Just like clockwork, the next Philly Non-Sports Card Show is coming up in just under six weeks. This will be the 70th show, and much like the 69th, the show will once again focus on Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages. The show takes place in the Merchants Square mall in Allentown, PA twice a year. The spring show is scheduled for the weekend of May 4-5, 2019. The show is the largest non-sports card show in the US and features dealers selling a wide variety of non-sport products.
Once again, there is a stellar lineup of current and former GPK artists scheduled to attend. The group is led by original series artist Tom Bunk, and also includes previous attendees Fred Wheaton, Jeff Zapata, and Mark Pingitore. Three newcomers to Philly will also attend including original series artist James Warhola, Neil Camera, and Vincenzo “Chenduz” d’Ippolito. Chenduz will be making his first east coast appearance all the way from the Netherlands. There is a lot of history and knowledge from OS and ANS days. All the artists will be on hand selling original art, prints, sketches, cards, and more. Show goers will also receive a promo card from Magic Marker Inc. (Pingitore). Prior to the show opening on Sunday there will be an artist chat. Be sure to register with the show prior to the chat. This is a great opportunity for collectors on the east coast to meet and support their favorite artists.
As with all Philly shows, there will of course be promo cards. The theme from the previous show will carry over to this show as well. All show attendees will receive a card from Brent Engstrom. The card is a different version of the Toser the Destroyer card from the previous show. This card will have a slightly different background, be numbered 1b, and named Roxanne Recon. Show goers attending Saturday and Sunday will receive a different card from Neil Camera each day as well. The usual Saturday night dinner will take place at the Ratz room inside the show hotel the Hilton Garden Inn. All guests attending the dinner will receive the next two official Topps promo cards, #3 & #4, in the Philly Non-Sport set. These two cards, one GPK and one Wacky, were painted by Layron DeJarnette and Chenduz and feature a spring theme this time. Dinner attendees will also receive a special card painted by Tom Bunk. The cost of the dinner is $19.95. Tickets are almost sold out for the show dinner, so act fast to reserve your seat! To reserve your spot contact Roxanne Toser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Philly Non-Sports show is a show geared not only for collectors but for families as well. The first 20 kids into the show will receive a package including an assortment of stickers and cards to get their collection started. Show organizers are also planning a box break of GPK and/or Wacky’s. Participants purchasing a spot in the break will be randomly assigned a number to to pick special cards from the break. Show tickets are available for $8 per day, or a two day pass for $14. The show will be open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday 5/4, and 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Sunday 5/5. East coast collectors this is your change to chat with artists and fellow collectors in person. For more information on the show check out their website.
The third annual Las Vegas Gross Card Con was held last weekend at the Westgate Casino in Las Vegas. Collectors and artists from around the world ascended on Vegas to reacquaint with buddies, meet new friends, and get all the Garbage Pail Kids they can handle. This years show was the biggest yet with a staggering 18 current and former GPK artists in attendance. There were also plenty of GPK focused activities for collectors and artists alike. Perhaps the highlight for most in attendance was just being able to hang out with their fellow collectors and artists they chat with on a daily and/or weekly basis online.
This years Las Vegas ToyCon was held in the event center of the Westgate Casino. This was the best setup, by far, of the three Las Vegas shows. The entire show was held in one room. This made things a lot better for everyone involved and allowed the general ToyCon guest to easily find the GCC area. The 12 regular artists who attend GCC were located in their own section of the show, complete with an archway banner letting everyone know they were entering GCC. The new sketch artists who were attending for the first time were in artist’s ally in the adjoining isles. Clint Coleman’s GPK & Wacky Warehouse booth was right outside the entrance to GCC.
As usual the biggest highlight of the show for collectors is seeing all the artists. OS artist Tom Bunk was once again the headlining artist at the show. He was offering his new GPK dollhouse print for sale at the show, and it proved to be a big hit. The Gross Card Con sketch shirts being offered by Joe Simko and Jeff Zapata were also a popular item for collectors. Sales of the shirts with sketches kept both artists busy the entire show sketching at their booth. In fact a majority of the artists spent a lot of time working on commissions at the show. Another highlight from the show was David Gross’ third GPK Rejects book. Each book comes with a sketch and is filled with pages of great gags that were not used by Topps. Jon Gregory’s black canvas paintings were suburb to look at in person. It wasn’t just GPK merchandise that was selling well either. Both Michael Barnard and Chad Scheres were busy at their booths selling a number of their own original creations. Mark Pingitore also had all the Magic Marker Art items, including new magnets and promos cards for upcoming sets. In addition all sic of the first time artists attending seemed to really enjoy themselves, not only meeting collectors, but also meeting their fellow artists.
