10 Questions With…Tobin Lent Video Interview

We are just a few days away from the release of Topps Garbage Pail Kids x WAX OS 2 digital set. I sat down with Tobin Lent, VP of Topps Digital, for the first GPKNews 10 Questions With… video interview. We discussed a number of topics including how Topps can overcome objections of current GPK collectors and get them on the blockchain, how Topps is working with Wax to release digital sets, the future of Topps and GPK on the Blockchain, and much more! We also went into detail on the upcoming OS 2 digital set. You can watch the video on GPKNews YouTube channel here. Or check it out below!

In the interview we cover:

• Tobin talks about overcoming the objections to longtime GPK collectors to try digital…
• The biggest issue in onboarding new users…
• Redemptions in physical packs in the future…
• Past issues around initial pack distribution…
• How OS 2 will be distributed…
• Thoughts on secondary market and how Topps tries to balance…
• Using GPKs in 3rd party games…
• Details on OS 2 pack types…
• Parallels and special inserts in OS 2…
• Launch time, standard used, purchase method for OS 2
• Is Schizo Fran in the set???
• Future of GPK on WAX for 2020/2021…
• Debuting new GPKs on WAX…
• Physical cards inserted into OS 2??? What?!?!
• Long term future for Topps and WAX, other partners…
• The future of displaying assets…
• My pitch for an album NFT…
• Status of Gone Exotic base card burn…

 

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist Kelly Greider

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

Wait…what was that sound? Shhhh can you hear it? It’s the sound of anticipation, expectation, delectation and exhilaration – oh yes… it’s time! More important than water, tastier than taste buds and juicier than a freshly squeezed puss bubble… it’s Trash Talk!

And this week it is our absolute pleasure to welcome Kelly Greider!!!!!!!

Slippa Chervascus – Kelly, what was the defining moment that made you want to be part of GPK/Topps?

Kelly Greider – Probably when they offered me a job, haha. What got me back into collecting GPK and focusing more on sketch card work was a perfect storm of dating a woman who was a big GPK collector, peer pressure from friends, and the release of the Calvin America/Steve Rotters sticker in BNS1.

SC – Tell us about your earliest experience with garbage pail kids? Do you remember your first pack? Where you were…who you were with?

KG – My first pack was an OS4 pack from the Osco in Mishawaka, Indiana bought after my kindergarten teacher banned them from class, thus ensuring every kid HAD to show up the next day with some.

SC – What are your hobbies outside of GPK??

KG – Now that I think about it, I have generally the same hobbies as I did when I was 10. Art is always going to be #1. As far as trading cards, I’m also a big collector of Mars Attacks, Marvel and Carolina Panthers cards. I have a massive collection of Lego, every so often I like to freeform build just to see what comes together. I’m also pretty big into tabletop gaming, primarily D&D because it’s such a great creative outlet.

SC – What/who has inspired you to be an artist?

KG – I’ll do this one in a Top 3 format:
1. My mom. It’s almost like artistic ability is inherited genetically and passed down from the first born in each generation, it’s weird. Check out @dawns_wood_earrings and @dawns_sweet_treats on Instagram.
2. Aaron Warner has been a huge influence on my work and sort of mentor when I was younger. Used to collect the Friday Magazine insert from the Kalamazoo Gazette to save his Adventures Of Aaron strips. Check out his work at https://www.cartoonstudios.com
3. Spite. I can do all things through spite, which strengthens me.

SC – What’s your art corner like? Would you dare to share a photo of it? Do you have a ritual before/while sketching?

KG – Oh jeez it’s a disaster area with the loosest sense of organized chaos, so no photos. Like Lenny from The Simpsons, please don’t tell anyone how I live. I don’t have any drawing rituals necessarily but every so often I’ll make a Spotify playlist specifically as a soundtrack to a piece I’m working on.

SC – Ok, imagine the scene. You are the Casting Director for the new GPK remake movie. Spielberg and Nolan are looking to you for advice. Which 3 Garbage Pail Kids should be in it and which 3 actors/actresses should portray them?

KG – I’m gonna run with the assumption it’d be an animated film and just cast voice actors:
-Tara Strong as Messy Tessy, because she’s the voice of every female lead for a reason.
-Peter Dinklage as Brainy Brian, honestly he’s a holdover from attempting to cast this as a live action movie.
-Will Ferrell as Adam Bomb…do you know Will Ferrell?

SC – You have done sketches for multiple sets now, what was it like the first time someone pulled and posted one of your sketches?

KG – I honestly don’t recall the first, it was probably on eBay, I’m kinda shameless about searching the auctions for my name to see what’s been pulled and jow the Kelly Greider market is doing haha.

SC – If you could do a tripitch piece along with two other artists (doesn’t have to be GPK) who would it be and why?

KG – I’ll go with a GPK artist and a non-GPK artist. Chad Scheres for sure, love his work and we always seemed to get paired up when Topps still did the dual artist pano cards. And of course the aforementioned Aaron Warner, working on a piece with him would be a dream come true.

SC – Kelly, you’re about to be stranded on a deserted island, you can bring one item and one Garbage Pail Kid with you… tell us what what and who you’re taking?

KG – A boat and a ragged old Adam Bomb card to act as my Wilson, maybe scream the “Hark, Triton!” bit from The Lighthouse at it.

SC – What is GPK missing right now?

KG – I’d like to see the comics and flipbooks return to the card backs, also the gimmicky lower level chase cards especially Loco-Motion.

SC – What is some advice you can offer new artists wanting to draw GPK or who have just started drawing GPK?

KG – Get an old Cabbage Patch Doll to use for a visual reference. Keep sharing to the groups and hitting up Topps with your work.

SC – Imagine yourself doing art in 2030.. how far do you see yourself going?

KG – I see myself going til the day I die like a lot of the old Marvel greats, which given current events may well be before 2030.

SC – And now the big one! The battle to end all battles. The fight to end all fights! The skirmish to end all skirmish-ish-es?!? Sorry… Jelly Kelly Vs Smelly Kelly?

KG – Jelly Kelly, the fact they made Smelly Kelly a fleshy color instead of red has always given that one a creepy dong vibe about it.

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in Sept. 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist Jeff Cox

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…let’s get ready to Traaaaaaassssshhhhh Talk!!!!!!

You know the score by now, we ask 13 lucky questions, to your favourite GPK artists, so you can get down and dirty, under the skin, and up the nose of one of the living legends in this sick world of ours.

And this weeks very welcome addition comes in the form of, true misfit Jeff Cox!

Sybil Ferro – Almost immediately after you attended Gross Card Con 2020 Vegas shut down… first of all, congratulations, and second of all, what was your Vegas Adventure experience like?

Jeff Cox – Well, thank you, but technically, I wasn’t invited. Ha! At the time of the announcements regarding who would be there, I still wasn’t an official GPK artist. I had done some work for Topps on Star Wars, but didn’t get my first Garbage Pail Kids invitation until January this year, to work on the Mr. & Mrs. Valentine’s Day set. “Toofless” Jay O’Leary, another GPK artist who lives a few hours north of me, had purchased a table in artist alley, so we kind of crashed Gross Card Con, and they set us up right next to all the other GPK artists. The entire drive to Vegas we were listening to the radio, and even as we approached town, they announced all the conventions that were getting cancelled that weekend. We really weren’t sure if it was going to happen or not, but it did, and it was a great turnout. They shut the city down immediately after we left! Rubbing elbows with all the other amazingly talented artists was definitely one of the highlights of being there: meeting and talking art with Pat Chaimuang and his 11 year old son, Jenye; hearing war stories from Smokin’ Joe McWilliams, Mark Pingatore, and Chad Scheres; hanging out after hours and making more art with David Acevedo, Toofless, and other Team Trash alum Floydman Sumner and “Kid Grimm” Shane Garvey. It was a blast. One night, Toofy and I were on our way back to the hotel, and he tells me about a drawing that Jeff Zapata did the previous year with a sharpie on the wall of the Nerd Bar, a nearby watering hole. So, we walk down Freemont Street to go check it out, and just as we enter, we see Noah Hathaway, the actor who played Atreyu in “The Neverending Story”. It was total luck running into him, and he remembered us from the convention which was being held on the other side of town. We even name-dropped another amazing artist, Bekki Sharp, and he remembered her, too, since he was just in England a week prior and had signed some of her art. It was surreal, the entire experience. The weekend went too fast, but the experience is one that I’ll look forward to for many years to come.

SF – Tell us about your earliest GPK memory?

