10 Questions With…GPK Sketch Card Artist Chad Scheres

File Aug 09, 12 09 44 AMChad Scheres loves his monsters. That’s evident when looking at his table full of custom made monster figures. In addition to being a sketch card artist on Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages, Chad focuses on drawing and selling monster related cards and figures. I sat down with Chad at the GPK-Con in Las Vegas. We talked about how he got started with Topps, what he collected as a kid, and what’s in store in the future for his work.

GPKNews – You started doing pack inserted GPK sketches this year with the American as Apple Pie set. How did you get involved with Topps and doing GPK sketches? Have you done any work for other card sets?

Chad Scheres – There was a post on Facebook a few years ago that they were bringing back the Ugly Stickers. That’s what I was loved from being a kid. I draw monsters and ugly stuff, so I sent them some samples. I said I can do that, I draw ugly monsters, and forgot all about it. A few months later they sent me an e-mail and said they wanted me to do this Artists on Demand thing. I’m like great, I love Topps and always wanted to work for them. I did a couple months of Artists on Demand. Then they cancelled that and I started doing more samples for the Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packs. Then I did American as Apple Pie, and did the MLB Wacky Packs. I just finished up the Trashy TV sketch cards, and now there will be another series in January coming out. I’m still waiting to hear on the 50th anniversary of Wacky Packs, because I would really love to work on those.

GPKNews – Were you a GPK fan/collector before you started doing the sketches?

CS – I knew all about them and thought they were cool. By the time they came out in 1985 I was in high school, so I was off on other things. I’m more of a Wacky Packages guy because that’s what I collected as a kid. As far as Topps stuff goes, it was all Wacky Packages and Star Wars when I was a kid. I saw GPKs and thought they were cool. I had picked some up over the years, and picked some up when the new series came out in 2002 and 2003. I picked up a few of those, but I didn’t really start drawing them until after I got on with the Artists on Demand thing. I didn’t know what a sketch card was at that point. Once I started doing that, I started drawing really small because my stuff is on a bigger scale. Now that I’ve drawn so many of these things I’m getting better at it.

GPKNews – How is the work coming on the sketches for the next GPK set, Trashy TV? I saw some of the previews you posted on Facebook, they look great!

I’m done with the required cards. I still have to do my artists returns. I just got my duel artist cards back the day before I left here, so next week is going to be busy.

GPKNews – Do you know who your partner is on the Duel Artist sketches? Are there artists you would like to work with?

CS – I love working with all these guys. On Apple Pie I worked with Chris Meeks. His stuff is amazing, it blew me away. This time I’m paired up with a new artist Kelly Greider, really beautiful stuff. I got his stuff in the mail the other day, really beautiful. I’m proud to be hooked up with any of these guys.

GPKNews – Have you seen the 30 Years of Garbage documentary that Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko directed? What did you think?

CS – I’ve seen it twice. I watched it once, then had it on a second time while I was working and listen to it. It’s great, I loved it, very informative.

GPKNews – What are your thoughts about being part of that history now?

CS – I love being a part of it, it’s great. When I was a kid I would ride my bike to the store to buy Wacky and Star Wars cards. The Topps logo and the brand has always been a part of my life. So actually being able to work for them and getting a paycheck with that logo on it was really cool, it’s great.

GPKNews – How many of these comic/toy/art conventions do you do a year?

CS – Usually I’ll do 2 or 3 depending. I’m from Spokane, Washington so there’s always one there that I do every year. I’ve done Emerald City Seattle Comic Con. I didn’t do it this year but might to it next year. When I saw this pop up I definitely knew I had to be here for this one.

File Aug 09, 12 10 17 AMGPKNews – This is the first GPK-Con what are your thoughts of the show so far? How has the GPK fan turnout been for the show?

CS – Its great, there’s been a good turnout and the fans have been great. It’s nice to connect faces with names because I talk to people on Facebook all the time. It’s nice to meet them in person.

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

CS – Not really, I’m doing more sketch cards, prints, and sketch covers. I’ve got hundreds of sketch covers at home so if anyone wants one let me know. I love doing the sketch covers. I’m always sculpting something and casting something for a new resin figure. I’m just constantly working on something. I create something new every day.

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

CS – That’s really tough, the grosser the better. Usually any of the monster related ones. Nasty Nick of course because he’s a vampire. Any Werewolf or Frankenstein, any of the classic monster related ones are my favorites. Or if there is a lot of blood or snot in there. I like the gross stuff.

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Topps Launches GPK Best of the Fest Online Set

ARTGPK-STIC-16GPAPBF-CS-SETTopps is taking a break with the Presidential online sets and going back to the entertainment world. Today Topps launched Garbage Pail Kids American As Apple Pie Best of the Fest online set. The set features musical acts that headlined music fests this past summer. There are 10 new paintings each offered as a 2 card a/b set for $9.99, or the entire 20 card set can be purchased for $49.99. Free shipping is also being offered via the SmartPost selection. The set is available on Topps online store for 7 days, ending at 12:00 Eastern time on Sept. 5th. As with the previous online sets Topps said they will reveal the print run on their blog after the sale ends. Here is the checklist along with pictures of the new cards.

