEEPEEKAY.com. There are also direct links to follow GEEPEEKAY.com on all their social media channels.

For those visitors to GEEPEEKAY.com, the content there also doesn’t change. Joe Blow continues to add to 100’s of pages of galleries and historical information on Garbage Pail Kids. You might notice an overhaul of their News Page. You can now access all the GPKNews.com recent articles, and links to the archives.

It’s great partnering with GEEPEEKAY.com. I’m excited and look forward to a long relationship. What this partnership does is gives GPK collectors quicker access to all the information they need! And in the process spiffy’s up this joint a little…


10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard is part of the new breed of GPK artist. Not only has he done sketch cards, but also final artwork for numerous online cards. While his professional life has been built around creating artwork for t-shirts, his first love is Garbage Pail Kids. I sat down with Michael at Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. We talked about how he got started with Topps, how his passion with GPK began, and him being a proponent for digital artwork.

GPKNews – You started doing GPK sketches for Topps with 2016S1 American As Apple Pie set. How did you get on with Topps and doing GPK sketches?

Michael Barnard – I grew up with Garbage Pial Kids like most people. I loved them and they made me want to become an artist. I always had a thing for them. I went off and got my career started as an artist, and here and there I picked up a few packs. Looking at some of the ANS stuff got the fires burning again. I contacted a few of the guys on Facebook, Joe Simko and Brent Engstrom, and asked them who do I get in touch with, how do I get my foot in the door. They gave me Colin’s info in New York. So I came up with four originals, and mocked them up like the real ones with the logos and names and everything. I took those and a few other samples of my work and mailed them to NY. About 7-8 months later I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to do sketch cards.

GPKNews – What other card sets have you worked on for Topps or other companies?

MB – I’ve only done work for Topps. I’ve done one Wacky set, the MLB set. I’ve done many of the Star Wars sets, and a handful for The Walking Dead, but Garbage Pail Kids are my favorite.

GPKNews – What are your memories of GPK as a kid? Did you collect?

MB – I was the perfect age when these came out, I was about 9 or 10 years old. I’d say maybe 3rd series was most popular when I was able to buy them on my own. I can remember taking my lunch money and skipping lunch so I could go buy some afterwards. We had a general store next door to the house I grew up in. The lady that ran that place always carried Garbage Pail Kids. She use to let me come in and work once a month dusting off the canned goods and sweeping the floors. She would pay me in Garbage Pail Kids. She would give me complete boxes and complete sets. To this day I still have every one of them. I have thousands of OS cards from back in the day. I was into them big time.

GPKNews – In 2017 Topps added you to the lineup of final card artists for some of the online sets. I believe you had 17 cards published last year. What would 10 year old Michael have thought if he knew he’d be a GPK artist someday?

MB – My 10 year old self’s head would have exploded. It’s funny to watch my parents because they remember watching me as a kid and being so obsessed with these things. I think they are as tickled as I am that I get to work on this stuff. Its really kind of surreal. Its awesome! I take it very seriously, every sketch card I do, everything. It means a lot. It’s a big deal.

GPKNews – You are a proponent of working digitally. All your online cards were created on a computer. What are your thoughts on creating artwork digitally vs. the old fashioned way?

MB – I look at the digital stuff as a tool. I mostly design t-shirts for a living and I work with a lot of screen print companies, and in that industry it has to be digital. That’s kind of become my comfort zone. I went to a very traditional art school in Columbus, Ohio, so I do paint, I do draw, I do a lot of stuff by hand. I’ve just gotten a lot more comfortable and faster doing it digitally. I don’t know, I can see why people would still gravitate towards the more traditional oil paintings. I love that stuff too. I don’t know, I think a lot of people don’t understand how the digital stuff is done. The way I do it, with the stylist and tablet, there’s a brush stroke for everything you see. It’s still painted, its just a little different with the pixels. I think they translate better to the actual cards. I think they look cleaner and more crisp. I’m more comfortable doing digital stuff because I think I’m faster at it, but I love to paint too. I think there’s a place for both of them. I think when digital stuff is done right it can look really good.

GPKNews – What tools, software/hardware, do you use for your digital artwork?

MB – I use a Macintosh, Photoshop and Illustrator. Mostly for Garbage Pail Kids, this kind of stuff, its done in Photoshop using the different brushes. I have a Wacom tablet and stylus. The stylus is pressure sensitive so you can airbrush. If you go in there and get the details you can zoom in high resolution and really get nice detail. I use mostly Photoshop on the Mac.

GPKNews – Right now I know all retail GPKs are still painted Do you aspire one day to work on a retail set? If you ever get the chance, would you push to create cards digitally?