JC – Going to the mom and pop store just across from my grade school when I was a kid. My best friend, Mike, and I would cross the road at lunch or after school and buy 25 cent wax packs, Icee’s, and whatever candy we could afford with the leftover change in our pockets. We’d flip through those cards on the playground, the back of the classroom, the bus ride home, and at each other’s house during sleep-overs, studying them almost. It’s ingrained as part of my childhood. I had a pretty good stash of OS cards back then, wrapped up safe and secure in rubber bands and tossed in an old shoebox. If you had told the ten-year-old me that one day I’d draw these pee and fecal stained, snot-nosed booger cards for Topps, I would never have believed you.

SF – Who were your artistic influences growing up/who are they now?

JC – Growing up? MC Escher was definitely one of the biggest influences on me. His calculated, mathematically-constructed, black and white drawings are so clean, and his linework impeccable. The impossible imagery fascinated me. I tried several times to emulate his shifting of one image into another without much success. I even had a tee shirt with Relativity printed on it. It was honestly one of my favorite shirts, and I literally wore holes in it. I’d also have to say Shel Silverstein was a big influence on me as a kid. His books were always the most coveted from the library, and you rarely found them on the shelf. He made me appreciate poetry by using potty humor; I mean, the dude spoke straight to my prepubescent soul. My mom also had a coffee table book of Norman Rockwell and the Saturday Evening Post covers that I used to flip through all the time. I’d stare at the pages for hours, and imagine the scenes about to be played out and what each person was thinking and feeling. The detail in them is incredible, too. I have to give a shout out to Bill Waterson, Berkeley Breathed, Gary Larson, Charles Schultz, and Jim Davis for making some of the best comic strips on the planet. I’m also a huge fan of Salvador Dalí. I visited Tampa, Florida many years ago and I still regret not popping into the Dalí Museum. I’m also loving what Lowell Isaac is doing, both with GPK and other projects. I guess because I have such a clean, polished design, that I appreciate the loose, flowing style that he brings to the table. Pat Chaimuang is another GPK artists that’s on a whole other level. The guy does absolute legendary work, a fusion between cartoon and photorealism. I’d love to become a fraction as talented at the brush as he is already. It was an honor to have my table directly across from his at Gross Card Con in March, since I caught a couple endearing moments between him and his son, Jenye, being instructed on color blending and lighting. Truly the master teaching the student.

SF – What was the initiation process with getting through to Topps to become an official Topps Sketch Artist? Describe for us how you felt when you found out you were in.

JC – Oh, fuck. Can I say that? “Oh, fuck”? Lol. The process of getting on with Topps was challenging, to say the least. But I used to remind myself that things happen for a reason, and when the time is right, everything will fall into place. So, you could say it was also a test of patience for me. I would submit a sample of my portfolio every month with a warm, brief introduction about how I’d love to become a card artist and work on projects like Star Wars and Garbage Pail Kids. Lather, rinse, repeat. It took me nearly 11 months to finally get my first invitation, a Star Wars set, “Rise of the Skywalker”. I was absolutely elated! I felt like I had finally reached a milestone I had been pursing seriously for nearly two years straight. You see, in my mid-twenties, I dated a girl who told me my art sucked, and to stop doing it. And I listened and believed her. Because of it, I didn’t do any art at all for many, many years. That is, until March 1, 2018, when I picked up a pencil again and drew my first sketch card. I had heard about sketch cards and thought it was an interesting novelty, drawing a miniature work of art on a tiny, tradeable piece of paper. That first card was Wicket the Ewok, but with the words “Thug Life” tattooed across his belly, Tupac style. It surprised me that I still had some artistic chops even after years of dormancy. So, I drew, and drew, and drew some more. I remember some of those first cards took me about four hours to draw and color. But eventually, I became faster and more proficient. Brent Scotchmer and I used to chat and was an incredible mentor to me in those early days, constantly giving me advice on improving my speed and consistency. One of the challenges of working on big sets, especially with Topps, is that you have anywhere from 40 to 100 cards that need to be drawn up according to minimum standards per contract, and you only have three to four weeks to do them all and get them returned back to New York City. So, it becomes a test of endurance, being able to do at least 4 or 5 cards a day, every day, for weeks without break. Easier said than done. But eventually, my persistency won, and after months of submitting portfolio samples, I finally got a response back from the powers that be in the Topps HQs. Be careful what you wish for, because you just may get it.

SF – How many sketches did you have to do for the 35th anniversary set and what was the process like dealing with knocking out the sketches?

JC I did 99 sketches (all the artists that worked on it got the same number of blanks) for the 35th anniversary set, which I literally just wrapped up less than a day or two ago. We all had to do 6 four-card loaded puzzles, 14 die cut shapes (7 trashcan, 7 poop), 3 panos, 3 tryptics, and 46 regular shaped card. Most artists, myself included, did full color. I mean, this is a big set! 35 years of GPK is pretty amazing, and I think we all wanted to push ourselves and really give collectors something special. I’ve seen a ton of artwork from the other artists, and it’s really mind-blowing (I was going to put in an Adam Bomb pun here, but decided to pass, so use your imagination, kids). It was exhausting, an artistic marathon, getting to the finish line, especially considering we had just slightly more than three weeks to meet the deadline, but it was rewarding knowing that our art would wind up in someone’s loving collection. Unless you’re a flipper. Then you can eat a bag of dicks. It’s one thing to sell at fair market value because you’ve got bills to pay, and it’s another to buy low and sell high with the sole intention of profit with zero love for the hobby. But, alas, I’ll step off my soapbox…

SF – What was your best Saturday morning cereal and cartoon combination growing up?

JC – Lucky Charms with Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Even with all the toy-based cartoons that came out in the 80’s, I always preferred the classic cartoons, where all the characters were voiced by Mel Blanc. Sugar cereal as a kid was also key to Saturdays, and Lucky Charms was like crack cocaine to my young mind. By 1pm I’d be bouncing off the walls, all jacked up on sucrose methamphetamine, getting kicked out of the house to go ride my bike with my friends and play in the woods, only to come back at dusk, covered in dirt, bruises, and bug bites.

SF – Describe your art/sketch corner, where all the magic happens.

JC I have a nice little drafting table in the corner of the basement, which I’ve entirely taken over with my ever-growing vintage toy collection and assorted curios (no, not sex toys, unfortunately). I collect vinyl records and my storage rack of music and the turntable is down there, though I usually put on my noise-cancelling headphones which charge right next to my station where I work. For me, having very few distractions is important to staying focused and remaining productive. I’m too easily distracted by…what were we talking about again? I’ve got everything I need within arms-length: my pencil and eraser, a small army of fine-liners and markers, colored pencils, acrylic paint, watercolors, brushes, and all the necessary accoutrements to get the job done, and more than a few unnecessary ones, too. Proper lighting is also key. I’ve got a nice engineers light that I can position directly over my drafting table and get the right angle of lighting no matter what degree I tilt the table. I keep my laptop and cellphone nearby for reference pics. And then after the work is done, and it’s time for a little r & r, I’ve also got a cushy lounge chair, big screen tv, and several assorted game consoles from the original NES, to first the first and second gen PlayStation, and my Xbox One X. I can watch a little Netflix or Hulu down there if I’d rather just zone out on a television show or movie, or even go old school and pop a VHS cassette in the VCR or pull out a DVD from my classic movie collection. And then, of course, all my GPK are there, too. I can pull out a binder and flip through different series of cards or admire the sketches that I’ve collected (in case anyone needs to know, I have two GPK sketch card focuses: Junky Jeff, and Beastie Boyd. Feel free—emphasis on free—to send me any and all art cards from your personal collections pertaining to these two characters).

SF – What music is guaranteed to get you in the mood to draw?

JC – Wow, that’s a tough question, because I have really eclectic tastes in music. Everything from classical to the heaviest of metal. But no country (with the exception of Johnny Cash, the man in black) or new age crap. One day, the sounds I need might be 90’s hip hop or grunge, the next it might be EDM. Everyone knows I’m a huge Slipknot fan. They’re like Wu Tang Clan, but scary. I’ve seen them a half dozen times in concert, even caught one of Chris Fehn’s drumsticks at a show in Atlanta, Georgia, and they just. Keep. Getting. Better, so they do get me hyped when I’m in need of motivation. But it’s like saying a single grain of sand on the beach is your favorite above all others. There’s so much great music out there, especially the stuff they don’t play on the radio. If you’re only listening to one genre of music, you’re doing it wrong. Lately, I’ve been tossing my iTunes on random for my entire library, just letting it ping pong from artist to artist. It’s actually quite refreshing to rediscover a really great song that you haven’t listened to in the longest time.

SF – What’s in the garbage can closest to where you sketch right now?

JC – An empty box of condoms, a used roll of duct tape, empty cans of energy drinks, a disposable camera, and Velcro gloves with sheep hair caught in the hooks. I don’t want to even begin to tell you what kind of crazy shit went down last Tuesday.