  • 1A: Arcade Fired
  • 1B: Lose Butler
  • 2A: Decked Beck
  • 2B: Hammy Hansen
  • 3A: Bob Weird
  • 3B: John Slayer
  • 4A: Overworked Axl
  • 4B: Gunnin’ For Rose
  • 5A: Radio Dead
  • 5B: Tortured Thom
  • 6A: Fiery Flea
  • 6B: Affably Anthony
  • 7A: Tree Roots
  • 7B: Quest Shrub
  • 8A: Crying Cure
  • 8B: Sobbing Smith
  • 9A: Death Cab For Frontman
  • 9B: Bashed Ben
  • 10A: Meaty Morrissey
  • 10B: Sacrilege Smith
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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Mark Pingitore

File Aug 09, 12 07 39 AMMark Pingitore is another of the current crop of Garbage Pail Kids artists that got his start with the Flashback sets. Not only does Mark paint GPKs, but he also has his own card, sticker, and t-shirt line from his Horror and Slop Culture Kids to his very popular Disasters of the Universe set. I sat down and talked to Mark at the GPK-Con in Las Vegas recently. We talked about how he was brought on at Topps, some current projects he has in the pipeline, and how getting married to his wife was GPK destiny!

GPKNews – You are a veteran GPK artist now, you started back with the Flashback series I believe. Were you a GPK collector as a kid?

Mark Pingitore – Big time! I collected them alI. I don’t know if I collected up through series 15, but definitely into the later series. Then in high school I started collecting them all again. I got all the old sets I didn’t have as a kid. I’ve always been a big fan.

GPKNews – What got your foot in the door to Topps and working on GPK, how were you brought in the fold?

MP – I was collecting the new sets, the ANS sets, and I knew other people had submitted concepts and had gotten ideas accepted. So I just started e-mailing Jeff Zapata, our Art Director at the time, and just trying to get some people to notice the ideas I was sending in. After a couple started getting accepted, they would contact me when a new series would start. It kind of snowballed from there.

GPKNews – Are you finished with the art for the next GPK set, Trashy TV? Is it full steam ahead on art for the first 2017 set, Adam-Geddon now?

MP – Yeah we are in early stages for the next set. We are still deciding on concepts. I’ve already submitted a bunch of concepts. They are sorting through the ones they want to use. A few have been done for the advertising of the set and announcing it. We are still in the midst of working on the next set

GPKNews – How many paintings did you do for the upcoming Trashy TV set?

MP – I did seven this time, there are seven finals.

GPKNews – Do you know how many total GPK paintings you are up to now?

MP – At some point I like to check in from time to time to see how many. I think I’m up to maybe 150 or closer to 200, around there.

GPKNews – For the first time you aren’t doing any pack inserted sketches for the Trashy TV set. Was time the biggest issue? Too busy with the art for upcoming GPK projects?

MP – Yeah I feel like I saw they had a pretty decent list of people who were participating in the sketch cards. I was originally going to do them, but work started on the next set. I figured I might as well focus on that this time around.

GPKNews – How many of these comic/toy/art conventions do you do a year?

MP – I usually do around 2-3. There are a couple that are local to me in the Philadelphia area that are pretty convenient to go to. I go to at least one of those a year. Then I try to get to get to either New York or San Diego, or I’ve been to Phoenix. Usually 2 or 3 a year.

GPKNews – This is the first GPK-Con what are your thoughts of the show so far?

MP – I think its been great. I was curious to see how it was going to be. Usually when I go to a convention I’ve gone with other artists. At most 2 other GPK artists. I was curious how it would be to have so many people doing the same thing, but its been great so far. A lot of fans have come to check it out, so far so good.

File Aug 09, 12 08 20 AMGPKNews – At the show you are debuting your Disasters of the Universe set, you also sell t-shirts with your artwork and some prints. Any other projects you have in the pipeline?

MP – Besides GPK and stuff for Topps, I would like to do more t-shirts and stuff on my own. I have a couple of ideas for stuff on my own and expanding that. I have ideas for another disasters set and some ideas for the horror and slop culture kids, kind of an off shoot of garbage pail kids style, that I would like to do more with in the future.

GPKNews – You were interviewed for the 30 Years of Garbage doc. What did you think of the movie? What are your thoughts about being part of GPK history.

MP – I thought it was great. I went to the premier they had in New York. I was really impressed, especially with John Pound, Tom Bunk, Mark Newgarden, and Art Spiegelman. I really enjoyed their interviews and hearing the history about that. I was really glad to be a part of it I thought it was great.

GPKNews – The artwork you did for you are your wife, not only the “ball and chain” piece for your wedding, but the “Bun in Becky” piece to announce the upcoming birth of your child is just fantastic! Congrats on that upcoming birth. What was your friends and family reaction, and I guess more importantly your wife’s reaction to those? She must have a great sense of humor!

MP – I was surprised actually, when I first met her. Usually when I tell people what I do, unless they collected them when they were younger, sometimes they don’t know what they are or weren’t a fan. I told her I worked for Topps and the first thing she asked was if I worked on Garbage Pail Kids. So that was kind of a sign that it was a good match. She knew what they were.

