2018 Series 2 GPK Oh the Horror-ible Sketch Card Preview

Sketch artists have been done with their sketches for the upcoming 2018 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids Oh the Horror-ible set for a while now. Topps has reviewed them and made their approvals. So why haven’t we seen sketch previews pop up? With the change in leadership in recent weeks over GPK at Topps, the rules have changed slightly. When artists received their approvals, they were instructed not to show their sketches until release date. This is a very short sighted approach from Topps. Topps is missing out on free publicity for the upcoming set. The past has shown that GPK collectors enjoy seeing what they have a chance to pull, and the previews influence their buying decision. It also allows artists to show off their work, and promote commission sales. Despite this decision, a few artists have posted a handful of previews for the upcoming set. A record high 58 artists have completed sketches for the upcoming set. Below is a few of the examples that have been shown so far. (Note that all sketches must be approved by Topps before being inserted into packs. Also, Topps will hold sketches back for replacements.) All photos courtesy of the artist, their Facebook page and/or website. 2018S2 GPK Oh the Horror-ible will hit stores on 9/19/18.

Updated 9/18/18 (Showing sketch previews from 28 of 58 confirmed artists.) Continue reading 2018 Series 2 GPK Oh the Horror-ible Sketch Card Preview

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Artists Get Early Jump on 2018S2 GPK Sketch Cards

Updated 9/12 to remove Magnus Von Robotsoon and add Emma Burges per the checklist from Topps.

Updated 7/20 to add Ryan Moffett

Updated 5/29 to add Mike Stephens.

Updated 5/17 to add Clinton Yeager.

Update 9/12: Topps has released the official list of sketch artists for the first time as part of their checklist. The checklist can be found here. The article has been updated below to reflect all official names.

Topps has decided to make a number of changes to the sketch cards for the next retail set. One change right off the bat is the early jump start they have given the sketch artists. Before being officially announced by Topps, sketch artists were invited and sketch blanks already sent out to begin work! With a perspective fall launch, artists have been given ample time to complete the sketches. A mid-June deadline has been set by Topps for artists to return their batch of sketch cards.

Perhaps the biggest change to the sketch cards is the cards themselves. As stated in the e-mail invite to artists, Topps is going with a “Horror” theme for the upcoming set. While artists can still draw any of the previous approved characters, they are being encouraged to draw previous horror themed sketches this time around. The sketches all feature a new orange banner with black lettering for the first time. Orange nameplates are also found on the front of regular sized sketches. Classic horror GPK characters adorn the backs of the cards as well. Nasty Nick appears on the back of the regular and panoramic sketches. While Dead Ted and Weird Wendy can be found on the back of the new 3-panel sketch type, Tryptych. This new sketch type has been used previously in Star Wars sets by Topps, but is making its GPK debut. The tryptych looks to be replacing Dual Artist Panoramic sketches. Artists are are no longer being asked to complete those. Topps is also staying true to the theme by offering for the first time coffin shaped die-cut sketches. Artists were given both coffin and trashcan die-cut sketches to complete. After a small survey of artists it would appear all were given the same number of sketches to complete. Each artist is set to complete 36 regular sized, 8 puzzle, 6 die-cut (mixture of coffin and trashcan), 3 panoramic and 2 tryptych. Some artists who have already received their sketches have complained of quality issues. Many artists are reporting that some or all of their tryptych sketches came creased. They also have a handful some badly off centered regular sketches. No word yet from Topps if those sketches will be replaced prior to production.

