How Garbage Pail Kids Artist Reimagined Iconic Character for Valentine's Day

Playing Garbage Pail Kids Artist Reimagines Iconic Character for Valentine's Day

Children who grew up in the '80s will fondly remember the Garbage Pail Kids, the gross-out sticker trading cards that parodied the Cabbage Patch Kids. 

In honor of Valentine's Day, Joe Simko, who works for the Topps Company as one of the current Garbage Pail Kids artists, designed a special card for the holiday featuring the iconic Adam Bomb. 

"Adam Bomb ... is essentially the Mickey Mouse of Garbage Pail Kids," Simko told InsideEdition.com. "He's on all the wrappers, on all the boxes. He is the mascot of Garbage Pail Kids. The leader, if you will."

The Garbage Pail Kids were created by a small group of underground cartoonists and writers who were fascinated by the popularity of the Cabbage Patch Kids, according to Simko. The artists wanted to parody the dolls, but gave their creations a little more edge. 

The cards aren't for the faint of heart. While the Cabbage Patch Kids are soft and cuddly, with chubby cheeks and wide eyes, the Garbage Pail Kids are designed to be disquieting.

"Some card examples are Nasty Nick which is a little vampire-type kid, got a little bit of fangs and drip of blood coming down," said Simko. "Boney Tony, a kid that's unzipping his face and his skull is coming out."

Of course, kids immediately loved them.

“[In the '80s], you couldn't find a 7-Eleven gas station ... that didn't have them," Simko said. "They went viral before viral became a term.”

He added: "All these cards are basically kids in very harmful situations, but yet very happy about it with big, wide smiles and nice, rosy cheeks and that's what excited all the kids at the time in the '80s."

What really catapulted the Garbage Pail Kids to stardom was how put off adults were by them. 

"The press that Garbage Pail Kids did get wasn't them advertising, it was the bannings in schools, the educators and psychiatrists analyzing these cards being unfit for kids," said Simko. 

That only made kids want them more.

"I was drawn to it, I loved it because, oh my God, there's a kid shooting a teddy bear and stuffing's coming out wherever," Simko recalled. 

And now Simko, who works from his home in New York City, is a part of the team designing the cards, something he never imagined when he was a kid. 

“I don’t get sick of it, even though I’m painting very sickly things," said Simko. “I call it the dream job that I never dreamt of. I never thought to dream of it, so it's pretty awesome I'm doing that."

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