MB – I would do whatever they want. I enjoy doing digital stuff, but doing them with the acrylic paints, I love doing that too. I just did a couple this week. I would do whatever he wants. I’d be glad to do it.

GPKNews – This is your first GCC. Have you ever done any other cons as an artist?

MB – Nope, this is it. Like I said I mostly do t-shirts for a living, I actually make a pretty good living doing that. I’ve never really had to do cons, or setup, or really promote myself. This is really more just for fun. Its been awesome. Its been great to come out and meet everybody, and put a face behind the Facebook profiles for people I’m use to talking to. Its been a blast.

GPKNews – What are you thoughts about GCC? How as the GPK fan interaction been for you?

MB – The show has been absolutely incredible. I didn’t really know what to expect, how much stuff to expect to move. I did more yesterday than I expected for the whole event. Its been great, absolutely awesome. Everyone has been so cool. Its like sitting here and talking with 30-40 long lost friends, everyone has the same interests, its really been cool.

GPKNews – At the show you are selling some of your own cards and prints. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline either with your own work or for another company?

MB – I’m always looking to add to my prints. I’ve got this thing going with my 80’s themed prints. I’ve really been itching to work on a Princess Bride print. I’ve also done these mini canvases with the matching easels that are done with acrylics. People really seem to love those, so I’ve been buying up a bunch at the hobby shops. I’ve submitted some gags to Topps for some of the upcoming sets. There’s always something in the works.

GPKNews – Finally, do you have an all time favorite Garbage Pail Kid?

MB – All time favorite? I’m going to have to say, ever since I was a kid I’ve had a thing for April Showers. Something about the colors in that, the blue with the lightening bolts. I don’t know, when I was a kid there was something almost glowing about that artwork, I love that one. A lot of the OS stuff, they trigger memories and really speak to me. I don’t know if I have a specific favorite one, but if I had to pick one, that would be it.


Creepy Co. Launches Two New GPK Shirts

In what they are calling a mini-release, today Creepy Co. will launch two new shirts to their line of Garbage Pail Kids merchandise. The shirts are scheduled to go on sale on Creepy’s website at 7:00 PM Central time, (5:00 PM Pacific/8:00 PM Eastern). Creepy Co. has continued to use their GPK license with Topps in new and different ways. Today’s launch marks a couple of firsts for the company with GPK merchandise.

The first shirt being offered is the Garbage Pail Kids 30th Anniversary Motif Shirt. This is a black t-shirt featuring Joe Simko’s artwork that appeared on Checklist card 1a/b in 30th anniversary set. This 100% cotton shirt also features a Creepy Co. logo tag on the sleeve. This marks the first t-shirt being offered by Creepy Co. Previously, Creepy didn’t hold the GPK license to produce t-shirts. It appears that Creepy Co. has taken over that portion of the GPK license as well now. The shirt is available is sizes S-XL ($26.99), 2XL ($27.99), and 3XL-4XL ($28.99).

The second shirt is also a first for Creep Co. The Garbage Pail Kids Pattern Print Shirt is a dye sublimated, front and back allover print, on spun polyester, unisex shirt. This is the first time Creepy has used this method on a shirt. The shirt features the characters Bony Tony, Dead Ted, Eerie Eric, Nasty Nick, Bony Joanie, and Adam Bomb. One word of warning from the company, “The pattern print shirt runs small: customers are advised to read the product description carefully. These are stretchy and comfy for sure, but depending on how you like your shirts to fit, you may want to order a size up.” The company also warns this shirt will be available in limited quantities. The shirt is available is S-4XL for $34.99.


Collectors Enjoy Weekend at Gross Card Con

Gross Card Con has wrapped up, and the event left collectors and artists both overjoyed with the results. The show took place within the larger Vegas Toy Con at the Circus Circus hotel in Las Vegas this past weekend. The second Garbage Pail Kids inspired show drew a record 16 current and former Topps GPK/Wacky artists. This was more then the first Vegas show, GPK-Con, held in the summer of 2016. Collectors and artists came from around the country, and even Europe to attend the event. Here are the highlights from the weekend.


The highlight of the show was the amount of artists who attended the con. Former original series artists Tom Bunk and James Warhola were both in attendance. This was the first Vegas Con for Warhola, and the second for Bunk. Both were selling original artwork and prints, as well as signing autographs for collectors. Warhola had on display one of his popular large GPK paintings he’s done. Current GPK artists, Joe Simko, Brent Engstrom, David Gross, Layron DeJarnette, Smokin’ Joe McWilliams, and Michael Barnard were all in attendance. They all brought various prints, original artwork, and even their own card products to the show to sell. David Gross debuted his second Rejected GPK Concepts book at the show, a popular item. Former Topps artists Jeff Zapata and Mark Pingitore were also on hand. Pingitore debuted his Nintendopes Series 1 set at the show. GPK sketch artists Chad Scheres, Jon Gregory, and Chenduz were also on hand selling their own products and even doing sketches at the show for collectors. Chenduz came to the show all the way from the Netherlands for his first GPK con in the US. Finally, Wacky Packages collectors also had plenty to choose from. Not only was Smoking Joe selling Wacky art, but artist Joe Grossberg was also on hand offering his Wacky inspired toys and art.