The confirmed sketch lineup for the upcoming set is just as robust as the previous offerings. The last set, 2017S2 Battle of the Bands, had a record 55 artists take part. Of those 55, so far the following 44 have confirmed they are coming back. Those returning artists are; Bryan Abston, Simone Arena, Ro Garcia Astorga, Quinton Baker, Michael Barnard, Bobby Blakey, John Brewer, Neil Camera, Pat Chaimuang, Daniel Contois, Jasmine Contois, Sobot Cortez, Jason Crosby, Dave Dabila, Vincenzo “Chenduz” D’Ippolito, Joseph “Grotesque” Dobbins, David Gacey, Patrick Giles, Jon Gregory, Kelly Greider, Jason Heil, Lowell Isaac, Simon Jacobsohn, Robert Jimenez, Kevin Lea, Paul Mangione, Mike McHugh, Rory McQueen, “Smokin” Joe McWilliams, Chris Meeks, Lily Mercado, Rich Molinelli, JM Monserrat, Victor Moreno, Darrin Pepe, Steve Potter, Cathy Razim, Chad Scheres, Brent Scotchmer, Matt Steffens, Floydman Sumner, Gregory Tilson, Dan Burn Webster, and Gavin Williams. A total of 11 artists, for various reasons, have decided to not do GPK sketch cards this time, they are; Mike Arnold, Sean Bolger, Josh Ginter, Cecilia Granata, Marisol Henriquez, Matthew Kirscht, Ande Moores, Barry Nygma, Anthony Skubis, Magnus Von Robotsoon, and Matthew White.

Topps isn’t stopping there. So far an additional 14 artists have been identified that are either new to GPK, or returning sketch artists. After making their debut on last year’s online GPK Classic set the following artists will make their retail debuts; David Acevedo, Joey Fitchett, Shane Garvey, Daniel Goodroad, and Rickey Kipfer. Also, Dennis Gortakowski, Ryan Moffett, and longtime GPK artist David Gross will be making their GPK sketch card returns after some time off. Finally, Topps has added brand new GPK artists Emma Burges, Jay O’ Leary, Shawn Cruz, Clinton Yeager, Mike Stephens and Todd Rayner to the lineup. That brings the current known sketch artist total to 58. That is a new record high for a GPK set. There could still remain some artists out there that haven’t spoke up. This article will be updated as new artists begin known.

The final big change to sketch cards this time around is centered on artist return cards. In previous sets artists could e-mail a scan of the card to Topps for approval. However, after a number of controversies within the card hobby, Topps is changing the rules. Last year with the Star Wars sets rumors begin to swirl online about a few artists that were using questionable means to complete sketches. From using an overhead projector, to tracing images, to even using photocopied images, collectors started to question the legitimacy of sketches from a select few artists, (Note: No artists being questioned have worked on a GPK set to date.) There were also rumors of artists having other artists do their returns for them. Topps also begin to see artist returns being sent to collectors from artists prior to the set’s release. This all has added up to changes across all Topps brands when it comes to artist sketches. Starting with this next retail set, all artist returns need to be completed and mailed back to Topps with the regular sketch cards by the deadline. Topps will work to approve the sketches, and mail them back to the artists just prior to the set’s release date. In turn artists can deliver to their clients upon the release. While it does protect the quality of sketches going out, it opens up the possibility of shipping loss and damage. 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 from artists as the art director begins approving sketches. While no official announcement has been made, except a fall 2018 launch for 2018 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids.

 

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10 Questions With..Garbage Pail Kids Sketch Artist Vincenzo “Chenduz” D’Ippolito

Chenduz has been a fan favorite sketch artist for a number of sets now, a sketch card veteran. Sitting down with Vincenzo at the Gross Card Con in Las Vegas was a highlight. He was so appreciative of being able to attend. His attitude was contagious. You could tell he loved meeting the GPK artists and collectors. GPK collectors kept him busy during the show with commission requests. In the interview we talk about how he first found GPKs as a kid, how the kids in the Netherlands would battle for the cards, and what the future holds for his sketch art.

GPKNews – You started doing GPK sketches with the 2015S1 set. Dare I say you are one of the GPK sketch veterans now. You live in the Netherlands, how does someone living overseas get the attention of Topps, and hired on to work on sketches?

Vincenzo D’Ippolito – Well I actually don’t know. I started doing fan art. On the forums some guy saw my sketch card, and he offered to buy the card. I said sure, I was not expecting that. That started the ball rolling. I think it started off there.

