Sketch Artists Begin Work on 2017S2 & 2018S1 Sketches

GPK artists began receiving their blank sketch cards in the mail this past weekend for the next two sets. The 48 artists who have accepted invites for either both or one of the next sets can now begin the long nights of sketching.

The sketch blanks for 2017 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids Battle of the Bands features the Live Mike character from OS 2 on the back of the regular and panoramic sized sketches. The backs of the sketches are light blue, while the front of the regular sized sketch has a yellow name plate. The usual red banner returns to the fronts.

While not much is known about 2018 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids, we have our first clue. The backs of the 2018S1 sketches feature the character Reuben Cube, card #277a, from OS 7. Rumors online have been the 2018S1 set will be 80’s themed. If that’s the case a character parodying a Rubik’s Cube certainly fits. The color on the backs is the same as the 2017S2 light blue. However one big change is to the banner. Instead of a white background with the red banner, it is a yellow background. The name plate on the regular sized sketch is pink for this series.

The rules around sketching look to have remained the same. Artists are not allowed to sketch cards featuring Stan Lee, Gene Simmons, the Hundreds set, Riot Fest set, and all Disney properties including Star Wars and Marvel. Sketch artists will have to get busy quickly as Dual Artist Panoramic are due back Aug. 1. Artists will have much more time to complete the other cards of both sets. 2017S2 GPK Battle of the bands is set to launch on 10/18/17, while 2018 S1 GPK will launch sometime in Jan. 2018.

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Topps Digitial Launches Garbage Pail Kids Deluxe Stickers for iMessage

Topps Digitial today offered the forth installment of iMessage Stickers for iPhones. Garbage Pail Kids Deluxe Stickers features 20 new digitial stickers based on past GPKs. They are compatible with Apple iPhones and can be sent to others iPhones via iMessage. The sticker pack coats .99, and is available in the Apple App Store. Here are pictures of the new stickers and a partial checklist listed on the app store.

• ADAM BOMB
• ALICE ISLAND
• HIP KIP
• NICOLE TROLL
• BUGGY BETTY
• NICOLE TROLL
• NED HEAD
• GRIM JIM
• FOWL RAOUL
• FAT MATT
• SAWING SALLY
• T.REX

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Topps Launches GPK Summer Comic Convention Online Set

For the first time in years Topps is not offering exclusive GPK cards at the San Diego Comic Con going on this week. However, that doesn’t mean Topps is ignoring the comics world completely. Today Topps launched Garbage Pail Kids Summer Comic Convention online set. The 10 card set consists of 4 new GPK cards with a/b versions, and 2 Wacky Packages cards. The cards are all based on popular comics. In a bit of a surprise the complete set is available for $19.99, this is quite a bit cheaper than recent online sets have be sold for. Individual cards are not available. Shipping is free in the US by using the SmartPost option, while international shipping is $10. The cards will be available for 7 days on topps.com. Topps will reveal the print run at the end of the sale. Here is the checklist and pictures of the cards.

1a: I Have the POWELL (Artist: Simko)
1b: Activated ADAM
2a: Lazy LIONEL (Artist: Simko)
2b: Thunder KAT
3a: Unmasked MATT (Artist: Engstrom)
3b: Tricky TRAKKER
4a: CHASE Hugger (Artist: Engstrom)
4b: AL-iens
5: RoboCorpse 3 Poster (Artist: Camera)
6: Itchie Comics (Artist: Jimenez)

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2017S2 & 2018S1 GPK Sketch Card Lineups Take Shape

Two months after announcing the next GPK set, 2017 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids Battle of the Bands, Topps began sending out invites this week to perspective sketch card artists. In a bit of a surprise the invites were not just for 2017S2, but also for 2018S1. Artists accepting will be shipped sketch cards for both sets at once. This will give the artists more time to complete the sketches for the 2018S1 set. With just over 3 months between sets, Topps is trying to stay ahead with the GPK brand so 2018S1 isn’t rushed.

