Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wacky Packs and The Underground

Just for Fun - Totally Pointless
Wacky Packages are a series of trading cards featuring parodies of American consumer products. The cards were produced by the Topps Company beginning in 1967, usually in a sticker format. The original series sold for two years, and the concept proved popular enough that it has been revived every few years since. Per trader legend, at one time the product outsold Topps baseball cards.

Relying on the talents of such comics artists as Kim Deitch, George Evans, Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith, Jay Lynch, Norman Saunders, Art Spiegelman, Bob Stewart and Tom Sutton, the cards spoofed well-known brands and packaging, such as "Crust" (instead of Crest) toothpaste, "Blisterine" (instead of Listerine), and "Neveready" batteries (for Eveready Industries batteries). The initial series was followed by a somewhat different Wacky Ads line in 1969, featuring gags and roughs by Lynch and Deitch with finished paintings by Sutton. These cards were designed more like miniature billboards with a die-cut around the parodied product, so it could pop out of the horizontal billboard scene.

Wacky Packages returned in 1973 for a highly successful run. According to trader legend, these cards were then the only Topps product to achieve higher sales than its flagship line of baseball cards. They continued until 1977 through a total of 16 series. Some cards were sold in reprinted editions beginning in 1979 to 1980. (4 series with puzzle/checklist backs)

Newly designed series were produced in 1985 and 1991, but these strayed from the original concept and were not as successful. A new series of stickers was released in 2004, and continued into a sixth set in 2007. These series have been very successful with the return of cartoonist Jay Lynch, plus newcomers David Gross, Strephon Taylor, George Wright, Adam Harris and Neil Camera. This series also marks a return to the use of underground comix artists including M. Wartella. In 2007, Topps released its series 5 and 6 in the Wacky Package Series.

In February 2008, Topps released a series of Wacky Packages called Flashbacks. This series contained artwork from previously released cards as well as unreleased artwork to make a set of 72 base cards. Moving towards the trend with other types of trading cards, this set also featured a number of rare chase cards. Article reprinted from Facebook's Wacky Packages Group copyright 2009. Join this Group at Facebook and join the FUN

1 comment:

Comic Book College Weeklies said...

Good friend and original Wacky Packs artist/creator, Jay Lynch recently hand drew 3800 Art Cards for the most recent release in Oct of 2009. We bought 6 boxes for the Comic Book College Gift shop known as The Fine Art of Baseball here in Columbia, SC. Jay is known to do originals for people thru a site on line and we of course will sell you some packs if you want...........