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

VD – I started on the Wacky Packages Old School Series 5. After that I had to prove myself again with Wacky Packages set 2014 series 1. After that I got the invite for GPK 2015. Now for Topps I’m doing Star Wars and Walking Dead. I’m also working for Upper Deck, I did a Spiderman set last year. I have a new project coming up for Upper Deck. I worked with Neal Camera on the Monster series. I’m on the list for Cryptozoic. I just missed the boat for Rick and Morty, but I will help on the next set I hope.

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

VD – Yeah, there was one day I was in the mall with my mom and little brother. We were grocery shopping and my eye caught the pink packs in the cigarette section. I said what is that? I picked it up and just bought it for the gum. I wasn’t even sure what it was. It’s like you bought a piece of gum and three cards came with it. Then you saw all these funny faces. Then when you arrived at school it was crazy. People were trading the cards. In the Netherlands we battled each other with the cards. We played a game where you throw the card against the wall. The one who’s closest to the wall, won. So we battled.

GPKNews – How hard was it to get your hands on cards back then? Did you collect the European releases or the US releases?

VD – The cards were everywhere. If you went around the corner where they sold the candy there were 400 wrappers everywhere. The most series we saw were the black ones, series 5. Then the red ones, the UK series. These were all the UK releases. One day a kid at school came back from vacation, and he had a bigger Garbage Pail Kids card than I was used to. I was like what is it, he showed it to me and it was Melba Toast. I said to myself there’s more than series 6 out there. He told us these are the original ones. The arrow was different, it was pointing to the die-cut. I asked him to battle that card. I put up like 30 UK cards, and we started throwing against the wall, and I won. That’s my first US card, and I still have it at home. That’s how I discovered US GPKs.

GPKNews – What was the GPK collecting community like back then? Did you have friends that collected? 

VD – Yes mostly the guys, I don’t remember any girls playing with the cards. The kids had stacks of cards in their backpacks with elastic around them. Nobody cared about mint condition. It was all about the quantity. We would put up stacks against each other, it was three straight years in a row.

GPKNews – How is the collecting community in Netherlands now? Do you know anyone there that collects?

VD – Yeah I know a couple of guys that collect. There is one friend of mine, Stephen, he lives around the corner from me. He’s a huge collector. He collects final art. My brother is a huge collector. I still try to fill out everything, besides the parallels because it gets a little extreme. For me base sets are like the main thing, and I always pick a character with a nice autograph. The most I like is my name, Vinnie or Vincent.

GPKNews – You have been a sketch card fan favorite. Collectors look forward to seeing your work each release. You’ve done sketches on 8 releases now. Is it hard to keep things from getting stale? What do you do differently each release? 

VD – For me even if I have to draw Adam Bomb 10 times, it comes out different 10 times. It depends on the day and the mood. You want to keep on changing, you want to add new colors. I did the half tone dots and the splash. You want to keep improving and surprise the people with a nice card. I can’t get enough of the Garbage Pail Kids.

GPKNews – So far you’ve only done sketches for GPK. Have you thought about trying your hand are doing final card paintings?

VD – Wow, I don’t think its up to me. I’ve already showed my dedication to the brand. I’m still going hard core. I really hope to do a final art one day. Even if its just one, I would love to do it.

GPKNews – This is your first GCC. Do you attend cons in the Netherlands as an artist?

VD – We did one in 2016, in my home town of Rotterdam. The excitement was beyond the sketch card part I’m doing. We don’t have Garbage Pail Kids anymore at the moment in Holland. Non-Sports cards are not big, so its really difficult. They walk by and say they remember them from when they were a kid, and they ask about the cards, but not really for the sketch cards. For me sitting there is tough. Being here is like a dream come true. Everybody knows you, I get requests. Its beyond what I expected.

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

VD – Wow, its mind blowing. I should be on the other side of the tables. Meeting all the artists I admire and look up to. They are so friendly. Even the fans its ridiculous. I didn’t know so many people were into my art and sketch cards. Shaking hands and spreading the love, that’s the thing. GPK is all day every day.