For 2017S1 GPK Adam-Geddon, released back in January, Topps had 38 sketch artists take part in the set. Of those 38 it appears only 30 are confirmed to return for 2017S2, while 32 are confirmed for 2018S1. The following artists from 2017S1 Adam-Geddon will return for both 2017S2 and 2018S1; Simone Arena, Michael Barnard, Neil Camera, Daniel Contois, Jasmine Contois, Sobot Cortez, Jason Crosby, “GPK” Dave Dabila (2018S1 Only), Vincenzo “Chenduz” D’Ippolito, Patrick Giles, Dennis Gortakowski, Cecilia Granata, Jon Gregory, Kelly Greider, Jason Heil, Marisol Henriquez, Lowell Isaac, Robert Jimenez, Matthew Kirsch, “Smokin” Joe McWilliams, Chris Meeks (2018S1 Only), Lily Mercado, Rich Molinelli, JM Monserrat, Barry Nygma, Steve Potter, Cathy Razim, Chad Scheres, Anthony Skubis, Matt Steffens, Magnus Von Robotsoon, and Dan Burn Webster. Six artists who worked on the last series are not returning for various reasons. Mainstay GPK artists Brent Engstrom and Joe Simko will continue to paint numerous base cards from in the upcoming series, but will not be working on sketch cards. Longtime GPK sketch artists and fan favorites Dustin Graham, Ryan Moffet, and Sean Norvet all decided for various reasons to no longer create sketch cards. Finally Denis St. John is undecided.

Topps isn’t stopping there. As with the last few sets, there are many artists making their GPK debuts. The following artists have confirmed accepting the invites; Bryan Abston, Ro Garcia Astorga, Sean Bolger, John Brewer, Joseph Grotesque, Kevin Lea, Paul Mangione, Mike McHugh, Rory McQueen, Ande Moores (2018S1 Only), Victor Moreno, Brent Scotchmer, Floyd Sumner, Gregory Tilson, Matthew White, and Gavin Williams. While a couple of these artists will be making their Topps sketch debut, the majority have worked on other Topps properties in the past. In most cases these artists have also been GPK collectors for a long time. The total of new artists for 2017S2 is 15, while 16 artists will work on 2018S1. The largest group of new artists in some time brings a record 45 artists working on 2017S2, while 2018S1 will break that mark with 48 artists.

While the number of sketch artists is increasing, their workload is getting smaller. Artists will be shipped the same number of sketch blanks for both sets. While Loaded, Panoramic, and Dual Artist Panoramic sketch numbers appear consistent with previous sets, the amount of regular and die-cut sketches has dropped versus 2017S1 Adam-Geddon. This can mean a couple of things. Most likely, sketch cards will be tougher to come by in the next two sets. Of course this is also all based on production numbers. While Topps has pre-order info for 2017S2, they have not solicited yet for 2018S1. There is no way to know at this point how much product gets ordered. If the products are popular and prove to sell well, then sketches will be very hard to pull. This will be especially true with the Shaped sketches which are now only found in Collector boxes. Topps has cut back by up to 66% on the amount issued to artists. We saw this with Adam-Geddon. Despite production being lower, sketch odds were longer than previous sets. Bottom line is, it keeps getting harder and harder to pull a sketch card in packs.

One improvement this time around compared to Adam-Geddon is the deadlines the artists have to complete sketches. Artists will have nearly two months to complete 2017S2 sketches, with a deadline in mid-Sept. The 2018S1 sketches are not due until early Dec., giving artists ample time to work on sketches. Artists had just over a month to complete sketches for Adam-Geddon, so the slightly longer deadlines should help the artists. Besides the deadlines, not much else appears to have changed with sketch card rules. Artist Return sketches still must be completed prior to the set’s release. Approval via scan by the Art Director must happen before they can be mailed to customers on the release date. The “banned sketch” list continues to be the same. Artists are not allowed to sketch cards featuring Stan Lee, Gene Simmons, the Hundreds set, Riot Fest set, and all Disney properties including Star Wars and Marvel. Expect sketch previews to start showing up just prior to release after approval towards the end of Sept. 2017 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids Battle of the Bands is set to hit stores on Oct. 18th, 2017.

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2018 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids Set for January

The ink hasn’t dried on 2017 Series 2 GPK Battle of the Bands yet, but Topps is already fast at work on the first retail series of 2018. Nothing has been publicly announced by Topps yet, but with Battle of the Bands cards already complete the focus has shifted to getting a head start on the next set. Topps also begin soliciting artist sketch card invites today for not only 2017S2, but also 2018S1 sets. Not much else is known about the 2018S1 set. Topps seems to be following the same release schedule as the previous sets. Based on timelines for when sketches are due, it appears Topps is shooting for a mid-Jan 2018 release. This will make only 4 months between retail sets. However unlike last year when sketch card deadlines were extremely tight for 2017S1, artists will have much more time to complete the cards for 2018S1. We are still probably a couple of months away from seeing sell sheets for the 2018S1 set, as Topps usually gives a 6 month window on those. Stay tuned to GPKNews as more info comes out.