GPKNews – Finally do you have an all time favorite Garbage Pail Kid? How about the favorite one that you have drawn?

MP – My favorite Garbage Pail Kid of all time is Cracked Jack. OS 2 is my favorite. I think that is the pinnacle, just all the art and all the concepts. I feel like either 2 or 3, but Cracked Jack from 2 is my favorite. I don’t know why, just the artwork and the concept always stuck out to me. Favorite that I’ve drawn would be either the Rick Grimey, the Walking Dead one I did, I was really happy how that one turned out, or the Venetian Blind one the Wade Shade.

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Funko Mystery Minis Garbage Pail Kids Series 2 Coming in November

It looks like the Funko/Topps license deal will continue. After launching Mystery Minis GPK Series 1 last July, it looks like pre-orders have started for distributors for Funko Mystery Minis Garbage Pail Kids Series 2. Thanks to GPK artist Chad Scheres for the heads up on this one. Set to release in Mid-November, there will once again be 12 figures to a box. No mention of any chase figures, similar to the Series 1 release. While Funko hasn’t released images of the toys yet the picture below shows mock-ups of the 12 figures available in Series 2.

funko2

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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Jeff Zapata

File Aug 09, 12 15 58 AMJef Zapata has done it all when it comes to Garbage Pail Kids. He’s done final art for the cards, card concepts, sketch cards, was Art Director and Editor at Topps during the ANS days, but perhaps his biggest mark left on the hobby will be his involvement with the 30 Years of Garbage documentary. Together with Joe Simko, they wrote and directed the movie which recently saw its premier in New York City. I sat down with Jeff at the GPK-Con in Las Vegas recently. We discussed making the movie and some of his favorite memories during the filming. We discuss his time spent as Art Director at Topps, his favorite and least favorite projects. Jeff also talks about what is next for him and his artwork.

GPKNews – First off, congratulations on the 30 Years of Garbage Doc. I got my backer package in the mail and watched it, it was great, I really enjoyed it. What has struck you about the reaction the movie is getting?

Jeff Zapata – I’m really excited that people like the history of Garbage Pail Kids. That was one of my main concerns with the movie was showing stuff I always heard in the Topps offices and wanted to let the public know about it. The people like Woody Gelman, which you’ll hear his name out in the movie, in the early years of Topps who I considered invented the Non-Sport card genre. You’ll hear it from the masters themselves like Art Spiegelman, James Warhola, and Len Brown who was my mentor. What I’m excited about is people get to meet these guys who were never really up front in the cards or you would hear about on the boards, but they had a lot to do with the history of Topps and why we collect cards.

GPKNews – You got to work on this project closely with your good friend and fellow GPK artist Joe Simko and his wife June, how was that experience?

JZ – It was really great because Joe and I knew each other through work. We also lived close to each other at the time, and when you’re on the road you really get to know each other. Each of us sometimes had weak moments, but we had the other one help lift the other up. Whether it was physically or emotionally or whatever, but because of that we are really tight. We had a really great experience, it was an adventure, an odyssey if you will. An odyssey to meet all these artists. It was two generations, Joe is a lot younger than I am and he is the new generation of artist, and I was sort of still with the old but in between, I was the in between guy. June, I can’t say enough about her, I really can’t. She did so much grunt work that’s not seen on the film. We had another partner on the film who left which I wish I could mention more often, but due to legality I can’t, but he did a lot of work. June was a great, great asset. She helped finish with the kickstarter stuff, help fulfill orders, and edit things that our regular editor didn’t finish doing. Without her a lot of the work wasn’t done.

GPKNews – Do you have a highlight or story that stands out with you about the filming of the doc?

30yearsJZ – John Pound was really interesting because John Pound and Mark Newgarden were one of our last interviews to do that we thought we might not get. One was too shy, which was John Pound. He’s a very personable nice guy, but he’s just a shy guy. Most good artists are. Seeing him in his home and watching him be relaxed and talk about himself for the first time, he knew this was for a historic thing. Me and his wife encouraged him to do the interview. When we did the interview I told him to pretend the cameras aren’t here and talk to me as if we were talking in the office, because we would just talk about things that had nothing to do with cards. I think that interview was really golden. You also see where Adam Bomb was created and see where all that history was done. I think behind every great man there’s a great woman so I got to see who backed up John Pound. You could see without her a lot of thing wouldn’t have got done.

GPKNews – Did you know what you were getting into when you started the project? It took a few years from inception to the premier. What were your emotions on the night of the premier, relieved? satisfaction?

JZ – Everything that transpired I got to think more about the family, about Joe and June and all the stuff we went through. I was just so proud to see everything we did was on screen. When I was watching it, it was almost like the journey was unfolding in my mind even though I’ve seen the movie a million times before the showing. I was trying to look at it through the audience as well. I tried to look at it with fresh eyes. All I could do was think about the trip and the friendships and the family structure that formed after between Joe, I and June. The artists that we interviewed we all became family. When I saw the film it just kept coming up in my mind over and over again, it was just, wow I can’t believe we did it. As far as tribulations, there was a lot of them. We each took turns electing each other the president to fix them. It would depend on which problem it was. I was usually the ambassador for a lot of things. Joe and I wrote the story, and June and him edited it. It was a lot involved but it was one big family.