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

VD – My number one, its difficult. You can’t beat Adam Bomb, he’s like the plush toy you take to sleep. If I have to choose one, its the Dracula guy, number one, the vampire, Nasty Nick. Its the funnest thing with the Barbie doll. Its like Alien Ian has the same thing going on, grabbing the girl and being amor. I think that’s my favorite one. All the return cards I get from artists are all Nasty Nick, they know I want the Vampire guy. There’s no C name for that one, but if there was a C name it would be Vampire Vinnie!

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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist David Gross

Along with Joe Simko and Brent Engstrom, David Gross is one of the main artists behind the current Garbage Pail Kids sets. He’s done dozens of GPKs to date, with his biggest contribution set to happen in the 2018S2 set. David is popular on Facebook with collectors for sharing not only the final paintings once release, but also the rejected concepts Topps doesn’t use. I sat down with David at Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. We talked about the lifecycle of a GPK, his thoughts on digital vs. traditional painting, and some changes to GPK he’s lobbied Topps for.

GPKNews – I think more than ever in 2017 GPK collectors have really gravitated to your work. I know you are a Wacky Packages guy, but how much fun are you having working on the GPK brand?

David Gross – I love working on the Garbage Pail Kids, I’m actually enjoying working on them little more than the Wacky’s lately. I’ve been doing probably 2 to 1 Garbage Pail Kids at this point.

GPKNews – You continue to post your rejected concepts on Facebook with each release. GPK collectors continue to get a kick out of the ones Topps decides not to use. What’s more fun for you, coming up with the concepts and the rough, or the final paining of the card and seeing your concept in its final form?

DG – I like both of them. I’d probably say painting them. I stay up all night and talk to Brent, we just paint all night.

GPKNews – How much time on average does it take for a GPK to come to life? From the initial concept, to the pencil rough, color rough, back and forth with the Art Director, and then the final painting? How much time do you spend on each retail card?

DG – I start with a thumbnail sketch. I just start drawing out a general idea until I get the right pose. Then I probably spend about an hour sketching it out in pencil. Then another hour or so on the final pencil. Then paintings can run anywhere from 4 hours for the rushed to get it done overnight online ones, to if I have time, I’ll spend two days on some. The halloween set we recently did I spent almost 3 days on every painting, because I had time on that one. It was a lot of fun to be able to do that again.

GPKNews – I know you are a big music guy, so you had a lot of fun working on Battle of the Bands. I think the work you did on the Halloween set might have been your best last year? What set did you enjoy most working on in the last year?

DG – Easily the Halloween set. Having the time and the subject matter was my favorite.

GPKNews – I know you work a lot behind the scenes with the people at Topps to give the GPK collector a voice. Is it hard to get Topps to understand what the longtime collector wants?

DG – They will listen but they also have the bottom line, so its been difficult to get them to do what collectors feel they should be doing . With Colin for example, he has a tough job because he has to answer to people above him. So he has to make their demands work, collectors demands work, and artists demands work. Its a stressful job. We try our best to do what we can. I think there will be some more changes coming up. I’ve been pushing a lot of stuff and hopefully they will come through.

GPKNews – In the second half of last year I think there’s been some progress towards what collectors are looking for. Especially in the concepts and art, and a little in set structure. Its baby steps, but steps nonetheless. Do you sense some of the things GPK collectors ask for are starting to become a reality?

DG – First thing I’m hoping we get backs, back. I think thats the number one thing, if I’m reading what collectors want the most. I think the Classic set was a good idea that they dropped the ball on a couple things on that by not having backs on there and the arrow and everything else on there that everyone wanted. I think they did learn a lesson on there from the Wacky Packages Old School set. That one sold out in three days. I think if they do another Classic set, they will look at that and try to fix some of the problems.

GPKNews – I’ve asked a few artists this, and wanted to get your thoughts. Right now retail GPKs still must be painted, but Colin has allowed some digital work in the online sets. What thoughts do you have, specifically when it comes to GPK art, on creating cards digitally vs. the old fashioned way?