SF – Which GPK sketch artist do you admire most and why?

JC – Pat Chaimuang. I mean, just look at his work! LOOK AT IT!!!

SF – What is GPK missing, what would you change and what do you want to see more of?

JC I love the family relation we have with all the members of the community from collectors to artists and everyone in between. Sure, there’s the occasional douche that comes along and pisses in everyone’s oatmeal, but 99% of the time, we all get along and joke with each other. And I love that. I do have several items on my list that I wish Topps would consider bringing into fruition: priority would be a second and third volume of the OS card books; you know, the one wrapped with a wax paper dust cover that we artists use for card reference? It would be nice to be able to have a hard-bound book with detailed photos of the cards from all 15 (or 16?) OS series, not just the first through fifth series. And, I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me, because Topps is the company for which we all want to work, since they have the best properties, GPK included. However, it’s usually the smaller Kickstarter card companies that have a more hands-on approach between artist and art director. Those smaller sets usually have high quality sketch card stock, very forgiving and realistic deadlines, and larger compensation per card as well as more returns. I’d love to see Topps become more competitive with the same treatment offered by these other parties.

SF – If you could bump into your younger self, doodling sketches, what advice what you give him?

JC Don’t give up. Don’t stop. Keep pushing yourself and trying new things and new mediums. Constantly be a student. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; they’re inevitable and it’s how we learn how to better ourselves. Keep a sketchbook with you at all times. Not everything has to be a perfect work of art, and a doodle can be just a doodle.

SF – And finally, heavyweight championship against Deaf Geoff and Junky Jeff. No holds barred, who wins and why?

JC – Dammit! You had to pit your dude against mine, didn’t you, Slippa. First of all, Junky Jeff literally has trash for brains, and Deaf Geoff just blew his brains out of his head with loud music, so both don’t have too much going on upstairs. Not too much strategy, just balls-out grappling. However, Geoff has a boombox, which could be used as a blunt-force object or a sonic weapon. Likewise, the other Jeff could grab one of the trashcan lids in defense. I’ve seen enough heavyweight fights that have gone the distance and came down to the scorecards, I think this would play out the same, it’s pretty fairly matched up. But I think Deaf Geoff would pull out some dirty street fighting move, like a sleeper hold or knee to the crotch, and tap Jeff out. So, it pains me to say it, but decision in favor of Deaf Geoff.

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in August 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist GPK Nik

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

“Who is going to step into the hot seat this week?” I hear you scream! Well…we thought long and hard, searched far and wide, looked high and low, worked day and night, sailed the seven seas, weighed up all the possibilities and then messaged GPK Nik…and guess what… he said YES!

Sybil Ferro – How long did it take for you to decide on your name?

GPK Nik Castaneda – Y’know I’m not sure actually! I remember setting up a separate Instagram page for my GPK stuff when I was starting out. The engagement was super low in comparison to my other art I was posting at the time, so I thought to create an entirely separate page for this stuff and I’m certain I just thought of “GPKNIK/Garbage Pail Nik” on the spot hahh

SF – Do you have any aspirations to draw sketch cards for any other franchises? And if so would you be TMNT Nik? Etc…or have you not thought that far?

NC – I’d be happy to jump into most any franchise that does sketch cards! I think I saw Fright Rags doing wax packs recently and I think that’d be AWESOME to have sketch inserts in there. Considering there’s alot of crossover between GPK fans and horror fans, I think there’s alotta potential there, of course counting Mark Pingitore’s Horrorible-Kids, which I had the GREAT pleasure of doing 100 inserts for!!

As for having an adaptive name, I think I’d credit myself as just “Nik Castaneda” outside of GPK stuff hahahh. Or maybe just Nik!! I’ve actually considered on dropping my last name. Not for any dramatic family reasons but just because I think it’d be funny to be simply known as “Nik”

SF – You’re easily one of the most creative artists on the scene, and it seems to come so naturally to you – to try new things, experiment and set new trends. Have you tried any ideas that you’ve bailed on with GPK where you’ve thought you’ve gone too far?

NC – Bawwww, I’m fluttering my eyelashes at this one, I really appreciate you saying that, thank you!!

I LOVE toying around with new ideas and stuff. I love that element of surprise where someone may pull something and it just kinda catches them off-guard and that’s like my M.O. To just kinda give long-time collectors something they aren’t used to seeing (or smelling).

As for ‘going too far,’ I’d probably chalk that more up to ‘ideas that didn’t work out so well.’ There’s alot of trial and error with experimenting with different styles. I’ve got HEAPS of pages in my sketchbooks that are like chicken scratch for new ideas hahahh. So there’s definitely stuff that I haven’t managed to pull off or maybe it’s too much effort for too sloppy of a result.

But I’m always playing around with new stuff!

SF – When did you stumble across GPK and what got you in the deep end?

NC – Back when All New Series was starting up, my mom got me a pack while we were out shopping, saying “Ohhhh your aunt and I used to collect these nasty fuckin’ things” So that was when I first heard of them.

But it actually wasn’t until Fall of 2018 that I REALLY fell in hahahh. Some friends and I watch alotta movies together and we once watched the infamously bad Garbage Pail Kids Movie. And I’m naturally a really nitpicky kinda guy and I was SO mad that the movie went in the direction it did hahahh.

The whole time we were watching it, I was like “dude this does NOT have to suck like this” and in the following months, I was almost devising a plan to pitch an animated GPK film to Topps. And when I got a hold of them, they thought I was wanting a position as a sketch artist. So when I looked into what that was exactly, I was like “WAIT, THIS IS A JOB YOU CAN GET!!??”

So then I started practicing drawing the characters and got invited into these groups and started doing commissions, caught the attention of the sketch artists and collectors, who all started rooting for me to get an official position, which I’m SO thankful for, and now I’m blowin snot rockets on official Topps cardstock!!

SF – Life is rough and the struggle is real… What is some advice you can offer to other artists or aspiring artists when times are rough?

NC – Yeah, I feel that bigtime. Uhm, there’s this single panel comic strip done by one of my favorite artists (I can share the image for the comments section) and it usually pulls me up for air when my lungs are full of shitty energy or my batteries need recharging. I’ve got it nailed to my corkboard above my computer, actually.

The artist drew himself sitting with a monk, basically asking “My life is challenging and confusing, what should I do?”

And the monk responds, “I hear you are an artist.”

He attempt to respond, “Yes, but…”

The monk cuts him off and says “Please, make art.”

And that shit just FUELS me. And I wish that kind of positive energy just could infect everyone I know that is sad and depressed about whatever is going on in their lives or their loved ones’ lives, even their enemies’ lives. Like real talk, everyone’s tryin their best, whether you consider yourself a creative person or not. And I think everyone’s got a creative bone in their body.

This is kinda silly but whenever I show family members the stuff that I’m working on, they usually respond with stuff like “shit, I can only draw stick figures!” And I usually tell them that I actually WANT to see what that stick figure would look like.

An artist I admire had recently said something about how emotional and creative expression is far more valuable than technical skill and I couldn’t agree more.

So if you’re struggling, I’d honestly say, please make art. Art can be anything you give meaning to. You can draw, you can write, you can dance, audio mix, interior decorate, party plan, scrapbook, it doesn’t matter who you are or when you started. You’re creative. So create.

If it’s something you REALLY want, it’s impossible to let go of.

Also, TAKE A BREAAAAAAK. Like for real, TAKE. A. BREAK. So many of my friends and family members, peers, myself, we all overvalue “hard-work” and “dedication.” Take naps! Drink water! Watch something! Rest and relaxation are CRIMINALLY undervalued!! Recharge those batteries and don’t feel bad for needing to power down every once in a while!! Seriously. SERIOUSLY. TAKE. A. BREAK.

SF – You’ve crashed into the GPK scene at high speed with refreshing takes.. How would you explain your style?

NC – Thank you thank you very much!! I always like to practice with different styles, so lately, I’d say it’s a combination of newspaper comics, 70’s cartoons, and western-influenced 2000’s anime! I’m big on character design, so I kinda pull my influences from hundreds and hundreds of different places!

The way I’ve approached my artstyles for GPK is to essentially ghostwrite for some of my favorite artists and styles, like “how would my favorite director draw this character” or “if there were GPK greeting cards in that hallmark style,” stuff like that! And it’s always kinda changing with whatever I’m influenced by that week.

SF – Who would you say have been your biggest influences in the world of illustration?

NC – Ooooooh that is SO tough to narrow down!!

Someone that jumps to mind is Rodney Greenblat. He did that comic I mentioned and also created Parappa the Rapper! Love his character designs so much. So simple, eyecatching, cute, and funny!