GPKNews – In the movie you talk a little bit about your time as Art Director at Topps during the ANS/Flashback GPK days. What GPK set during your Art Director days were you the most proud of?

JZ – I guess two of them, Series 4 I liked a lot. I don’t know why, I don’t remember why, but I think maybe it was the first time I did sketch cards. It was the first time Topps said, you know what, maybe you know how to do this better than us. That was then when I got to focus more on the artists I thought were doing well. It was the beginning of me trying to get a little more control of it. I never did get that control. It was only when I left when things were changing and a lot of bosses were leaving who used to really control that stuff. I said nobody is looking, let me go back to the original design and don’t have busy backgrounds. That was the magnet set. So the magnet set and series 4 was one of my favorites that stick out in my mind. Also which one has Orange Julius in it? (Ed. note: ANS 6 card 1a.) I don’t know, but that one sticks out for me because John Pound and I had such a beautiful conservation while drawing that. When he was making the painting that for some reason really sticks in my mind to this day about the orchard that I was describing to him, when I used to go to this orange orchard, and he drew it. He drew everything I described right on there. For some reason when I see it, it’s the epitome of everything GPK during those years.

GPKNews – I know you also worked on many other Topps properties during your time there, what other project besides GPK were you the most satisfied with?

JZ – Believe it or not, and people ask, what was one of your favorite card sets to do? I say it was Hannah Montana. I kind of felt it was at Topps you would go to the archives and you would see Beatles or Monkeys, I’m not saying they did that, but it was that sort of nostalgic card sets they used to do. So when I used to go to playgrounds and walk my dog, I would see Hannah Montana wrappers all over the place. When you’re an editor and you do these wrappers and you see an inch of it, you know its yours. You see it, and yeah that is my wrapper. That was great because there were no sketch cards in it, no autographs, and kids were buying them for the cards. I had to know everything about the show and Miley. Miley became a Wacky Pack fan, and I became a fan of Miley. For some reason I thought, this is bubble gum cards. This is what I was here for. To make bubblegum cards for kids to buy. So out of the weird ones, Hannah Montana was one of my favorites. Then I did WWE. I got to say I wanted to have fun doing that, but I didn’t. I loved doing Spiderman the movie. I thought that was great because I was a big superhero fan. Doing Marvel Legends was fun. But ones I didn’t like….In Sync. I did In Sync, that was horrible. The Toy Stories I wanted to love, but Disney was so hard to work with about getting information. It was always getting mixed up. I did a lot of Disney products. That Club Penguin I hated doing. Let me see which others ones I hated, there was a bunch. I got to say those stick out as the ones I didn’t like doing. Enduring Freedom they had me start doing. I just bowed out because I didn’t like making money out of tragedy, and they respected that.

GPKNews – How’s the work coming on the sketches for the upcoming GPK Trashy TV set? You have shown some of the sketches you are working on via Facebook, they look fantastic!

JZ – I’ve done all the puzzles and all the shaped sketch cards. What I’m trying to do with this one, is trying to be more powerful and cosmic. The characters I really want them to have more dynamic poses, and the backgrounds are going to be very Jack Kirby cosmic looking backgrounds. It might be my farewell set. I don’t know if I’m going to do sketch cards for a while. I wanted to do something different. I’m going to do color and inks on them when I usually do just colors or inks. I’m going to do both, it’s a first for me doing all the sets that way. Each character I’m going to draw from head to toe. So even though there are characters that don’t have toes or legs, you’re going to see them for the first time in this set I’m doing.

GPKNews – During the artist seminar you broke the news that you are possibly going to be returning to doing some final paintings for upcoming sets, is that going to be for the Adam-Gedden set?

JZ – I’m not sure. They sent me a contract a while ago and said, hey why don’t you get back. I told them I was interested. I was always a gag guy at Topps. I did a lot of gags, hundreds of them. I did some for the BNS series I think. I just want to get back into doing some gags. If the gags then might lead to me doing some new paintings. Let’s see we will take it step by step. Topps is changing all the time. The management and the products change. I wanted to wait to when things died down, but I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into them again.

File Aug 09, 12 17 40 AMGPKNews – At the show you are selling your own card set and some prints. Any other projects you have in the pipeline?

JZ – I wasn’t expecting this set until the last minute. I just found stuff on the computer and gave it to Clint Coleman, who’s been a great supporter of this Con and me. I told him lets make some more when I’m concentrating on this. I might do some more alternate universe GPK cards. I think people know my version of Garbage Pail Kids. They almost look like a adults. They are in dramatic situations, and they have realistic humans around interacting with them. I think I want to do a set like that, and do a real one that gives it justice.

GPKNews – Finally what’s your favorite Garbage Pail Kid?

