Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Since the Garbage Pail Kids BNS3 trading card set is released now, I thought I'd share some of my accepted/rejected submissions. I was told by other Topps artists that sharing rejected submissions is sometimes a bad idea because there has been cases where they are put in a "maybe" file and may be pulled out down the road for future series. But, what the heck.

I'll start out with the one gag that got accepted.
I came up with a gag where a GPK girl is attempting to put her ear up to a seashell to "hear
 the ocean" and a crab comes out and stretches or rips her ear off (I was told if I had to explain the gag in that much detail to make it clear it probably isn't a good gag. It should be obvious enough to explain itself).
That makes total sense but I'm just being lengthy here to explain my idea process.

I came up with some sketches and even tried a painting which was a total failure.

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GPK artist Joe Simko painted the final art for the card and did an amazing job.

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the second gag was for a GPK boy who was slurping up ants through a straw. Later I changed the idea to him sucking them out of an ant farm. I also tried a final painting of this one but it still sucked. I asked two of the original GPK artist for what paper, paints, and brushes they used for the early GPKs and bought the same stuff but it didn't make up for my crappy painting skills. I also found out I stink at airbrushing backgrounds.

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The third gag idea I submitted was for a GPK kid shaking his dandruff like snow onto a dancing gingerbread man and tin soldier. Topps liked this one a lot but thought it might be better if the boy was shaking it onto a gpk girl with a disgusted expression on her face. I didn't really know how this would work for a couple of reasons.

A. It would be a tough perspective getting this squished into one image.
B. there hasn't really been any GPKs in the past with more than one character as the focus.

I came up with a couple of rough scenarios but in the end it didn't make it in. I did come up with a gross addition with the girl catching a "snowflake" on her tongue!

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There have been so many times in the past where I totally missed the boat with a gag or an idea. The first one I can remember is my idea to create a Garbage Pail Kids coffee table book. Whenever I took my card binders to college or work everyone would want to gather around and reminisce about their favorite cards and memories so I thought, "Wouldn't it be neat to have a book of the card images?"
I posted my idea of what it would look like on this blog and then years later Abrams books came out with a book just like my idea.
When I first was in contact with Topps I told them I had created a new set of awards/license/certificates that was like the early GPKs except updated with more current pop culture for kids. Things like a Ghost Hunters License, or a Bed Wetters Award (I assume kids still piss the bed). They told me it was already coming back in the next series.
I had a Hello Kitty, Creature From The Black Lagoon, and Wizard gag rejected because I was told they were already painted up for the next series.

I submitted this sorcerer's apprentice gag before BNS2 was released but it was rejected because as I found out when the series came out, they had a wizard done already.

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He's using his "booger magic" to make plungers and toilet brushes dance around.

I also had two gags that went down the toilet at once. One of them was based on "The Shadow Knows" strips from Mad Magazine. It was a cute little GPK kid playing with his toy in a dark room and "Mr. Hand" shining a flashlight on him and his shadow cast on the wall behind him was this grotesque creature with claws and tentacles.
The other gag was of a terrified mime who was trying to get away from a spider by climbing up an invisible rope.
I was telling GPK artist Brent Engstrom about my new gag ideas one evening and he told me he had already done a mime gag for BNS3. Not only that, but it also had a shadow gag included.

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A couple more gags I submitted:

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Topps like the Trevor map gag but it did not get accepted for one reason or another

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I like the really gross cards the best so I came up with this GPK kid eating boogers and old chewing gum off the underside of a desk. Rejected.

As soon as I find out if the selection is done for BNS4 I will share my rejects from that series submissions also.


Here are scans of the 200 sketch cards I did for TOPPS GARBAGE PAIL KIDS BNS3 (2013).  All of them were drawn in black ballpoint pen. I did 200 different characters (some from every series) and spent an
average of 45 min. working on each.
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