Another that I’ve been OBSESSED WITH is Masaaki Yuasa. He’s done several films and series and it’s just so hard to explain just how magical this guy’s stuff is. After i grabbed some of his artbooks in maybe 2018, it practically showed me a whole new way to care about art and animation.

Like there’s so much I could say about that guy and the things he makes AND I’m making a recommendation RIGHT now.

He did this film called Mind Game. It’s this incredible BATSHIT animated movie that’s all about this young guy who’s let his life coast by. He meets up with his highschool fling and they both get into some trouble and have to find a way out. And if you look at the way it moves, it’s very well animated but the drawings themselves are really crummy, if that makes sense? I don’t think he’d be offended in me saying that by the way! He’s said “even though we had a big budget for it, we wanted it to look like we didn’t try very hard making it even though we did” Plus it hits you in the face with a new artstyle every couple of minutes. Right up my alley hahahh.

I did it no justice explaining it, his films are basically really sweet and positive life philosophies. The Night is Short, Walk On Girl is another one he did, I recommend that one as well. Walk on Girl and Mind Game are kind of more adult, I know there’s alot of parents in these groups so fair warning in case you check these out! BUT he did another called Lu Over The Wall, which is more family friendly. A really sweet one too!

And lastly, there’s this dude who I feel like alot of people in here would like, JJ Villard. His style is PUTRID and ugly and violent and I love it hahahh. The shit he’s been posting on his instagram is great. It’s like that facebook mom ‘live laugh love’ stuff but if it was done by some shitty kid drawing skeletons all over his in-class notes hahahh. It’s really aggressive self-help and I can safely say it’s given me tons of different perspectives on things I’m going through.

He’s also made 2 shows for adult swim! King Star King and JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales. Fairy Tales is cool because he got alot of horror icons to do the voices. He’s got Elvira in there, Robert Englund, Linda Blair, Finn Wolfhard, lots of horror stars, both new and old!!

SF – We saw your Nintendo World Theme Park concept work, (fucking beautiful!!!), did you ever submit that to them? What’s your favourite video game of all time?

NC – Hahh, thank you!! i did actually submit those in an attempt to get a job doing merchandising concepts but was rejected hahahh. I’d love doin stuff like that. Those get passed around some so i’m glad people think they’d be cool ideas!

My favorite game of all time is Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!! Really nostalgic for that one. I run through it several times out of the year hahahh

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze gets an honorable mention!! Playing that games feels amazing.

SF – I can see you as an award winning Creative Director at an Ad Agency, but what would be your dream job?

NC – Damn you with all these compliments! My eyelashes are getting worn out hahh!!

To be honest, GPK is kind of all-encompassing right now, it’s like the BIGGEST thing I care about. Doing sketches has been so much fun.

But I did notice Adam Goldberg saying that he was funding some GPK shorts with Joe Simko and I gotta say, I’d go crazy if I got to contribute to those in SOME kind of way. Like if I could contribute a character design, a joke, a plot idea, voice even the most minor of roles, just ANYTHING. I’ve always wanted to get into the animation world somehow.

I’ve been going crazy lately thinking of a full fledged GPK cartoon and have about a million and one ideas for it. But if I could just be some small part of the production process, I’d wet my metaphorical pants.

SF – You get abducted by aliens. They pass you coloring pens and paper… What would you draw for them?

NC – I’d probably draw them! Whenever I’m with friends or family, I usually doodle them a few times to warm up. Hopefully they’d laugh! And if I’m in a situation where I can understand them and they could understand me, I’d probably ask them what they’d want me to draw!

SF – You’ve mentioned in the past that you have a ton of ideas for a new GPK animation series. Pitch it to us in 50 words, you never know who’s listening!!!! Or if you can’t share that yet, tell us an obscure character you’d definitely bring back!

NC – SHIT OKAY!!!! Starting now!!

“A Garbage Pail Kids animated series that feels as though you’re ripping open a dirty pack and shuffling through the cards themselves, with each containing a 2 minute story or 5 second gag, with TONS of familiar faces in unique off-the-wall artstyles hitting you upside the head every minute!!”

If I had a few more words in there, I’d harken back to the MAD Magazine cartoon they made a few years ago. The transitions between cartoons were super cool in that show. It was like you were flipping through the magazine and tearing out pages and throwing them away.

A PERFECT way to do that with GPK would be throwing a card away after the short is over, or accidentally ripping a sticker while trying to peel it off. Maybe you tear the wax pack slightly and there’s a little character underneath doing something weird,

like Potty Scotty is bathing in the toilet before he notices the viewer and peels the wrapper back over hahah. Or maybe TV Stevie is in a trance and he eerily looks at the viewer. Neat little stuff like that! And you could have reverse card art characters get the animation treatment!

As for the story and gag ideas, I do have a couple in mind but I’ll keep those on hold for now!

SF – What is your favorite and least favorite thing about GPK? Tell us what you think GPK is missing.

NC – Well, my personal favorite thing is seeing so many different kinds of folks enjoying collecting these things for their own different reasons! I’ve spoken to so many different artists and collectors that have each explained to me why they collect or draw it in the first place and have been asked to draw so many characters and tributes for so many reasons that I’m so thankful for and touched by!

I think everyone can agree that we all miss card backs! And it’s great to see them making a return!! More certificates! More report cards! Bring back those little word scrambler games! Bring back the comics! Let me help, I’ve got time! Hahh!

SF – And finally the now our usual fight question to wrap things up…Nasty Nick Vs Lovesick Nick? Or what we really want to know is Markers Vs Colouring pencils?

NC – Hrmmm that’s a tough one! If the sun is shining, all Nasty Nick can do is delivery quippy insults. But if Lovesick Nick is TRULY lovesick (as we’ve all been), his admiration for his one true love would transcend his now withered, bloodless physical form. (as it always does). So, I’d say Lovesick Nick!

I like using both markers and colored pencils but I can say I’ve used markers much more often!

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in August 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist Bekki Jayne Sharp

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the third instalment of Trash Talkin’. We caught up with Bekki Jayne Sharp and asked her 13 questions to find out what makes her tick.

Sybil Ferro – We’re just gonna barge right in and start with the big one. The most important question for anyone who doesn’t know you…Whats so good about the 80s?

Bekki Jayne Sharp – Well what isn’t? How much time do you have? Is there a limited amount of characters for this response?

Haha well to be honest with you for me it was the era of freedom . I was a carefree kid, with no responsibilities. The only thing that matterd to me was trying to save enough of my spending money to buy some Santa Cruz wheels for my skateboard.

There were things I’d never or even the world had never seen or read before that lit my brain up like a Christmas tree.

Like the weird and wonderful worlds of Roald Dahl..Jim Henson..Spielberg I could go on. The imagination and talent of the time was so fresh and innovative like nothing ever before it … which is probably why 80s movies get remade often these days and referenced. The music was great ..video games were so awesome even though we all know they were basic. It was the last decade before the internet came along and ruined everything. Don’t get me wrong I love social media its helped me get where I am today, but if I could eradicate it tomorrow I would.. sadly it’s the only way I can really show the world my work!

I had a rather traumatic childhood and the movies, games and music of the time allowed me to escape.
The 80s holds a special place in my heart and always will.

SF – What is your earliest memory of GPK?

BJS – The Garbage Pail Kids movie was the first time I really found GPK. I’d have been 7 years old..I just remember laughing my head off at these funny little gross characters..soon after I started buying the little packs of stickers . I’ll be honest though it wasn’t until last year that I really got back into it.

SF – Who’s been the toughest character to draw and why?

BJS – FRYIN RYAN !!! I just can’t seem to get his scaly skin right ..if I ever have to paint him again it’ll be extremely close up infact just painting his eyes will be fine.

SF – What’s the wackiest custom commision you’ve had to draw? (Or had to turn down for being too weird?)

BJS I never turn work down unless I’m just really booked up with commissions but I haven’t had a weird custom commission as yet. I’m sure I will in time ..who knows!

SF – You can turn your hand to so many different art styles, was that a deliberate move on your part – to not pigeonhole yourself in one particular genre?

BJS – You know it wasn’t deliberate actually. I’ve just always been able to. I distinctly remember in college having it drummed into me that I NEEDED to have a style or I wouldn’t get anywhere. I could never understand this. Wouldn’t that mean you turning away work or being turned away for work because it doesn’t fit? It made no sense to me. I can knock out some weird creepy sketches from my imagination or paint Adam Bomb with tinsel on his butt ..it doesn’t matter ..I just love art in all forms and the more forms I’m familiar with the better!!

SF – Who would you say are your biggest art influences? Who’s your favourite artist outside of GPK right NOW?

