The 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,
The 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.
The 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.
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.
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
Collectors 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.