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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Neil Camera

Garbage Pail Kids collectors have just started to get to know Neil Camera even though he’s been working on GPKs for years. Starting with Topps in 2002, Neil has mainly focused on the Wacky Packages brand, painting hundreds of Wacky’s over the years. What GPK collectors might not know is Neil has also had a hand in GPKs going back to the ANS sets. Neil has worked on insert cards, card backs, and been one of the primary sketch card artists for years. Finally in the 2016 Series 2 GPK Prime Slime set, Neil had his first main set base GPK card. He’s now a regular with cards in 2017 Series 1, online releases, and the soon to release 2017 Series 2 Battle of the Bands. Neil was kind enough to grant me this e-mail interview. We discuss his history with GPKs, his future GPK work, and the the fact that he might not be the best artist in his own house!

GPKNews – Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Neil! It was great meeting you and your daughter last year in Vegas at GPK-Con 1. GPK fans might not be as familiar with your work unless they are Wacky Packages collectors as well. How did you get your start with Topps and working on Wackys?

Neil Camera – The GPK Con was certainly a lot of fun, wasn’t it?! So, I started working for Topps in 2002. I had just finished a self-published set called “Pranky Products”, which were in a similar vein to Wacky Packages. Coincidentally, Topps was in the process of reviving Wacky Packages and on the recommendation of John Pound, I submitted some of my samples to Topps for consideration in the All New Series. Luckily, they liked what they saw!

GPKNews – Were you a Wacky Packages collector growing up? How about Garbage Pail Kids, what are your memories of those first GPK series in the mid-80’s?

NC – Oh yeah! Wacky Packages were the king of collectibles back in the 70’s! I had almost every sticker. I even took a bunch and ran them through my typewriter and added gags I thought would be funny. Not so funny now that I know what they’re worth! I was a bit older when GPK came out and not as avid a collector, although I found them pretty amusing! In fact, I remember buying an entire series 1-15 collection at a flea market. The funny part is that I could see the seller was having second thoughts and I later went back and told him to keep them. He obviously needed them more than me.

GPKNews – Your first involvement with Garbage Pail Kids wasn’t until ANS 7, when you worked on card backs. What led to the initial work on GPK with Topps?

NC – Jay Lynch. We had previously worked on a lot of Wacky Packages projects so the GPK thing was a good fit. My favorite was the GPK Activity cards. In one instance, we literally spent an entire weekend figuring out how to make one of the cards work correctly (the #10 Rainbow card). The other 9 were almost as crazy.

GPKNews – You continued to work on card backs, some insert sets, and even sketch cards through the next generation of GPK sets; Flashback, BNS, Yearly series. Finally, with 2016 Series 2 GPK Trashy TV we got your first base set card fronts. (The MASH one is one of my favorites from that set!) You did two for the Trashy TV set, and five I believe for the 2017 Series 1 GPK Adam-Geddon set. Do you enjoy painting GPKs? How is it similar or different from painting Wackys?

NC – I typically try to emulate the style of the original creators in my Topps work. It’s the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So, in the case of Wacky Packages, Norm Saunders used very loose, but subtle brushstrokes (in gouache) and combined it with dramatic color and lighting, whereas with GPK, Pound’s style was equally dynamic but a bit more choreographed with a considerable amount of airbrush. Two very different styles, but both equally impressive and challenging.

GPKNews – You also have done numerous GPKs and Wackys for the on demand online exclusive sets. I know there are tight deadlines and turn around times for these cards. How has working on those been the past few months? How is it different working on those compared to the retail release cards?

NC – Aside from the crazy deadlines, there are certain aspects of the digital program that I really enjoy: Since we often only get one take on the finished art, I’ve learned to paint faster and looser. So, it keeps me on my toes and as long as I don’t stop and think about it too much, it usually works out well. Just don’t second guess the details.