BJS – A couple of oldies..Van Gogh and Dali ..adore their work! Quentin Blake was a master . Drew Struzan brought to life some of my most treasured movies with his poster art. Brian Froud – His work blows me away and of course the late great GIGER! My favourite artist outside of GPK would have to be Christopher Lovell. His vivid imagination and attention to detail is insane!

SF – Do you remember the first piece of art you sold? If so, what was it and did it make you feel any different about yourself as an artist?

BJS – Haha it was my take on an old Lichtenstein painting and it sold on Ebay for £50…how did it make me feel? Filled me with joy that someone was willing to part with their hard earned cash just to buy something I made. I still feel like that today when people buy my work. I am ever so grateful for it! Yeah.. that feeling has never gone away.

SF – The massive amount of sketches you have had to create for your first GPK series…. can you tell us what this experience has been like for you?

BJS – Man..all I can say is ..MY EYEEEESSSSSS !!!
Haha nah it is such an amazing franchise to work on and it’s by far the most fun I’ve ever had painting.

It’s tough though. This job isn’t for the faint hearted. You have to be fast ..accurate and reliable ..deadlines are tight too.But the community has welcomed me with open arms. I’m still quite new to the GPK world..there are some seriously amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to connect with I really hope this is the start of something amazing.

SF – What are your GPK aspirations?

BJS I genuinely don’t know ..I’ve so many ideas I wanna execute it’s just finding the time I guess. Ask me in a year!!

SF – If you made an 80s themed set, who would be your figure head (Adam bomb)?

BJS – Captain Chunk from Goonies of course!!!!!!!

SF – Are there any other franchises you would love to work on, outside of GPK?

BJS – GOONIES AND LOST BOYS!

SF – If you were a GPK character who would you be?

BJS – Is there a GPK character that’s annoying, short and has a penchant for Guinness?

SF – Who would win in a fight between Drunk Ken and you after a night on the Guinness?

BJS I tend to pass out after 8 pints so probably Ken ..unless I plied him with tequila chasers at the beginning of the night!

https://www.etsy.com/nz/people/dasilva79
Instagram @truffleshuffledesigns

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in August 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist Lowell Isaac

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

In the second installment of Trash Talkin’, we caught up with illustrator extraordinaire Lowell Isaac and asked him 13 lucky questions and some bonus ones, so we all get to know him better.

Sybil Ferro – First question, nice and easy… what kind of deal did you strike with the devil to draw like you do? You don’t have to answer that…but seriously…what demon possessed you?

Lowell Isaac – The deal is that you have to be willing to be bad at everything else in life to be decent at drawing cartoons. I think it is the same amount of work that it takes to become a doctor or lawyer, but none of the benefits. Just the satisfaction of depicting a convincing pile of vomit.

SF – Did you collect Garbage Pail Kids when you were younger and what is your earliest memory of GPK?

LI – I think I had a few, to me they blend together with all the great gross irreverent creepy content we had at our disposal in the 80s. GPK, Mad Magazine, Madballs, and all manner of grotesque toys and comics. That was so natural to us, it’s in our DNA. Maybe as a reaction against corporate sell-out culture in the 80s there was this strong undercurrent of subversive, anti-social material that struck a nerve with young odd-balls like me. I don’t even question why I gravitate to that kind of imagery still– but I do feel like it’s missing from the scene a bit today. Instead of figuring out how to sell weird new ideas, everyone just wants to sell-out. Or maybe I’m just old and grumpy. But the truth is, my wife is the hardcore GPK nut, and she got me back into it. Without her it would never have crossed my mind to pursue this.

SF – I have to ask you about your influences. Who inspired you to get into illustration and who else working right now, rocks your socks, bakes your cake and ruffles your truffles?

LI – I was really lucky to grow up in an art family, going back to my grandfather– so there was a constant flow of art-books and museum trips– which means too many influences to name. Some that stand out would be R. Crumb, Ralph Steadman, Jack Davis, Kathe Kollwitz, but the list would go on and on. I always tend to look back at artists from the past more than now (although many of my old heroes are still around and kicking). There are some current European comics artists I love, like Jorge Gonzalez and Lorenzo Mattotti– reaching back again Alberto Breccia and Jordi Bernet knock my socks off. I think they do more interesting things with comics in Europe– even though the US invented the medium we haven’t moved too far past men in tights.

SF – GPK is riding a crest of a wave at the moment, any ideas why and what do you think is still missing?

LI – Selfishly, I would love to see Topps embrace more diverse styles and approaches, because then they might let me do some of the official cards. I’m not too good at changing my approach, it’s hard-wired at this point– but it seems to me that many fans get excited about that. We’ve got some sketch artists doing really innovative and interesting work– and I personally think they should all be doing official cards, and guiding the property in new directions. I think that would please the core fans, but also possibly attract some new ones. Plus that’s the kind of art I like; I want to see the hand of the individual artist in the work. Yes, Topps is a big company, and big companies are risk-averse, but isn’t it sort of at the heart of GPK to go against the establishment?

SF – Do you have a favourite GPK character to draw?

LI – To be completely honest, I can’t get tired of drawing Adam Bomb. He’s asked for a lot– but he’s so simple and perfect that you can do a lot with him. I could draw Adam Bombs all day.

SF – Where else outside of GPK can we find your art? What are you working on at the moment that has you excited?

LI – I always have a few projects going at a time. I’ve got some picture books and comics out there, but lately I’ve been doing more with animation. I got to work on an opening title sequence for an upcoming Troma film (“Kill, Dolly, Kill!”) about a transvestite serial killer– and now I’m working on a wacky animation project on my own that I’ll probably start showing people bits of soon.

SF – What would be your dream illustration job?

LI – Well, the good (and maybe bad) thing about being an artist is that you don’t have to wait for a dream job– if you want to make something you can just make it. You don’t need much money to do it, you don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission– which is great, but it also means that all the steam has to come from you. I have sketchbooks full of ideas that I want to make into books and short animated films and everything else– it’s just a matter of doing it! Once you do the work opportunities tend to materialize– that’s what happened with GPK. I just started drawing goofy stuff for my wife, a sketch artist saw it and connected me to Topps. Now I’m a part of this really cool community.

SF – Would you recommend drawing sketch cards to any of your students? Do you think it’s opened any doors for you?

LI – I think I would– but it would need to be one who could draw really quickly. I wouldn’t recommend anyone do sketch cards who would spend time laboring over them, because the money from Topps is an insult (I don’t even bother to send in my invoices half the time, to be honest!). However, for me, “GPK” means the fans more than Topps. The fans are so enthusiastic, supportive, appreciative, and they make it worthwhile both creatively and financially. The thrill of saying you’re employed by Topps wears off fast– and I will admit I don’t treat them with much reverence anymore. But I will always be loyal to the fans, they’re such great people to work with– I would call a few of them real friends. And yes– I’ve made some interesting connections with GPK fans that led to other work, for sure.

SF – With the world in the state it is, do you think we need GPK right now more than ever (to parody politicians and champion counter culture)?

LI – We do– and again I think we’re missing a vibrant anti-commercial counter-culture right now. I don’t know how much good it does though, to be honest; we’ve got big problems, and too many people who want to ignore them (and are ready to fight to the death to preserve their ignorance). I’m a lot more cynical about the power of parody than I used to be. But, it makes me feel better to draw the things that piss me off or freak me out– it’s cathartic to make, and I think cathartic to look at, if nothing else.

SF – If Topps asked you to work on a political set, would you/could you do it?

LI – In a heartbeat– as long as I had some say about what I was drawing.

SF – What’s the last thing you drew? And can you show us?

LI – Sure– it was a weird little animation experiment I did last night– I’ll attach it as a gif.

SF – Are there any other franchises you would love to work on, outside of GPK?

LI – It was fun to do my take on TMNT– and when they let me do Star Wars, which I’m a life-long fan of, I was compelled to make fun of Jar Jar on every card. They wouldn’t accept a single one– but I made myself laugh, which is ultimately the goal. I just couldn’t play it straight– Star Wars has been eaten up by this massive corporation and my heart isn’t in it anymore. The truth is, I’m pretty tired of franchises altogether. You know what was great about all these franchises from the 1970s and 80s that we all love so much? They were new ideas! People were throwing out whatever odd-ball gross-out thing they could come up with– and we loved it! Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Robocop, Toxic Avenger, Pee-Wee, Beetlejuice, etc. etc. — there was no formula, it was just crazy shit– and we ate it up. If we really want to keep that spirit alive, we need to come up with crazy NEW ideas! Or at least visit these old properties in completely new ways.

SF – If you were a GPK character who would you be?

