Once it came in, I was excited to flip through the book and take a look at it. It is incredibly well put together. The introduction in the book outlines the history of the series very well and is interesting from a behind the scenes perspective. The dust jacket is made of a material reminiscent of a package of GPK stickers. The art in the book is big and the print is crisp and put on nice glossy paper. Very well done. I applaud the production on this book.
Okay, so that's a very technical review of the book. Not very heartfelt, but that may be all I have. Expecting a flood of memories to come back, I was a bit surprised that I was actually rather put off by the book. And no memories came back. I knew I never collected Garbage Pail Kids, but I remember being around people who did and I thought surely something would resonate with me. Nothing.
In episode 32 of our podcast, I referred to my lack of interest in jumping on bandwagons. While I remember having some moderate interest in learning more about GPK, I was relatively uninterested in them as a kid and any interest I may have had in collecting them was frowned upon by my parents. But now, 30 years later, I thought just being exposed to them again would incite something in me. Maybe I would remember Joe Severns and Jason Burgess trading an Itchy Ritchie for a Potty Scotty card. But no…nothing.
I began to think maybe I did the wrong thing accepting the offer to review this book. Somehow this cultural phenomenon that appealed to all boys my age in the mid-80s completely passed me by and now I can't seem to generate any interest in the book. In fact, I am slightly repulsed. These cards were meant to be parodies of the Cabbage Patch Kids and in essence, these images represent the worst things imaginable happening to your little sister's baby doll. And that baby doll represents a pretty realistic-looking kid. And now I'm a parent and I cannot find this stuff funny at all without a nostalgic hook to hang on it.
So almost thirty years later and I've become the parent who frowned upon the Garbage Pail Kids. And thirty years later, Garbage Pail Kids are still doing what they set out to do. Thirty years of time has not desensitized me enough to no longer find these images gross and disgusting.
And if anything, that should be the best endorsement of this book there can be.