Another large part of this year’s show was Topps finally acknowledging the show existed. While Topps didn’t attend in person, they did allow one of David Gross’ unused 90’s gags to be created as promo cards. There were a number of ways to obtain both promo cards at the show, and they were a popular item for collectors. In addition Topps promoted GCC on both their GPK Facebook page, and the Topps Twitter account on Friday. This acknowledgment is a huge advancement for Topps, and shows collectors that there may be some change afoot with the brand.
There were also plenty of special GPK themed events for collectors during the show. All three days of the show featured a Scavenger Hunt. Clint Coleman would hide some exclusive ToyCon cards, sketch cards, and other goodies around the hotel for collectors to find. Saturday morning was the VIP breakfast with the artists. Many of the artists attneded with collectors who were SuperVIPs or purchased the breakfast. This setting allowed collectors a chance to talk with artists through a meal. Attendees to the breakfast also received a set of Topps Promo cards, and a special Adam Bomb decorated cookie from Joe Simko. Later that morning brought on the usual card chat with the artists. This year’s chat started off with Jago Studios CEO Stuart Drexler. He gave a quick 10 min. presentation on GPK the Game. He shared some of the game mechanics, what items they were focusing on, and general developments on the dame. He also handed out an exclusive GPK the Game sticker to collectors on Friday and Saturday at the show. That left only a minimal amount of time with the artists. While there wasn’t a lot of new information to share, the artists did mention they were working on some projects that they thought would really push the brand forward. Unfortunately, they were unable to share any additional information about unannounced products. GPKNews was in attendance, you can find video of the card chat here.
This year’s Vegas Gross Card Con ended up being a solid show for all involved. This was the best and cleanest hotel that show has been in to date. As mentioned above the show layout, while not perfect, was also the best its been. Next time not closing off the GCC area would lead to more general ToyCon foot traffic for the artists. In speaking with the artists at this years, show the vibe was it was a good show. Most artists made money, with a couple saying they had their best show day ever on Friday. The show ended up being a positive experience for almost all the artists. Every collector I spoke with really enjoyed the show. I think every collector will tell you the same thing. While it’s great to see all the cool items available, the highlight of the show is hanging out with friends you talk to throughout the year. This show brings a couple of hundred of your closest hobby friends together. If you haven’t attended a Vegas GCC show before, start planning now for next year, you will not be disappointed.
Check out a bunch of pictures from the show. Thanks to collector Jason Bryant for sharing some of his pictures as well!
As we’ve detailed over the past few weeks, this year’s Gross Card Con will be the biggest one yet. GCC will open at the Las Vegas ToyCon one week from today. The show will be March 1-3 at the Westgate Casino just off the Vegas Strip. Recently we shared all the details around the show exclusive cards, and the official Topps promo card available at the show. Now it’s time to review what each artist will be bringing. There are 18 artists scheduled to be on hand for the show. Many of today’s current and former final card artists, along with a number of GPK sketch artists will be on hand offering a wide variety of their own original art for sale. Each artist will also have their show exclusive GCC cards they created at their table for sale. Here’s a rundown of what show goers can expect to find at each artist’s table.
Original series artist Tom Bunk is once again headlining this large group of artists. He will have posters available to purchase of his recent GPK Dollhouse painting. He will also have on hand large card versions of his Gross Card Con cards available for purchase.
Like usual, current GPK artist Joe Simko will have a table full of items to choose from. A brand new item, Gross Card Con Sketch Shirts, will be offered only at Smiko and Jeff Zapata’s tables. These shirts have the option to get an artist to draw a sketch right on the shirt! Only 100 shirts will be available. Joe will have copies of the Director’s Cut version of his 30 Years of Garbage DVD. He will have several Stranger Kids sets for sale, in addition to one complete Master Stranger Kids set (w/ all four bonus cards). He will also have some of his final art available to purchase. He will have official Topps sketch cards available to purchase or for commission, along with comic covers. He also will have plenty of his own Cereal Killers and Stupid Heroes trading cards for sale.
Current GPK artist Brent Engstrom will once again to attending GCC. He will have a number of prints of his original work available for sale.