LI – I drew myself as a GPK character– I’ll send that along. I’ve done quite a few actually– the first GPK I ever did was my wife. That’s what I originally thought people would want– new characters based on themselves, that would be a lot of fun on my end. A couple of folks have asked for that. If I had to say, I guess Nasty Nick– what’s better than a Dracula? They did one Lowell card– a hockey player named Lowell Goal. Yuck!

SF – Who’s your favourite artist outside of GPK right NOW?

LI – I’m going to choose an illustrator who I was a fan of, who became a teacher, and eventually a friend. C. F. Payne could easily have done GPK, he did a lot for Mad Magazine and other editorials, and I’ve learned a lot from him in every way. That includes some of his techniques but also his approach to art and to the creative life– he’s a great artist and educator.

SF – We started on Demons so let’s end there too…(bonus question!) who would win in a fight between Hot Scott and Cranky Frankie?

LI – I’ll say Hot Scott because I think he looks cooler.

Lowell Isaac
Illustrator, Lecturer
lowellisaac.com

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in July 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

Trash Talkin’ With GPK Sketch Artist Barry Nygma

Interview is republished, by permission, from Sybil Ferro and the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group, © 2020.

In the first instalment of our soon to be regular feature – “Trash Talkin”, we caught up with Misfit favourite, Barry Nygma and asked him 13 lucky questions, so we all get to know him a little better!

Sybil Ferro – Did you collect Garbage Pail Kids when you were younger and what is your earliest memory of GPK?

Barry Nygma – I absolutely was obsessed with them… My Mom would take me shopping about once a week or so and I would always talk her into letting me buy a pack or two of trading cards. I started out with Baseball cards (in ’85, the Royals, my hometown team, won the World Series), but in addition, I also loved comics and cartoon images so Baseball Grossouts and Garbage Pail kids were right up my alley. After a while, it was mostly GPK and I would sit on the floor of the grocery store (GPK and non-sports cards wer bottom-shelf items) and try to use the Force (yes, I was also a Star Wars nerd) to figure out which pack or two to buy…

SF – Who’s your favourite character to draw?

BN – It changes from day to day… I always try to slide a few of my favorites into every set; Janet Planet, Heavin Steven, etc… But really I’m trying to draw more characters that I HAVEN’T drawn repeatedly. Or that get ignored in sketches. Working with quite a few more ANS Kids this round.

SF – Are there any scenes or characters from GPK that you won’t draw?

BN – I don’t care much for a lot of the more sexualized characters. And characters that are playing with poo. Adult GPK aren’t much fun. And after having recieved my only rejected card on a Trump piece, I’m avoiding a lot of political stuff, as well.

SF – Other than in its hay day, GPK has always been quite niche and on the fringes – what do you think that says about us Collectors?

BN – I think that most collectors are fringe people who’s tastes aren’t dictated by any particular cultural trends. It’s a weird hobby for adults to have and most of us still clutch onto that childish side for nostalgia… It takes us back to a wistful time when we we’re young, innocent, the whole future was ahead of us still and we didn’t have herpes yet.

SF – What are your GPK aspirations?

BN – I’d like to do a base card or two someday… But I’m pretty solid with where I am now with it. There’s politics involved with getting to the top in any field and I don’t know that I’m willing to contend with that side of the Art world.

SF – GPK is definitely riding the crest of a wave right now. Why do you think that is and how long do you think it will last?

BN – I think most people who remember them fondly from their childhood are now working and have the money to buy things from their childhood that make them happy… Or they didn’t have them as a kid and never stopped thinking about them.
I think it will last as long as there are crazy collectors willing to splash out the kind of money that things like tiny statues and superfractors demand… Having said that, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around what people are willing to pay for manufactured rarity.

SF – What’s the weirdest reaction you’ve had when you’ve told someone that you draw GPK for a job?

BN – Blank looks, mostly. Then I have to explain what a sketchcard is… Or what a Garbage Children is. Then it’s mostly polite smiles and nods.

SF – Have you missed the convention scene whilst we’ve been in lockdown?

BN – Yes and no… I was looking forward to GrossCon, but couldn’t risk it with my wife being high-risk. I love talking to other fans about what we do and the history of our hobby. Local Cons, not as much. There have been a few that were great and a few that were pretty meh. But for all the preparation and having prints/stickers/pre-sketched cards/comic covers/etc. is pretty time-consuming and takes away from time spent creating.

SF – Are there any other franchises you would love to work on, outside of GPK?

BN – Honestly, I’ve done the Big 3 that I really wanted to do. GPK is always nearest and dearest, but Mars Attacks and Wacky Packages were also on my list. And I did them both, and even got to draw some Ninja Turtles, as well!

SF – What GPK character are you most like? (If you were a GPK character who would you be?)

BN – Probably that Smokin’ Joe character from Late to School that’s covered in a rainbow of paint… I’m always finding ink smudges or acrylic paint smears on my arms and clothes.

SF – What is GPK missing?

BN – I still miss the old fashioned Bazooka Joe style comics on the back, along with the mail-away items. I also miss file folder backs… They both held my attention even more than the front of the cards. Clever writing, great gags, a new bit of art for beloved characters… It was all there.

SF – Who’s your favourite artist outside of GPK right NOW?

BN – Probably Ron English, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Ernie Bushmiller, or Banksy.

Though, not to be sneezed at is the work of many of our fine GPK Artists outside of GPK. John Pound and Jay Lynch’s work on various underground comix blew my mind when I first stumbled across them in my Uncle’s basement, and Tom Bunk’s MAD work is outstanding, as is Denis St. John’s and Lowell Isaac’s comics.

SF – Who would win in a fight between Ray Decay and Toothie Ruthie?

A Dentist.

Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in July 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.

10 Questions With…Topps Licensing Vice President Ira Friedman

Ira Friedman is the current Vice President, Global Licensing at Topps. Ira has been at Topps for an incredible 31 years! He has been involved in and overseen everything from product development, to publishing, and licensing. For the last 10 years Ira has been in charge of licensing all brands at Topps, including Garbage Pail Kids. More than ever, the GPK brand is showing up on a wide variety of merchandise items, even mobile games, and online videos. Ira was nice enough to do an e-mail interview with GPKNews. In the interview we talk about Ira’s history at Topps, licensing the GPK brand, and a little bit about next year’s 35th anniversary of the Garbage Pail Kids.

GPKNews – Thanks for the interview Ira! You are the VP of licensing at Topps currently. I read in an interview you first started working for Topps back in 1988. How did you get your start with Topps? What were some of your first projects you worked on?

Ira Friedman – My initial, (professional), contact with Topps was in 1980 when I worked at Lucasfilm. Topps was one of the original Star Wars licensees, (still is), and I interfaced with Sy Berger back then. Sy was a pioneering legend at Topps for many decades; he headed up all licensing (sports and entertainment), was the ‘face’ of Topps to the outside community and is considered by many to be the creator of the modern-era baseball card.

GPKNews – When you started at Topps it was the tail end of the original GPK craze. How familiar were you with Garbage Pail Kids prior to working at Topps? Did you own any of the cards?

IF – I was quiet familiar with GPK prior to coming aboard at Topps. Once I decided to move back to New York, (after my stint at Lucasfilm), I pitched a few publishing ideas to Topps. Sy arranged for me to meet with Arthur Shorin, the CEO at the time, whose family founded Topps in 1938. As a result of this relationship, I acquired the rights and published an official movie souvenir magazine based on the Garbage Pail Kids movie. This was through my own publishing company, Ira Friedman, Inc. As most know, the movie was not exactly a blockbuster success and, unfortunately, my magazine followed in similar fashion. Amusingly enough, I’ve heard from numerous fans over the years who consider the movie to be cult classic. I guess that’s another way of saying, ‘it’s so bad…it’s good!’

GPKNews – Licensing the GPK brand seemed to begin to pick up some steam a couple of years ago. Now 2019 has seen many new licensed products with more to come in 2020. What was the impetus to focus on licensing of the GPK brand again?

IF – Our licensing program has indeed been picking up considerable steam over the past couple of years. The popular trend toward vintage/retro brands from the 80’s and 90’s has helped paved the way, while gross-inspired properties never seem to go away. Cutting-edge companies such as Santa Cruz skateboards and Funko helped us kick off the program initially and generate a lot of buzz with old-time fans, and also helped to expand the audience to many newcomers as well.

2020, coinciding with GPK’s 35thanniversary, is going to be filled with lots of new product opportunities for fans to engage. If I have anything to do with it, (and I do), GPK in 2020 will be more visible – in far more fun ways — than it’s been in decades. One component of the 2020 anniversary celebration that I’m especially excited about is that we’ll be producing a series of stop-motion video shorts ‘starring’ the GPK’s that have appeared as Funko ‘Mystery Mini’s.’ We’ve created two so far, “Comic-Conflict” and “Movie Mayhem” and have a third coming in the works for the holiday season called “Holiday Hijinks.” Our goal for next year is ambitious; release one new short on our YouTube channel every month or so. Response from fans so far has been very positive and we’re pumped to keep ‘em coming.