JZ – I’ve been asked that all weekend and I think I settled on Dead Ted. I think a lot of us said, besides dead ted, besides Adam bomb, and besides alien Ian, because I think those are the most popular ones. Which other one? I have my favorites from the All New Series, but those top 3 have always been my favorites. I would say Joe Blow is another one I love, and New Wave Dave. Those guys stick to mind I don’t mind drawing them. I love drawing Dead Ted and Adam Bomb. Those have always been one of my favorites, and Evil Eddie. I always considered Evil Eddie and Adam Bomb to be the Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny of the universe. If you ever see me do the comic books or covers I always try to put them together and have an Abbot and Costello type of thing going. I even did a cover of Adam bomb and Evil Eddie meet Frankenstein and it was based on Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein, I’m proud of that one.

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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Sketch Artist Jon Gregory

File Aug 09, 12 02 25 AMGarbage Pail Kids sketch artist Jon Gregory started with Topps working on Wacky Packages sets. He began on GPK with the 30th anniversary set, and is quickly becoming a favorite of sketch card collectors. I sat down with Jon at the GPK-Con in Las Vegas and we talked about how he got started with Topps, collecting as a kid, and what he has in store with his sketch cards.

GPKNews – You started doing pack inserted GPK sketches with last year’s 30th anniversary set. How did you get involved with Topps and doing GPK sketches? Have you done any work for other card sets?

Jon Gregory – Topps is the only card company I’ve worked with. How I got into it is a funny story. I was selling some old Wacky Package material on eBay. I got a correspondence asking if I had certain things in my collection and I didn’t. I happen to see that it was signed, “Smokin’ Joe”, and I thought the guy was being funny using the Smokin’ Joe name. I started thinking about it and starting wondering if that was the actual artist asking about that, but why wouldn’t he have these cards if he was the artist. So, I asked and it turned out it was him. We started talking and I told him I had a bunch of ideas. I’ve been trying to get into this for 20 years and never knew who to contact. I sent him some sketches. He liked them and said the jokes were good so he passed them along to Neil Camera. Then, I started doing the Artist on Demand stuff with Neil. After that I got contacted by Topps do to the Wacky series first. I did 2 Wacky series, then they asked me if I wanted to do Garbage Pail Kids. I said sure I’ll do those too. So I’ve been doing those consistently ever since. If I didn’t sell that stuff on eBay I wouldn’t be sitting here talking with everybody.

GPKNews – What do you remember about GPK from when you were a kid?

JG – The first thing I had GPK was an OS 1 uncut sheet, my mother bought me an uncut sheet. They were selling them at a Ben Franklin, they had them up on a wall. She brought it home and said look what I got. I was like what it this? I unrolled it and was, wow they were cards that were not cut. I didn’t understand the whole concept of it. From there I started buying the packs and everything else and kept the sheet, I have a Wacky uncut sheet too I got the same way. You don’t see those sold in stores ever, so it was pretty cool. I still have them.

GPKNews – Your sketch work is great, you are becoming a favorite of GPK collectors. How is the work coming on the sketches for the next GPK set, Trashy TV?

JG – I just finished the sketches for the new set, I finished all my returns too. When I first started on the 30th I did a lot of pencil work. I think I did almost the entire series in pencil. As I got to do more sets and got faster, at this point there is no pencil whatsoever, its either black and while or full color everything. For the new set I did all my loadeds in full color, all my garbage can die cuts are in full color, all my panos are in full color, some of the standard ones are in black and while, but that’s it. Most everything is in full color. So I was happy about that.

GPKNews – Do you know who your partner is on the Duel Artist sketches? Are there artists you would like to work with?

JG – Eventually I would want to work with all these guys. A lot of these guys are the reason I’m here. I’ve admired them for years, and to be grouped in with them is a little surreal. As far as the duel cards, I got paired with Jason Heil. I just got them before I came out here so I haven’t had a chance to start them yet, but we are paired up on this set together. He seems like a nice guy we talked a little bit.

GPKNews – Have you seen the 30 Years of Garbage documentary that Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko directed?

JG – I’m a bad fan, I have not seen it yet. My copy is in my bag. I got my copy and I’m popping it in as soon as I get home. I was away for the premier or else I would have been at that because it was in New York. I just wasn’t available that weekend. I was kind of bummed about it, but I knew I would see them here and get my copy. I am looking forward to seeing it.

GPKNews – How many of these comic/toy/art conventions do you do a year?

JG – This is my first show. I’ll probably be doing more. I’ve been talking with Jeff Zapata about doing some in our area. I’m sure I’ll be appearing at others in the future. As more and more people get to know me, and get to know my style I’m starting to branch out so its exciting.

GPKNews – This is the first GPK-Con what are your thoughts of the show so far? How has the GPK fan turnout been for the show?

JG – When I first saw the show was advertised I didn’t realize there was never one before. I couldn’t believe they never did one before. When I saw it I wondered if I could get in on it. Then when I found out it was the first one I knew I had to get in on. It’s perfect for me. I’m a newer artist getting a good response, so it would be good exposure for me in the community to go to this. I contacted everyone I needed to just to make sure I could attend.

File Aug 09, 12 02 49 AMGPKNews – At the show you are selling your GPK inspired prints and some of your own artwork. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline either with your own work or for another company?