GPKNews – You’ve also done GPK sketches going all the way back to the Flashback series. You have a lot of fans of your sketch card work. Your sketches, especially the returns, you do are gorgeous. Is this something you enjoy doing each release?

NC – Apart from the brand itself, I really enjoy the format. Having painted wall murals in my early career, I got tired of running up and down a ladder to check my work, and learned to appreciate the convenience of a small canvas! Nearly everything I paint these days is no larger than 8” x 10”.

GPKNews – Recently Topps announced the next retail GPK set, 2017 Series 2 GPK Battle of the Bands, do you know yet if you will be doing any card fronts for the next series? Are you still on board for sketches?

NC – Yes on both counts.

GPKNews – With WP 50th just being launched, what else is in store for the artwork of Neil Camera? Anything else you are working on?

NC – I’m always working on something. In fact, my biggest challenge these days is to learn to say “No” to a project and take some time off occasionally. Easier said than done, as most freelance artists can attest. With that said, there’s one project in particular that I’m especially eager about. It involves music and art, and should be released this Fall. But that’s all I can say about it now.

GPKNews – We had a chance to visit last year in Las Vegas at GPK-Con 1. From a collector’s perspective it was a great experience! I hear GPK-Con 2 is in the early planning stages for next Feb. What was the experience like for you? Do you attend a lot of cons around the country? Did you enjoy meeting the artists and GPK fans?

NC – Because of my work schedule, I actually attend very few shows, so going to Vegas and finally meeting some of the GPK fans was a real hoot! And of course, having so many of the GPK artists at one venue was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event, so I’d imagine the fans that attended were equally thrilled! Definitely keeping GPK-Con 2 on my radar.

GPKNews – Did you get a chance to see the 30 Years of Garbage documentary that Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko directed? If so, what are your thoughts? What are your thoughts about being a part of the long history of GPK?

NC – Great documentary! Fantastic content and very well crafted. Worthy of putting in a capsule and firing it into deep space for aliens to find someday and learn about our culture. Interestingly, I’ve had some discussions with Joe about the idea of doing a Wacky Packages 50th video, but I think we all realize, for better or worse, there isn’t nearly as much drama to that story!

GPKNews – You shared a great story with us when Jay Lynch passed a few weeks ago. He was so important to Topps especially in the early years. Do you have any other Jay Lynch stories you can share?

NC – Jay may qualify as the “World’s Most Interesting Man”, but most stories I have about him would take many pages to do proper justice, so I won’t try here. Someday, I hope to gather all of my recollections in a book and release it as a tribute.

GPKNews – You aren’t the only artist in the Camera family! Your daughter, Halsey, is a fine artist in her own right. We need Dual Artist Camera/Camera sketch cards in the next series! What are the chances we get to see the first 2nd generation GPK artist?

NC – Yeah, it’s getting pretty competitive in the Camera household! If she keeps it up, I may be out of a job! Seriously, she brings so much depth and character to her art, that I find myself constantly looking over her shoulder and learning from her. She’s already started an animation gig with a Silicon Valley software firm. I couldn’t be prouder.

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

NC – This may be your toughest question yet. I guess from an aesthetic standpoint, I’d have to say it’s tough to beat “Adam”, but I really enjoy titles like “Drippy Dan” and “Meltin’ Milton” and “Bony Tony” for their really simple gags and big punchlines.

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Former GPK Artist Pat Glover (1965-2017) Passes Away

Former Garbage Pail Kids Artist Patrick Glover passed away on July 3, 2017 in New Jersey. Patrick and his brother, Sean, worked as a team during the early releases of the All New Series GPK reboot. The Glovers are responsible for the first insert cards in GPK sets, as they completed the artwork for ANS 1 Silver/Gold Inserts. They also did all the artwork for the Little Stickers, these were the wrap arounds included with each piece of gum during the first printing of ANS 1. In ANS 2 they branched out into final artwork for the base set. They are credited with five base cards (10, 17, 26, 30, and 38), and also one Scratch & Stink insert (S2). They continued to do the artwork for the insert foil sets in ANS 2 & 3. Pat and Sean also teamed up on a number of Wacky Packages cards for Topps around the same time frame.

Patrick grew up in the New York area, and graduated from The Copper Union art school in 1987. After working for Topps he focused on a series of paintings based on photos he would take in the rain on the highway. Pat spent time living in North Carolina as well. His artwork has been shown in galleries all around the United States.