GPKNews – When it comes to licensing the GPK brand, do companies approach Topps with ideas for merchandise, or does Topps reach out to companies to gauge their interest?

IF – There is no hard-fast rule; companies approach us and we approach companies whose work we admire and where we think there’s a good fit. The common denominator is partnering up with folks who know and love the brand; the passion factor is critically important. We want to see merch that our fans will find: fresh, innovative, different, of high quality, and in keeping with the quirky, funny, gross and irreverent quality of GPK.

GPKNews – The original artwork is important to collectors. How important is it to Topps to stay true to the classic characters and artwork when working with the licensees? How involved in Topps with the design and/or approval of the licensed items?

IF – On one hand, it’s important to maintain the original vision and aesthetic of the initial GPK painters including John Pound and Tom Bunk. Their incredible artwork, was directly impacted by the team of the gag writers/conceptual artists, including Art Spiegelman and Mark Newgarden, creative director Len Brown, among others. Their collaborative efforts set the stage for a multi-generational phenomenon that is alive and well to this day. On the other hand, we cannot ignore the changing world around us and the diverse art styles that are relevant to today’s consumers. So, while we certainly cannot, (and will not), ignore the past, we keep an open mind regarding the use of other mediums, styles, techniques and approaches. I welcome fresh, new ways to convey the uniqueness, fun and outrageousness of GPK. Fans will see some of what I’m referring to in a number of new products coming to market next year.

GPKNews – The original Garbage Pail Kids movie has gone down in history as one of the worst critically reviewed movies of all time. A couple of years ago there were rumors making the rounds about a possible animated feature length film featuring GPKs. It looks like that project never made it off the ground. Is there any more thought about a project to get GPKs on the big screen?

IF – As acknowledged earlier, the Garbage Pail Kids movie was not one of the property’s proudest moments. Nor was the ill-fated CBS cartoon series from back in the day. The good news is, these projects set such a low standard that we can only improve from these prior results! On a more serious note, the reality is that Topps had little to no creative input or control over these ventures.

Nowadays, with Michael D. Eisner, the former head of Disney, as Topps’ majority shareholder, there is zero chance of repeating those earlier missteps. If we were to again have the opportunity to see GPK on the silver screen or TV, I’m supremely confident that the end result will be one that fans of all ages will appreciate and enjoy. Personally, my preference would be to see ongoing GPK TV episodes (vs. a film in theaters), but only time will tell if, how, when and where the entertainment piece will go. In in meanwhile, we can only hope…

GPKNews – There has been a wide range of uses of the GPK license in 2019, from food items, to clothes, to tiki mugs. Do you have any personal favorite GPK merchandise that’s come out so far?

IF – Candidly, I really like all the merchandise that we’ve licensed during recent times. Yes, I’m partial to the tiki mugs, but also to many of the other items, such as the cereal boxes from FYE and so many more. Fortunately, most of our partners grew up with GPKs and are re-living fond childhood memories by working on GPK merchandise. It’s been great collaborating with many creative people at their respective companies, all of whom are passionate about what they do. These partners want to push the envelope and offer products that reflect their strong emotional connection to the brand.

GPKNews – I read an article recently that said there are big plans at Topps for next year’s 35th anniversary of the Garbage Pail Kids. I’m sure a lot of that includes licensed merchandise. Is there anything you can share with collectors on some of the things they can expect to see in 2020?

IF – There are a host of new items in development for 2020 and, while I’m not going to reveal these now, stay tuned for further announcements in the near future. I believe fans will be very pleased with what’s coming down the road. And, by the way, one cannot overlook the Topps trading card side of the equation. There’s a lot of momentum behind our GPK trading card business right now and next year’s 35thanniversary bodes very well for card collectors, new and existing. There will be more activity, more creativity and more cool things happening on the card side of our business versus what fans have seen in some time.

GPKNews – You’ve worked with some iconic franchises over the years. You worked for Lucas Films and the Star Wars brand. What are your thoughts about getting to work with the GPK brand and it’s almost 35 year history of grossing people out?

IF – I really don’t dwell on the ‘grossing people out’ aspect as much as I think about being given the opportunity to make an impression on many people from around the world and entertaining fans with something funny and clever that they enjoy and can relate to on some level. Whether it be the name of the character, the gag itself, the depiction of the concept by any one of a number of incredibly talented artists, there is a common bond here that we all feel about GPK. We’re obviously not saving the world here, but there’s something to be said for offering a little comic relief to people’s lives. It’s a powerful connection that have with our fans and we treat this with much thought and care. At the end of the day, seeing the smiles on kids, (and collectors’), faces keeps me and the entire Topps team motivated to carry on for years to come.

GPKNews – Thanks again for taking the time with us Ira. Finally, what is your favorite Garbage Pail Kid character?

IF – Like so many GPK fans, I have a preference for the many of the original GPK’s from the early series (#1-5). I would not want to name one classic character as a particular favorite as I love all my ‘children’ equally.

I can tell you that my favorite new GPK character is one that is called Incrudible Ira. Its creation was a surprise (and very special) gift for me in the form of a painting by GPK artist Joe Simko. In spite of the fact that the art makes me look chubbier and sillier than ever, it resonated for obvious reasons; so much so that I arranged for a small quantity to be produced and I use them as my business card. Fortunately, most find it to be appealing and very different… though some uninitiated to the world of GPK think it’s weird and strange. (They clearly just don’t get it.)

Interview With GPK the Game Executive Producer & Jago Studios CEO Stuart Drexler

Stuart Drexler is the founder and CEO of Jago Studios. They are the gaming studio behind the upcoming mobile game, GPK the Game. Garbage Pail Kids collectors have been eagerly awaiting the game since it was first announced last year. In addition to running the company, Stuart is also the Executive Producer of the game. He attended this year’s Gross Card Con in Las Vegas. Stuart spoke briefly prior to the artist’s panel, and was busy the rest of the time talking to collectors and handing out some GPK the Game stickers. I was able to sit down with Stuart for an interview at the show. In the interview we discuss why Jago choose the GPK brand for its first game, how they are using and incorporating the original artwork in the game, some of what collectors can expect when the game launches, and finally a little bit about release dates.

GPKNews – Thanks for talking with us Stuart! You’re the founder of Jago Studios and GPK the Game is the studio’s first game. Why did you guys decide on GPK?

Stuart Drexler – So I grew up as a Wacky Packages kid. Mad Magazine, that really inspired me, and twisted my head a little bit as a kid. That was my entry into the world of satire. I was a little older when GPK came around, so I wasn’t one of the targets in that age range. I always knew how big it was, and it was phenomenal to see what it became.

GPKNews – How aware of GPK were you? Did you collect GPK when you were a kid?

SD – Again, I’m not going to say my age, but I was just older than the target audience would have been. I was a teenager when they came out, so it wasn’t for me. I looked at them and said, wow. I went into the kids industry. So when I started my career after college most of what I did, for however many years, was around kids brands; Barbie, Elmo, Sesame Street characters, Polly Pocket,  Action Man, Harry Potter, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, and so forth. I’ve had a great privilege to work with these great brands. Come to the point when I wanted to form my own company the inspiration really was if you were going to bring a new brand out today. Let me turn it around, there hasn’t been anything like this, since. We had Mad Magazine, Wacky Packages, and GPK. You look at the other card brands that have come out since, Pokemon, Yugioh, Magic the Gathering. Those are all in the card game genre, but they are all fantasy sci-fi, there’s no humor. Really for us it was this opportunity to bring together card, gaming, and humor. Jago Studios is committed to creating social mobile games with beloved humor brands. That’s what we are all about.

GPKNews – In a previous life you’ve been in charge of some major toy brands like Polly Pocket and some large online MMOs, like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin. Those were new brands. With GPK you are taking on a brand from the past. Is that different in any way?

SD – Its always easier to take a brand, something brand new, because the gloves are off you can go in any direction. When you work with a brand that’s existed for some time there’s some inbuilt knowledge, history, legacy that you have to honor. I’ve had that privilege of working with some fantastic brands and refreshing them and bringing them onto new platforms. Whether it was taking Barbie into a board game, or Sesame Street characters into DVDs or other gaming experiences. I’m experienced at transitioning brands across different platforms. It’s a real treat to be able to work with a brand that has that much love and passion from its fans. As much as sometimes I know it will be difficult, and fans won’t love everything that we do, bring it on is my attitude. Its about being part of the community. Built into community is communication so I look forward to that conversation and wherever that takes us

GPKNews – How has being partners with Topps on the project been?