JG – I’m working on my portrait stuff, that’s big. A lot of it is commission work. A lot of people want their kids done and their grandmothers. I started doing the series of the famous portraits so everyone could see the style. The requests come from those. I’ve gotten a few requests to do the garbage pail kids returns done in that portrait style, which I thought was fun because no one has even done that before. I’m trying to find a little niche for myself to separate myself from other artists. Hopefully it’s a style that will catch on because its one of my favorite mediums.

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

JG – I just got asked this this morning. My favorite garbage pail kid, I guess it would be the most requested I get. I’ve done two the most of any so far and that’s Melton Elton, which I love doing, and Live Mike. I think Live Mike is my favorite and he’s on the back of my sketch cards. I’ve done those two the most and people seem to love the way they’ve came out.

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Topps Reveals GPK Democratic & Republican Online Set Print Runs

artgpk-stic-16gpaprc-dt-setIn the race to see who wins the Garbage Pail Kids Presidential Nomination, who wins? In a close race it appears the Republicans have won. Back during the Republican and Democratic conventions Topps offered exclusive 10 card online sets to collectors. After all the hanging chads have been counted, the results are in. Here is the print run information for both the Democratic and Republican sets as revealed on Topps Blog:

Complete Set – DNC – 283
Bye Bye Barrack – 288
Bullied Bernie – 285
Ecological Elizabeth – 283
Lying Lynch – 283
Dollar Billary – 283

Complete Set – RNC – 286
Compliant Chris – 288
Donald Dictator – 293
Perturbed Paul – 286
Accurate Aaron – 286
Tender Ted – 286

Sales numbers for both of these sets was slightly higher than the previous online exclusive sets. The sets being for sale during the conventions may have caused a slight uptick in sales. Also, for the first time Topps revealed how many complete sets were sold as part of the numbers. Only two cards from each set sold any individual copies, with Trump leading the way. We’ve gone a couple of weeks without any new sets, will there be more on the way?

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10 Questions with…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Brent Engstrom

File Aug 09, 12 03 50 AMVeteren Garbage Pail Kids artist Brent Engstrom lends his art to not only the main GPK sets, but also to online and special sets Topps produces throughout the year. As one of the mainstays for Topps, Brent’s art is everywhere. I sat down with Brent at GPK-Con in Las Vegas. We talked about collecting GPKs as a kid, how many pieces he completes for Topps, and the part he plays in GPK history.

GPKNews – You are a veteran GPK artist now, you started back with the ANS 5 series I believe. What memories do you have of GPK from when you were a kid?

Brent Engstrom – I just collected them like everyone else did. When they first came out I had some friends that had them. I would see the cards and start buying them at gas stations. I do remember when I got a little bit older I took them all off and stuck them places. I don’t have any of my original ones anymore.

GPKNews – What got your foot in the door to Topps and working on GPK, how were you brought in the fold?

BE – During the All New Series series I noticed they came back and I was submitting my portfolio around to different companies. I just did it on a whim not thinking much would happen, but I got a response right away. I had a practice painting I had to do to get in. They liked it enough to let me paint another one and then it led from there. It was pretty quick once I got the initial response from Jeff Zapata. It moved pretty quick and I started painting right away.

GPKNews – I assume you finished with the art for the next GPK set, Trashy TV? Have you done any paintings for the first 2017 set, Adam-Geddon?

BE – I have yes, I’ve painted one so far for Adam-Geddon, and when I get back from GPK-Con I will jump into that full time.

GPKNews – How many paintings did you do for the upcoming Trashy TV set?

BE – Right at 40 I think. It’s hard to know because sometimes they push them to other sets, but its right under 40.

GPKNews – Do you know how many total GPK paintings you are up to now?

BE – Having a folder on Facebook I’m able to see the number easily. It’s over 300, its like 335 or something finished paintings.

GPKNews – For the first time you aren’t doing any pack inserted sketches for the Trashy TV set. Was time the biggest issue? Too busy with the art for the upcoming GPK projects?

BE – Yeah as soon as you’re done with one set you start working on the next. I used to have a little bit of a break to do sketch cards but I don’t have a break anymore. I’m not able to squeeze them in anymore so they got pushed. Then there are a lot of new sketch artists than came in and they’ve kind of taken over that.

GPKNews – How many of these comic/toy/art conventions do you do a year?

File Aug 09, 12 04 13 AMBE – Not very many, I go to smaller conventions around my town. They are nothing like this. They are usually comic conventions so no one knows what Garbage Pail Kids are. This is a lot different.

GPKNews – This is the first GPK-Con, what are your thoughts on the show so far? How is it meeting the fans face to face?

BE – That part has been cool. I talk to a lot of them online and its kind of cool to get a face with the name. It’s cool to get to know them and see what cards they collect and which ones they like. Usually I don’t even know if someone likes a certain character until they hand me some cards to sign. Then I can see, oh people actually like that one.

GPKNews – You were interviewed for the 30 Years of Garbage doc. What did you think of the movie? What are your thoughts about being part of GPK history?

BE – I thought it was really cool. I really didn’t know a lot of the early stuff, once it was broken down it was really cool. Its neat knowing you are part of a small group. It’s pretty cool to see, Topps is a big corporation but the GPK scene is kind of a tight knit group. It’s a small group of people and it’s really cool to be part of it.