DG – When I first started doing it, the first things I sent to Topps were digital. That was way back in 2003 or 2004. First thing they said to me was can you paint them, I said yeah of course. So I sent in samples of them painted, and that’s how I got the job doing Wacky’s. I’ve always painted everything, except occasionally on the Wacky’s I do some of the lettering digitally. For the most part I even paint all the lettering on those. I don’t really have an interest in the digital artwork, and never do it myself.

GPKNews – Do you think we will see the day where the main way of creating GPKs or the like are done digitally?

DG – I hope painting continues to rule the day. I don’t think people will want all digital paintings. If you don’t get the textures right they look weird. I’ve seen some stuff where the figures look like the backgrounds. You need to be able to differentiate all the textures. I just think the hand painted quality is much nicer.

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

DG – Great, this has been much better than the first one. The layout of the room is much easier to talk to people. I get to talk to the other artists, which I didn’t get to do last time all lined up in one long row. I have people on both sides of me in front and back, its been great. Last year I brought the rejected books, I started drawing them and I never looked up in two days This time I took some orders, draw them at night, bring them back the next morning so I’ve been able to have a lot more interaction this time around.

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10 Questions With….Garbage Pail Kids Artist Smokin Joe McWilliams

Smokin’ Joe McWilliams hit the ground running with Garbage Pail Kids in 2017, and collectors have been really pleased with his work. While Joe is new the the GPK world, he’s worked for Topps for a number of year’s as one of the Wacky Package artists. I sat down with Joe at this year’s Gross Card Con is Las Vegas. We talked about how he got his start with Topps, the differences between painting GPKs and Wacky’s, and his new upcoming website venture.

GPKNews – While you recently just started working on GPKs, you’ve been working with Topps on Wacky Packages for a while now. When did you first start working for Topps, what was your first project? How did you get your foot in the door at Topps?

Joe McWilliams – I was a Wacky Packages fan from the original series back in the 70’s. I missed the feeling opening a pack of Wacky’s and that excitement you get, the smell of the gum and everything. So, I decided back in 2005 to start designing my own Wacky Packages. I had 3 or 4 of them done when I heard that Topps was doing All New Series Wacky’s. I sent them a letter and showed them the ones I had done. The letter said “Dear Wack-jobs, I collected your Wacky’s as a kid, thank you very much. I can prove it because I have all the scars in my mouth from the razor sharp gum. I’m a successful artist and I would love to waste my time doing Wacky Packages. Until Mad Magazine calls and I’ll know I’ve hit rock bottom.” Two weeks later I get a message from Jeff Zapata saying I just got a letter from you. That was for ANS 3, I got 15 gags in there, a couple got painted by John Pound and other artists. The first one I painted was Coka-Cobra. I couldn’t believe in all the years of Wacky Packages nobody had done the largest brand on the planet. I figured if I can land this, I’m in, be part of the history. I wrote what I thought was a good joke, and they liked it. I painted five different versions of it to familiarize myself with the paints and to try to get it right. I sent the best one in and its kind of become my iconic original Wacky. I painted Wacky Packages for all the ANS series.

I was also holding down a full time job. When they asked me to do the Garbage Pail Kids, I couldn’t do that. Then a few years later I left that job and became freelance only in 2013, and said hay I’ll do GPK now, throw some of that my way. It took them until 2017 before I could figure out how to get into the door submitting ideas for the online Trumpocracy series, and they said yes paint that, paint that, and that. Then I did sketch cards. Then, for for Battle of the Bands they asked me to submit ideas and I got 7 base paintings in that, then the same for We Hate the 80’s, I got a couple paintings that one. I’ve submitted a bunch of designs for the next series, and I have a couple of approvals there.

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

JM – I was a Wacky’s guy. When Garbage Pail Kids came out, I was a senior in high school. My only connection to it was, I didn’t even know GPK at that point, but I know Cabbage Patch Dolls were out. I was in journalism class and we had to do a video of a news broadcast. I was the anchor and I did a story on we lost this year’s crop of Cabbage Dolls due to cabbage rot. I brought up a doll with spaghetti hanging off of it for the parody there. That was my first attempt at that kind of humor on that subject. I knew all the other kids were into the GPK at the time, but I was into girls and drinking by then, I wasn’t collecting them.