Sean was kind enough to share some memories they had of their time working for Topps:

“Pat and I decided that, since I had gone to Ringling School of Art and my major was illustration, that I should be in charge of the rendering of the Garbage Pail Kids in accordance with the new style sheets.  After I gave him the line drawings in ink, since he was a Cooper Union graduate with a concentration in painting, he would scan and colorize the art for production. This seemed to work pretty well, especially when it came to the original artwork that we came up with.  Pat was an excellent painter and had a great sense of color.

I think the one episode that left us shaking our heads and made us laugh, was an idea that we proposed. We had a fat GPK sitting next to an empty dog bowl that had the name “Fido” on it. There was a collar and some fur on the floor in front of him and he was picking his teeth with a small bone. The powers that be at Topps thought that it was “Too Gross”. We thought that was histerical!  Here you have a character vomiting into a frying pan or popping zits and this was too gross?!

Pat and I worked together for years in Charlotte, NC. We painted murals and worked for decorators, doing faux finishes and other decorative work. We ran a gallery for young artists to show their work and had a thriving figure drawing group.  
Pat was always homesick for NYC and he eventually moved back.  He settled in Jersey City where he worked and lived until he passed.

Pat and I truly enjoyed working on the GPK series and appreciated the opportunity that John Williams and Topps gave us to be part of such an amazing legacy.”

A memorial to celebrate Patrick’s life will be held in Charlotte next Wednesday, hosted by the arts community.

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Topps Reveals Print Run for GPK 4th of July Online Set

All has been quiet on the Topps online store for over a week. It appears Topps took a break for the holiday last week, and did not offer any new online sets. The last set offered focused on that vary American holiday. Today Topps revealed the print run for Garbage Pail Kids 4th of July online set. The 9 card set consisted of 3 GPKs with a/b versions, and 3 Wacky Packages. In a first for offering online sets, Topps did not offer the ability to purchased individual cards. The only way to get cards was to buy the entire set from Topps. In the long run the decision didn’t seem to hurt sales as the numbers for the set came in right around what other sets have been doing. The set finished with 119 total sold. Daily cards are no longer being offered, instead Topps will focus on offering similar smaller online sets. There is no telling how often Topps will offers sets. Expect Topps to continue to celebrate holidays, award ceremonies, and other noteworthy events.

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Topps Reveals Print Run for GPK Network Spews #91

Wednesday marked the last day Topps will offer daily GPK cards. Today Topps revealed the print run for Garbage Pail Kids Network Spews #91. The final Network Spews card featuring a trio of superheroes ended up doing really well with collectors finishing with 185 in sales. Topps focus the last couple of weeks was on Wacky Packages cards. What artists showed however was collectors were willing to pay for classic gags, featuring established properties, and well done art. This marks the end of a controversial time in the history of Garbage Pail Kids. With the daily sets now complete it remains to be seeen how topps will incorporate their online offers going forward.

GPK Network Spews
#91 – Ceiling-Destroying Diana – 185

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Topps to Stop Daily GPK Themed Cards, Move to Weekly Sets

Yesterday artists begin receiving word from Topps that they will no longer be producing daily Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages cards. Wednesday’s cards served as the final daily offerings from Topps for the foreseeable future. Instead, Topps will focus on smaller weekly online sets.

The daily cards were based off Topps’ popular Topps Now Baseball Card program started in early 2016. While Topps had been selling smaller GPK sets online, their first daily cards appeared in the GPK Disg-Race to the While house set that took aim at the presidential election. More daily sets were launched by Topps including two Trumpocracy sets, GPK Network Spews, Wacky Packages Alternate Facts, and the Twister set.

There was no overarching reason supplied to the artists on why the daily cards were ending. A number of reasons could certainly be in play. Sales have fallen constantly since the first release of the cards. Collectors have complained about too much political focus, over saturation of the market, along with artwork from certain artists that seems rushed. With sales falling often below 100, it may no longer have made sense financially to offer daily cards.

The focus will now turn to weekly smaller online sets, similar to ones offered in the past. Past sets focused on the holidays, awards shows, TV, and musicians. While sets might not appear every week, you can expect similar themes. More than likely sets will continue to see GPKs mixed with Wacky Packages. With limited political cards, less cards offered, and possibly more time for artists to complete cards, it will be interesting to see if sales start to rise.

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