GPKNews – Finally do you have an all time favorite Garbage Pail Kid? How about the favorite one that you have drawn?

BE – Unzipped Zach, I like him. For one I’ve drawn I like the Bearded Brent. It’s kind of neat to have that. It’s kind of hard to choose a favorite because each set I like one more, but I’d say Bearded Brent.

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10 Questions With….Garbage Pail Kids Artist Joe Simko

File Aug 09, 12 05 08 AMCurrent Garbage Pail Kids artist Joe Simko is a busy man. Not only does he do final card paintings for GPK and Wacky Packages, he has his own trading company, Wax-eye, and he was Co-Director of the recently completed 30 Years of Garbage documentary. I sat down with Joe at the first ever GPK-Con in Las Vegas. We talked about the 30 of Years documentary, his current GPK work, and other projects he has worked on.

GPKNews – First off, congratulations on the 30 Years of Garbage Doc. I got my backer package in the mail and watched it, it was great, I really enjoyed it. What has struck you about the reaction the movie is getting?

Joe Simko – It’s been great, the energy and the actual reception we’ve been getting has been very enthusiastic. We’re really pleased how it turned out. When we had the premier in New York City in July, there was a really nice packed crowd that was just very welcoming. I think they were waiting for this to finally be done, and so was I. It was great to finally put that out there and get that excitement, get that feedback back.

GPKNews – You got to work on this project closely with not only another GPK artist, Jeff Zapata, but also your wife, June Gonzales. How was that experience?

30yearsJS – Actually, it was good to have a group of people that I could trust. They were just so laid back enough to let everyone do their parts, but have the energy enough to know what they do really well. Jeff was really important to getting the original creators who made Garbage Pail Kids; Art Spegelman, John Pound, John Pound doesn’t do interviews you know, but as a favor for Jeff you know, ok. Jeff had such an important role in that, it was such a mega deal. When I explored and got other people, not just June, but I got Chud behind me sitting here doing the music. June explored the whole area of knowing this film needed some graphics, some artwork behind it. It couldn’t just be a straight documentary with a bunch of talking heads, which it was, but it needed art in it because it was about art. So she incorporated ideas with graphics, and the notebook. Showing it’s a school atmosphere with the Trapper Keepers and so it really worked well. Working at home and living with my wife, June, is a great way to have a Director/Editor relationship too. If I get an idea I can say let’s do it!, oh no it doesn’t work, ok fine we can move on to something else. We could be very quick in testing things out.

GPKNews – Did you know what you were getting into when you started the project? It took a few years from inception to the premier. What were your emotions on the night of the premier, relieved? satisfaction?

JS -That’s a good analysis of it, yeah. It was relief, satisfaction, excitement, just total euphoria in a way. It’s very exciting, like you said, we’ve been working on it for almost 2 ½ years with people leaving and people joining the project throughout the whole behind the scenes making of it. The team that we put together really was the best team in the end. The results are shown in the film. We needed to have the premier in New York City. Jeff is from New York, I’m from New York, June is from New York, and Topps is in New York. We were able to bring in some of the original creators; Mark Newgarden came out, James Warhola one of the original artists, and we even had some Topps brand managers come out and approve of the film believe it or not, or just put their stamp on it saying they liked it.

GPKNews – In the movie you talk about collecting GPKs when you were a kid. What childhood memories do you have of GPK?

JS -Gosh I think this going to sound like a lot of similar stories from kids finding them at school or on the school bus. Not really getting it or understanding what they were, but I felt like I needed to know what they were, I needed to have it. Even if I didn’t understand what it was. I needed to have this for some reason. One thing that really forged my memory when I think back about it now is that I made friends with these things. There are ways kids can communicate today with other kids online socially that way, but back then without social media a kid walking up to another kid can be awkward. You have a kid have these Garbage Pail Kid cards, I got some too, I need what you have, so lets trade. I met kids at school, and kids at camp that I became life long friends with.

GPKNews – I imagine work is finished with the art for the next GPK set, Trashy TV? Is it full steam ahead on art for the first 2017 set, Adam-Geddon now?

JS -I’ve done about 6 or 7, maybe 8 paintings for the Adam-Geddon set so far. So its full speed into that one.

GPKNews – How many paintings did you do for the upcoming Trashy TV set?

JS -I painted 32 but got approved 41 or 42 so other artists will paint the others. That’s almost a full set for back in the day.

GPKNews – Do you know how many total GPK paintings you are up to now?

JS -I don’t know exactly, its over 200. That’s just published Topps GPK cards. I’ve done random GPK stuff for Topps that was never published in that format.

GPKNews – How many of these comic/toy/art conventions do you do a year?

JS -Probably two a year; the Allentown, PA trading card show, and the New York Comic Con. Once and a while I’ll do a horror convention. It’s a nice mix of different genres, although its all kind of the same in some ways.

GPKNews – This is the first GPK-Con, what are your thoughts of the show so far? How has the GPK fan turnout been for the show?