Another mainstay GPK artist David Gross will be bringing a number of new items to the show. A brand new third installment of his popular Rejected GPK roughs will debut at the show. Collectors purchasing a book also get a pencil sketch in the book. Books 1 & 2 will be available for purchase as well. David will have a number of new original 11×14 Glossy prints available to purchase including a Thanos/Adam Bomb crossover, a great GPK/CPK mashup, a Mario parody, and more. There will also be cards of the Thanos and Pulp Fiction paintings available. He will also have final art, original pencil roughs, and his own sketch cards available for commission. If you aren’t attending GCC, be sure to message David after to show to purchase any remaining items.
Layron DeJarnette, another current GPK artist will be on hand showcasing his original art. He will have both Garbage Pail Kids and Mars Attacks final art available for purchase at the show. He also will have a number of large 11×14 prints of his original work available for purchase. Sketch cards and trading cards also will be available.
Longtime Wacky Packages and GPK artist Smokin’ Joe McWilliams will once again be at GCC. He will have a wide assortment of items highlighted by numerous final paintings from recent GPK releases. He will also have his some new prints and posters of his original art. His popular sticker packs will be available as well. He will have a number of sketch cards available in addition to taking commissions at the show. He commission list is also open for custom illustrations, paintings, and portraits.
Magic Marker Art owner/artist Mark Pingitore has been killing it lately with his new releases. He will once again be on hand with many new items available at the show for the first time. Collectors will be able to pickup promo cards for Marveless Kids 1 and Horrorible Kids 4 for $5. A brand new Series 2 Magnet set will be available for $15. A new batch of Horrorible Kids 11×17 posters will be on sale for $10 each. There will also be new shirts of Tarman Carmen for $20. Did you miss out on pre-orders for Marveless Kids 1? You will be able to pre-order at the show! He will also have a limited number of his previous sets, magnets, and posters available for purchase. Mark will also be taking commissions at the show for sketch cards and comic covers.
Former GPK art director, editor, artist, and co-Director on 30 years of Garbage Jeff Zapata will be at the show debuting a unique new item. Jeff will have some original painted folk art cereal boxes, redone with a GPK inspired theme to them. The front, back, and side panels are redone with gags from the mind of Jeff Zapata. Jeff, along with Joe Simko, will also debut the Gross Card Con Sketch Shirt. Available at both booths, the shirt is limited to 100, and gives buyers the option of getting an artist to add a sketch to the shirt. Jeff will also have some of his popular original prints available for sale.
Once again GPK artist Micheal Barnard is the workhorse of GCC. Michael is commissioned by ToyCon to create a number of pieces for be used throughout the ToyCon. Michael created the the official show Comic Cover which will be given out to the first 150 attendees each day of the show. Michael will be on hand at the show entrance to autograph the covers. A ToyCon sticker limited to 100 will be available at his table for $5. He also has a number of products featuring the artwork for his GCC cards. 8×10 show prints, signed and numbered to 100 will be available. A custom die-cast car featuring GCC artwork will be at his table in very limited quantities for $60. He will have a special show mug for $15. He will have a number of GPK inspired sketch cards on custom stock available. A GPK inspired card set is also available for $30. In addition he will have all his popular 10×17 prints at the show $10 for the first one, $5 each additional. Finally he will have a couple of his Head Rick sets available for fans of disc golf.
For the second year in a row GPK sketch artist Vincenzo “Chenduz” d’Ippolito will be traveling all the way from the Netherlands to attend Gross Card Con. He will have some original prints, metallic postcards, and stickers for sale. He will have sketch cards on GCC stock and blank comic covers available for commissions.
Chad Scheres will be attending his 4th GCC event. He will have a table full of his original monster art available in stickers, cards, prints, and more! He will also have some new GPK inspired prints on hand as well as lots of original art.
GPKs sketch artist Jon Gregory will once again be attending GCC. He will be debuting his beautiful Black Canvas Series of acrylic paintings done on 8×10 black canvas. He will also be doing the black and while commission drawings he did at last year’s event.
GPK sketch artist Shane Garvey will be making his first appearance at the show. He will have an assortment of stickers, magnets, buttons, prints and shirts available of his original work.
GPK sketch artist Barry Nygma will also be making his first appearance at GCC. He will have copies of his show exclusive Scavenger Hunt card at his table. He will also have two new prints for sale. His Let’s Get Gross print is a show exclusive and is limited to 25 copies. He will also have a couple of stickers for sale. For every $10 spent at his table you will get an entry in a contest for the original art of the ToyCon Scavenger Hunt card.
Another first time GCC participant is GPK sketch artist Shawn Cruz, He will have new stickers available of his original GPK inspired work as a set of 5 or for purchase individually. He will also have over 20 large 12 x18 prints of his original work. Magnets will also be available. Shawn will also be taking sketch card and 8×10 commissions at the show.
