Wacky Packs

 

 

Before there were Garbage Pail Kids, there were Wacky Packs, a delightfully twisted line of trading cards and stickers for kids.  Created by the Topps company in 1967, each card featured amazing artwork and satirical humor that took a common household/popular product and turned it on its head.

 Just like trading baseball cards, which was what Topps did primarily, you could open up your Wacky Packs wrapper and behind the long, flat stick of bubble gum you’d find a small piece of cardboard paper on which you’d find the latest clever creation: a sticker that mocked a popular consumer product like Tide detergent (Tied), Rice-a-Phoni (for that San Francisco treat) or Hawaiian Punks (for Hawaiian Punch).  Cartoonist Art Spiegelman (who went on to serve for 10 years as the main cartoonist at the New Yorker, who also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his graphic novel Maus) helped launch the stickers, but he refused to advertise for kids or use the stickers for marketing purposes. Instead, he chose to make spoofs of existing products, and of course he targeted ones people recognized instantly!

Eventually, Spiegelman brought in a crew of 60s underground comic artists, such as Kim Deitch, Bill Griffith and Jay Lynch, all of whom helped create the whimsical and often non-conformist “ads” that would appear inside the sticks of bubble gum.

They have come out with a new collection every decade for half a century now, which means they are still out there today so go buy some! They are sure to put a smile on your face.  And if you are as into these perfectly sick creations, check out the Wacky Packs book released in 2008 , which features some of the greatest of the series and a history of their creation.  Rad

 

 

 

 

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