Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 9

« Who would have thought, in 1974, as I cruised the aisle of the San Francisco Safeway with Art Spiegelman, hunting for likely targets, that our little barbs sent at consumerism and package design would have such staying power? »
Bill Griffith, creator of Zippy the Pinhead

Topps’ legendary Wacky Packages, the bane of school authorities at their peak in the 1970s, have been opening kids’ eyes in the art of tipping over sacred cows for generations. Since everyone’s presumably  well-versed in the classics (essentially the initial 1967 and 1973-75 burst of creativity), it wouldn’t be a bad idea to showcase some newer fare. In the wake of an internet-fuelled wave of nostalgic popularity, the Wackies rose again with their All-New Series (2004-), and their quality is every bit as impressive as it ever was… thanks in part to a plethora of new products to lampoon, greater creative latitude for the perpetrators, a motley crew of grizzled veterans and homely new faces.

For your contemplation, here’s a trio of Hallowe’en-appropriate cards from new series 7 (2010).

Painted by Jason Edmiston from a concept by Mark Parisi Painted by Tom Bunk from a concept by Mark Parisi Painted by Brent Engstrom from a concept by Mark Parisi

Brent Engstrom, who painted nineteen cards for the 2010 series, shares some valuable insights (and preliminary sketches): http://monkeyboycomic.blogspot.ca/2010/08/wacky-packages-all-new-series-7-2010.html

And here’s the great Jay Lynch’s (1945-2017) account of how a set of Wacky Packages was created, from idea farm to market: http://wackypackages.org/history/production.html

– RG

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