GPKNews – You’ve done a number of GPK cards in the last couple of retail sets. Collectors also really seem to enjoy your pack inserted sketch cards. Are you having fun working on the GPK brand?

JM – I am, because its not a lot of lettering which gets tedious on the Wacky Packages. Painting all those little letters are painful on your fingers. Designing the cards is a fun job. They can go anywhere and do anything, I like that. Doing big characters is a lot more fun then doing tiny stuff.

GPKNews – Besides the subject matter, how are painting GPKs different than Wackys?

JM – You can get a lot more expression in them even though there is a standard look. Because you are dealing with a much larger character, they can bend reality with the things they are doing. There’s really nothing that is off limits. I’m less of a body joke person and I love exploring the twilight zone aspect of it. If I can slip a common social comment in there somehow I kind of like that, but I don’t want to go political if I can avoid it. Listening to the fans, I know they love the kids rather than the Garbage Pail adults so I’m trying to keep my mindset there.

GPKNews – You are going to be launching a new website, monstersgopop.com. Tell me a little bit about the site? What will collectors find there?

JM – I’m wanting it to be a watering hole for collectors to go to find all the original art for these card series, and then a lot of these personal card sets these artists are doing on the side. The main thing is the art gallery side of it. You can get original art and art prints directly from the artist. I will not be the middle man. I’m just giving them the shelf space. When you want to buy a piece from somebody it will just link right to them to make that purchase. So collectors don’t have to go searching each different guy, trying to figure out how to get in touch with them and find their work. We don’t have to auction it off, we can just make an art gallery. Thats the main idea.

GPKNews – Have you seen the 30 Years of Garbage movie that Joe and Jeff directed? What were your thoughts of the movie?

JM – I thought it was really well done. I love the history of it. I love seeing the other artists being interviewed in their studios. I’m a fan of seeing what materials they work with, how they setup. I just think that’s really interesting.

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?

JM – It’s good now that I’m officially in the club, and everyone’s seen my sketch cards and appreciated them and like the way I’m going with that. I’m an old school Mad Magazine reader so that black, white, and gray approach is a holdover to how I was taught from Mad Magazine illustrations. That response has been really really well.

GPKNews – Finally what is your favorite GPK?

JM – I’ll always love the monsters, but Joe Blow of course, the name sake. They did it right by naming the kids because everyone has their namesake favorite. I like Creepy Carol a lot. I don’t think she gets enough love among the monsters. Hairy Harriet, she’s fun to draw. She’s got a lot to work with. I usually trim her beard or cutting herself up somehow. I used to do a lot of hair illustration back in the 80’s, rock band type of stuff, so I got good at doing masses of hair. I enjoy that.

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2018 Series 2 Garbage Pail Kids to be Horror Themed

While sell sheets haven’t been released yet, Topps has started sending out invites to sketch artists for the next Garbage Pail Kids set. In the email to artists it’s mentioned the theme of the next retail set will be “Horror”. Artists are encouraged to do some sketch cards based on previous horror themed GPKs. Last year’s most successful online set, Halloween, was horror focused and paved the wave for the upcoming retail set.

Another big piece of news to come from the artist sketch invites is a new type of sketch card will debut in GPK. The new sketch is called a “Tryptych”. These are 3 panel connected sketch cards much like the panoramic cards have 2 panels. There is no mention of dual artist pano sketches on the invites. These new tri-panel sketches might be replacing them. Artists are set to complete a similar number of sketches as previous series. The due date is set for mid-June for the sketches to be returned by artists to Topps.

Generally sell sheets are released before the sketch invites. You can expect Topps to release official information on the upcoming set including release date.

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10 Questions With…Magic Marker Art Artist Mark Pingitore

Popular GPK artist, Mark Pingitore left Topps just over a year ago to focus on his own Magic Marker Art store and products. Throughout 2017 Mark put out some amazing items, that collectors have taking a liking to. I was able to sit down and catch up with Mark at the Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. We talked about how the first year on his own has been, his thoughts on digital artwork, and what’s in store in 2018 for Magic Marker Art.