SD – They’ve been fantastic. I’ll be honest going in it was a little bit of a concern, corporate if you will, larger company. How are they going to be, or how tight are they going to be. Like it was said at the artist panel, they’ve really been fantastic partners. They are thrilled at having us involved in this. They’ve been great.

GPKNews – Topps has a number of mobile apps/games where collecting digital cards is the main focus. With this game it’s a card collecting/battling RPG, which I think surprised a lot of collectors when it was announced. Why did you choose these game mechanics for a GPK mobile game?

SD – The cards are already being collected, the physical market, there’s a huge audience. Its got 30 years of backstory. We didn’t want to replicate that. We wanted to add something new to the universe. There are, how many thousands of, ardent collectors over the years who are still involved and passionate about this. But there are millions of people who grew up with GPK as kids, may even still have their cards. In fact, I’ve talked to quite a few of them, “My 6th grade girlfriend took some of my cards.” Other ones, “My mom has them.” I’ve had two of my closer friends give me their cards. They said I want you to have these, I hope they inspire you. The point of all that is, there are millions of fans of the brand that may not even realize they can have a chance to get involved with GPK again. We really want the game to be accessible, wether or not you’re a collector. So there’s a lighter collection aspect within the game, we’re not going have thousands of cards in the game. Start with tens and ultimately grow into hundreds. Its of the more traditional model of a roll playing game where you get a few characters to being with, you level them up, you unlock new characters, you choose which characters you want to go after, and chase cards that will be great at building your strongest teams. There’s a lot of strategy involved in figuring out which characters go well together and make the best teams against other teams of characters.

GPKNews – During development how hard has it been to incorporate GPK characters into the game?

SD – This has been one of the most gratifying elements frankly. We explored early on reimagining the characters into 3D. Its been done with a number of other brands, I won’t name names. Sometimes more successfully than others. It just came across to us that was going to be a challenge to do, and do really, really well. The inbuilt love and instant recognizability of the actual 2d artwork, that those artists have done, is really the biggest equity in the brand. So we stopped running away from that, and really leaned in and embraced it. We used animation tools that has allowed us to take the actual card artwork and bring it to life. The characters in the game animate from the characters everyone instantly recognizes.

GPKNews – Who do you see as the target audience for GPK the Game? Kids? Adults? GPK collectors? Everyone?

SD – Well I can say everyone, and untimely we hope it’s everyone. Our initial target audience is those people that know the brand from their childhood. So its 35 years old and up. We are seeing in our early marketing its 25+, and the majority of the people signing up on our Facebook lists are 30 and older. Not surprising whatsoever, that’s also where the roll playing game audience is. That said, there is a lot of hand me down that happens. Those folks now have kids of their own, so there’s going to be a lot of hand me down that way. We hope that other people will discover the brand for the first time, and say what the heck is this crazy thing and fall in love with it.

GPKNews – You guys are animating these characters. It will be the first time collectors see their favorites animated, even if the animations are short. Again how are you striving to stay true to the original artwork, while making entertaining animations?

SD – We’ve done our best to stay true to the character and bring out the essence of what each character would have and would draw upon. We are actually right now working on bringing some voiceover and enhancing the sound effects in the game to bring that to the next level. We haven’t had a lot of feedback specifically about what we’ve done so far. But the general feedback we gotten from individuals we’ve spoken to, from people that have played the game, is they love seeing the characters brought to life. That’s one of the most magical and charming moments in the game and they want to see more of that.

GPKNews – I know a lot of the details haven’t been released about the game yet, but let’s give these questions a shot anyway. Once the game is released will there be ongoing support, game updates, new characters, etc?

SD – We will launch with an initial set of characters that we’ve already built. We know what our next 6 or so characters that we will build and add to the game. Once we are live and launched globally then we will be adding new characters on a regular basis. The cadence of that has yet to be determined. Monthly there will be new content in the game. I don’t want to say too much yet about the other elements that will be part of our live operation plan. What I will say at a high level is, the beauty of this brand is that it is satire, it’s a spoof. That’s one of the things that drew me to the brand, even though I didn’t grow up as a GPK kid. It fits right into that Wacky Packs, Mad Magazine sarcasm. I grew up with Monty Python, Benny Hill, wit, sarcasm, irony and the fact that you watch over time what Topps has done on a regular basis. Lampooning whether its pop stars, or sports figures, or political figures. The opportunity to keep this topical and to bring the brand to almost a weekly relevance. We have the opportunity to, not just with the cards, but other content that can surface in the game experience that gives you a laugh. That makes you hold the phone up to someone and say holy you know what, you’ve got to check this out, look what they’ve done. In the same way that when you open those card packs that you say, oh my God that’s crazy. That only happens with printed sets so many times a year. We see this as an opportunity to be doing it on a much more regular basis with fans of the brand. And again expand the market, the appeal, the potential for GPK that isn’t just physical cards.

GPKNews – How will Jago pick and choose what characters appear in the future? Are all GPKs fair game from OS, ANS, all the way to today’s sets? Do you have any plans for original characters to appear in the game first?

SD – We’ve gone back to series 1 and 2 because, as I’ve said earlier, we’re appealing not just to the core card collectors but to a much larger fan base. They’re the most recognizable. That said, we’ve peppered in cards that are much more recent, some with pop references, and others we just love the look of and they’re going to be really fun and would be a great card to battle within the game. There are some functional considerations we have. There are thousands of characters, and we’ve gone through quite a few of them to come up with the list we have. There are times when something won’t visually work as well in a game situation, so we’ve steered clear of those. Others where the scale difference, some cards are torso up, some are just the face, others are full head to toe, others are where there’s a whole scene of multiple characters in a card so that becomes a little more problematic. A lot of factors that come in to play. Simple answer is, Topps has given us carte blanche to all of the content they’ve created. They’ve also said, as and where appropriate, we can create new characters for the game. That could launch just in the game, and if they like it well enough and it fits into some of their plans then it could become a physical card. There are things afoot there that I can’t really talk about.

GPKNews – Will GPK the Game be a Freemimum game at launch?

SD – Yeah, it’s a standard free play game, free to download no charge for that. You can play the game forever for free. There’s no requirement to purchase anything in the game. There’s no hard wall, I know some games have had a lot of flack for having a hard wall where you can’t progress if you don’t spend real money in the game. We’re not going to have that. There are opportunities to buy cards within the game as well as coins, and our funny money, toxic gems which speed your progress through the experience.

GPKNews – When first announced, the release time frame you guys were shooting for was Q4 2018, and the latest info you announced was Q2 2019. Why the reason for the delay? How confident are you that you will hit that Q2 time frame?

SD – When you’re creating a mobile game or any game, a game is a lot more complicated than just creating a piece of artwork for a card. I appreciate to the fans to give us the time to really get it right. We want to make the best possible game. We love this brand. We’re making this for the fans, and for everyone who grew up with the brand. We’ve done both quantitative and qualitative testing. We’ve got some fans in playing it. We are iterating all the time, taking feedback in, making some tweaks, making some changes, making improvements. In terms of timing, my marketing lead has sworn me that you never specify the release date until you are right there and 100% ready to release the game. I’m not going to specify a specific date. It will be later this year, we are shooting for summer. We are doing our best to hit those dates. At the end of the day if there’s something we feel we can tweak and improve, that’s really going to make a difference, that when we launch live people are thrilled and excited and understand why we spent that time and put all that love an energy in, then that’s what we are going to do.

GPKNews – Do you have any additional plans for doing anymore public beta testing?

SD – We are always beta testing with folks who are in the company and close to the company. We are thinking about it, we may do some more beta testing with fans, so stay tuned.

GPKNews – Can you give us any tidbits from the game that haven’t been released? Anything you want to reveal to GPK collectors?

SD – Right now one of the things we are working on is, I know this might sound trivial, but card borders. Originally, when we first designed we had reimagined the card borders for the benefits of what you can do in Unity and gaming interfaces, more bling and interesting. But that’s not what the fans wanted. That’s one the things we got back from fans was, this doesn’t look like my set of cards. It’s really interesting, we’re going back to old school with this. Returning to your traditional, starting with white, but you progress to different colors as you advance through the game. So you immediently know you have more powerful cards or you’re are up against a team that is more powerful through the color borders of cards.

GPKNews – Finally, what’s your favorite GPK character?

SD – Oh my God I don’t even know. I want to say Adam Bomb because its so iconic. Or the one named after me, I have to say, so we have not Savage Stuart, but the Mad Mike version in the game. I specifically didn’t want the card named after me, but we got the character in there, and he’s just damn lovable in the way we’ve brought him to life animated, its a lot of fun.

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!