Stephen Kroninger
I was a Garbage Pail Kid
from series one

In 1986 I was broke. Mark Newgarden hired me to come up with ideas for Garbage Pail Kids at fifty bucks a pop. I don't remember how many fronts I contributed but I did a lot of gags for the backs with Mark. For fifty bucks a day Mark would have me come out to Topps in Brooklyn to sit with him and crack jokes. Some would become gags for the backs of the cards/stickers but mostly I think Mark was lonely out there at Topps all by himself and would invite friends on the pretext of working just so he'd have some companionship. It's a lonely life being a Topps employee as Mark was. Truth be told my wife (then girlfriend), Aviva, came up with the idea for Haley's Vomit but the fifty bucks went towards my rent.* What a gal! The painting itself is by Tom Bunk.
*My rent at the time was either $125 or $150 a month. I can't remember which. 50 bucks a throw went a long way.
These are photocopies of drawings by Howard Cruse of some of the back of the card gags we came up with. The idea was to come up with funny stuff featuring the characters on the fronts. One of the many things I learned while sitting at the feet of Newgarden back then was to never hold back an idea no matter how stupid you might think it is. It may actually be good or at worst it might spark a good joke.

 One of the perks of working there----Mark knew that when I was in third grade I was nuts for the painted Batman cards of the 1960s. I kept them in a shoe box which I kept with me pretty much all of the time. Topps re-released the sets in conjuction with the Tim Burton movie in the 80s. When I showed up for work one day, Mark surprized with two, large uncut sheets of the reprinted cards. They're beautiful and they've been framed and hanging on walls in our apartment ever since.

poorly lit, crummy iPhone grabs of the sheets

AMAZON: Garbage Pail Kids [Hardcover]: Garbage Pail Kids—a series of collectible stickers produced by Topps in the 1980s—combined spectacular artwork and over-the-top satire. The result was an inspired collaboration between avant-garde cartoonists and humorists including Art Spiegelman, Mark Newgarden, John Pound, Tom Bunk, and Jay Lynch. A new generation of fans continues to embrace this pop-culture phenomenon as Garbage Pail Kids stickers are still being published. Now, for the first time, all 206 rare and hard-to-find images from Series 1 through 5 are collected in an innovative package, along with a special set of four limited-edition, previously unreleased bonus stickers. This exciting follow up to Wacky Packages is guaranteed to appeal to die-hard collectors as well as a new generation of fans.

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