GPKNews – 2017 started off eventful for you as you decided to leave Topps and focus on your own art. How has year one gone for you? What’s it like being your own boss?

Mark Pingitore – Its been going great. I’ve actually had probably one of my best years since I’ve been working on my own since I’ve started art as a career. Last year was really good. I was happy with how that went, and looking forward to this year.

GPKNews – Was it scary leaving Topps? Is there anything you regret about that decision?

MP – When you have a big decision like that, it always goes through your mind whether you made the right decision or not. There’s always some questions about that. Overall I’m really happy with how its been going. Happy to be doing my own work and how its been turning out.

GPKNews – Your Magic Marker Art company released a number of sets in 2017, ending with Star Warped Kids Series 1. How has the reception been to the sets?

MP – It’s been great. I’ve been really appreciative to all the fans who have been keeping up with my work and all the different projects I’m doing. I can’t thank them enough for picking up the releases I’ve been putting out.

GPKNews – You’ve also released a number of other merchandise items featuring the same characters from your sets from pins, magnets, t-shirts, sticker sheets. Is there anything collectors seem to prefer?

MP – There’s different collectors it seems. Some like the cards, while a separate group of collectors like the pins. It depends on what their preference is. Thankfully I’ve found there are different avenues for different mediums to support them.

GPKNews – I’ve asked a few artists this, and wanted to get your thoughts. I believe you’ve dabbled in digital work before. What thoughts do you have, specifically when it comes to GPK art or the art you do for your sets, on creating cards digitally vs. the old fashioned way?

MP – As far as the amount of work that goes into either, its about the same I think. There’s just a different feel to it. I don’t know what it is, but you can tell the tactile nature of the actual physical paintings in the print. I feel like it comes off better. Me personally, I started out doing digital, its just a different skill set doing them. It takes a while to switch over from digital to physical. If you know what you’re doing you can get great results with either. Me personally, I’ve gravitated towards doing the physical stuff now. I feel like it prints better, and you have something you can sell, like the one of a kind artwork.

GPKNews – Do you think we will see the day where the main way of creating GPKs or the like are done digitally?

MP – I don’t know if physical paintings will ever disappear. I know people have their preference. I see different media going digital, like 3d sculpting is something I’ve seen more popular. I don’t think either go away. I see an interest in both of them, I don’t think one will negate the other.

GPKNews – What does 2018 hold for Magic Marker Art? I know you have the new Nintendopes Seres 1 set here at the show. What other sets do you have planned?

MP – At the end of 2017 I took time to sketch out ideas for my next four sets. So I have those all finished now. I just started painting the finals. As I finish one I just go onto the next one. There’s some other stuff in the works for later in the year. I’m looking to go bigger with the sets. Possibly looking into doing some wax packs and other stuff like boxes. I have a 3d sculptor I’m looking at, looking into doing some designer toys. Different options I’m looking into for 2018.

GPKNews – Do you ever envision returning to Topps in the future and working on GPKs?

MP – I don’t think with the current team there. Maybe if there was a switch up with the current direction they were going or change in their focus, maybe going back to the original without the theme sets. If there was new management there, maybe. Never say never.

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

MP – It’s been great. Its a different atmosphere than the last one. Yesterday was great. It’s been great seeing some familiar faces and meeting new fans who are coming out this year. Overall it’s been a success again this year.

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10 Questions With…Garbage Pail Kids Artist Brent Engstrom

Brent Engstrom has been the workhouse artist for Topps over the last year, especially when it comes to Garbage Pail Kids. 2017 saw Brent paint nearly 150 GPKs, as well as cards for many other brands. Besides the regular retail sets, Brent also was the main artist for the popular online GPK Classic release last year. Brent is a man of few words, he does his talking with a paintbrush. However, he was nice enough to sit down with me at Gross Card Con in Las Vegas for this interview. We talk about the process for submitting concepts to Topps, his passing John Pound recently for most GPKs painted, and his thoughts on painting cards digitally vs. traditional painting.