JS -I’m loving it, I think it’s successful. I’ve personally had success at my table. The first night was great. This is the place to be if you’re a Garbage Pail Kids fan. Where else are you going to get pretty much all the current artists, you got Tom Bunk here, you have vendors selling stuff at tables, and events happening throughout the whole weekend related to Garbage Pail Kids. Its going good.

File Aug 09, 12 06 38 AMGPKNews – At the show you are selling not only the 30 Years DVD but, you have your own trading card company, Wax-Eye. You’ve released two Cereal Killers sets and the Stupid Heroes set. You are very busy! Any other projects in the pipeline for Wax-eye or another company besides GPK?

JS -You know the documentary was like the big project that was taking up every hour, and now that it’s done my break is just doing Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages for Topps right now. There’s like one or two freelance jobs for a personal custom commission, but no big major projects, I might be doing a poster here and there for a band but nothing heavy duty.

GPKNews – Finally, do you have an all time favorite Garbage Pail Kid? How about the favorite one that you have drawn?

JS -I always say from the original series you go with the namesake, so I like Joe Blow. I feel like he’s a character that can be almost as iconic as Adam Bomb, because its representative of the Topps Bazooka Joe bubble gum they put out. For my own, I like the Nosferatu one I did. It only was released in the Bukimi Kun reprint set, it never made it to a formal GPK set. I have a skateboard I painted of the Nosferatu Dracula in a coffin in that same position. I just copied that directly into a Garbage Pail kid. I like making them really iconic. I want them to be very symmetrical, something that could be on a wrapper.

GPKNews – Thanks Joe for the interview!

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Collectors Flock To First Ever GPK-Con

GPK_LOGO copyThe first ever GPK-Con is in the books! The largest gathering ever of Garbage Pail Kids artists and collectors took place this past weekend at the Super Toy Con event at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas. GPK collectors from around the country gathered to meet artists and chat with fellow collectors they’ve only previously met online. Here are some highlights of the weekend,

Artist Seminar

File Aug 08, 11 55 17 PMThe show started Friday with the Artist Seminar. A total of 12 GPK/Wacky artists spoke and answered questions for just about an hour. The talk drew roughly 100 GPK collectors who got to hear stories from past and present artists. The highlight and loudest applause was for the attendance of Tom Bunk. The reverence the artists showed Mr. Bunk was evident throughout the talk. Jeff Zapata also told many stories from his days as Art Director at Topps. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the panel was Jeff Zapata mentioning he would be returning to working on GPK final paintings in future sets. Collectors attending the panel were given 4 cards from the show exclusive set.

Artist’s Booths

File Aug 09, 12 06 38 AMThe artists at the show were all very approachable and happy to take time to talk to collectors. Many artists were doing sketch commissions during the show. They also sold a wide variety of sketch cards, prints, cards, and paintings. One highlight for collectors was David Gross’ Rejected Concepts Book. Collectors could purchase the book and get a sketch of their favorite character on the first page of the book. Another highlight was Mark Pingitore’s Disasters of the Universe card set. This debut set was a mashup of GPK style with Masters of the Universe characters.

Bowling Night

Saturday night saw upwards of 50 artists and collectors meet at the Orleans Bowling Center. Right around 20 people bowled with Jon Gregory the big winner of the night! Those who didn’t bowl still stayed and got to talk with artists and fellow collectors. Prizes were awarded and all collectors bowling were given 6 cards from the show exclusive set.

Sunday Breakfast

Matt Oldweiler from geepeekay.com hosted a breakfast that was attended by about 50 GPK collectors and artists. This gave one last chance for everyone to get together before the show wrapped up Sunday afternoon. Everyone attending the breakfast was given the remaining 5 cards from the show exclusive set.

GPK-Con Wrap Up

File Aug 09, 12 15 58 AMCollectors and artists alike all told me GPK-Con was a success. Artists were busy almost non-stop sketching throughout the show hours, while talking with collectors. More than one artist told me they were pleased with the show, and really had a great weekend. They hadn’t seen this many GPK fans at one show before. The artists were generally grateful for the fans that attended the show. Collectors stayed in the GPK area of the show trading, buying, and chatting with fellow collectors. Perhaps the most successful thing at GPK-Con was the overwhelming feeling among collectors and artists alike about how great it was to meet everyone face to face. Most of the artists hadn’t met each other.

I spoke with Super Toy Con Executive Producer Andy Goodman and asked him from his perspective was the first GPK-Con a success. Andy stated the show was success, “Yes, I feel the event was a great success. The artists had a great time. I know they were blown away themselves. Some artists even met each other for the first time ever.” On if there would be a follow-up GPK-CON next year Andy said, “I do feel a follow up event will happen for 2017, the location is still TBD.” Finally, I asked Andy if he would make any changes to future events, “We need to involve more non-sports trading cards. I would like to see year two bring in Wacky Packages and Mars Attacks, and maybe one or two more entertainment card properties.”

For those of you unable to attend the show, there are show exclusive sets still available for purchase. Regular sets are $35, while Prism sets are $50. If you are interested in purchasing one of the last remaining sets contact Andy Goodman via Facebook. Also, artists might still have some of their sets, prints, and art available for purchase. Check the Links page for information on contacting the various artists, or contact them via Facebook.

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