GPK sketch artist David Acevedo will have giant card sized “a” and “b” versions of his scavenger hunt card available for purchase. Each name is limited to 25 copies. He will also be taking sketch card commissions at the show.
The last first time attendee, GPK sketch artist Jay O’Leary will be on hand debuting his Grosser than Gross 10 card set. The release is limited to 666 packs. You can purchase a 5 card pack at the show for $5. If you aren’t attending the show, you can contact Jay to pre-order packs now. He will also have some of his Warstars Bootleg Kids cards available for purchase.
A last minute addition to the show is GPK sketch artist Victor Moreno. He will be selling his 5 card GPK inspired wrestling set featuring many of the WWE wrestlings who will be at ToyCon. He will have his original horror prints for sale as well. He will also be taking sketch commissions on personal stock and comic covers.
But that’s not all…
Of course Clint and the gang from GPK & Wacky Warehouse will be on hand. Not only will you be able to buy the show exclusive card set from his booth, but he will have a full display of GPK and Wacky products for purchase.
Finally, you can expect to see Stuart Drexler the CEO of Jago Studios at the show. Drexler who is also the Executive Producer of GPK the Game will be on hand at the beginning of the artist talk to share some updates on the game. He will also be available Saturday during the show to talk to collectors. Don’t miss this chance to get the latest info on the upcoming mobile game, GPK the Game.
This year’s Las Vegas Gross Card Con event is shaping up to be the biggest event yet for Garbage Pail Kids collectors. This will be the 4th GCC, and 3rd to be held in Vegas. As usual, this year’s event will be part of the larger Vegas ToyCon. The ToyCon is moving venues once again. This year’s event will be held at the WestGate Convention Center at the WestGate Hotel & Casino from March 1-3. The new venue should allow for less of an obstacle course experience compared to last year’s event. The event is considered by collectors the yearly “national” show for GPK collectors. There will be the largest group ever of GPK artists attending the show. If history is any indication there will be also be a few hundred GPK collectors from around the world attending the show. This is your chance to put names to faces of the artists and collectors you talk with on a daily basis online. If you’ve never been, here’s a little of what you can expect.
As of press time there are 17 former, current, and sketch artists set to attend the show. This will be the largest group of GPK artists in one place to date. These twelve artists that attended last year’s Vegas GCC are set to come back; Tom Bunk, Brent Engstrom, Joe Simko, David Gross, Laryon DeJarnette, Smokin’ Joe McWilliams, Mark Pingitore, Jeff Zapata, Michael Barnard, Vincenzo D’Ippolito, Chad Scheres, and Jon Gregory. In addition five sketch artists will also be in attendance including Shane Garvey, Barry Nygma, Shawn Cruz, David Acevedo, and Jay O’Leary. The artists will have final artwork, official and personal sketches, prints, personal card projects, and much more available for sale at the show. They are also all very approachable and willing to chat with GPK fans during the show.
Every GCC has a few special events for collectors. Once again there will be an open seminar with some of the artists doing a question and answer session during the show. Want to eat with your favorite artists? VIP ticket holders will be able to have breakfast with the artists Saturday morning. While Sunday’s breakfast with the artists is open to everyone. A Saturday evening social event will also be held at the International Bar inside the WestGate Casino. This is a great relaxed time to spend with artists and collectors.
Show Exclusive Card Sets
As always there will once again be some show exclusive cards available. Many of the artists attending are busy working on the artwork that will be featured in this sets. The sets are put together and sold by Clint Coleman of GPK & Wacky Warehouse. They will be available at his booth during the show. Expect some surprises for some collectors purchasing the sets. Some artists have already started showing off their cards for the sets!
Collectors have a few options when it comes to tickets. Those wanting an all in one pass to everything the show offers might be interested in the Super VIP pass. For $1000 you get 3 nights hotel at the Westgate, early admission to the show, and lots of show exclusive swag. Part of the package includes a GPK themed car, and an autographed copy of the 30 Years of Garbage documentary. Gold and Silver VIP passes are also available for a fraction of the cost. Those passes don’t include hotel or most of the swag, but you still get early admission to the show and other perks. There are also individual and weekend passes available. Go to the Vegas ToyCon website to check out and purchase various ticket options. Alternatively, you should consider checking out Groupon where there are already deals up on individual and weekend passes.