GPKNews – 2017 was a very busy year for you. You painted the most GPKs last year. My count had nearly 150 individual GPKs cards, and that doesn’t include other brands like Wacky Packages, Mars Attacks, etc. Do you ever get a vacation?

Brent Engstrom – Ha! Not really unless I’m at a thing like this. Really I do make time for myself.

GPKNews – It appears 2018 will be busy for you once again. You had a number of cards in the We Hate the 80’s set. When the process starts for a set retail set like that, how many concepts do you generally submit, and what percent get approved?

BE – It depends on the time frame we have to submit. We submit anywhere from 30-100 concepts. If you submit 100 concepts you don’t get that many approved, so maybe 30 of them. Then later sets they might pick up concepts that fit into those sets.

GPKNews – How much time do you think you spend on each retail card? From concept, to pencil rough, color rough, to final painting?

BE – That’s a hard question. From the thinking of it, its a lot of work. Getting it airbrushed and the concept approved and everything takes a some time.

GPKNews – Have you passed John Pound yet in total number of published GPKs painted? Its got to be pretty close by now right?

BE – I think so. I don’t know his exact number, it varies because he did a lot of other cards like the large cards. Its pretty close, if not it will be soon.

GPKNews – Whats are your thoughts about passing Pound? You’re the GPK king now, right?

BE – Ha! No you can’t top John Pound. He’s the best!

GPKNews – You were the primary artist on the online GPK Classic set released last year. While collectors had issues with Topps on the structure and pricing of the set, for the most part the feedback on the art in the set was overwhelming positive. How did the idea for the GPK Classic set come about?

BE – I think it was from the feedback from people. Some people liked the political cards and some didn’t. I tried to appeal more to the people who like the classic cards.

GPKNews – When coming up with concepts and doing the art for GPK Classic, what was your thought process since there was no theme for the set?

BE – It was a lot different, more open. I got some ideas in there from things I submitted years ago. Things I liked that they passed on for one reason or another. It was cool to finally get those in a set.

GPKNews – Do you think we will get a Series 2 GPK Classic set?

BE – I hope so, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t know how well that sold, but I hope so.

GPKNews – I’ve asked a few artists this, and wanted to get your thoughts. Right now retail GPKs still must be painted, but Colin has allowed some digital work in the online sets. What thoughts do you have, specifically when it comes to GPK art, on creating cards digitally vs. the old fashioned way?

BE – I actually painted the ANS 7 set digitally. It seems to take just as long to paint them digitally. I thought it would save some time. They almost took longer because I would zoom in and really detail things. It hurt my eyes more because I would look at a screen for hours. I prefer traditionally painted, I like the look of them better.

GPKNews – Do you think we will see the day where the main way of creating GPKs are done digitally, or will traditional painting continue to rule?

BE – Painting probably.

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

BE – Its been a lot of fun, I like talking to all the collectors. I like it.

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Bay Area ToyXpo Announces Gross Card Con Event

Gross Card Con is expanding. The same people behind the recent GCC even in Las Vegas announced they are bringing the fun to the Bay Area ToyXpo. The show is set to take place Aug. 24-26 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Once again, the event will take place inside the larger toy and comic convention. The show first announced GCC would be appearing a couple of weeks ago, but only today began releasing details on the show. While not a large as the Las Vegas GCC, there is still a very strong lineup of artists scheduled to attend. Right now there are 9 current and former GPK artists set to attend. The show will feature former original series artist Tom Bunk. Also, current artists Joe Simko, Brent Engstrom, David Gross, Layron DeJarnette, Joe McWilliams, Michael Barnard, and Chad Scheres are all set to be there in addition to former artist and art director Jeff Zapata. No other GCC events have been announced yet for the show.

The show also has a Super VIP option for GCC collectors they are offering. The cost of $1000, which is up from the Las Vegas cost. The package includes 3 nights at the host hotel (TBD), early admission to all three days of the show, 4 event exclusive renderings, 1 custom GPK Pop, B&W sketch, and the Saturday VIP dinner. Tickets for the show are available at the show’s website.

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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.

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