VIP Experience

Once again GPK Super VIPs had many extras available to them at the show. While there was no exclusive artist dinner this time around, Super VIPs were treated to dinner Thursday night. They also were given a few goodies. They all were given a custom GPK Funko character. Each Super VIP received a different GPK Mystery Mini figure that had been enhanced. They also received a custom black & white sketch, and a copy of the show exclusive card set. Super VIPs and regular VIPs also could attend the show dinners on Friday and Saturday night. This was a chance for the VIPs to eat with and chat with the artists. While the weekend dinners were attended by all Toy Con VIPs, its interesting to note that 25%-30% of the attendees were GPK artists and collectors.

Artist Q&A

As a wonderful last second addition to the show, 8 artists held a Q&A session Saturday afternoon for GPK collectors. Warhola, Bunk, Zapata, Simko, Engstrom, Gross, DeJarnette, and McWilliams were all in attendance with Zapata leading the discussion. Approximately 75 GPK collectors were in hand as Bunk and Warhola both talked about their artistic influences growing up. They shared stories about their time at Topps, and the beginning of their involvement with GPKs. The entire panel answered questions on their art influences, digital vs. painting, and even a question regarding the grossness of GPKs. Engstrom even shared there is one final painting that has a real bug squashed into the painting!

Saturday Social

For the first time a collector/artist social was held at the West bar in the casino. The social replaced the Bowling night/breakfast that was held at the first Con. Roughly 30 artists and collectors attended the late night event. This allowed collectors and artists alike to visit and share stories about their Vegas adventures!

GCC Wrap-up

The second Vegas GCC had a different vibe than the first show for a number of reasons. The layout of GCC was completely different this time around. This time all the artists were located in one room at the show. They were also right in the middle of the show, instead of off in a separate corner. This change was an overwhelming success in the eyes of the artists. Artists were close enough this year to visit with each other, something that was tough during the first show. Being in the middle of the show, as well as the flow of the room setup, seemed to make the GCC artists more accessible to the general attendees at the show. This brought more foot traffic past their booths compared to the first show. I spoke to multiple artists who were really pleased with how they did at the show. More than one artist told me they made more money the first day of this year’s show than the entire first show. The entire show seemed very successful for most of the artists.

The artists weren’t the only group satisfied with the show. Collectors had a great time at the 2016 GPK-Con. That was the first chance many of them got to meet not only the artists, but collectors they’ve been interacting with for years. This year’s GCC had a different feeling at the show. I heard the word, “family”, multiple times throughout the show from not only collectors but artists alike. Of course there were new artists and collectors in attendance. This time however, collectors were coming back together. Artists, many who had met for the first time face to face in 2016, were now also seeing familiar faces again. Throughout the weekend GPK collectors and artists had a blast trading, busting boxes, socializing with each other, and just hanging out enjoying the company of others who share the same interests. GCC was like 150 of your closest friends getting together for the weekend.

I spoke with Super Toy Con Executive Producer, Andy Goodman, to get his thoughts on the show. On weather Super Toy Con/Gross Card Con was a success Andy shared, “The show was a huge success, as was our mini GPK meet. Gross Card Con brought out more collectors and more artists then the last go round in 2016. It was great to see the artists and collectors on the same grounded level, talking, sharing feedback and just sitting down for a bit of social interaction. Hopefully, someday Topps will see the engagement this type of event brings to the community of their collectors and will support the gathering in some fashion.” I asked Andy if they had plans to continue to offer GCC in the future. “I am sure we have not seen the last of a gathering. Weather we move the show to a different venue in Las Vegas or state is yet to be determined, but we will continue to bring the collectors together as we can. Also, don’t forget to block out the first weekend of August on your calendar, as there will be a few artists attending the east coast Central Pennsylvania Collectors Con in Harrisburg, Pa. More info coming soon!”


Creepy Co. Teases New GPK Shirts

Update: Creepy Co. confirmed this morning they will have two new GPK themed shirts available. The shirts will go on sale this Wednesday at 7:00 PM Central time. They revealed the first design today. The shirt features many popular GPK characters throughout.

Creepy Co. began teasing new GPK merchandise for next week via their Instagram account. Stay tuned for updated pricing and release dates.