We are less than two weeks away from the next GPK release, 2019 Series 1 GPK We Hate the 90’s. Sadly there have not been many sketch previews posted by artists. After the leadership change at Topps last year, sketch artists are discouraged from showing off sketches until release date of the set. I’ll continue my soapbox here, this is a shortsighted decision by Topps. This is free publicity they are missing out on. This also hurts the artist who can use these previews to attract future commission work. However, being the GPK artists that they are, a few have begun showing off some of their work. While we don’t have much currently, I expect more will start show up during this next week. Continue to follow this post up until release date, and I’ll add sketch previews as I find them. So far 57 artists are confirmed to 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. 2019S1 GPK We Hate the 90’s will hit stores on 1/16/19.
Topps is cutting it tight with the next retail GPK release. 2019 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids We Hate the 90’s is just three months away, and sketch artists are just now starting to receive sketch blanks. Much the same formula is being followed by Topps compared with the last release, 2018S2 Oh the Horror-ible. However this time artists have a much smaller window to complete sketches.
Despite the base cards being complete for months, Topps took a long to time announce the next retail set, all while keeping a January release day. This has caused sketch deadlines to be very tight for artists this time. Sketches must be completed by 11/19, which gives artists less than a month. This might hurt the overall quality of the sketches in the set, as many artists have stated they won’t be able to do color sketches due to time constraints. One change Topps made this time around to the sketches is the amount requested. The number of sketches per artist is down compared to previous releases. Its not clear if the numbers are lower because of production or number of artists. Artists this round will be doing less Regular and Loaded sketches. Each artist is being asked to complete, 30 Regular, 5 Loaded, 6 Die-cut, 3 Panoramic, and 3 Tryptych sketches.
Topps is going green for this set. Each sketch features a green Garbage Pail Kids banner, with the regular size sketch having a green nameplate for the signature. There is also new artwork featured on the sketch backs. A Brent Engstrom painting of Grunge Greg, which was first shown on the sell sheets, appears on the back of the regular, panoramic, and tryptych sketches. The tryptych sketch also features new artwork with a gag based off of the popular desk toy 3D Pin Art.
The confirmed sketch lineup so far looks to equal or even exceed the number of artists from the previous set. Oh the Horror-ible had a record 58 artists complete sketches. So far 53 of the 58 artists have confirmed they will be completing sketches for We Hate the 90’s. The returning artists are: David Acevedo, Simone Arena, Ro Garcia Astorga, Quinton Baker, Michael Barnard, Bobby Blakey, John Brewer, Emma Burges, Neil Camera, Pat Chaimuang, Daniel Contois, Jasmine Contois, Sobot Cortez, Jason Crosby, Shawn Cruz, Dave Dabila, Vincenzo D’Ippolito, Joe Dobbins, Joey Fitchett, David Gacey, Shane Garvey, Patrick Giles, Daniel Goodroad, Dennis Gortakowski, Kelly Greider, Jason Heil, Lowell Isaac, Robert Jimenez, Rickey Kipfer, Paul Mangione, Mike McHugh, Rory McQueen, Joe McWilliams, Chris Meeks, Lily Mercado, Ryan Moffett, Rich Molinelli, JM Monserrat, Victor Moreno, Jay O’Leary, Darrin Pepe, Steve Potter, Todd Rayner, Cathy Razim, Chad Scheres, Brent Scotchmer, Matt Steffens, Mike Stephens, Floyd Sumner, Gregory Tilson, Dan Burn Webster, Gavin Williams and Clinton Yeager. David Gross, Jon Gregory, Simon Jacobsohn, Bryan Abson, and Kevin Lea will not do sketches for this set for various reasons. Usually Topps also adds a healthy number of new artists to the mix. However, there have been no new artists who have come forward saying they are working on the set. There are however, some returning artists. Coming back after taking a break are Barry Nygma, Anthony Skubis, and Magnus Von Robotsson. This brings the current total of sketch artists to 56. This article will be updated as new artists are confirmed.
The rules around sketches has remained largely the same as the previous release. Once again artists must send their artist return sketches back to Topps with their pack inserted sketches. Topps will approve, and mail back to the artists, who can then distribute them after release date. The “banned sketch” list continues to be the same. Artists are not allowed to sketch cards featuring Stan Lee, Gene Simmons, the Hundreds set, Riot Fest set, and all Disney properties including Star Wars and Marvel.
Let hope sketch previews start sneaking out from artists in late December and early January as release date approaches. 2019 Series 1 Garbage Pail Kids We Hate the 90’s is set to release in stores on Jan. 16, 2019.
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 9/12 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.
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!
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.